Carnival Corporation celebrates the official opening of its new Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal as two Carnival-owned cruise ships are welcomed for the first time. It also marks the restart of homeport operations from Dubai for the first time since the industry-wide pause on operations started in 2020.
Huge New Cruise Terminal Opens for Carnival
The new terminal facility, in partnership between Carnival Corporation and Shamal Holding, has officially opened and welcomed its first cruise ships. The partnership was signed in 2018 to develop a new cruise hub for the modern city.
To officially mark the opening were two Carnival-owned cruise ships that docked at the new terminal simultaneously. Italian-based Costa Cruises operate Costa Firenze and AIDAbella is operated by German-based AIDA Cruises.
AIDAbella first arrived at the Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal in late November 2021, kicking off the vessel’s Winter season. Costa Firenze first arrived at the port on December 16 to begin a season operating from Dubai through March 2022.
Michael Thamm, group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia, said, “After years of working closely with Shamal Holding, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome guests from around the world to Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal.”
“As the world’s largest cruise company, our passion is providing our guests with extraordinary vacation experiences, and we are confident that our partnership with Shamal Holding will enhance the overall experience for our guests.“
“The two terminals stand as a tribute to the remarkable appeal of Dubai and the Arabian Gulf as a cruise destination, and we look forward to working with Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal and its community partners to make Dubai Harbour a highly efficient and customer-friendly operation, while facilitating new tourism opportunities through cruising in the region.”
It’s the region’s first-ever twin terminal cruise port which is capable of accommodating two large cruise ships at the same time. The facility spans over 120,000 square meters (nearly 1.3 million square feet). It includes two purpose-built terminal buildings that offer passengers and crew a safe, comfortable and seamless embarkation and disembarkation experience.
The facility can cater to the world’s largest class of cruise ships and provide four bespoke boarding bridges for catering to large passenger numbers. The two vessels docking at the terminal also marks the restart of homeport operations from Dubai, as the city becomes a growing home hub for the cruise industry.
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The twin terminals offer an array of amenities for guests and crew members. There is ample seating area, washrooms, currency exchange outlets, ATMs, cafes, retail outlets, duty-free, dedicated parking, taxi stands and more. There is even complimentary Wi-Fi for guests and crew members.
Six cruise brands owned by Carnival will visit 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. The brands include Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Seabourn.