Category Archives: Cruises

Dubai to receive 1 million cruise passengers by 2020

Izzam Kassim Cruise tourism

In a keynote address at the opening session of Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum, Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) confirmed that Dubai remains on track to receive one million cruise passengers by 2020. Addressing delegates, he also referred to DCTCM’s plan to ensure that cruise passengers felt the ‘soul’ of Dubai and there would be an extra concentration on excursions showing the heritage of the city and its older parts. Around 17 cruise line executives from 14 of the world’s leading cruise lines attended the annual two-day event held at Lapita, located within Dubai Parks and Resorts, Dubai. The programme focused on a number of key discussion points, including extending seasonality, opportunities for niche cruising, port and destination development, link with India, the Suez Canal and Red Sea, shore excursion offerings, supporting the needs of the crew and exploiting the potential for inbound Chinese tourism. The event’s return to Dubai reflects the regional significance for the future of cruising in the Arabian Gulf.

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Crystal Cruises chooses Dubai for its flagship liner

Representatives from DTCM, Dubai World and Crystal Cruises on Crystal Symphony

Dubai has been chosen by Crystal Cruises as the location for the company’s flagship liner to make its maiden voyage in the region. The decision to make Dubai the location for the regional debut of the liner’s sophisticated new look further cements the emirate’s position as the region’s leading cruise destination. Despite Dubai’s cruise industry only really gaining momentum in 2001 with the opening of the first cruise terminal in the Gulf, the city has been instrumental in pioneering cruise tourism in region. The emirate is now serving over 20 world-class cruise lines, including Crystal Cruises, the world’s most awarded cruise line. DP World was also present to welcome Crystal Symphony on her maiden voyage to the region. “The choice of Dubai by Crystal Cruises reinforces the emirate’s reputation as one of the world’s leading cruise destinations. DP World is committed to providing all forms of support to cruise liners that call at Dubai’s cruise terminals, as part of our group’s comprehensive strategy to boost the growth of the emirate’s cruise industry.” said Mohammed Al Mannaei, CEO, P&O Marinas and Executive Director, Mina Rashid – DP World.

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The Q announces cruise trip to Antarctica, especially for UAE travel enthusiasts

Cruise ship to Antarctica

Antarctica is slowly emerging as one of the most sought-after destinations by UAE’s cruise travellers, who are always on the search for something exotic and different. To help those who are still on the lookout for a tour operator that could take them to this new dream destination, India-based ‘The Q Experiences’ has announced a trip to Antarctica on a luxury cruise, starting from December 9, 2017. This will be an 11-day curated trip to the exotic, ice crowned continent, also rightly known as the White Continent. Speaking about this new adventure trip in the offing, Vasim Shaikh, founder of The Q Experiences said, “We have received tremendous response for this trip from the GCC countries. At The Q, it is our constant endeavour to create memories that last a lifetime for all our travellers; we are keen on creating a similar experience for our Gulf travellers as well, and we are hopeful to see more travellers from this region to join us in this trip of a lifetime”.

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DCT’s 2016-17 season ends with 15% increase in cruise tourists

C.S. Sea Princess at Port Rashid, Dubai

The 2016-17 season of Dubai Cruise Tourism (DCT) officially concluded with the departure of the season’s final ship, the C.S. Sea Princess, from Port Rashid recently. This season of Dubai Cruise Tourism saw over 625,000 cruise tourists visit the city via 157 ship calls, reflecting an increase of 15 per cent in the number of tourists and 18 per cent in the number of ship calls when compared to the 2015-16 season. The season also saw Thomson Cruises, the first UK-based cruise line home porting in the region, in addition to inaugural visits from TUI’s Mein Schiff 1 Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Star and MSC’s MSC Fantasia among the eight other maiden ship calls. Commenting on the success of the 2016-17 season, Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, Director of Dubai Cruise Tourism said, “We are very pleased with the success of our 2016-17 cruising season and with the city’s sustained popularity as a winter cruise destination. We are grateful to DP World, Dubai Airports, Dubai Immigration, Dubai Customs, Emirates Airlines and our other key public and private sector stakeholders for their continued cooperation which has led to an ever-increasing number of cruise operators looking to anchor in the emirate.”

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CharterClick to provide service outside UAE from Q2

logo charter click

CharterClick, an online booking service for renting a yacht or boat, has announced that its boats outside of the UAE are going to be available from Q2, 2017. The website works in real time and eliminates any need to make additional phone calls or write follow up emails as the booking can be done start to finish from the convenience of a laptop or mobile phone. The service started with only four boats in their fleet and a single partnership agreement with a charter provider, but now has 34 boats available on its Dubaian website, along with more than 10 charter companies, who have signed an agreement to be represented on CharterClick.com. “Because of our mantra (Convenience through simplicity), we had to make sure from the very beginning, that everything both our clients and partners deal with is very easy to execute, and simple to understand,” said Michael Siyatskyy, Head of Content Curation, CharterClick.

