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June 16, 2015

Middle East: Royal Caribbean Expands in the Arabian Gulf

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Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) has announced a number of milestone achievements in 2015, from new home ports to major fleet additions.

Among the developments is a plan to deploy a luxury vessel from its Celebrity Cruises fleet in Abu Dhabi on a home-port basis from November 2016. The move will serve to strengthen the UAE capital’s ambition to become a major cruise hub.

Celebrity Constellation, which has a capacity for 2,170 guests, will be its first ship to make the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal its home. Between November 2016 and January 2017, Celebrity Constellation will sail nine-, 12- 14- and 15-night cruises covering five ports of call, taking in Dubai, Muscat and India’s west coast.

During peak season, the ship is expected to attract some 15,000 visitors to Abu Dhabi.

“Celebrity Cruises will add more glamour and culture to Abu Dhabi’s cruise portfolio and we feel the emirate’s world-class attractions and experiences will add their own flair and excitement for our guests,” said Helen Beck, regional director, international representatives, EMEA, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.

In line with RCCL’s strategy to bolster its Middle East presence, Travel Matrix has been appointed as the dedicated international representative for Celebrity Cruises in the Middle East and Levant region.

“The UAE’s new multiple entry visa for cruise tourists will introduce the concept of cruising the Arabian Gulf to a wider pool of international travellers,” said Beck. “Aligned with our efforts to boost the region’s cruising potential and Celebrity Cruises’ ambitious marketing and sales plan, we can expect to see a rise in bookings from around the world.”

Celebrity Cruises has also signed a letter of intent for a new class of vessels. Two 2,900-guest ships, developed under the project name Edge, will build on the modern luxury experience of the brand’s Millennium- and Solstice-class vessels by delivering small ship itineraries with large ship amenities. The first ship is expected in autumn 2018 with the second due in 2020.


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