'Jetliner', the ship formerly used for humanitarian effort by the Sri Lanka Navy during the war, has now been converted into a glamorous venue for prestigious events. The 'Jetliner' presently docked at the Colombo Port will now serve as a venue for social and corporate events.
The 'Jetliner' is a water jet driven fast passenger ferry, which has been designed to accommodate 600 passengers and 160 cars at a time.
‘It is indeed a great achievement that a vessel that was once used for a resolution of a conflict could now be used as the venue for your next social outing. Sri Lanka tourism has grown from strength to strength since the conflict was resolved in May 2009 with new products being introduced to the market and this is yet another example of that widening of horizons,’ said Achala Jagoda, Minister of Tourism at the inauguration ceremony at the Colombo Port last week.
With the decision taken by the Sri Lankan Navy to use the ship for tourism related promotional activities, the vessel has undergone a total refurbishment providing facilities for events such as weddings, corporate functions, meetings, social gatherings and a host of other activities.
Effective from February 2010, the ship can be booked for such events to be used alongside Colombo Port, or taken out of the Port within or outside the territorial waters.
Amenities available on board will include a banquet area for 250 guests, mini conference facilities for 50 participants and ballroom facilities for 100 guests with exclusive bar facilities. There is an observation salon that can accommodate 50 guests and a deck area which has the capacity for 250 guests.
'The 'Jetliner' can be hired on hourly or daily basis and for weekend cruises by individuals, tour operators and corporate clients. Tailor made packages can be arranged to suit the needs of clients. The catering and the onboard entertainment will be the responsibilities of the Navy,' said The Commander Thisara Samarasinghe at the onboard press conference.
This venture comes close in the heels of both New York Times and Daily Candy Washington both recently declaring Sri Lanka as the No. 1 Tourist Spot for holiday makers. This follows an increasing trend in tourist arrival figures. The overall tourist arrivals for 2009 increased by a sizeable 2 percent; in an environment of global financial crisis. The December figures alone registered a 16 percent growth when compared to 2008.- ( Sanath)