Record sea­son for cruises in Abu Dhabi

Travel Daily ME - - News -

De­mand for voy­ages orig­i­nat­ing in Abu Dhabi from lux­ury lines Celebrity Cruises and MSC Cruises has led to a record-break­ing sea­son for the Abu Dhabi cruise in­dus­try.

Celebrity Con­stel­la­tion car­ried more than 13,000 guests in 975 state­rooms – a 95% load fac­tor – dur­ing its six 12- to 15-night voy­ages that de­parted from Abu Dhabi in the 2016/17 cruise sea­son.

Forward book­ings are up too, with de­mand for cruises de­part­ing Abu Dhabi aboard Celebrity Con­stel­la­tion in the up­com­ing 2017/18 sea­son up 23% when com­pared to the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod last year.

Michael English, head of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment for Celebrity Cruises, said: “Last year was the first year we sailed from Abu Dhabi and we have had an over­whelm­ingly en­thu­si­as­tic re­sponse from both our agent part­ners and our guests.

We are now look­ing forward to the 2017-2018 sea­son when Celebrity Con­stel­la­tion will re­turn to the re­gion.”

Mean­while, MSC Cruises will re­turn for a third suc­ces­sive sea­son in 2017/18, once again home­port­ing its 3,900-pas­sen­ger MSC Splen­dida at the state-of-theart Abu Dhabi Cruise Ter­mi­nal to meet the grow­ing de­mand for its 15 win­ter-sun cruises in the re­gion, many of which will call at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach, the Gulf re­gion’s only desert-is­land cruise stopover.

“By con­tin­u­ally evolv­ing our cruise of­fer­ing through ini­tia­tives such as the re­cently opened cruise beach on Sir Bani Yas Is­land, we are con­fi­dent the ex­am­ple set by Celebrity Cruises and MSC Cruises will act as a cat­a­lyst for more cruise lines to fol­low suit and de­ploy ships in Abu Dhabi,” said Saeed Al Dha­heri, Cruise Tourism and City tour de­vel­op­ment man­ager at TCA Abu Dhabi.

“This will stim­u­late de­mand for our air­line, hospi­tal­ity and tourism in­dus­try, as well as lead­ing to wider ben­e­fits to the tourism ecosys­tem.”

The desti­na­tion is fore­cast to wel­come more than 300,000 pas­sen­gers from 148 calls made by 18 ships from 15 dif­fer­ent cruise lines dur­ing the 2017/18 cruise sea­son.

This would be a dou­ble-digit per­cent­age growth in pas­sen­ger num­bers from the 2016/17 sea­son – which was al­ready a record­break­ing year – and an 8% in­crease in ship calls. Look­ing fur­ther ahead , an eco­nomic im­pact and fore­cast­ing re­port by Ox­ford Eco­nom­ics pre­dicts that the Abu Dhabi cruise tourism seg­ment will at­tract 450,000 cruise pas­sen­gers by 2020, ris­ing to 808,428 in 2025. Click here for full story

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