Category Archives: Cruises

Aman at Sea, Cruise Saudi’s latest super yacht expected to be ready for cruising by 2027

Cruise Saudi Managing Director Fawaz Farooqui shared about Aman at Sea, Cruise Saudi’s joint venture with Aman, which is a new ultra-luxury yacht aimed at Very High Net Worth (VHNW) travellers. “Aman is a truly unique brand, it’s authentic intent is to provide a level of service, which is a home away from home, that is peerless in every way.” The 183-metre superyacht Aman at Sea will have 47 spacious suites along with a full spectrum of luxury amenities including an Aman-style spa with Japanese relaxation garden, several international Michelin-quality restaurants, and an on-board beach club, giving guests access to the water from the stern of the yacht. Aman at Sea is expected to be ready for cruising by 2027. Fawaz revealed the new Aman at Sea ultra-luxury yacht will have a 2:1 crew ratio to guests, placing a priority on the guest space ratio, along with creating the biggest suites in the industry. Speaking about what makes Saudi a premium destination, Fawaz said it was Saudi’s warm hospitality, authenticity, culture, and nature that made it such a valuable proposition. “We are sitting on thousands of years of heritage. Saudi used to be part of the Incense Route and we have a civilisation that goes back four or five thousand years BC,” Fawaz added.

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Emirates embarks on a new voyage in ultra-lux cruise liners

Emirates Airline now ventures on a new voyage with its Emirates Sealine, widely considered the QE2 among airlines and beloved by millions worldwide for its sumptuous services in the air and on land, will now be sailing across the seven seas with its newly-launched maritime arm, Emirates Sealine. Lucky ship-spotters and cruise aficionados witnessed glimpses of the first liner as it majestically sailed round Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah earlier today on its maiden sea trial – click here. Emirates Sealine is promising cruisers top-tier and never-before-imagined experiences as they voyage to rarely-before-seen ports of call. It placed a titanic, multi-billion-dollar order for an initial 10 cruise ships which are currently being fitted with the latest and the best. Having identified significant gaps in the industry’s offering, Emirates Sealine will give a wide berth to convention, offering a cruise calendar outside traditional seasons. The first cruise is scheduled to flag off from Dubai Harbour on 01 April 2024, with Karachi as the maiden port of call – harking back to the airline’s first-ever flight in October 1985. Itineraries and bookings will be open from 31 June. Emirates Sealine’s liners will dock at major cruise ports – charting a course from US to New Zealand – supported by the airline’s colossal network. Captain Jack Shallow, the newly appointed Chief Maritime Officer at the helm of Emirates Sealine said: “Emirates is no stranger to the seas, having been associated with powerboat racing in Dubai to Emirates Team New Zealand and more recently, the Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team. While cities worldwide remain moored to challenges, Dubai is sailing smoothly at unimaginable knots and has outstanding cruise and other multi-modal transport infrastructure. “Technology, AI and …

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Cruise Saudi aims to attract 1.3million passengers by 2035

Mashhour Bashan the Executive Director for Travel Experiences, on (designing tours and experiences for cruise passengers) explained that “the cruise sector is a new industry for the Kingdom, it provides specific services, and our role in Cruise Saudi is to develop and enable the private sector. This workshop is one of several workshops on developing the sector to attract 1.3 million passengers by 2035”. Participating in the recent Saudi Tourism Forum 2023, held in Riyadh 100% Public Investment Fund-owned business,  Cruise Saudi shared the latest work hand in hand with ministries and regulatory authorities to build the offshore and onshore cruise ecosystem with the aim of positioning Saudi as a premier global cruise destination. Throughout the Forum, Cruise Saudi met with a number of public and private sector companies – an opportunity to update key industry contacts with the news and developments since Cruise Saudi launched in 2021. From the expansion of Saudi Arabia’s cruise infrastructure to the two successful completed seasons, Cruise Saudi’s rapid expansion in this vital sector has worked alongside the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 as an engine to drive the development of tourism, and to transform the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with its various regions and natural, historic and heritage treasures into a unique and distinctive destination on the global cruise map. Engineer Fawaz Farouqi praised the Forum and the fruitful cooperation of all public and private parties involved in the Tourism System in providing an exceptional experience for tourists visiting the Kingdom, thus reflecting their contribution to achieve Vision 2030 goals and broaden the horizons of the Saudi cruise sector. Cruise Saudi also organised an awareness workshop, delivered by Mashhour Bashan, the Executive Director for Travel …

