Middle East Cruise News

Crystal Cruises to homeport in Arabian Gulf for first time during 2025/26 season

Crystal Cruises for the first time will be homeporting a ship in the Arabian Gulf during the 2025/26 Middle East cruise season, with Crystal Symphony set to sail a range of voyages between Dubai and Doha.

Crystal Symphony will use both ports as an alternating departure port, with each voyage between Dubai and Doha lasting 6-nights. On December 21st, 2025, Crystal Symphony will sail from Dubai to the Qatari capital, with the return voyage departing Doha on December 27th.

Crystal Symphony’s Middle East itineraries will also include a cruise from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Dubai in the UAE, departing December 10th, 2025. The 11-night itinerary will include port calls in Salalah and Muscat in Oman, as well as Khasab in the Musandam Peninsula.

Crystal Symphony

The night voyages between Dubai and Doha will see the ship sail for Sir Bani Yas Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi, before cruising for Bahrain and Kuwait City in the eponymous country for which its named. She’ll then double back and run the length of the Arabian Gulf bound for Doha, the capital of Qatar.

The Doha-Dubai itinerary will see the ship sail across the Arabian Gulf to transit the Strait of Hormuz for Muscat in Oman, before doubling back to visit Khor Fakkan in the UAE, then passing through the spectacular Musandam Peninsula bound for Dubai.

Crystal Symphony returned to service on September 1st, 2023 for the first time since Abercrombie & Kent purchased the Crystal Cruises’ brand following the collapse of its parent company Genting Hong Kong.

Osteria Dovidio

Crystal Cruises’ hallmarks remain following the acquisition. Drinks are inclusive, gratuities covered, restaurants complimentary, and all cabins include the services of Crystal’s gracious butlers and stewards.

The acquisition and refit did see a few changes through. The former Casino is gone, replaced with a lounge for reading and games, and Crystal’s signature snack spot The Bistro was completely redeveloped.

Umi Uma

Passenger corridors also received new wallpaper and door coverings; all brass fittings were refreshed, Crystal’s Italian specialty restaurant concept Prego was reimagined as Osteria d’Ovidio, a new specialty dining venue that better reflects authentic tastes from various regions of Italy.

Several existing suites were also combined to make even larger suites and reduce the passenger capacity to just 606 from 900.

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