- The ‘Whale Sharks of Qatar’ expedition cruise will provide guests with a unique opportunity to observe one of the world’s largest gathering of the world’s biggest fish
- Qatar offers a unique setting for expedition cruises, combining untouched nature and exotic destinations with luxury and comfort
DOHA, Qatar, 2020-Dec-08 — /Travel PR News/ — Discover Qatar, the destination management subsidiary of Qatar Airways, has announced the launch of its very first expedition cruise series, which will offer guests an awe-inspiring experience while travelling in luxury and comfort around Qatar’s coastline. The cruises, which are designed for seasoned and adventurous travellers, provide a unique opportunity to observe the largest gathering of the world’s largest living fish – the Whale Shark – in the Al Shaheen marine zone.
Whale Sharks, often referred to as ‘gentle giants’, are estimated to have existed for 60 million years. They can live up to 100 years and grow up to 12 metres in length – about the size of a large school bus. Between the summer months of April and September, during their annual migration to the region, Whale Sharks are found feeding in groups of hundreds in the Al Shaheen marine zone within the Arabian Gulf, which lies 80 kilometres off the northern coast of Qatar.
The Discover Qatar expedition cruise will give passengers the privilege of accessing the Al Shaheen restricted marine zone – a diverse ecosystem of immense natural beauty – to witness the majesty of the Whale Shark gathering, as well as a unique coastal exploration adventure. From observing Whale Sharks, snorkelling in coral reefs, exploring mangroves to gliding through the turquoise waters of Khor Al Adaid channel, a team of expert guides, marine biologists, naturalists and ornithologists will lead guests to identify local wildlife, offer a cultural perspective on the sites explored and ensure a memorable expedition experience.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar is a unique setting for expedition cruises and I am hugely excited to launch our first product in this area to show off our country’s beauty to the world. Qatar, with its abundance of rugged, untouched nature, surrounded by crystal waters and a unique biodiverse ecosystem, offers exciting adventures that allow visitors to connect with nature and visit areas of Qatar that are only accessible by the sea. Also, our guests will have the unparalleled opportunity to observe the biggest gathering of the world’s largest fish – the Whale Sharks.”
Discover Qatar offers customers an eight-night, nine-day expedition cruise package on board a luxury expedition ship on full-board basis. Guests will enjoy five-star services, elegant accommodation, sight-seeing discoveries and exploration adventures while the highly trained crew will ensure safe travel in comfort and style. Customers will also have the opportunity to extend their travel to a ten-night, eleven-day package, including a three nights stay in Doha, to explore the city’s cultural heritage and traditions, visit must-see attractions and landmarks, as well enjoy the colourful commerce and culinary offers within Souq Waqif’s vibrant alleyways.
Discover Qatar has partnered with PONANT, the world’s leader in luxury expeditions cruising, to offer this cruise series. Guests will travel on board ‘Le Champlain’, one of PONANT’s new explorer-class cruise ships, which boasts innovative features, stylish design and cutting-edge technology. This impressive ship takes elegance and class to the seas offering 92 luxurious staterooms and suites equipped with high-end amenities, a 24-hour butler service, two restaurants and a luxury-level spa. Customers will also enjoy an infinity pool and a multi-sensory futuristic underwater lounge with large observation windows below the waterline. A hydraulic platform will ease disembarking and embarking when guests participate in expeditions.
Cruise season will start in April 2021 and will run seven consecutive weekly departures. Prices start from USD 5,295 per person. For more information, visit www.discoverqatar.qa/whalesharks
Notes to Editors:
About Qatar Airways:
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. Qatar Airways is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted “Skytrax Airline of the Year” title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.
Hamad International Airport (HIA), the airline’s home and hub, was recently ranked “Third Best Airport in the World”, among 550 airports worldwide, by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020. Rising from fourth position in 2019 to third in 2020, HIA has been steadily rising in the ‘World’s Best Airports’ rankings since the start of its operations in 2014. In addition, HIA was voted the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth year in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the fifth year in a row.
Qsuite, a patented Qatar Airways product, features the industry’s first-ever double bed in Business Class, as well as privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room, a first of its kind in the industry.
Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join global airline alliance oneworld, enabling its passengers to benefit from more than 1,000 airports in more than 160 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.
Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system offers passengers up to 4,000 entertainment options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B787, B777, A350, A380, A319 and select A320 and A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s on-board Wi-Fi and GSM service.
Qatar Airways proudly supports a range of exciting international and local initiatives dedicated to enriching the global community that it serves. Qatar Airways, the official FIFA partner, is the official sponsor of many top-level sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, reflecting the values of sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s own brand message – Going Places Together.
Qatar Airways Cargo, one of the world’s leading international air cargo carriers, serves more than 60 freighter destinations worldwide via its world-class Doha hub and also delivers freight in the belly-hold of passenger aircraft to an extensive global network. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet includes two Boeing 747-8 freighters, 21 Boeing 777 freighters and four Airbus A330 freighters.
Qatar Executive is the private jet charter division of Qatar Airways Group. Luxury jet services are available for worldwide charter on board the operator’s wholly-owned business jet fleet. Qatar Executive is the launch customer for Gulfstream’s G700, the world’s first commercial service operator of the Gulfstream G500 and largest commercial operator of the G650ER worldwide. Qatar Executive’s service portfolio also includes aircraft management, maintenance and Fixed Based Operator services.
For further information, please contact:
Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +974 4022 2200
Source: Qatar Airways