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Bahrain..expecting an influx of cruise ships

Bahrain gears up for a busy cruise season

MANAMA, November 22, 2014

Almost double the number of ships are due to visit Bahrain this cruise season compared with last, but the country is still falling short of its pre-unrest visitor figures.

A total of 36 cruise ships are scheduled to call at Khalifa Bin Salman Port between now and April 2015 compared with 19 ships last season, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, citing officials.

'The cruise season starts today and all arrangements including taxis, buses and other facilities are being made to assist the tourists,' said a Culture Ministry spokesman, adding that the tourism industry would see a 'significant boost' from the increased number of ships.

The first to arrive is the German liner Mein Schiff 2, operated by TUI Cruises.

'Around 2,500 passengers will be on board with another 1,500 tourists expected on the Costa Cruises ship arriving in the coming weeks,' said Mathias Tourism managing director Richard Mathias.

'The majority of tourists will be from Germany and other European countries. We are excited because of the large number of visitors arriving, which means good business for different sectors,' he stated.

Mathias said his company was providing 40 bus drivers and 30 guides for the first set of international tourists upon their arrival this weekend.

Bahrain's cruise industry once boasted 50 visits by major cruise liners every year, but was hit hard by the political unrest that started in February 2011.

Only 29 of the scheduled 50 port calls were made that season, after cruise ship visits were suspended due to protests.

The GDN previously reported that every vessel that berths in Bahrain is estimated to be worth around $300,000 to the economy, according to Seatrade Middle East.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | cruise season |

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