Royal Caribbean has confirmed it will deploy a luxury vessel from its Celebrity Cruises fleet in the United Arab Emirates’ capital on a homeport basis from November 2016.
Celebrity Constellation will be the premium brand’s first ship to make the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal its home strengthening the emirate’s world cruise destination ambitions.
Celebrity Constellation – a 295-metre, 91,000-ton vessel with a capacity for 2,170 guests in 975 staterooms on 13 decks – will sail nine-, 12- 14- and 15-night cruises covering five ports-of-call between November 2016 and the end of January 2017.
During the three-month season, Celebrity will attract approximately 15,000 guests to Abu Dhabi on six luxury cruises of the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean.
The modern luxury cruise vacations, also calling at Dubai, Muscat in Oman and the west coast of India, are expected to appeal to visitors primarily from the USA, UK, Germany as well as guests from Scandinavia, southern Africa, China and the Far East.
The move follows extensive negotiations between Celebrity Cruises, Abu Dhabi Ports Company, and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
“This is a landmark decision for our cruise tourism ambitions reflecting a new horizon for Abu Dhabi’s sector development,” said HE Jasem Al Darmaki, acting director General, TCA Abu Dhabi.
“It is a clear statement that a joined-up partnership approach to infrastructure and product development delivers rewards.”
The Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, currently under construction at Mina (Port) Zayed, is already proving to be a catalyst to the destination’s cruise sector, according to Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, chief of ADPC.
“Celebrity Cruise’s decision to base a vessel in Zayed Port demonstrates that the new Cruise Terminal and the Abu Dhabi Cruise Development Committee’s work, really is delivering results.
“The cruise industry is already delivering significant benefits for businesses in the city and across the Emirate.
“The Committee will continue to work together to meet the requirements of the cruise lines and to differentiate the city from the other cruise locations, so that the cruise operators can increase the vessel calls and develop new exciting itineraries around this region.”
The Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal’s building concept – the result of an international design competition with ongoing input from a range of industry stakeholders – is due to be completed ahead of the start of Celebrity Constellation’s homeport stay.