Doha Port Welcomes Celebrity Constellation and MSC Lirica

Doha Port Call

Doha Port hosted two large cruise vessels for the first time earlier this week as the Celebrity Constellation and MSC Lirica simultaneously called.

A total of 6,000 visitors were welcomed by officials from the National Tourism Council (NTC) and Mwani Qatar, the port said. Similar dockings are expected to take place four more times this season.

According to a statement: "The successful double call is a testament to Mwani Qatar's enhanced operational efficiencies which are part of the Ministry of Transport and Communications strategic plan as well as the high level of coordination among the NTC, Ministry of Interior and General Authority of Customs to receive mega cruise ships and ensure smooth disembarkation procedures for their passengers and crew."

Doha Port Welcome

Throughout this season, which runs until April 2019, Doha Port is expected to receive a total of 42 cruise ships carrying more than 140,000 visitors, representing a more than 100 percent growth on the past season.

Jawaher Al-Khuzaei, official at NTC commented: "This year's cruise season brings us closer to our targets for this important tourism sub-sector. The development of Doha Port and its ability to receive two mega ships simultaneously puts us on track to achieve high growth rates in cruise visitor arrivals."

She added: "The NTC continues to implement its strategy through its international agreements with the world's largest cruise operators to include Qatar on their winter itineraries, while working with our partners locally to develop exciting tourism offerings and experiences that help boost the country's position as an attractive destination."

The port has recently completed its expansion to handle two ships at once. 

Hamad Ali Al Ansari, Manager of Public Relations and Communication at Mwani, commented: "Receiving two mega ships at the same time is an important milestone that confirms Doha Port's great potential, capabilities and readiness to meet the growing demand in Qatar's cruise tourism sector. Mwani Qatar continues to seek new ways for supporting the State's objectives and plans to enhance the role of the tourism sector in the local economy in accordance with Ministry of Transport and Communications’ strategic plan aims to ensure excellence in its operations at Doha Port."

NTC recently signed an agreement with both AIDA and Costa to place Qatar on the two companies' winter itineraries as well as to cooperate in designing special promotion packages for their passengers, according to a statement.

As part of the agreements, luxury ship AIDAprima and Costa Mediterranea are expected to make their maiden trips to Doha Port this season. Between them, the two cruise lines will bring up to a quarter of this season's passengers to Doha.

The cruise season began in early October with the arrival of cruise ship Boudicca, which brought over 800 visitors. This was followed by one trip for each of Azamara Quest and Seabourn Encore and two for TUI's Mein Schiff 4. More than 15,000 cruise passengers have visited Qatar since the beginning of the season.

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