Abu Dhabi sees surge in cruise tourist numbers
Abu Dhabi, January 14, 2014
Abu Dhabi's Zayed Port is set to witness a surge in cruise passenger numbers this year with the arrival of two maiden cruiseliners from boutique German operators - Phoenix Reisen and MS Artania flagship.
The arrival of the nine-decked, 45,000 tonne Artania - the largest ocean-going ship of the new-to-market operator’s portfolio – launched a dual-season two ship presence by Phoenix Reisenin Abu Dhabi, said the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) officials.
This will be followed by the arrival of MS Amadea in April, with the company’s MS Albatrosjoiningthe Amadea for the October-April 2014/2015 season, they stated.
“It is our great pleasure to welcome the MS Artania as another first time visitor to Zayed Port. The number of maiden calls in the current cruise season 2013/14 has doubled compared to last season which is a clear indicator of the rapidly growing cruise business in Abu Dhabi. For this season we have further enhanced our facilities and services for the passengers and cruise liners,"
Over the next few years we will continue our efforts to develop Zayed Port and Abu Dhabi into a world-class cruise destination that offers exciting and unforgettable leisure experiences”, said Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC).
Sultan Al Dhaheri, the acting executive director, Tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “The arrival of a top German independent tour operator into Abu Dhabi greatly underpins our cruise industry ambitions which are now being advanced via a highly pro-active local stakeholder campaign and a wider regional co-operative initiative to ensure the region is rightly positioned as a credible and appealing winter cruise destination.”
“Our approach is to nurture a growing number of relationships with independent cruise tour operators and smaller cruise charter operations, as well as further enhancing our existing healthy relationships with the world’s leading cruise lines,” he added.
Billed as a globetrotting ‘home away from home’, Artania’s 1,200 mostly German guests can choose from five full and half-day Abu Dhabi shore excursion opportunities, and will experience an all-inclusive classic cruise experience with modern facilities including internet cafés , two restaurants, an open-deck lido buffet dining option, theatre, gym and a spa and wellness centre featuring saunas, showers and massage cabins.
Extensively renovated in 2012, Artania’s 620 exterior cabins all feature either panoramic windows or private balconies, and sails on to Oman, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia as part of a 17-day Gulf and Indian Ocean voyage to Singapore.
Abu Dhabi’s inclusion on the Phoenix Reisen itineraries requires the destination to play to its cultural strengths for shore excursion options, which are increasing in demand, according to Agata Eibel, the cruise manager for Artania’s shore-based tour operator Rida International Tours.
"We have developed a range of excursions that contrast Abu Dhabi’s modern metropolis with the emirate’s cultural past, and have found that tours to Al Ain’s World Heritage attractions and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque are proving just as popular as high tea at Emirates Palace or our thrill-seeker’s tours of desert dunes or the exhilarating Ferrari World Abu Dhabi," remarked Eibel.
“All shore excursions are tailor-made for each cruise ship as passenger motivations vary from vessel to vessel, and we look forward to introducing more of the emirate’s attractions and activities for Phoenix Reisen’s other liners later this season and next,” she stated.-TradeArabia News Service