Middle East Cruise News

Costa sending largest ship Costa Diadema to Dubai for 2019/2020 Arabian Gulf cruise season

The number of cruise passengers boarding cruise ships in Dubai continues to grow, commensurate with the growing size of cruise ships homeporting in Dubai, with Costa Diadema the latest mega ship confirmed for the 2019/2020 Middle East cruise season.

Costa Diadema is currently the largest cruise ship in the Costa fleet. At 132,500-gross tons and with a passenger capacity of 3,700, she is much larger than Costa Mediterranea, which will sail her last Middle East cruise season out of Dubai this coming November, 2018 to March, 2019.


Costa Diadema is the largest ship in the Costa fleet, and will be the second-largest cruising roundtrip from Dubai in the 2019/2020 season.

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The decision to homeport its largest cruise ship in the Dubai cruise market signals Costa Cruises commitment to supporting the rapid growth of the regional cruise sector. Indeed, Costa Cruises was the first cruise line to homeport in Dubai back in 2013.

Costa Cruises was soon followed by rival Italian cruise line MSC Cruises, and German lines TUI and AIDA Cruises. All four cruise lines have since been steadily upgrading their Dubai cruise tonnage.

In the 2019/2020 cruise season MSC Cruises will deploy MSC Bellissima, also its largest cruise ship, while AIDA Cruises is sending its current flagship AIDAprima to cruise roundtrip from Dubai for the coming 2018/2019 cruise season.

The size of cruise ships homeporting in Dubai has been growing rapidly as lines try to keep pace with demand.

They are just four of seven cruise lines homeporting in Dubai for the coming two cruise seasons.

“With year-round sunshine, an ever-evolving must-visit destination proposition, and a winter home port for multiple international cruise lines operating regular international itineraries out of the city, Dubai is perfectly placed for its cruise tourism offering to become a major global attraction,” says Hamad bin Mejren, senior vice-president of Dubai Tourism.

Costa Diadema will cruise roundtrip from Dubai on 20 separate itineraries between November, 2019 and March, 2020.


Costa Diamdema will cruise roundtrip from Dubai 20 times between November, 2019 and March, 2020.

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Departing every Saturday from Dubai Cruise Terminal, she will cruise roundtrip on a 7-night voyage through the Arabian Gulf, visiting Muscat, Doha and Abu Dhabi before returning to Dubai.


In a surprise move for the Italian cruise line, Sir Bani Yas Island will be dropped as a port of call, with the ship instead spending a full two days in Abu Dhabi. On the first night of each cruise, she will also stay in port in Dubai, providing more time for guests to explore the city.

Costa Diadema is a hybrid between Carnival Cruises’ Spirit and Vista-class ships, combining the best of both. She was launched in 2014.

The decision to homeport the mega ship Costa Diadema in Dubai for the 2019/2020 cruise season will provide huge support to Dubai Cruise Tourism’s efforts to boost cruise tourism numbers in the city to 1-million by the end of 2021.

Between them, Costa Diadema, MSC Bellissima and AIDAprima alone will account for more than a third of a million of the cruise passengers boarding ships in Dubai during the 2019/2020 season.

“Cruise tourism to the UAE is poised to grow further in the coming years, as tourists worldwide realise that cruising is the most affordable way to experience different destinations within the region,” says Satheesh Vasudevan, general manager at Sharaf Tours.

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