The Jewel of the Seas, a mega ship operated by US-based cruise liner Royal Caribbean International, made its maiden call on Doha Port Wednesday.
A tweet from Mwani Qatar said an estimated total of 3,260 passengers and crew disembarked to explore the country.
The Radiance Class cruise ship is scheduled to make a total of five calls on Doha Port throughout the 2019-20 cruise season.
Jewel of Seas' maiden call to Doha Port witnessed a crest exchange ceremony between Qatari officials and the ship’s captain
Passengers of Jewel of the Seas warmly welcomed at Doha Port
An estimated total of 3,260 passengers and crew disembarked to explore the country, according to Mwani Qatar's tweet
To welcome the ship, Qatar National Tourism Council Secretary-General and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker and other officials were present.
A crest exchange ceremony took place between Qatari officials and the ship’s Captain, Anders Bjornar Ingebrigtsen, upholding a maritime tradition that celebrates maiden voyages to a new port.
“The arrival of our first American mega cruise ship marks the beginning of a new chapter in Qatar’s cruise tourism, and positions Qatar as an attractive tourist destination for visitors from around the globe,” HE al-Baker said.
“The extraordinary growth in Qatar’s cruise sector, as evidenced by the number of cruise ships and passengers to Doha Port, is the result of close collaboration between key stakeholders representing Qatar’s tourism and aviation industries, immigration, customs and the Ports Authority, who have all worked together to create a seamless visitor experience,” he said.
Jewel of the Seas first set sail in the spring of 2004 as Royal Caribbean’s fourth Radiance Class ship and comes in at 90,090 gross tonnes with a total capacity of 3,292 visitors.
The ship offers a new level of luxury and entertainment with 12 passenger decks, a poolside movie screen, rock-climbing wall, running track, mini-golf course, spa and fitness centre, shopping, restaurants, and live Broadway-style entertainment shows.
The 2019/20 cruise season that kicked off on October 22 with the launch of Doha Port’s temporary terminal, is set to be the biggest yet for Qatar, due to bring a total of 248,123 passengers aboard 74 ships, showing a growth of 121% and 66% respectively, over the previous season.
Among the 74 confirmed calls this season, there are 16 turnaround calls and nine overnight stays in Doha Port. This will give cruise visitors ample time to explore the destination’s travel, hospitality and retail promotions during the winter season, as well as a host of exciting events to choose from such as the upcoming Shop Qatar festival in January, Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition in February and Qatar International Food Festival in March.