Royal Caribbean International’s ship Brilliance of the Seas, one of the world’s most elegant cruise ships started her second consecutive season from her homeport Dubai last week.
From January through April 2011, Brilliance of the Seas will be offering seven-night cruises in the region, which will start in Dubai, sail to Fujairah and dock in Muscat - where guests can enjoy an overnight stay in Oman’s popular capital city. She will then continue, spending the day at sea and sail, via Abu Dhabi, back to Dubai. Royal Caribbean International is also introducing two new 12-night itineraries which, for the first time, will include ports in India. Sailing from Dubai to Muscat, Brilliance of the Seas will then call into Cochin, Goa and Mumbai – where there will be an overnight stay – and sail back to Dubai.
“It is a real pleasure for Brilliance of the Seas to return to her winter home in Dubai and the Gulf region and we're very much looking forward to building on the success of our 2010 inaugural season. We're particularly excited that, in addition to our overnight stay in Dubai, we're also including one night in Muscat, which will give our guests a wonderful opportunity to explore this ancient and historical country and experience true Arabian hospitality,” said Helen Beck, Royal Caribbean International’s Regional Sales Director, International Representatives, EMEA.
“The Brilliance of the Seas’ crew of 860 is ready to perform the duties and render the services that will once again provide a unique sailing experience for the vessel’s 2,100 adventure-seeking passengers. It is very important for us to support luxury cruise ships not only as sources of income but also as ambassadors to the beauty of Dubai, the UAE and the entire Gulf. Through constant improvements to our cruise liner facilities and services we intend to continue providing world-class support to luxury vessels such as the Brilliance of the Seas and reinforce our emerging status as a global cruise tourism hub within the next few years,” said Saleh Mohammed Al Geziry, Director of Overseas Promotions & Inward Missions.
The largest global cruise line reports that this year’s itineraries are proving to be very popular; nearly all sailings are fully booked at the season’s outset. “We're in the happy position that the majority of our seven-night sailings are close to being sold out, with some limited availability on the late March and April sailings. We’re equally pleased with the performance of our new 12-night itineraries to India and they are on track to sail at full capacity also,” continued Beck.
Due to the high demand, Royal Caribbean International will extend the third consecutive season which will comprise 18 roundtrip 7-night sailings and two Dubai and India 12-nights sailings from November 2011 through April 2012.
The number of ships dramatically increased in 2008 to reach 82, carrying 182,023 passengers and to 87 ships carrying 262,740 passengers in 2009. The number of ships in 2010 broke the 100 barrier and touched 103, bringing in 390,255 passengers.
It is expected that the number of cruise ships in 2011 will increase to 120, with 425,000 passengers. In the coming years DTCM expects the following in terms of cruise ship and passenger arrivals: 135 ships carrying 475,000 passengers in 2012; 150 ships carrying 525,000 passengers in 2013; 165 ships with 575,000 passengers in 2014; and 180 ships carrying 625,000 passengers in 2015.
It may be recalled that in February last year, the department opened its new cruise terminal in Dubai, which is regarded as the most advanced in the Middle East.
“We are happy to have Brilliance of the Seas back in Dubai and look forward to an extended third season starting in November 2011. The interest of regional guests increases from season to season as well as the awareness of cruising as a holiday option. There is still huge potential in the region,” explained Lakshmi Durai, Executive Director Royal Caribbean International in the Middle East.
As with previous cruises, Brilliance of the Seas welcomes guests from all over the world including the UK, the US, Germany, Russia and Asia, providing them with an introduction to the Gulf’s beautiful and fascinating destinations.
Royal Caribbean International offers numerous shore excursions to explore the sights of Dubai; the Dubai city tour takes guests to the World Trade Centre, which was once one of the tallest buildings in the region, the journey will then continue to the Burj Khalifa, which is now the tallest building in the world, the tour ends at the Bastakiya area, the city's oldest quarter built by wealthy merchants. Other highlights are the high tea at the Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah Souq, a boat trip around the Jumeirah Palm Island, a Dhow cruise with dinner or a round of Golf at the Els club.
Brilliance of the Seas, characterised by her innovative super-yacht design, features indoor and outdoor pools, Fitness Centre and Day Spa, an indoor and outdoor sports deck with golf simulator, sports courts, a rock-climbing wall and a jogging track. It also boasts a wide range of dining options, shopping arcades and a movie theatre. “Brilliance of the Seas” guests also will enjoy the cruise line’s award-winning Broadway-style musical revues from Royal Caribbean Productions in the Pacifica Theater, complimentary Adventure Ocean kids and teen programming, and Royal Caribbean International’s Gold Anchor Service of friendly and engaging service from every staff and crew.