*The vessel is one of the world's newest and largest cruise ships carrying 2,522 passengers and 1,006 crew members
Doha Port, the country’s gateway to marine tourism, welcomed one of the newest and largest cruise ships in the world, Mein Schiff 4, and its 2,522 passengers and 1,006 crew members during its maiden call to Qatar on Thursday.
German ambassador Hans-Udo Muzel, along with Mwani Qatar's public relations and communication manager Hamad Ali al-Ansari, other ports officials, and dignitaries, attended a special ceremony to mark the TUI cruise ship’s first visit in Qatar.
Like previous visitors, Mein Schiff 4 passengers have also been accorded with easy and safe entry/exit to and from the port for them to start their tours on time.
“The success of receiving one of the world's largest cruise ships reflects the confidence that the port has gained among the world’s cruise ship operators,” Mwani Qatar CEO Capt Abdulla al-Khanji said in a press statement.
Mein Schiff 4 is docked at the Doha Port, Qatar's gateway to marine tourism.
“Doha Port reflects its ability to promote this growing industry in Qatar in line with the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ strategic plan aimed at developing maritime transport in the state,” he noted.
Mein Schiff 4, which is among the more than 40 ships scheduled to visit Doha this 2018/2019 cruise season, is scheduled to make nine more calls until March 2019 (November 21; December 5 and 22; January 2, 16 and 31; February 14; March 14 and 28).
Capt al-Khanji said receiving and providing such vessels and passengers with best services and all necessary facilities will attract and encourage more cruise ships and cruise lines to visit Qatar. Doha Port expects 10 new cruise ships to make maiden calls to the country this season.
He noted that Mwani Qatar works closely the National Tourism Council, Ministry of Interior and the General Authority of Customs to ensure first class services for cruise ships visiting the port and providing them with the necessary facilities for checking passports and customs clearance to assure smooth disembarking and departure at the appropriate time.
Doha Port, Capt al-Khanji added, is in redevelopment stage as it aims to be a future hub port for cruise ships and luxury yachts of all sizes. Once completed, it will be ready to host multiple mega ships at the same time.
German ambassador Hans-Udo Muzel, along with senior Mwani Qatar officials, leading Qatari entrepreneurs and dignitaries, at a special ceremony marking Mein Schiff 4's maiden call to the Doha Port
He stressed that the port's transformation into a major cruise port in the region will bring significant economic returns to companies, hotels, restaurants, retail, services and tourist attractions in Qatar.
The German envoy, meanwhile, cited Mein Schiff 4’s maiden trip to Doha as “a notable occasion which marks an important milestone in the development of German-Qatari relations in the field of tourism.”
“It was in the presence of His Highness the Amir during this year´s Qatar-Germany Investment Conference in Berlin that the co-operation between our two nations in this important economic field was brought to new levels,” Muzel said.
He described Mein Schiff 4, one of the flag ships of TUI cruises, as widely famous for being a wellness ship for all, from families with children to sports enthusiasts spending unforgettable vacations.
Passengers on board can enjoy a variety of dining options and restaurants, a 3-level theatre, a basketball court, a kids club, and a pool deck containing one of the longest pools on a cruise ship.
The 15-deck cruise ship, which is 293m long, 35m wide, and 8.27m draft, was built in 2014 and began its first trip in June 2015.
Mwani Qatar's Hamad Ali al-Ansari hands over a plaque to the captain of Mein Schiff 4 cruise ship
“I am delighted that this signature cruise vessel, one of the most luxurious ships in the German Cruise Ship Fleet, is docking today (November 8) at Doha Port, so that tourists from Germany and many other nations can discover the beautiful city of Doha and its cultural treasures,” Muzel said.
“Moreover, I understand that TUI and other German cruise companies will be sending their ships during the 2022 FIFA World Cup to the fantastic new Doha Cruise Terminal, creating a special “football staycation” experience for tourists from all over the world,” the envoy added.
“I wish all travelers onboard Mein Schiff 4 an exciting stay in Doha and pleasant and safe travels onwards through the Gulf waters, known since ancient history for the pearl trade and connecting peoples and cultures,” he said.
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