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Emerald Azzurra homeporting in Doha from January 2023

Rendering of Emerald Azzurra, which will offer pre- and post-cruise tour packages as part of its seven-night sailings from Doha
Emerald Azzurra will homeport in Doha from January 2023 owing to a partnership between Qatar Tourism and Emerald Cruises, with a combination of pre- and post-tour packages also available.

Emerald’s first oceangoing vessel will offer seven-night itineraries from Qatar’s capital calling Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; Khasab, Oman; Fujairah, UAE; Zighy Bay, Oman; and Dubai and vice versa.

The announcement comes amid the ongoing construction of Doha’s Grand Cruise Terminal.

A ‘magical’ experience

Describing the itinerary as ‘magical,’ Rob Voss, COO, Scenic Group, which encompasses Emerald Cruises stated, ‘We are delighted to be taking our new superyacht, Emerald Azzurra, to Qatar’s vibrant city of Doha next winter. 

‘In partnership with Qatar Tourism, our guests will experience first-hand – and in luxury yachting style – the immersive beauty and hospitality the Gulf region and specifically Qatar has to offer.’ 

Pre- and post-cruise tours

Passengers will be offered the chance to purchase three-day pre- and post-cruise tours, which include visits to the National Museum of Qatar, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and inspired by the shape of a desert rose, as well as souvenir- and spice-filled Souq Waqif. Journeys into the desert to visit the Inland Sea, before riding in a buggy over dunes or taking a camel ride will also be open to cruise passengers.

‘Qatar has an incredible range of hotels, restaurants, activities and cultural landmarks which can be enjoyed pre- and post-cruise, allowing guests the freedom to explore Qatar at their leisure,’ explained Qatar Tourism’s COO Berthold Trenkel. 

 Vision 2030 

Trenkel went on to explain the agreement with Emerald supports the country’s Vision 2030 pledge, part of which includes tripling the number of international tourists, ‘In line with the national strategy, Qatar National Vision 2030, we are expanding our tourism value proposition and are excited to welcome travellers from around the world,’ he said. ‘The new itineraries launching with Emerald Cruises are another step towards achieving this vision.’

The 100-passenger Emerald Azzurra was constructed at Halong Shipbuilding Co. in Vietnam and measures 110mtr in length. It was originally custom-designed to sail the waters of the Adriatic Coast, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.