Dubai Cruise Tourism has commemorated the inaugural visit to Dubai of Celebrity Constellation during her maiden voyage in the region.
Celebrity Constellation departed Abu Dhabi last week for the first time, calling in Dubai the following day. She will sail a number of roundtrip Abu Dhabi cruises, marking Celebrity Cruises first ever entry into the Middle East cruise market.
Marking the occasion at a welcome reception held at Dubai Cruise Terminal in Mina Rashid on Tuesday (29 November) were Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, Director of Dubai Cruise Tourism, Mohammed Al Mannaei, Director of Mina Rashid, DP World and Lakshmi Durai, CEO of Travel Matrix, the Middle East representative for Celebrity Cruises.
Attended by dignitaries from Dubai Immigration, Dubai Customs, Dubai Police, Environment Health and Safety (Trakhees) and PCFC Security, the arrival of Celebrity Constellation commenced with a traditional Plaques and Keys ceremony held aboard the luxury cruise liner.
An honorary plaque was exchanged between government dignitaries and the ship’s captain. Event attendees were then invited on a tour of the 13-deck-high vessel, to experience the entertainment, culinary and wellness offerings available on board. Cruise Arabia & Africa was among media invited along, our full review of the ship can be found here.
“We are very pleased to welcome Celebrity Constellation during her maiden journey across the Gulf. We hope that our partnership with Celebrity Cruises enables us to reach a broader range of visitors, including more young couples and families, allowing us to use their stopover in Dubai as an opportunity to showcase everything the city has to offer,” said Al Falasi.
“This takes us another step towards achieving our goals of further developing Dubai as a cruise destination and welcoming one million cruise tourists per year by 2020,” he added.
Celebrity Constellation is the latest premium cruise ship to visit Dubai. The 91,000-tonne, 294-metre-long vessel features extensive family amenities, with some of the best children’s facilities in the Celebrity fleet.
The luxury liner is set to sail two nine-night cruises within the UAE and Oman, as well as longer trips from the UAE that follow the ancient Spice Route to the Indian cities of Cochin, Mangalore, Goa and Mumbai, before returning to her home port in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Lakshmi Durai, CEO of Travel Matrix, the Middle East Representative of Celebrity Cruises said: “Celebrity Cruises offers the ultimate in premium cruising. With the arrival of Celebrity Constellation, we are glad to bring modern luxury cruising to the Arabian Gulf. The UAE’s prospective growth figures for luxury cruising are remarkable and we expect Celebrity Cruises to establish itself as the leading cruise option for Middle Eastern guests.”
Highlights of the cruise include the culinary delights of rustic open kitchen concept of Tuscan Grill and Bistro on Five, along with relaxing treatments at the new Canyon Ranch Spa.
The vessel also features what is being billed as the first Apple Specialist at sea – the Celebrity iLounge, a one-of-a-kind internet lounge with iLearn classes for photography, video and audio skills. Younger guests can head to Fun Factory for an enjoyable day of games and activities, while teenagers can experience the newest gaming consoles at X-Club.
The ship is scheduled to have four overnight and six day calls to Dubai between 29 November 2016 and 16 April 2017, contributing over 15,000 cruise tourists towards the record number of 600,000 expected to visit Dubai in the 2016/2017 cruise season.
These projected numbers follow the 19% season-on-season increase in cruise tourists seen in the 2015/2016 season, and are a clear indication of Dubai’s increasing popularity as a cruise destination.