With the arrival of Costa Firenze and AIDAbella, the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal has officially opened its door to cruise passengers. The arrival of the ships coincides with the start of the cruise season and the ships’ homeporting seasons from Dubai.
The opening of the new cruise terminal represents a significant milestone in realizing Dubai’s goal of becoming the world’s most visited city, underscored with the October launch of the highly popular Expo 2020 in Dubai.
For the occassion Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, along with Shamal Holding, welcomed government, business and community representatives to celebrate the new cruise port in one of the most spectacular harbour skylines in the world.
As the region’s first-ever dedicated, twin-terminal cruise port, Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal is capable of accommodating two large cruise ships simultaneously. The world-class facility spans over 120,000 square meters (nearly 1.3 million square feet) and includes two purpose-built terminal buildings that offer passengers and crew a safe, comfortable and seamless embarkation and disembarkation experience. The state-of-the-art terminals are equipped with four bespoke Seaport Passenger Boarding Bridges that can simultaneously support the full turnaround of the largest class of cruise ships in the industry.
The cruise terminals, which are part of Dubai Harbour development, offer a wide array of amenities and services for passengers and crew – from ample seating areas to washrooms, currency exchange outlets, ATMs, cafes, retail outlets, duty-free, dedicated parking, taxi stands and more. The facilities are designed to be fully accessible for all visitors and complimentary Wi-Fi is enabled for guests and crew to stay connected.
The world’s most visited city
Located in the heart of modern Dubai, the new twin-terminal facility is conveniently positioned for international visitors traveling in and out of Dubai. Dubai Harbour’s spectacular backdrop, iconic vista and accessible location are combined with a wide range of living, retail and hospitality choices, as well as comprehensive berthing facilities, to comprise the region’s most unique lifestyle offering – including experiences such as Dubai Harbour Yacht Club, Dubai Harbour Pier Club, Dubai Harbour Marinas, Skydive Dubai and Zero Gravity.
As a gateway to the Arabian Gulf cruise destinations such as Oman and Abu Dhabi, Dubai has been a highly popular destination for the company’s Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises brands, which first began operating from Dubai in 2006. In late November, AIDAbella arrived in Dubai at Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal for the first time, marking the first regular cruise passenger operation for the new terminals and the start of the ship’s winter season. In addition, Costa Firenze‘s recent arrival marked the start of the ship’s season from Dubai, where it is homeporting for the first time ever.
Costa Firenze’s itinerary, which includes long stops at the ports of Dubai (two days) and Abu Dhabi (a full day, from 9am to midnight), allows guests to enjoy Expo 2020 Dubai to the fullest. Thanks to its collaboration with the Italian Pavilion, of which Costa Cruises is a gold sponsor, the company offers exclusive visits, which are true ‘grand tours’ to discover the Italian excellence showcased at the Expo. The tours include a panoramic visit of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, after which Costa Firenze guests enter Expo without queuing up, with a privileged entrance, to discover this extraordinary exhibition which includes about 200 pavilions. At the end of the visit, participants in the ‘grand tour’ of Costa’s Italian Pavilion are guests of Bvlgari for a unique gastronomic experience.
Together, six brands from Carnival Corporation – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (UK), Princess Cruises and Seabourn – will visit the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal by 2023 and in total the six brands are expected by then to make 90 calls to the new twin-terminal cruise port. Costa Firenze will be homeporting weekly at Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal through March 2022.