Zayed Port welcomes luxury cruise liner
Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed port welcomed its first cruise ship of the season this morning as it celebrated the arrival of the MS Europa 2.
Officials from Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority welcomed the first-time guests with an official ceremony in which Mohamed Al Shamisi, Acting CEO, ADPC, handed over a commemorative plaque to Friedrich Jan Akkermann, Captain of the MS EUROPA 2, to welcome the cruise ship to Zayed Port and to mark the special occasion.
The visiting cruise passengers received a traditional Arabian welcome at Zayed Port’s improved cruise terminal facilities, before experiencing activities including Ayalah dancing, falconry and demonstrations of local crafts. Also, the guests were invited to sample traditional Emirati food and drink during a festive get-together in the terminal’s Majlis area.
“It has been a pleasure to welcome our new guests here at Zayed Port. It’s the first time that the MS EUROPA 2 has visited Abu Dhabi, and we are delighted that her arrival also officially launches the beginning of our busiest cruise season yet. Since we moved all of the container traffic to Khalifa Port, we have been investing in and developing the facilities here at Zayed Port, to improve our visitors’ experience and to properly develop the port into a global cruise destination,” Al Shamisi said.
The recently built MS Europa 2, embarking on her first voyage entitled Tradition and Modernity in the Metropolises on the Gulf Coast, is establishing herself in the Middle East with three scheduled visits to Abu Dhabi between now and April 2014. The high quality 5-stars-plus rated ship belongs to German cruise line operator Hapag Lloyd and offers a capacity for 886 passengers and crew members.