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Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach opens in Abu Dhabi

sir-yani-beach

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, Abu Dhabi Ports officially opened Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach, offering cruise ship passengers a new beach destination with unmatched tourism experiences. The Beach was officially inaugurated by His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), alongside a number of high-profile officials and strategic partners to celebrate yet another strategic partnership between Abu Dhabi’s leading entities in the cruise tourism sector including Abu Dhabi Ports, TCA Abu Dhabi, and Etihad Airways. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, said: “The development of new economic and tourism projects across the Western Region is a key priority for Abu Dhabi’s visionary government led by the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Under the vision and mandate of our wise leadership, we have redoubled efforts towards the completion of infrastructure projects and vital facilities, as part of our ambitious plans to fulfil the development needs of our nation now and into the future. This has been enabled by the coordination and collaboration between various government entities who are all working towards the goals of Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030.”

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Sharjah expects 72,000 cruisers during 2016/2017 season

sharjah-cruise

Sharjah’s east coast port of Khorfakkan is expected to welcome 28 luxury cruise ships disembarking some 72,000 tourists during the 2016/2017 cruise season, according to Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). Among the vessels expected, three international cruise ships will make their maiden calls at Khorfakkan, while the management of US-based luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises are meeting the SCTDA and visiting tourist destinations across in Sharjah emirate this month.TUI Cruises, Thomson Cruises and MSC Cruises all have cruise ships visiting Sharjah this season. The 15 deck, 293 metre TUI Mein Schiff 3, equipped to carry 2,500 passengers and 1,000 crew, arrived in Sharah on 10 December, carrying mostly German nationals. Thomson Celebration, a 10 deck, 215 metre vessel able to carry about 1,800 passengers and crew will visit Sharjah on 16 December carrying passengers from the UK and Europe. Meanwhile, MSC Fantasia, MSC Fantasia flagship 18 deck, 333 metre luxury cruise ship able to carry about 5,700 passengers and crew, will disembark at Khorfakkan on 21 December.

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Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum on Dec 13 & 14

seatrademe-cruise-forum-abu-dhabi

Abu Dhabi is set to host 15 of the world’s leading cruise line executives and representatives who join an impressive line-up of industry speakers for this year’s Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum, hosted by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi). The Cruise Forum, scheduled for December 13 and 14, 2016, at the Four Season Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, includes a number of dynamic talks focusing on current trends, topics and talking-points confronting the region. Delivered by an outstanding line-up of cruise industry leaders, each session promises to feature frank, lively and honest debate. 15 cruise line representations will join the discussions from: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises & Azamara Club Cruises; MSC Cruises; Cruise & Maritime Voyages; Crystal Cruises; MSC Cruises; Carnival Australia; Thomson Cruises; TUI Cruises GmbH; Silversea Cruises; Carnival Corporation & plc; and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

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Celebrity Constellation calls on Dubai

celebrity-constellation

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), in collaboration with Celebrity Cruises, commemorated the inaugural visit to Dubai of Celebrity Constellation during her maiden voyage in the region. Marking the occasion at a welcome reception, held at Dubai Cruise Terminal in Mina Rashid were Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, Director of Dubai Cruise Tourism, Mohammed Al Mannaei, Director of Mina Rashid, DP World and Lakshmi Durai, CEO of Travel Matrix, the Middle East representative for Celebrity Cruises. Attended by dignitaries from Dubai Immigration, Dubai Customs, Dubai Police, Environment Health and Safety (Trakhees) and PCFC Security, the arrival of Celebrity Constellation commenced with a traditional Plaques and Keys ceremony held aboard the luxury cruise liner, in which an honorary plaque was exchanged between government dignitaries and the ship’s captain. Event attendees were then invited on a tour of the 13-deck-high vessel, to experience the entertainment, culinary and wellness offerings available on board. Celebrity Constellation is the latest premium cruise ship to visit Dubai. The 91,000-tonne, 294-metre-long vessel features extensive family amenities, with some of the most expansive children’s facilities in the Celebrity fleet. The luxury liner is set to sail two nine-night cruises within the UAE and Oman, as well as longer trips from the UAE that follow the ancient Spice Route to the Indian cities of Cochin, Mangalore, Goa and Mumbai, before returning to home port in the UAE. The ship is scheduled to have four overnight and six day calls to Dubai between 29 November 2016 and 16 April 2017, contributing over 15,000 cruise tourists towards the record number of 600,000 expected to visit Dubai in the 2016/2017 cruise season. These projected numbers follow the 19% season-on-season increase …

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Dubai Cruise Terminal expects 600,000 tourists in 2016-17

Cruise Terminal

Following a successful 2015/2016 run, which saw passenger numbers grow by 19 per cent and ship calls increase by 24 per cent compared to the previous year, two new lines — Norwegian Cruise Line and Thomson Cruises — are making their debut in the region with their maiden call to Dubai Cruise Terminal this season. Thomson Cruises will be the first ever UK-based cruise line to home port in Dubai contributing over 12 calls and over 25,000 cruise tourists to Dubai this season. The new season is projected to record an 18 per cent increase in ship calls, leading to 157 ship calls and an estimated 600,000 cruise tourists arriving in the city. Dubai Cruise has experienced significant growth since 2014, after the implementation of the multiple-entry UAE visa, which opened up potential emerging source markets such as India, China, South America and Russia. With over 23 of the world’s leading cruise operators — including six home-porting lines — anchoring in Dubai for an overnight stay or passenger turn-around, and an estimated 10 maiden ship calls, the 2016/2017 season is expected to continue the  upward trajectory, contributing to Dubai’s strategic goal of achieving 20 million visitors per year by 2020.

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