Marking the highlight and the official closing of the 2016/17 Middle East cruise season out of Dubai, Cunard Line’s fully renovated flagship Queen Mary 2 paid a glittering visit to the city, using Dubai Cruise Terminal as a turnaround port on the homeward leg of 118-night world cruise.
Queen Mary 2 departed Southampton on January 10th this year for the grand voyage, her first world cruise since her bow-to-stern refit and renovation in 2016. Although passengers could book the entire 118-night voyage, Cunard as chose select cruise ports around the world as ‘turnaround’ ports where passengers could book shorter cruises.
The Dubai to Southampton itinerary, which departed on April 18th was one of these shorter legs, a 20-night cruise through the Suez Canal and Mediterranean to the largest shipping port in the United Kingdom.
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Cruise Arabia & Africa was only media invited aboard for an exclusive tour of the newly renovated ship during her port call, see our full review here. To read about what a cruise with Cunard is like, see our trans-Atlantic cruise review aboard Queen Mary 2 here.
Dubai has been a firm favourite on the Cunard Line cruise itineraries for several years, with at least one of its cruise ships calling annually, usually as part of a re-positioning cruise or grand voyage. Queen Mary 2 visited Dubai as last on a cruise from Singapore, and Queen Victoria called in Dubai on December 1st, 2016 on a world cruise.
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Queen Elizabeth also cruised to the Middle East in 2015 with a port call in Abu Dhabi as part of her repositioning cruise from Asia.
On April 19th next year, Queen Mary 2 will cruise from Dubai again, following the same Dubai to Southampton cruise itinerary, except this time the cruise will be 21-nights with the addition of port calls in Cadiz and Barcelona in Spain.
In 2019 Cunard are doubling up on their Dubai cruise departures with Queen Mary 2 cruising from the city in January and March. On January 29th she will sail a 21-night Dubai to Hong Kong cruise as the Cunard ocean liner repositions to Asia, and on March 25th she’ll return to the city, cruising from Dubai Cruise Terminal on a 20-night cruise to Southampton.
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Angus Struthers, marketing director at Cunard, said Dubai is one of the cruise line’s signature cruise destinations on its grand voyages and world cruises. “Dubai is one of the signature ports that Cunard's passengers particularly look forward to visiting as part of our annual world voyages,” she said.
“We are delighted that Queen Elizabeth, Cunard's newest ship, and Queen Mary 2, our flagship and the only ocean liner in operation today, are both featuring an overnight stay in Dubai for the first time ever. With consecutive stays, this creates a four day period spotlighting the great modern icons of both the city of Dubai and the ships of Cunard Line."