Princess makes maiden call

Abu Dhabi welcomes its first Princess Cruises vessel – a testament to the port’s growth potential.

It’s not the first time a cruise ship has docked in Abu Dhabi and it most certainly won’t be the last. But it’s a strong indicator of the growth of the cruise industry and of the port itself that one of the world’s biggest cruise lines made an out-of-season maiden call to Abu Dhabi this week.

Princess CruisesOcean Princess, an 826-passenger vessel currently on a world voyage, docked at Mina Zayed Port yesterday and she’ll be followed next month by her 2,250-passenger fleet-mate Dawn Princess, a call that will also be part of a world tour.

“The move to include Abu Dhabi on the company’s round-the-world itineraries gained compelling momentum in the last 12 months as the emirate’s international stop-over reputation spread,” George Varghese, general manager – commercial, Rais Hassan Saadi Group, a port agent, was quoted as saying on Cruise Industry News.

Abu Dhabi’s port will get another business boost in October this year when MSC Cruises homeports MSC Lirica there for a season of cruises, and again in November when Costa Cruises’ to-be-launched 3,780-passenger Costa Favolosa visits.