The Queen Elizabeth – the newest ocean liner of luxury cruise line Cunard - will make her maiden Abu Dhabi call at the UAE capital’s Zayed Port cruise terminal next week.
The AED 2billion Queen Elizabeth - the latest Cunard liner to carry the name of the current British monarch - will spend the day in Zayed Port as part of her 2014 World Cruise, and will return next April joining the line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 as one of two scheduled ports-of-call for Cunard’s 2015 world cruise programmes celebrating the company’s 175th anniversary.
Welcoming the liner’s arrival, Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, chief executive, Abu Dhabi Ports Company said: “We are delighted to welcome the Queen Elizabeth to the UAE capital as part of its 2014 World Voyage.
“Cunard’s return and future commitment to Zayed Port is an indication of the growing confidence the world’s leading lines have in Abu Dhabi, and an endorsement of the quality improvements being implemented through our port investment strategy.”
The liner will arrive in Abu Dhabi on April 17th carrying 2,200 passengers, with officials hailing the second debut in consecutive years of a ship from one of the world’s most prestigious lines as a milestone in the emirate’s cruise ambitions.
“Queen Elizabeth is considered the most high-profile arrival of what is set to be our busiest cruise season, and a sign that our promotion of Abu Dhabi in recent years as a highly credible winter cruise destination is bearing fruit,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, acting executive director, tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
“Long term support from leading cruise lines such as Cunard raises the emirate’s credibility within the cruise sector and allows us to demonstrate our extensive range of high-end differentiated passenger experiences.
“Developing awareness of Arabian Gulf cruising in partnership with other regional cruise destinations remains a priority.
“Abu Dhabi’s expanding cultural, historic and singular experiences are a core component of our plans to enhance the emirate’s reputation and ability to deliver a high quality world-class, shore excursion experience.”
The 2013/14 cruise season is on course to be Abu Dhabi’s busiest since cruise ships first arrived in the UAE capital, with Zayed Port due to welcome almost 190,000 passengers from 75 calls generated by 14 ships in all.
Cunard’s return to Abu Dhabi signifies growing passenger interest in the diversity of the emirate’s attractions and experiences according to its shore excursion agent for UAE.
Passengers aboard the 294 metre, 190,000 tonne liner – with an art deco interior designed to evoke the era of Cunard’s original Queen Elizabeth of the 1930s – will enjoy a variety of regal themed touches that play homage to Cunard’s royal reputation.
The liner boasts a selection of 12 restaurants and bars, an 832-seat Royal Court theatre, a library, a spa and fitness centre, an outdoor pool, and 1,046 staterooms and suites – including Queens Grill suites complete with personal butler service.