Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas made her maiden docking into Dubai, marking the company’s official entry into the Middle East. The ship will be making seven-night return-trip sailings to Muscat, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain from her home port of Dubai over the next four months.
Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas boasts one of the highest space-per-guest ratios in the industry, and will add more than 32,000 guests in her first four-month season to the region’s burgeoning cruise sector – which is expected to grow by 30 percent this year according to Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Government of Dubai.
Michael Bayley, Senior Vice President International for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., said “The arrival of Brilliance of the Seas is an important catalyst in driving forward regional cruise tourism growth and announced that Brilliance of the Seas will return to Dubai (United Arab Emirates) in 2011 following this year’s inaugural season. “The Middle East’s prospective growth figures for luxury cruising are remarkable and we expect Brilliance of the Seas to establish itself as the leading cruise option for years to come”.
“At the DTCM, we look forward to a period of tremendous growth in cruise tourism” said Hamad Mohammed bin Mejren, Executive Director Business Tourism at DTCM. “Cruise tourists are becoming an increasingly important part of Dubai’s tourism industry. We are confident that Royal Caribbean International’s decision will give a big push to our efforts to promote cruise tourism in the region. It also reconfirms the potential of Dubai as the regional cruise industry hub. The economic impact of cruise tourism is high and we are confident that Royal Caribbean International will be a crucial part of this contribution”.
Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas features indoor and outdoor pools, a Fitness Centre and Day Spa, an indoor and outdoor sports deck with golf simulator, sports courts, a rock-climbing wall and a jogging track. It also boasts a wide range of dining options with Arabian flavour added especially for the Gulf cruises, shopping arcades and a theatre. Guests can also enjoy the cruise line’s Broadway-style musical revues and the Adventure Ocean kids and teen programme.
Although the majority of guests at present come from traditional Western markets on fly-and-cruise packages, Rama Rebbapragada, Regional Vice-President of Royal Caribbean International, believes that as regional awareness grows about cruise holidays as a viable holiday option, there will be a significant increase in local and regional passengers signing-up. “Already there is high demand from our key global source markets in the UK, North America and Germany,” he said; “but as news of our on board facilities, great shore excursions and exceptional service has spread, we have also seen strong levels of interest from the more traditional Middle Eastern markets.”
Royal Caribbean International’s Regional Sales Director, International Representatives, EMEA, Helen Beck adds: “Bookings for our Brilliance of the Seas sailings are performing well – the inaugural sailing is fully booked and the cruises following that are filling up quickly.”
In 2009, Dubai played host to 100 cruise ships that brought 260,000 cruise tourists. This year, Dubai will be hosting 120 ships with over 325,000 passengers after the new Dubai Cruise Terminal becomes operational next month. Next year, the terminal is expected to receive 135 ships with 375,000 passengers followed by 150 ships with 425,000 passengers in 2012, according to DTCM. The new terminal spanning an area of 3,450 square metres will have the capacity to handle four ships simultaneously.
A nine-night Dubai fly/cruise onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas costs from £1066.00 per person (based on two people sharing an inside cabin).
Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, transfers, one night’s hotel accommodation and a seven-night cruise departing Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and calling at Muscat (Oman), Fujairah (United Arab Emirates), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and Mina Sulman (Bahrain) before returning to Dubai (United Arab Emirates), meals and entertainment onboard and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.
Price is based on 1 March 2010 sailing.