The MS Rotterdam is the first cruise ship to call on Abu Dhabi Ports Company’s (ADPC) Zayed Port in the new season which will see 93 ships and 220,000 passengers visit Abu Dhabi.
Gary Lemke, EVP Ports, said: “This year we have more exciting cruise developments than ever before – work is underway on the development of the new cruise terminal and the Cruise Arabia initiative which brings together Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman to promote the Gulf region as an exciting destination is attracting serious attention from the industry and prospective cruise visitors.”
Holland America Line’s MS Rotterdam is a medium sized cruise ship, able to accommodate 1,400 passengers and 600 crew. The ship’s current cruise route started in Rotterdam and will continue from Abu Dhabi toward Cape Town, South Africa.
“The start of a new cruise season is always a highly anticipated event, especially for what is set to be our busiest to date, and one marked by the return of a luxury vessel from one of the world’s most respected cruise lines.
Our efforts are firmly set on growing interest in, and awareness of, Abu Dhabi’s expanding and diverse range of opportunities.
Our priority is to convince the local travel industry and hospitality providers of the merits of this expanding sector, and having recently completed a successful multi-city regional travel trade roadshow with our Cruise Arabia partners, welcome this interest from our local travel industry partners,” Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said.
During Seatrade Med 2014 in Barcelona, Spain, ADPC and TCA Abu Dhabi unveiled the concept design for Abu Dhabi’s permanent cruise passenger terminal which is expected to open in 2016.
The 2014/2015 cruise season will be the busiest yet, with 93 ship calls scheduled and 220,000 passengers expected. This is an increase of 24% and 16% respectively. The 2013/2014 cruise season saw 189,709 passengers and 75 ships visit Abu Dhabi.