Cruising the World in Luxury

DUBAI - A relaxed pampering experience in a highly luxurious environment encouraged 180 aged couples in the UAE to join a thousand others in touring 50 cities around the world aboard the cruise liner, Ms Rotterdam, on Sunday.

By Lily B. Libo-on

Published: Mon 6 Apr 2009, 1:34 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:12 AM

By getting on board the luxury liner, which dropped anchor at the Port Rashid, UAE travellers are participating in a 118-day Grand World Voyage, which will take them to 50 cities, asfar as Africa, Northern and Southern Europe, Mediterranean, Asia, andother Caribbean.

American couples Stan and Alma Bashier, both 80 years old, told Khaleej Times that they and other senior travellers prefer cruise liners. “We do not have to check in and out of hotels, pack and unpack our things. We want to see more places with less hassle,” Alma said. An added value to the trip is the all “Halal” dishes served by Indonesian Muslims comprising 40 per cent of their crew on board

Emiratis Ahmed, 70, and Noura, 61, said travelling in cruise liners are hassle-free and will make their trip comfortable and relaxing. Kulwant Singh, managing partner of Lama Desert Tours and Cruises, told Khaleej Times that his company has younger cruise travellers, from 30 years upwards. He said that the cruise industry is growing, with at least 15 to 20 per cent increase since one-and-a-half years back.

Dario Rustico, Costa Cruises’ director, Sales and Marketing of Pacific Asia Operations, said that a majority of passengers flying to Dubai from Europe, Asia and the Americas are pressuring Dubai to generate an entire “Fly and Cruise programme”.

Dropping anchor beside Ms Rotterdam was the 90,000-ton cruise ship, Queen Victoria. Its stop in Dubai was also part of her world cruise, which began in New York on January 10.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) expects 101 ships with 316,043 passengers this year, up from 82 vessels and the current 182,030 passengers last year, at the Dubai Cruise Terminal.

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