AD Ports Group announced the start of the 2023-24 cruise season with the arrival of the Crystal Symphony which docked at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, Zayed Port.
Abu Dhabi is likely to experience a busy cruise season with 126 expected calls, starting on November 1, according to a press release.
Additionally, Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach is set to welcome 63 calls, having welcomed the first call on October 31. Nine of these calls will be maiden voyages to Abu Dhabi.
Noura Rashed Al Dhaheri, chief executive officer of Cruise Business, AD Ports Group, said: “We are excited to announce the official start of cruise season here in Abu Dhabi with the arrival of Crystal Symphony. Last season, Zayed Port emerged as the busiest cruise port in the region; a testament to Abu Dhabi’s position as a premier tourist destination, and the exceptional infrastructure that effortlessly accommodates the region’s largest vessels. We remain dedicated to partnering with cruise lines to elevate Abu Dhabi’s global cruise destination standing.”
The first quarter of 2023 was particularly strong with 363,494 visitors and 120 calls compared to the first quarter of 2022, which saw 89,953 visitors and 60 calls. Passenger volumes for Q1 2023 surpassed the total number of visitors for the full year of 2022 by more than 37 percent.
For comparison, In the 2022-23 season, Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal welcomed over 600,000 visitors, with more than 82,000 passengers starting their journey from Abu Dhabi.
In addition, Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal expects to welcome over 7,000 visitors during Formula 1 Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Cruise business expanded its operations to the Red Sea with the Aqaba Cruise Terminal in January 2023.