Royal Caribbean International, the largest global cruise line, yesterday announced its return to the Gulf in winter 2015-16.
The fifth seasonal sailings will comprise 16 roundtrip sailings from December 2015 through March 2016, visiting some of the Arabian coast’s most intriguing destinations on a seven-night itinerary.
Royal Caribbean International’s Splendour of the Seas is scheduled to dock in its home port of Dubai, UAE followed by calls to Oman’s capital of Muscat and Khasab along with Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.
“I would like to express our thanks to the cruise tourism officials from the DTCM, TCA Abu Dhabi and Oman’s Ministry of Tourism for their support and congratulate them on the formation of the Cruise Arabia alliance. This is a welcome step in continuing to promote the economic and touristic benefits of cruising and I’m sure the season will be very successful,” said Helen Beck, Regional Director, International Representatives, EMEA, Royal Caribbean International.
The Centrum onboard Splendour of the Seas with its sweeping views and central location is a chic and sophisticated venue featuring enriching daytime activities, dazzling nightly entertainment and jaw-dropping aerial spectacles. The Centrum’s R Bar features a sophisticated 1960s vibe, complete with iconic furnishings and signature cocktails mixed by a savvy and personable mixologist.
Guests sailing aboard Splendour of the Seas have a variety of restaurants, both fine-dining and casual, to choose from providing them with an exceptional and customizable vacation experience. Among the highly-acclaimed dining concepts onboard Splendour of the Seas, guests will find the Asian Izumi restaurant; the line’s signature steakhouse, Chops Grille; as well as the Boardwalk Dog House hotdog counter; the Park Café deli-style restaurant and the exclusive Chef’s Table dining experience.
Younger cruisers will laugh and learn in scheduled activities throughout the day in the line’s award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program. Teens 12 and older can enjoy spending time with peers in the teen-only hangout and disco, and join enrichment classes such as mixing music like a DJ or learning hip-hop dance moves.
Splendour of the Seas will add more than 32,000 guests in her first four-month season to the region’s burgeoning cruise sector and the new sailings will be going on sale as of 10 April 2014. All the Gulf region’s ports are gearing themselves up for the arrival of Splendour of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International.
Hamad M Bin Mejren, Executive Director, Business Tourism, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, stated: “Almost one year ago, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, endorsed Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020: to double the number of tourists coming to Dubai to 20 million by 2020. Much of its success will depend on evolving our tourism offer. We already have world-class infrastructure, continuous investment from the government and an unrivalled destination offering. With the further development of our cruise industry, Dubai can truly become a global cruise destination.”
Khalid Al Zadjali, Director of Tourism Events at the Oman Ministry of Tourism, said: “There are numerous activities to enjoy in our country, and limitless places to visit, including Muscat and Khasab, which will be included in the itinerary of the cruises. This is definitely a welcomed development for Oman as our country steps up its efforts to strengthen its presence in the lucrative global cruise industry in the GCC and internationally. We anticipate hosting more cruise ships in the future.”
“Our collaborative approach, with Dubai and Oman partners, to developing the viability and appeal of Arabian Gulf cruising has clearly struck a chord with a recognised cruise sector innovator and Abu Dhabi will benefit from Royal Caribbean International’s return to the region. Together we are cultivating development opportunities to attract visitors from a variety of new markets, including itinerary extension through inclusion of the region’s only dedicated cruise beach stopover destination in our Western Region,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director, Tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).
For business travellers, Splendour of the Seas also offers numerous conference and meeting facilities. State-of-the-art fully-equipped meeting rooms and Wi-Fi connections on board the vessel can accommodate big groups and charters too; whilst theatres and lounges are also available for corporate events with up to 800 people.
Source:, March 24, 2014