Nine-decked cruise ship Artania calls at Port Zayed

Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Port has welcomed the maiden call by boutique German cruise operator Phoenix Reisen and its MS Artania flagship.

By Staff Report

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Published: Fri 17 Jan 2014, 11:56 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:17 PM

The arrival of the nine-decked, 45,000 tonne Artania, the largest ocean-going ship of the new-to-market operator’s portfolio, launched a dual-season two ship presence by Phoenix Reisen in Abu Dhabi. It will be followed by the arrival of MS Amadea in April, with the company’s MS Albatros joining the Amadea for the October-April 2014/2015 season.

“The number of maiden calls in the current cruise season 2013/14 has doubled compared to last season, which is a clear indicator of the rapidly growing cruise business in Abu Dhabi,” said Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, chief executive officer, Abu Dhabi Ports Company, or ADPC.

Abu Dhabi is bullish over the booming cruise business this season ending April, as 13 per cent more tourist arrivals are expected to arrive. The emirate is expected to welcome 76 arrivals from 14 ship calls at its Mina Zayed in the season ending April 2014. The number of passengers is expected to reach 192,000 this season.

Al Shamisi said that for this season, the port operator has further enhanced facilities and services for the passengers and cruise liners. “Over the next few years we will continue our efforts to develop Zayed Port and Abu Dhabi into a world-class cruise destination that offers exciting and unforgettable leisure experiences,” the chief executive officer said.

“The arrival of Germany’s leading independent tour operator into Abu Dhabi greatly underpins our cruise industry ambitions, which are now being advanced via a highly pro-active local stakeholder campaign and a wider regional co-operative initiative to ensure the region is rightly positioned as a credible and appealing winter cruise destination,” explained Sultan Al Dhaheri, acting executive director of tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

Billed as a globetrotting ‘home away from home,’ Artania’s 1,200 mostly German guests can choose from five full and half-day Abu Dhabi shore excursion opportunities, and will experience an all-inclusive classic cruise experience with modern facilities including internet cafés, two restaurants, an open-deck lido buffet dining option, theatre, gym and a spa and wellness centre featuring saunas, showers and massage cabins.

Extensively renovated in 2012, Artania’s 620 exterior cabins all feature either panoramic windows or private balconies, and sails on to Oman, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia as part of a 17 day Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean ‘Modern Metropolises and Asian Natural Paradises’ voyage to Singapore. Abu Dhabi’s inclusion on the Phoenix Reisen itineraries requires the destination to play to its cultural strengths for shore excursion options, which are increasing in demand, according to Agata Eibel, cruise manager for Artania’s shore-based tour operator Rida International Tours.

“We have developed a range of excursions that contrast Abu Dhabi’s modern metropolis with the emirate’s cultural past, and have found that tours to Al Ain’s World Heritage attractions and the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque are proving just as popular as high tea at Emirates Palace or our thrill-seeker’s tours of desert dunes or the exhilarating Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.


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