The Costa Cruises flagship Costa Diadema docked at Port Doha (Qatar) for the first time on Wednesday, November 27, marking the first of all 16 planned turnarounds (roundtrip departures) that the liner will make during its homeporting season 2019-2020.
The emergence of Port Doha as homeport marks an important milestone in the development of Qatar's cruise shipping industry. This is the first time, tourists can start and end their trip from Doha and have the chance to enjoy country's well-known hospitality and 5-star flights before and after the voyages.
Turnaround cruises contribute significantly to the economy of the country and strengthen the tourism sector. The growth in Qatar’s cruise tourism is contributing to the economy of the country through visitor spending and cruise line spending on maintenance and port services. Thousands of business opportunities and jobs are also created.
The arrival of Costa Diadema came as a result of an agreement signed between Costa Cruises and QNTC (Qatar National Tourism Council) in September 2018 to develop the cruise industry in Qatar.
The 2018-2019 cruise season achieved a 121% increase in the number of cruisers and 100% growth in the number of ships, with more than 140,000 passengers arriving on 44 cruise ships, including 38 mega-ships, which carry between 3,000-4,000 passengers and crew.
The 2019-2020 cruise season is expected to be bigger, with more than 186,000 passengers and 61,000 crew arriving on a total of 74 ships.