Abu Dhabi welcomes two cruise liners
Abu Dhabi, December 13, 2011
Two major cruise liners have arrived at Abu Dhabi, boosting the emirate’s hopes for receiving 77 calls from cruise ships in the current 2011/2012 season.
The AidaBlu, which belongs to the German cruise line Aida Cruises, arrived in Mina Zayed yesterday (December 12)
With 600 members of crew and a passenger capacity of 2,500, the AidaBlu stopover in the UAE capital as part of an Arabian Gulf itinerary, begins and ends in Dubai and also has a stopover in Muscat and Khalifa Bin Salman port in Bahrain.
The ship, which has six restaurants, 10 bars, a theatre and one of the largest wellness centres of any cruise liner, was welcomed into Mina Zayed by a group of traditional Ayala dancers commissioned by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).
The Costa Favalosa with a complement of 1,100 crew members and a 3,500 passenger capacity, will arrive at the port today (December 13). This latest flagship of the Italian-flagged Costa Cruises fleet is billed “the most advanced” liner ever deployed in the Middle East, a statement from the ADTA said.
It is expected to clock up approximately 233,000 passenger movements during 22 UAE port calls before the end of its Arabian Gulf voyages on April 6.
Deployed regionally for the first time this winter, Costa Favolosa offers 7-night cruise packages that encompass two days in Dubai, as well as one-day stopovers in Muscat and Khasab in Oman and Abu Dhabi and Fujairah in UAE.
The two liners dock at the new temporary cruise terminal erected by ADTA working in collaboration with industry stakeholders; Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Terminals, which is capable of simultaneously accommodating 1,300 passengers.
ADTA estimates that more than 200,000 cruise passengers will visit Abu Dhabi this season with passenger expenditure substantially boosted by an estimated 50,000 cruise liner crew.
The tourism authority’s cruise ambitions were recently given a further boost with news from MSC Cruises, which is currently home-porting its MSC Lirica in Abu Dhabi – the first liner to be home ported in the UAE capital – that in the 2012/2013 season it will deploy its even larger, 867-cabin MSC Opera in Abu Dhabi.
The strategic repositioning of MS Opera, which is due to sail 25 week-long cruises in the 2012/2013 season will add a further 13,000 passengers to the 41,000 cruise arrivals MSC Lirica is expected to bring to Abu Dhabi this season, the statement said. – TradeArabia News Service