By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter
Some 74 cruise ships carrying 235,000 passengers are expected to arrive at Doha Port during the 2019/2020 cruise season, Mwani Qatar announced on Twitter yesterday.
“The 2019/20 season is set to be the busiest with first-ever turnaround operations to commence at the port,” the company said.
Mega cruise ship TUI Mein Schiff 5 is set to be the first one to dock at Doha Port in the upcoming season, scheduled on October 22 at 7am, and again on November 6 at 7am followed by Seabourn Encore on November 11 at 8am, according to the schedule posted by Mwani Qatar.
Mein Schiff 5, the German vessel which can carry more than 4,000 passengers, is scheduled to make a total of 10 visits to Qatar this season.
Qatar saw a 100% increase in the number of ships visiting Doha during the 2018/2019 cruise season, which concluded on May 10, compared to the same period in the previous season, receiving 44 ships with more than 140,000 passengers.
Qatar National Tourism Council expects this growth to continue in the coming years, making Doha Port one of the most important winter cruising ports.
Mwani Qatar noted that Seabourn Encore, dubbed as one of the newest and most luxurious cruise ships in the world with 300 suites, will be the last ship to visit Doha Port in the 2019/2020 season when it arrives on May 7.
Seabourn Encore features unique facilities such as a panoramic fitness centre, spa, showrooms, and duty-free shops, among others.
Other ships scheduled to visit Qatar include Costa Diadema, Jewel of the Seas, MSC Bellisima, MSC Lirica, Azamara Quest, Silver Spirit, Crystal Esprit, AIDA Prima, Seabourn Ovation and Marella Discovery.
AIDA Prima made its maiden voyage to Qatar in December 2018, carrying 4,250 passengers and crew members. The German mega ship visited the country eight times during the 2018/2019 season, which helped significantly boost Qatar’s cruise tourism sector.
Apart from enticing more mega ships to Qatar, QNTC earlier noted that its collaboration with AIDA Cruises is helping expedite the development of the cruise industry in the country through joint promotion efforts.
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