With the Grand Cruise Terminal completed in 2022, Qatar is quickly becoming a popular winter cruise destination.
The posh new terminal can handle 12,000 passengers daily across its two terminals and piers. Its 1,174 arches are a hallmark of its sophisticated Arabic form.
Spanning over 24,000 square metres, the terminal provides travellers convenient access to immigration and customs services, currency exchange, taxi and bus stops, a duty-free store, café, and dedicated waiting rooms for cruise passengers and crew.
Beautiful glass corridors, home to the largest aquarium in the region, welcome and send off passengers.
The aquarium lies within City Gallery, which is accessible to the public, is nestled between the two terminals, and is surrounded by outdoor gardens. The huge terrace spanning the two buildings is also available for outdoor activities.
The Grand Cruise Terminal is conveniently located in the centre of Doha, just a short distance from some of the city’s most visited landmarks, including the Corniche, the Museum of Islamic Art, the National Museum of Qatar, Msheireb Downtown, and the traditional market of Souq Waqif.
Close by the Mina District, whose twisting alleyways and brightly coloured buildings of pink, orange, teal, blue, and yellow provide a striking contrast to the terminal’s austere, grey front. Clothing, cosmetics, fine art, perfume or oud, paintings, sporting goods, and even fishing gear may all be found in the area’s stores.
Chabrat Al Mina, a seafood restaurant in the Mina District’s fresh fish market, is just one of many excellent dining options for culinary adventurers.
For 2022, Qatar Tourism expects around 200k cruise passengers and 95 calls in February 2022. Among the confirmed lines are MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, and Ponant.
During the 2023/24 season, Qatar hopes to see more cruise lines visiting the country, particularly smaller luxury ships from companies like Windstar Cruises and Oceania Cruises.
After attracting billions of sports lovers worldwide to see the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar is also witnessing a boom in the cruise sector.
Three cruise ships, including MSC Europa (which held its formal naming ceremony in Doha), MSC Poesia, and MSC Opera, docked in Qatar for the tournament duration.
Thousands of football fans stayed on the ships during the World Cup, giving many people their first taste of cruising.