Celebrity Cruises, the premium line of Royal Caribbean Cruises, is set to launch her maiden voyage from Abu Dhabi, UAE as part of a 3-month home port deployment at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, Zayed Port.
Celebrity Constellation, a luxury ship from one of the world's biggest cruise operators, is the first ship to make the UAE capital its home.
The vessel is one of three cruise departures originating from Abu Dhabi in the 2016-2017 season, which also sees the highest number of new callers and the highest recorded number of regional rotational callers.
This follows collaboration between the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), Etihad Airways and Celebrity Cruises in improvement of facilities, product development and marketing.
Saif Saeed Ghobash, TCA Abu Dhabi director-general, said:
"Since launching efforts to develop Abu Dhabi's cruise tourism segment in 2006, our ambition has been to establish the emirate as a viable home port base for the world's leading cruise lines and encourage them to deploy ships for their regional Arabian Gulf cruises in Abu Dhabi."
Celebrity Constellation - a 295-metre, 91,000-tonne vessel with a capacity for 2,170 guests in 975 staterooms on 13 decks - will sail nine-, 12- 14- and 15-night cruises covering five ports-of-call until the end of January 2017.
TCA Abu Dhabi and Celebrity Cruises mounted two-year promotional campaigns in more than 10 target markets to promote Celebrity Constellation's maiden season in the Gulf.
Abu Dhabi is set to welcome a nine per cent increase in cruise passengers from 137 calls by 26 ships, with two further Abu Dhabi originating cruises - MSC Fantasia and AIDAStella - calling the capital's cruise terminal home this season.
Next month, Abu Dhabi is also set to open the Arabian Gulf's only dedicated desert island cruise stopover on Sir Bani Yas Island.