Expedition cruising is set to explode on the cruising scene, fuelled by growing consumer interest in transformational and experiential vacations offered in far-flung regions around the world, it has emerged at the recently concluded Seatrade Cruise Global forum concluded in Miami.
Closer home in Dubai, we spoke to Nick Wilkinson, vice-president and managing director for UK, Ireland, Middle East & Africa, Norwegian Cruise Line, for more regional insight. He was visiting the emirate as part of an annual roadshow that tours key cities in the Middle East meeting travel agents and consumers, sharing updates about Norwegian Bliss, which sets on its maiden voyage from Bremerhaven in Germany on April 19 this year.
This year, he and his team visited key locations of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jordan, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait and Bahrain in the second week of March.
The main discussion on the agenda was the 16th ship of the Norwegian fleet, Norwegian Bliss, which is the first cruise ship custom-built with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience.
Measuring 994 feet long, 136 feet wide and at a gross registered tonnage of 168,028, Norwegian Cruise Line will then begin her passage across the Atlantic Ocean on April 21 and will arrive to the US on May 3, where she will begin her inaugural tour, the most extensive of any ship in Norwegian Cruise Line history. Events will take place in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles, and then will conclude with a christening ceremony on May 30 at the new Pier 66 at the Port of Seattle in Washington State, followed by her inaugural cruise.
Norwegian Bliss will offer cruises to Alaska beginning June 2. She will spend her summer sailing seven-day cruises to Alaska and fall season cruising to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. In winter of 2018 she will sail to the Caribbean from Miami, and in the 2019 fall/winter season she will cruise from New York City to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.