Middle East Cruise News

Jordan’s Aqaba port sees busiest day of the year as cruise ships head for Dubai

Three Dubai-bound cruise ships docked in Jordan’s Port of Aqaba this week on their repositioning cruises between Europe and Asia, giving the up-and-coming cruise port its busiest day of the year.

Some 5,000 cruise tourists disembarked from the three ships AIDAvita, Mein Schiff 4 and Seabourn Encore. All three are mid-way through grand voyages from the Mediterranean to the Arabian Gulf.


Aqaba’s popularity as a cruise port is growing rapidly.

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Abdul Mahdi Qatamin, spokesperson for Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), said that the 5,000 passengers were treated to tours of the city and the Wadi Rum desert and Petra.

“Their itinerary included tours within the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Aqaba, Petra and Wadi Rum,” he said. “But some also chose to visit sites outside of the triangle, such as the Baptism Site and the Dead Sea.”

Mein Schiff 4 will begin her 2018/2019 winter homeporting season in Dubai when she arrives on November 5th, 2018. She’ll cruise roundtrip from Dubai until March on 7-night cruises to Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.

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AIDAvita will end her cruise in Dubai on November 7th, but will depart the same day for Singapore, where she will begin her 2018/2019 Asian cruise season. She’ll return to Dubai later in the year for her homeward cruise.

The luxury cruise ship Seabourn Encore, meanwhile, is on a grand repositioning voyage from Piraeus (Athens) to Singapore, a 37-nighter than was also sold as a 19-night cruise ending in Dubai.

Her 18-night leg of the voyage from Dubai to Singapore has completely sold out, reflecting the growing interest in cruises from Dubai for the coming year.


The majority of cruises via Aqaba are Dubai-bound, with onward cruises from Dubai to Singapore.

UAE to Singapore cruises especially are becoming a popular option from Dubai.

Celebrity Cruises this coming season will be cruising back and forth between Abu Dhabi and Singapore on 14-night voyages, with Abu Dhabi switched out for Dubai as the departure point for her 2019/2020 season.

Eleven other cruises from Dubai in 2019 will be Singapore-bound, including some of the most high-profile of the year, such as Queen Mary 2, Spectrum of the Seas and Norwegian Jade (cruising from Dubai for the first time ever next year).

Aqaba’s popularity as a cruise port is growing in tandem, with more than 40 cruise ships due to visit the port on 141 cruise itineraries in 2019.

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