The new cruise season, which runs until April 2024, is expected to see 81 cruise calls, doubling the number of cruise visitors compared to last season.
Luxury cruise ship Crystal Symphony arrived today at Doha, marking the opening of the Qatar Tourism 2023/2024 cruise season. The new cruise season will run until April 2024 and is expected to host 81 cruise calls and approximately 350,000 passengers, making it the largest cruise season in the country.
Cruise ships such as Norwegian Dawn and Le Bougainville, will debut in Qatar this season, with both vessels operating as full-fledged home vessels departing from Doha. "Norwegian Dawn" boasts a passenger capacity of 2,340 people, while "Le Bougainville" has approximately 264 passengers. In addition, several other vessels, including Mein Schiff 2, MSC Virtuosa and Costa Toscana, will continue to offer partial turnover services from Doha.
His Excellency Mr. Saad bin Ali Al Kharji, Chairman Qatar Tourism Authority, said: “Cruise tourism is an important pillar through which Qatar can achieve its national tourism strategy and become one of the leading destinations in the world. Qatar's cruise sector has grown significantly in less than a decade through Qatar Tourism's presence at international cruise and tourism exhibitions, the signing of partnerships and agreements, investment in personnel and our collaboration with important public and private stakeholders in Qatar. We look forward to a new cruise season with visitors from all over the world having the opportunity to experience Qatar's hospitality and diverse tourism offerings."
His Excellency Captain Abdullah Mohammed Al Hanji, CEO of Mwani Qatar, stated that “As the new season begins, we continue to focus on providing the best experience for passengers by improving cruise facilities and enhancing the level of world-class services in the State of Qatar, in line with the Ministry of Transport's strategic plan to make Qatar a preferred cruise destination travelers in the region. In collaboration with stakeholders, we have created a pioneering infrastructure in the cruise ship sector to provide high quality services in accordance with the highest global standards, while also contributing to the creation of the necessary infrastructure to handle the large influx of cruise ship passengers."
Qatar has seen a steady increase in arrivals over the years cruise ships and number of passengers. The 2022/23 cruise season ended with a 151% increase in visitor numbers compared to the previous season, with 54 cruise visits and 253,191 cruise visitors.
Cruise ship passengers arriving in Qatar via the Port of Doha are greeted at the new Grand Terminal, equipped with the latest technology. It can simultaneously accommodate two megaships and up to 12,000 people per day, ensuring smooth operations.
Exiting the terminal, passengers enter the Mina area, a one-stop destination where visitors can enjoy a variety of restaurants, shopping points and a stunning promenade that makes the most of the city's iconic skyline.