Bahrain’s cruise season is back with 47 ships set to arrive starting next month.The cruise ship season will run through April next year, with several international tourists expected to arrive and experience the Bahraini hospitality. Officials from the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) made the announcement during their participation in the Seatrade Cruise Europe Exhibition and Conference in Germany, an annual event that brings together professionals in the cruise industry to discuss current trends and challenges, showcase innovations, and network with peers.This season will witness five new cruise ships that will dock at the Khalifa Bin Salman Port (KBSP), Windstar Cruise, Le Bougainville, Norwegian Dawn, MSC Cruise, and Adia Cruise, besides the luxury ones catering to the business class.

“Our involvement in Seatrade Cruise Europe has allowed us to strengthen Bahrain’s standing as a unique tourist destination,” said BTEA chief executive Dr Nasser Qaedi.“We’ve showcased our array of marine tourism attractions and the wealth of diverse experiences it offers.“We invite interested parties to explore these opportunities through close collaboration with our partners in the kingdom’s ports.”Dr Qaedi further affirmed BTEA’s dedication to actively engage in international conferences and exhibitions and establish partnerships with prominent cruise ship companies.

“These efforts are aimed at cultivating mutually beneficial relationships and providing strong incentives for these companies to incorporate Bahrain in their upcoming cruise itineraries, providing exceptional maritime accommodations for travellers,” he added.This strategic approach, according to Dr Qaedi, is expected to substantially increase tourist arrivals in the kingdom, resulting in a doubling of tourism sector revenues and a considerable uplift in its contribution to the national economy.The cruise season is a key tenet of the Tourism Strategy 2022–2026, which witnessed a 31 per cent increase in tourism traffic in the third quarter last year compared with the same period in 2021.Last season, the MSC World Europa cruise ship arrived at KBSP carrying 6,000 tourists from France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the UK.MSC World Europa is the world’s first LNG-powered cruise ship.According to the latest statistics, 5.9 million visitors arrived in Bahrain over the first six months of this year, up from 3.9m during the same period last year – an increase of 51pc.

The total inbound tourism revenues increased during the first half of the year by 48pc to reach BD924 million, up from BD623m for the same period in 2022.The number of one-day visitors soared by 43pc, from 2.3m visitors between January-June 2022, to reach 3.3m during the same period this year.

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