Doha Port, Qatar's gateway to marine tourism, is expecting as many as 76 cruises during the 2021-22 cruise season that runs until the end of April 2022, Mwani Qatar has said in a tweet.
This is seen to benefit domestic tourism and its allied sectors.
This month will have one cruise ship (AIDAbella) arrive this Sunday (November 28), according to Mwani Qatar. AIDAbella is a cruise ship operated by AIDA, the market leader in the German cruise market and operates 13 cruise ships, including the first ever LNG (liquefied natural gas) propulsion cruise ship built.
Then, as many as 16 cruises are expected in December, 25 cruises in January 2022, 15 cruises in February, 11 cruises in March and eight in April.
Overall, these ships are expected to make 86 trips during the season.
In the framework of preparations for the return of cruise season, Mwani Qatar, in co-operation with Qatar Tourism and stakeholders, held a workshop for cruise agents and destination management companies to introduce the precautionary measures protocol applied at Doha Port in 2021/22 season.
In August this year, Qatar Tourism had entered into partnership with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) UK and Ireland to promote the destination in the region and with CLIA’s wider community of cruise lines, travel agents and stakeholders.
In line with the country's plans to enhance Qatar's position as an attractive tourist destination, Doha Port is in the midst of a comprehensive redevelopment process. The port is being transformed into a hub for cruise ships, giant cruise lines, and luxury yachts.
"The cruise industry sector has become an important tributary of the national economy and a mainstay of the tourism industry in the country. This is evidenced by the strong numbers that were achieved during the past years before the outbreak of the pandemic, " Hussain Ahmad al-Maqeef, Mwani Qatar’s executive vice president, commercial, had said.
In 2019/20, Qatar welcomed 207,000 cruise visitors to Doha. With the Doha port undergoing large-scale refurbishment recently, the destination has set its sights on exceeding this number moving forward in the 2021/22 season, starting November.
Qatar Tourism recently announced the completion of the restoration work on 25 dhow boats in tandem with the dhow refurbishment project, launched earlier this year as part of the service excellence programme.
Tawfeeq Travel Group chief executive Rehan Ali Syed had earlier told Gulf Times that start of the cruise season is expected to create a series of benefits to domestic tourism in Qatar.
"The start of the cruise season will definitely be a booster for the tourism in the country. Some of the major shore excursions enjoyed by the travelers are desert safari, museum visits, and trips to the shopping malls," he said.
The full list of cruise arrivals can be viewed at https://twitter.com/MwaniQtr/status/1463732198134198273