Middle East Cruise News

Costa Diadema makes inaugural Dubai port call as she begins 2019/2020 Arabian Gulf season

Costa Cruises’ third-largest (by a tiny margin) cruise ship Costa Diadema has completed her first-ever roundtrip cruise from the city, the first of 16 during the 2019/2020 Arabian Gulf cruise season, which runs from November to March annually.

Costa Diadema arrived in Dubai last Friday, completing a three-week repositioning voyage from Europe via the Suez Canal, Red Sea and Oman. Her inaugural port call in Dubai was the first of many as she is scheduled to spend the 2020/21 cruise season here as well.

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For the current cruise season Costa Cruises has dropped Sir Bani Yas Island as a port of call and will instead call in Doha, Qatar, as well as Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, and Muscat, the capital of Oman.

On each itinerary, she will stay overnight in Dubai on the first night of the cruise, and overnight in Abu Dhabi as well (because Abu Dhabi is being used a turnaround port in addition to Dubai – a practise adopted by Costa, MSC and AIDA last year).

Costa Cruises was the first cruise line ever to homeport in Dubai for a full cruise season and has been steadily building up its tonnage and capacity in the region. For the 2017/18 cruise season the 1,248-passenger Costa neoRiviera (now AIDAmira) was based in the region.

For the 2018/19 cruise season it was the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea homeporting in Dubai, and during the present cruise season they have repositioned Costa Diadema to the region until March next year.

Costa Diadema towers over the Dubai Cruise Terminal in Dubai

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At 132,500-gross tons and carrying 3,693 passengers, she has a larger crew complement (1,253) than the passenger capacity of Costa neoRiviera that homeported in Dubai two years before her.

This is a trend being emulated by other cruise lines that homeport annually in Dubai.

MSC Cruises has upgraded from MSC Splendida to MSC Bellissima (as well as MSC Lirica), Royal Caribbean from Splendour of the Seas to Jewel of the Seas and AIDA Cruises from AIDAstella to AIDAprima.

“Dubai has continued to strengthen its position as the leading cruise hub in the region, and is now the preferred destination for cruise travellers looking to experience the diversity of Dubai’s tourism offerings including the Arabian hospitality, culture and heritage,” says Hamad Bin Mejren, Senior Vice President, Dubai Tourism.

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