Doha welcomes first American mega cruise ship
Qatar has been witnessing impressive growth in cruise tourism in recent years.
Just two months ago, the country opened a temporary passenger terminal at Doha Port, welcoming thousands of passengers from the mega-ship Mein Schiff 5, which was the first of 74 passenger ships to arrive in Qatar for its fourth and largest cruise tourism season.
Following this, the country welcomed yesterday, the Jewel of the Seas, a mega-ship operated by US-based cruise liner Royal Caribbean International.
After its maiden call on Wednesday, the Radiance Class cruise ship is scheduled to make a total of five calls to Doha Port throughout the 2019-20 cruise season.
Officials including Akbar Al Baker, secretary-general of QNTC and GCEO of Qatar Airways among others, were present to welcome the ship.
A crest-exchange ceremony took place between Qatari officials and the ship’s captain Anders Bjornar Ingebrigtsen, upholding a maritime tradition that celebrates maiden voyages to a new port.
"The arrival of our first American mega cruise ship marks the beginning of a new chapter in Qatar’s cruise tourism and positions Qatar as an attractive tourist destination for visitors from around the globe," HE Al Baker said.
"The extraordinary growth in Qatar’s cruise sector, as evidenced by the number of cruise ships and passengers to Doha Port, is the result of close collaboration between key stakeholders representing Qatar’s tourism and aviation industries, immigration, customs and the Ports Authority, who have all worked together to create a seamless visitor experience," he added.
Jewel of the Seas first set sail in the spring of 2004 as Royal Caribbean’s fourth Radiance Class ship and comes in at 90,090 gross tonnes with a total capacity of 3,292 visitors.
The ship offers a new level of luxury and entertainment with 12 passenger decks, a poolside movie screen, rock-climbing wall, running track, mini-golf course, spa and fitness centre, shopping, restaurants and live Broadway-style entertainment shows.
H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Secretary General of QNTC and officials from @MOI_QatarEN, @Mowasalat_QAT and @MwaniQtr, among others were present to receive Royal Caribbean’s flagship; Jewel of The Seas at #Doha Port today.@qatarairways pic.twitter.com/jCQ3xDCRZr— National Tourism Council - المجلس الوطني للسياحة (@NTC_Qatar) December 25, 2019
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