The ferry Scotia Prince between Tuticorin and Colombo may add package tours soon to add more passengers, Indian newspaper Hindu reported. The nine-deck ‘Scotia Prince,' cruise vessel is chartered by Flemingo Liners.
The news item said: “All India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AICCI) here is making all out efforts to operate package tours from Tuticorin in association with Travel Club in Madurai and hoteliers in the southern districts.
It would take a fortnight to finalise the plans, J.P. Joe Villavarayar, former president of AICCI, said here on Saturday. On arrival, passengers from Sri Lanka would be taken to places of historical significance in and around Tuticorin initially.
They would also be taken to hill stations such as Kodaikanal, Munnar and Ooty. There would be a choice of doing a church circuit — Manappad, Uvari, Velankanni etc, and temple circuit — Tiruchendur, Madurai, Rameswaram etc.
Places of heritage such as Karaikudi with its Chettinad mansions in Sivaganga district could also be covered . Four-lane highways from Tuticorin would be conducive for tourists travelling by cars, buses and other vehicles.
The Chamber would also tie up with partners in Kerala to operate tours there. The Ministry of Tourism should also chip in with its efforts to promote tourism activities in these parts, Mr. Villavarayar said.
Efforts were also being made to offer package torus from Colombo. Officials were holding talks to facilitate Indian driving licence holders to take their cars and do self-drive tours in Sri Lanka on their arrival in Colombo by the ferry.
Since the vessel could accommodate 230 to 240 cars on an exclusive deck, passengers could take their own vehicles to Colombo and vice versa.
Since the harbour was located in the heart of Colombo, passengers would prefer to take their vehicles into the city, besides going to other places in the island nation. The Chamber has also requested the railway authorities to operate day-time train services to connect Madurai and Tiruchi from Tuticorin for the benefit of tourists, Mr. Villavarayar said.”