Qatar is due to operate a cruise ship linking its capital Doha with Oman and Kuwait, that is expected to embark on its first trip in January.
The 145-metre 'Grand Ferry' ship, the first of its kind to sail in the Gulf, can accommodate up to 870 travelers and 670 vehicles.
On June 5, last year, Saudi Arabia, the UAE (United Arab Emirates), Egypt and Bahrain cut trade and diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilizing the region and supporting "terrorism", allegations Doha consistently denied. The quartet then closed its airspace for Qatari aircraft and shut the only land border of the country, forcing its residents to search for alternative routes to and from Qatar.
The travel duration from Qatar to Oman aboard the Grand Ferry will take between 20-25 hours, and the same time to sail back to Doha.
The services will be offered for the first time to Oman and later to Kuwait, but it may be extended to Iran in case there is enough demand.
The French-made cruise vessel is ten decks tall and has 270+ cabins, along with a wide range of facilities, such as a flight deck for helicopters.
The ship's management is currently discussing how to ease the process of obtaining visas for passengers visiting Oman and Kuwait.
Since the cruise season began on October 2, Port Doha witnessed an increase in the number of visitors abroad 14 cruise vessels that docked in Qatar's capital.