Royal Caribbean International will leave Dubai following its upcoming winter season with Serenade of the Seas, according to a Middle East report in the latest issue of Seatrade Cruise Review.
‘We were initially very pleased with the business development there and expected continued growth; however, the demand has declined in recent seasons and as a result we have had to make some difficult decisions, driven by strategic and financial considerations, about discontinuing our programme there,’ said Royal Caribbean’s Helen Beck, regional director, International Representatives.
Beck said Serenade of the Seas, which will assume the Arabian Gulf operations from Brilliance of the Seas this winter, will operate an abbreviated cruise tourism season of 11 seven-night voyages from Dubai to Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Muscat starting Jan. 28.
The line had initially announced 17 sailings; the upcoming Gulf season will be shortened because Serenade of the Seas is scheduled for revitalization in late 2012.
Brilliance of the Seas has operated in the Gulf for the past three years, and carried nearly 40,000 passengers during the winter 2011/12 season.
As earlier reported, Serenade of the Seas will be redeploying to New Orleans in winter 2013/14.
Royal Caribbean could return to Gulf waters if demand improves over time, Beck concluded.
A full Middle East report in the magazine’s September issue has details of other deployment changes, the latest on the planned UAE multiple-entry cruise visa and revised passenger projections for the region.