Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sri Lanka's Galle Port lures round-the-world sailors and cruises

Sri Lanka's Galle Port is sprucing itself up with a new yacht marina in a bid to attract the high-spending sailors who sail past the island's south coast on their round-the-world voyages.

"The facilities in Galle now are rather limited for yachts," declared Richard Bolt, head of Blue Water Rallies, a company which organises round-the-world voyages for yachtsmen

"But you don’t have good mooring facilities for yachts or other facilities. So we're delighted to see the marina being built."

Construction work on the yacht marina at Galle began on January 15, 2009 and coincided with the arrival of 42 yachts sailing across the Indian Ocean, a variety of boats, from single hull vessels to catamarans.

In the first phase of the project to be done in six months, basic berthing facilities for 50 yachts of 15 metre length and three-metre draft will be built at a cost of about 125 million rupees.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Priyath Wickrama said they want to develop Galle as a tourist port which will attract visitors that would also help the entire tourist industry.

The cruise and yacht season is during the months from October to March in the non-monsoon period when the sea is calm.

The development of the marina will help attract more yachts and tourists to the island.

(Edited from LBO)