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Doha Port to welcome its first mega-cruise ship

A mega-cruise ship carrying 3000 or more passengers in addition to 1300 crew members will dock at Doha Port on Wednesday, said the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) said.

The MSC Fantasia's first call at Doha Port is the first ever arrival of the mega cruise ship in the country, said the QTA statement.

According to Hassan al-Ibrahim, the Chief Tourism Development officer at QTA, said this will be the first of several calls for MSC Fantasia all through 2016-17 cruise season, and it will be the start of another exciting journey for Qatar Cruise Tourism sector.

This forms part of QTAs efforts to entice more visitors from overseas, and is aimed at boosting the tourism sector in the country, he said.

The passengers are scheduled to visit the Museum of Islamic Art, Msheireb Museum, Souq Waqif, and Katara, the Cultural Village in two shifts from 9am to 1pm and from 2pm to 5pm.

According to Al-Ibrahim, Qatar will build a tourism infrastructure next year, particularly, the re-development of Doha Port, into a permanent cruise terminal. The cruise tourism sector continues to grow from strength to strength, owing to support and collaboration from stakeholders across the value chain.

The 2016-17 cruise season which stretches from October to April will receive about 32 ships with more than 50,000 visitors. This marks a 1000 percent increase in number of cruise passengers in Qatar, in comparison to last season.

He cited that this will help visitors to discover the rich culture and heritage of Qatar and wide range of modern leisure activities which Doha has to offer, he said.

The Qatar Transport Authority, together with Interior Ministry have confirmed that cruise passengers are now eligible for the free 96-hour transit visas, which will further ease their entry into the country. Other ships will also make their maiden calls to Qatar this season.

MSC Fantasia is 333m in length and 66m in height. It is one of the most modern ships and measures equivalent of three football fields. It features MSC Yacht Club, designed for discerning guests. It is the only ship of its kind in the region offering this kind of experience.

Posted on 8/12/2016

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