Don’t want to travel without your car at your disposal? If you’re a self-driven (pun-unintended) adventure fanatic, your prayers just got answered! Now you have a picturesque international destination where you can drive down to in your own car. What comes as a bonus is, that you sail aboard India’s finest luxury cruise en route. Puzzled? Allow us to explain.
A brand new service to the tourists to Sri Lanka has just been launched. The new scheme allows you to drive in your car aboard ‘Scotia Prince’ a luxury liner that sails between Colombo and Tuticorin. Once in Colombo, you can drive out onto the streets of entire Sri-Lanka for six full months, exploring the island country. Now how good an adventure trip is that!
So what do you have to do to make sure there are no compliance related hassles? Well, to start with, your car should obtain the mandatory “Carnet de Passage” document from Automobile Association of India (AAI), which costs around Rs 4400. Once you are in Sril Lanka you have to get in touch with the local driving association to obtain a driving permit. But that shouldn’t be difficult if you are in touch with any locals there.
There are no restrictions on the type of car you can take, so anything from the humble Hyundai Santro to mammoth Q7 can be ferried. You vehicle will be checked in as registered baggage which will be claimed on arrival. The ship can accommodate about 200 cars.
The journey time (one way) aboard the nine deck Scotia Prince which can accommodate 1044 passengers is 14 hours. Here is a rough price list for various classes of berths on the luxury liner
- Economy class Rs 2,243.
- Deluxe Rs 2,588.
- Super deluxe Rs 2,760.
- First class Rs 5,175.
I am damn excited about the new service, and plan to make this trip to Sri Lanka very soon. If you have any adventure loving car nuts who would want to be a part of such an adventure, do share this piece with them. They’d love you for it!