x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Abu Dhabi welcomes largest cruise ship of this season

The Fortuna, the largest ship in Costa's Arabian Gulf fleet, completed its maiden arrival into Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // The Costa Fortuna cruise ship has docked in Abu Dhabi on her maiden voyage to the emirate.

The liner, the largest of the Italian Costa Cruises company’s Arabian Gulf fleet, arrived on Thursday.

The 107,000-tonne ship docked at Mina Zayed with 3,747 passengers and crew – the first batch of an expected 60,000 Costa Cruises’ passengers from 15 calls to the capital this season.

The ship spent a full day in Abu Dhabi before departing for Fujairah on its seven-day circular tour.

While in the capital, passengers can choose from 20 different shore excursions to explore the city’s diversity, according to Jasem Zaiton, cruise manager for Costa Cruises’ shore-based tour operator, Gulf Ventures.

“We have a strong range of cultural and premium shore excursions, many of which are new to market for this season and developed specifically for Costa’s guests in partnership with attraction and experience providers,” he said.

“Our ever-popular tours to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque followed by high tea or dinner at Emirates Palace, and full-day explorations of Al Ain’s Unesco World Heritage sites are now complemented by the option to enjoy a range of thrilling once-in-a-lifetime activities in the heart of the desert.

“We now offer guests so much more to see and do with tours that showcase the capital’s modern architecture, luxury shopping and golf experiences.

“Tours of traditional and contemporary cultural attractions, and dhow dinner-cruise options, together with opportunities to explore Yas Island with visits to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and a behind-the-scenes tour of Yas Marina Circuit are also proving very popular with Costa’s largely Italian clientele.”

Abu Dhabi is expected to welcome 76 arrivals from 14 ships at Zayed Port by the end of the season in April next year. About 192,000 passengers will be arriving, a 13 per cent increase from last season.