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Royal Yacht Club of Ras Al Khaimah deploys four new anchorage buoys to enhance boaters’ experience in the Northern Emirates

Al Hamra recently rebranded the Royal Yacht Club of Ras Al Khaimah in line with its vision of bolstering Ras Al Khaimah’s exclusive tourism and leisure offerings for both tourists and residents.Al Hamra announced the deployment of four new buoys at strategic anchorage locations around Al Hamra and Al Marjan Island, to further elevate the marine and yachting experience for boat owners in the UAE. The new buoys installed around Al Hamra and Al Marjan Island offer an easy-to-use and accessible anchorage location in one of the most sought-after marine destinations in the UAE. With a short journey to the Royal Yacht Club of Ras Al Khaimah, boat owners can enjoy benefits from the full service marina, including F&B, leisure offerings and maritime services. As part of Ras Al Khaimah’s strategy for strengthening maritime activity, the anchorages will be free to use throughout the year for vessels up to 30 meters in length and up to 150GT. With an unspoiled coastline spanning 64 kilometres, the calm, turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf will enable boat owners and holidaymakers to connect with the Emirate’s rich maritime heritage while benefiting from ease of access to the high-end, unrivalled offerings at the Royal Yacht Club’s state-of-the-art marina. These include access to outstanding leisure, food, and beverage facilities in the area’s leading hotels and leisure destinations. Christopher Hewett, Senior Vice President of Hospitality at Al Hamra, said: “In support of Ras Al Khaimah’s strategy to increase tourism and leisure activities in the Emirate, we are pleased to launch these new anchorages in Al Hamra and Al Marjan Island. The free to use anchorages for recreational boaters are strategically located to ensure safe mooring as …

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Dubai international boat show opens with luxury marine tourism experiences

Now, in its 29th year, Dubai International boat show kicked off once again at the Dubai Harbour, the permanent show ground alongside the cruise terminal in the Dubai Marina. Speaking at the opening Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Management Officer, Shamal Holding, the owner and curator of Dubai Harbour, “I would like welcome you again to the Dubai harbour, this district was designed and purpose built for the maritime industry in the UAE which has been guiding for thousands of years.” Speaking with tourism breaking news he added the importance of the international boat show and the development plans for the harbour itself. “We believe that with partners like the Dubai international boat show, we support the growth of the industry overall in the region and in Dubai. We believe that the show this year is bigger, we continue to emphasise the permanency of this show, it is on its 29th edition. We offer the largest marina in the region with amazing and extraordinary facilities, we believe that we cannot work in isolation from the industry, the show allows us to interact with the industry and support the industry and it also allows to bring in innovation. In Dubai harbour we have developed two cruise terminals which are the largest in the Eastern hemisphere in a drive to support the city’s ambition to grow in the cruise tourism sector. We can see double the number of cruise passengers from last season, we welcomed more ships, more variety and we continue to provide the best service and best experience. We believe with the current capacity we have with the two terminals we will continue to support the growth of the number of ship …

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Gulf Craft reveals new vision for the future at Dubai International Boat Show with the global launch of Majesty 111 and Nomad 101

