A long-awaited passenger ferry service between Sri Lanka and India is set to commence by the end of April, officials in Colombo said.
This service is a revival of one held many decades ago, which was discontinued when air transport became more popular.
The ship will carry 150 passengers at a time and will take around four hours to cover travel from Karaikal Port in Pondicherry in southern India to Kankesanthurai port in northern Sri Lanka. The tickets are priced at US$50 for one way.
Pondicherry is about 2,365km from the capital Delhi while Kankesanthurai is 415km from the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.
At a recent discussion on the new ferry service, it was noted that each passenger would be allowed a baggage allowance of 100kg. Only daytime operations will be in force during the first stage of the service, officials said.
India is Sri Lanka’s biggest tourism source market and the new service would be a boost to tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka. Another advantage of the new service is that the mostly Tamil minority, who live in northern Sri Lanka, have many relatives and share cultural traditions and customs with Tamils in southern India.