Search This Blog

Monday, June 13, 2011

Passenger Ferry service launched from Tuticorin to Colombo – Scotia Prince

After decades, the passenger ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo is being launched by Union Minister of Shipping today [13th June 2011] – this has a great history behind.

Toothukudi (Tuticorin) is traditionally known for pearl fishing and shipping.  It was a hot seat of Independence movement with great leaders such as Veerapandia Kattabomman, VO Chidambaram Pillai, Subrahmanya Bharathi, Vanchinathan and host of others.  Tuticorin Port is located strategically close to the East-West International sea routes on the South Eastern coast of India at latitude 8o 45'N and longitude 78o 13'E.

It was from here that more than a century ago, VO Chidambaram Pillai fondly known as ‘Kappolittiya Thamizhar’ [the tamilian who ran ship service] launched two vessels much against the British Imperialists with the support of Tilakar.  In Nov 1906, steamships ‘S.S.Gaelia’ and ‘S.S.Lawoe’, were launched which can perhaps be looked as the foundation of shipping industry of the Nation.   It was till that time,  a  monopoly enjoyed by the British India Steam Navigation Company and an Indian could dare to challenge them in their own game.  The wily British reportedly slashed the fare per trip to Re.1 (16 annas) per head.  VOC’s Swadeshi company responded by offering a fare of Re.0.5 (8 Annas). The British company went further by offering a free trip to the passengers plus a free umbrella, which had ‘S.S.Gaelia’ and ‘S.S.Lawoe’ running nearly empty.  The restrictive trade practices coupled by the political actions taken against VOC and other freedom fighters pushed the company towards bankruptcy is the sad history.

The first vessel 'Scotia Prince' is scheduled to leave Tuticorin in India around 6 pm  and would reach Colombo by 8 am the next morning.   The vessel 'Scotia Prince,' has nine decks with a capacity to accommodate 1,200 passengers. It will be able to carry about 300 tonnes of cargo.  Initially, the vessel  is set to sail twice a week from Tuticorin to Colombo and vice versa. The Colombo-bound vessel will depart from Tuticorin on Mondays and Fridays at 6 p.m. and arrive in Colombo at 8 a.m. the next day. The vessel from Colombo to Tuticorin will sail on Wednesdays and Sundays at the same timings.

The vessel ‘Scotia Prince,' operated by Flemingo Liners, has nine decks with the capacity to accommodate 1,200 passengers. It has 11 first class cabins, two suites, two cabins for travellers with special needs, 169 super deluxe cabins, 22 deluxe cabins and 111 economy cabins, according to newspaper reports.  The vessel also boasts of a 250-seat Broadway Lounge to host corporate gatherings, banquets and special occasions with multiple options for entertainment.  The fare reportedly is  around Rs.20000/- for travel in   First class cabin with four rooms;  Rs.15000/- approx in  first-class cabin with two rooms .  There are also berths and Economy class which would cost around Rs.6000/- for a cabin with 2 rooms and around Rs.3000/- for a single birth. 

Only those with passports would be allowed to embark and it is reported that passengers can obtain tourist visas on arrival at destination, valid for 30 days.  Passengers are to check in at the terminal four hours prior to departure and would be allowed to carry two bags per person.

Now some history of the vessel ‘Scotia Prince’ : -

Scotia Prince Cruises was a cruise ferry operator based in Maine which owned and operated the M/S Scotia Prince. This ferry operated across the Gulf of Maine between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, until the end of the 2004 sailing season. As you would know, Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States.  Maine was inhabited by the British way back in 1600s.

The vessel had conducted trial runs successfully in April this year. The ferry could sail a speed of 16 knots per hour.  It was reported that the  Sri Lanka Shipping Corporation will launch a luxury bus services for the benefit of those using the ferry service.

The specifications of the Ship are :
Tonnage:       GT 12087, NT 5973
Length:          143 M
Beam: 12.7 M
Draft: 5.26 M
Capacity:      1000 passengers
Ship's Registry:       Nassau, Bahamas

The vessel is on a charter to be operated as a ferry between the two countries.  International Shipping Partners (ISP) has provided the vessel on charter to Flemingo, reportedly a company operating duty free shops in many countries.  As you would know, Charter Party is an arrangement between the Ship Owner and the Operator through which the vessel is hired for the conveyance of goods / passengers on a specific voyage or for a definitive period.  

This ferry service is sure to increase the influx of tourists in Srilanka, especially from India. 
With regards
S. Sampathkumar.

4 comments:

  1. would be nice to travel by this ferry.

    The visa on arrival scheme is coming to an end by August. last year itself SL government wanted to scrap the VOA scheme, but had to heed to the request of the tour operators. i heard that flux of indian tourists to SL has touched all time high. Apart from the beautiful beaches, curency rates and shops, VOA encourages tourists to vist lanka.

    Flemingo has duty free shops at all major airports in India. their prices are very competetive.

    -kannan

    ReplyDelete
  2. பயணிகள் கட்டணத்திற்கான விவரம்

    வகுப்பு பிரிவு தூத்துக்குடி - கொழும்பு கொழும்பு - தூத்துக்குடி

    1.எக்கனாமி தனிபடுக்கை ரூ.2,990 - ரூ.3,128
    அறை(2 பேர்) ரூ.5,980- ரூ.6,210
    அறை(4 பேர்) ரூ.11,960 -ரூ.12,420

    2.சிறப்பு வசதி அறை
    (மாற்றுத்திறனாளிகள்) தனிபடுக்கை ரூ.2,990 -ரூ.3,128
    அறை(4 பேர்) ரூ.11,960 -ரூ.12,512

    3. டீலக்ஸ் அறை தனிபடுக்கை ரூ.3,450 - ரூ. 3,680
    அறை(4 பேர்) ரூ.13,800 - ரூ.14,260
    ------------ --- 
    4. சூப்பர் டீலக்ஸ் அறை 
    தனிபடுக்கை ரூ.3,680 - ரூ.3,910
    அறை(2 பேர்) ரூ.7,360- ரூ. 7,590 
    அறை(4 பேர்) ரூ.14,260 -ரூ.14,720
    -- ------------------- 
    5. முதல் வகுப்பு அறை 
    அறை(2 பேர்) ரூ.13,800 - ரூ. 14,220
    அறை(4 பேர்) ரூ. 19,550 - ரூ.20,470

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi there to every body, it's my first pay a visit of this blog; this weblog contains remarkable and truly fine stuff
    designed for readers.

    Here is my webpage - ar500 handgun targets

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very informative, thanks for posting such informative content. Expecting more from you.
    Tamil Second Marriage Matrimonial Services

    ReplyDelete