(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula
Doha: Luxury cruise ship ‘RMS Queen Mary 2' yesterday marked its maiden voyage to Qatar. Measuring at 345 meters long, RMS Queen Mary 2 is the largest cruise ship to arrive at Qatar's shores. The luxury cruise ship arrived at Hamad Port carrying more than 3,700 passengers and crew and was welcomed by officials from the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and Mwani Qatar.
The mega ship's arrival also marked the first time a cruise ship is welcomed to Hamad Port and follows on a series of developments by QNTC and its partners to grow the cruise tourism sector in Qatar and encourage more cruise liners to place Qatar on their itineraries. To date, all cruise ships have been welcomed at Doha Port.
Jawaher Al Khuzaei, QNTC official commented, 'We are delighted to welcome Queen Mary 2 for its first visit this season. Its arrival at Hamad Port is testament to the destination's flexibility to receive and welcome ships and meet their needs. she added, 'As we continue to work with our local partners to provide memorable experiences to each and every cruise visitor, we look forward to seeing Qatar become an increasingly frequent destination on Cunrad's itineraries.
Mwani Qatar in coordination with the QNTC, Ministry of Interior and General Authority of Customs provided all necessary facilities to the mega ship, ensuring that the passengers are able to complete the necessary procedures swiftly and seamlessly.
Hamad Ali Al Ansari, Manager of Public Relations and Communication at Mwani Qatar commented, 'The Queen Mary 2, will stay on the quayside for a full day before heading to its next stop in Muscat, Oman. The success of receiving one of the world's largest cruise ships in Hamad Port confirms the great potential and advanced services provided by the port to its customers, which support all the State's sectors, including tourism.
He added, 'Mwani Qatar continuously seeks to support the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030 and achieve economic diversification in accordance with Ministry of Transport and Communications' strategy through excellence in its operations in its facilities and ensuring safe and timely passage of all ships visiting our ports.
Qatar welcomed over 65,000 cruise passengers last season - a 39 percent increase from the 2016/17 season. Qatar's cruise industry is set for further growth in the coming years, with projections showing the arrival of 200,000 passengers by 2020, thanks to a port expansion that now allows Doha Port to two mega ships to dock at the same time.
At 345m in length and 74m in height, the $800m RMS Queen Mary 2 is one of the biggest and most luxurious cruise ships in the world. It entered operation in 2004 to join Cunard's fleet of cruise ships along with MS Queen Victoria and RMS Queen Elizabeth.