Gulf Craft is showcasing the new Majesty 111 and Nomad 101 superyachts at the Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) 2023, two breathtaking vessels that highlight the celebrated yacht maker’s new vision of the future. Making their global debut at DIBS 2023, the two superyachts epitomise Gulf Craft’s new era of dynamic growth under the strategic theme, ‘Legacy in Motion’, driving the company to push boundaries through four core focus areas:  Technology & Innovation, Path to Sustainability, Global Expansion and Next Generation. Gulf Craft celebrated its 40th anniversary at last year’s Dubai International Boat Show, looking back on four decades of passion, innovation and growth. This year, the boat and yacht manufacturer will build on that rich legacy as it moves towards its future and sets out its commitment and vision for the decades ahead. Meticulous market research and trend forecasting for a broader global market establish the Majesty 111 and Nomad 101 as new leaders in their class. Luxurious interiors and earthy hues set the tone for the onboard experience of the Majesty 111: the cabins flow from one to another, creating a seamless indoor-outdoor transition. Sustainability is also a major theme in the superyacht, with better fuel efficiency,  smart product design and emissions-reducing technologies. Incorporating sustainable materials throughout, the Nomad 101 features powerful engines, which, combined with much better fuel efficiency, unlock more adventurous and far-flung destinations for exploration. A generous amount of glazing maximizes exterior views, while the Portuguese Bridge offers a full walkaround deck. Mohamed Hussein Alshaali, Gulf Craft Chairman, said: “At Gulf Craft, we never shy away from out-of-the-box thinking. This innovative spirit inspired our growth from a builder of small fishing boats to one of …

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World’s yachting industry sets sail for Dubai International Boat Show 2023

Dubai International Boat Show is getting ready to welcome more than 30,000 visitors to the seafront district Dubai Harbour, when the region’s largest, and most established marine and lifestyle event in the Middle East will get underway from 1-5 March. More than 175 yachts and watercraft from globally renowned shipyards such as Azimut, Ferretti, Gulf Craft, Princess, San Lorenzo, Sunreef, and Sunseeker Gulf will sail into the shores of Dubai to put on an incredible display over the five days of the show’s 29th edition. “We are looking forward to welcoming marine enthusiasts, maritime investors and those who are interested in all things ocean to DIBS23,” says Riju George, Group Director, Exhibitions, DWTC. “Dubai has a rich maritime heritage and over the years has created an extensive ecosystem and a sophisticated hub to nurture some of the greatest boat designers and manufacturers in the world; that’s why every year we see an influx of international visitors to the show.” With more than 12% of the world’s superyachts in the MENA region, it’s no surprise that Dubai has become one the top-10 nautical hubs of the world within the marine industry – home to several world-class waterfront property developments and many exquisite marinas. Such infrastructure has made DIBS the perfect platform for the more than 1,000 global brands to showcase their wares and launch their latest innovations this year. Alongside over 50 global and regional launches to be announced at the show, DIBS23 will feature a stunning lineup of yachts, with more than 10 new brands on display including Abeking & Rasmussen, Boutique Yachts, Finnmaster, Greenline Yachts, Nordhavn, SAY Carbon Yachts, Sirena Yachts, and Tecnomar. And that’s not all – for …

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Dubai Harbour welcomes the maiden call of Queen Mary 2 on her annual world cruise

Dubai Harbour, the city’s extraordinary seafront district, has welcomed the iconic Queen Mary 2, the world’s only ocean liner, on its Centenary World Voyage . Observing the maiden call of this spectacular vessel, Captain Hashmi met with Dubai Harbour officials in an exclusive plaque exchange ceremony, which is a customary maritime tradition. The call is one of a plethora of international cruise liners that have called at Dubai Harbour during the 2022/23 cruise season, with over 300,000 passengers expected before June, exemplifying its position as the region’s most modern cruise infrastructure acting as a perfect gateway attracting tourists and cruise lines from across the globe. Queen Mary 2 is the world’s only ocean liner offering regularly scheduled transatlantic crossings between New York and Southampton and remains the largest ocean liner ever built. Queen Mary 2 seamlessly combines classic British heritage with Cunard’s hallmarks of nostalgia, opulence, and style, evident in sweeping staircases, a grand ballroom, and a wraparound promenade deck. She is one of the most spacious ships at sea, with 14 decks of lounges and bars, shops, and sports and even a seagoing planetarium! The ship boasts three pools, Mareel Wellness and Beauty, no fewer than 10 dining options, and one of the largest dance floors at sea .As a manifestation of Dubai’s wider planning, coastline development and tourism strategies, as well as its status as the region’s leading cruise hub, Dubai Harbour continues to play a major role in rekindling the city’s connection to the sea. Designed to process over 3,250 passengers per hour, the highly efficient and modern terminals at Dubai Harbour have recorded exponential growth over the past two years. Angus Struthers, Acting Senior Vice President, …

