Middle East Cruise News

Dubai’s ‘great popularity’ among AIDA Cruises passengers wins out over Iran tensions

AIDA Cruises says it has no plans to change it upcoming cruise itineraries from Dubai for the 2019/2020 cruise season, adding that the city “enjoys great popularity among our guests”.

“The safety of our guests and crew is naturally of the highest priority, but all planned AIDA Arabian Gulf cruises in Winter 2019/2020 starting from October 2019 will take place as scheduled,” a spokesperson for the cruise line told Cruise Arabia & Africa.

AIDAprima will homeport in Dubai for the coming 2019/2020 cruise season

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The cruise line, the largest in Germany, added that it was monitoring the situation in the Arabian Gulf in real-time, using its own security experts and external advisors.

“Based on these analyses, we decide for every cruise whether to take additional measures or – if necessary – to change the itinerary,” the spokesperson added.

Beach Club aboard AIDAprima

AIDA Cruises will be homeporting its cruise ship AIDAprima in Dubai for the coming winter. The ship is one of the largest in the fleet, carrying 3,300 passengers, with dozens of bars and restaurants, a huge waterpark on the top deck that can be converted into a beach club disco and one of the largest spas at sea.

AIDAprima will homeport in Dubai and sail from the city on week-long roundtrip cruises in the Arabian Gulf between October, 2019 and March, 2020.

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“Dubai enjoys great popularity among our guests, not only due to its sunny and mild climate in the winter months and its easy accessibility from Europe, but also due to its unique combination of tradition, history and modernity,” an AIDA spokesperson told Cruise Arabia & Africa.

The comments come amid heightened tensions in the region over Iran’s alleged attacks on merchant vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway connecting the Arabian Gulf to the Indian Ocean.

Iran in July seized a British-flagged oil tanker, prompting the Royal Navy to begin escorting UK-flagged ships through the Strait. The United States meanwhile, has also begun escorting vessels through the waterway, and there are concerns that an escalation in tensions could further impact shipping.

The situation prompted P&O Cruises last week to cancel its upcoming cruise season in Dubai, while Royal Caribbean (which also owns Celebrity Cruises) has said it sees no potential impact to its upcoming cruise program in the city with Jewel of the Seas and Celebrity Constellation.

Meanwhile, TUI Cruises, Costa Cruises and MSC have all confirmed that their cruise seasons in Dubai for 2019/2020 will also go ahead as planned.

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