Costa Serena in Abu DhabiOfficials from Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) welcomed Capt. Muratore Mauro and his crew from the  Costa Serena to Zayed Port on December 10, as the ship made its maiden call visit to Abu Dhabi.

The Costa Serena is the second “maiden call” of the current cruise season for the port which will see 94 ships and 220,000 passengers visiting. This is an increase of 24% and 16% respectively compared with the previous season.

Abdulla Al Muharrami, CEO Advisor, ADPC, received the guests with an official welcome ceremony and presented a commemorative plaque to Capt. Muratore Mauro to mark the first-time visit.

Abdulla Al Muharrami said: “We are delighted to welcome Costa Serena, her crew and passengers to Abu Dhabi. Costa Serena is particularly impressive as the ship is one of the largest calling at Zayed Port this season, with almost 1000 more passengers than the biggest cruise ship that visited last year. The ship will be a regular visitor to Zayed Port this season and we wish all of her passengers an enjoyable stay in Abu Dhabi, visiting our increasing range of varied attractions.”

Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director Promotions & Overseas Offices, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) added: “The addition of the Costa Serena is a significant boost and effectively extends the seasonal capacity from Europe’s leading cruise carrier to our shores by 25%. The introduction of larger ships or increased frequency of calls displays heightened confidence and client demand from cruise operators and is an indication that our joint efforts to increase the appeal of Arabian Gulf cruising are yielding results.”

The ship will make 18 calls into Abu Dhabi during the course of this season on a seven-night  Arabian Gulf cruise, calling at Muscat, Khasab, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.