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AD Ports Group announces inauguration of Aqaba Cruise Terminal

Under the patronage of Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Bisher Khasawneh, H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Jordan, and H.E. Tawfiq Kreishan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Administration in Jordan, inaugurated the first and only cruise terminal in Aqaba, coinciding with the arrival of the cruise vessel MSC Splendida carrying more than 2,000 visitors to Jordan. The new Aqaba Cruise Terminal marks the launch of the first of five strategic mega-projects planned between AD Ports Group – the global facilitator of logistics, industry and trade – and Aqaba Development Corporation to advance the coastal city’s tourism, logistics and transport sectors. H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan and H.E. Kreishan took a tour and were briefed by Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group, on the facility’s wide array of amenities and services that cater to the needs and expectations of international tourists visiting the Kingdom. The inauguration was attended by H.E. Eng. Nayef Fayez, Chief Commissioner of ASEZA; H.E. Hussein Safadi, CEO of Aqaba Development Corporation; and several senior officials from both sides. Under the agreement with Aqaba Development Corporation, AD Ports Group will develop, manage and operate the Aqaba Cruise Terminal, a world-class facility for international cruise passengers looking to visit Jordan, specifically Aqaba, Petra and Wadi Rum. Over 50 vessels are scheduled to dock at the Aqaba Cruise Terminal over the next four months, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to the popular winter-sun destination. H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Jordan, said: “The Aqaba Cruise Terminal is the result of the active cooperation and …

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Italian Cruise Ship, ‘Costa Toscana,’ arrives at Doha Port for the very first time

Italian Cruise Ship, ‘Costa Toscana,’ the flagship vessel of Costa Cruises, has arrived to Doha Port today January 15, 2023, as a part of its first maiden tour of the Arabian Gulf. Offering 3 to 7-day cruise itineraries around the region, the ship can accommodate around 6,500 passengers and features its own waterpark, 13 swimming pools and hot tubs, 13 restaurants and 19 entertainment lounges.  Italian Cruise Ship, ‘Costa Toscana,’ the flagship vessel of Costa Cruises, has arrived to Doha Port today January 15, 2023, as a part of its first maiden tour of the Arabian Gulf. Offering 3 to 7-day cruise itineraries around the region, the ship can accommodate around 6,500 passengers and features its own waterpark, 13 swimming pools and hot tubs, 13 restaurants and 19 entertainment lounges. Costa Toscana makes its debut as part of Qatar Tourism’s 2022-2023 cruise season, which kicked off in December 2022 with the arrival of French cruise ship, ‘Le Bougainville,’ and runs to April 2023. The season will see a grand total of 58 world-class cruise ships and four cruise liner maiden calls make their way to Qatar. Commenting on this occasion, Maryam Saoud, Head of Tourism Product Support at Qatar Tourism, said: “Our cruise season is off to a solid start with the latest expansion in our portfolio of cruise liners a testimony to our growth and diversification. This is also an LNG-powered cruise ship to Qatar, which highlights our commitment to sustainability in the development of the cruise sector. We look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors and delighting them with the warmth, hospitality and range of experiences Qatar has to offer.” Qatar’s cruise sector, which was established in 2016, …

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