MV Grand Ferry, a roll-on/roll-off luxury cruise ship which can carry more than 870 passengers and a large number of vehicles, is set to launch its first voyage from Qatar to Oman and Kuwait soon, it was announced.
Speaking to reporters Monday , MV Grand Ferry owner Faisal Mohamed al-Sulaiti said this new offering gives Qatar residents the opportunity to visit two neighbouring GCC countries with flexibility and ease.
HE Minister of Transport and Communications HE Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti (right) with Faisal Mohamed al-Sulaiti (centre) and Capt Manolis Moutsatsos at the launch of MV Grand Ferry at Doha Port.
“The aim is to bring passengers, who often have limitations on other forms of transportation, to Kuwait and Oman, and even Iran, with their own cars,” he added. “They can disembark and they can drive around.”
Al-Sulaiti said the venture is also aimed at contributing to Qatar’s efforts to further strengthen relations with the two countries by taking more people there.
The cruise ship features various facilities for relaxation
The 145m long cruise can accommodate a large number of vehicles
The ship’s captain, Manolis Moutsatsos, joined al-Sulaiti during a tour of the 145m-long vessel, which was attended by HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti.
“It has not been done in the Gulf before, this will be the first,” said Faisal, adding that they aim to become a pioneer in this type of business in the region.
He expressed confidence that such endeavour will succeed due to the huge demand for cruise passengers, especially in the GCC market.
“We anticipate this one will be very successful, and we also have cargo to balance revenue and to reduce running cost,” he pointed out.
According to the ship owner, it will take around 2.5 days to complete an entire voyage while cruising from Qatar to Oman, for example, will take between 20 and 25 hours, apart from disembarkation and other procedures at every port of destination.
Faisal said they plan to buy another cruise ship if the demand will continue to increase in the future.
Citing MV Grand Ferry’s capabilities, Capt Moutsatsos said the 10-deck cruise ship has over 270 rooms and can carry passengers and various types of vehicles such as cars and trucks, among others.
“We have a good facility inside, it is a French-made ship with cinema, lecture/meeting room, salon, coffee shops, recreation and children’s room,” he said. “It also has a clinic, along with a competent medical team, to take care of passengers." The ship also has a helicopter facility.
Faisal noted that travel agencies in Qatar will handle all reservations for passengers with car while freight forwarders and shipping companies will handle cargo.
“We assure them that we will offer good services and very competitive prices (rates). They can travel with or without their vehicles,” he added.