Abu Dhabi cruise arrivals to increase 19pc
Abu Dhabi, October 7, 2012
This week’s maiden arrival of the 57,000 T "Costa neoRomantica" into Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed will herald the start of a buoyant cruise season for the UAE capital which will see its arrivals grow 19 per cent over last season, said a senior tourism official.
The ship, billed as a five-star floating resort, is the first Mina Zayed arrival of a season which is expected to see 88 vessels call at the port – and 14 more than 2011/2012.
“We are expecting 180,000 passengers during this season, an increase of 13 per cent on last year and we are on-track to welcome over 100 vessels and around 250,000 passengers per season by 2014/2015,” remarked Noura Al Dhaheri, the leisure product development manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi.)
The neoRomantica is the first of three Costa Cruise vessels belonging to Costa Crociere S.p.A., Italy’s largest travel group and Europe’s leading cruise operator, due in Abu Dhabi this season which in total will generate 37 calls to the UAE capital.
Costa described neoRomantica as the jewel of its fleet and said the ship was completely renovated as part of a Dh427 million ($116 million) refurbishment last year and now boasts public rooms decorated with rare woods, marble and original works of art.
Costa is part of the portfolio of Carnival Cruises, one of the world’s five largest cruise companies.
neoRomantica, which began her ‘Dunes of Arabia’ voyage in Savona on the Italian Riviera, arrives in Abu Dhabi from Khorfakkan in the UAE having previously cruised the Red Sea and called at Muscat in Oman.
From Abu Dhabi, the vessel calls in Dubai, then Mumbai before going on to the Seychelles, Singapore and Australia. She makes a return call to Abu Dhabi in March next year.-TradeArabia News Service