The World, largest privately owned residential yacht, at Doha Port.

The World, largest privately owned residential yacht, at Doha Port.

The Peninsula

DOHA: The world’s largest privately-owned residential yacht, The World, docked in Doha Port yesterday, marking the beginning of this year’s cruise season in Qatar.

The luxury cruise ship is visiting Doha for the first time and will spend here two days before heading to Muscat. It is 196.3m long, with 12 docks, 280 crew numbers and 165 residences. It provides all entertainment facilities including apartments, swimming pools and other facilities.

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Since the launch in 2002 the floating city has visited more than 900 ports in more than 140 countries while sailing on a continuous worldwide itinerary at a maximum speed of 18.5 knots, said a statement yesterday.

This cruise season, which lasts until April next year, has 32 ships registered to arrive at Qatar’s shores, representing a three-fold increase on last season’s figures. Over 50,000 passengers are expected to arrive aboard these ships. The World is home to 165 residences with patrons from 45 countries living on board as it sails around the world, staying in most ports for several days.

Some residents live on board full time while most visit periodically throughout the year.

The luxury cruise ship’s passengers will be the first to avail of Qatar’s new entry procedure, which quickens the disembarkation of tourists arriving on board cruise ships. Cruise passengers can now disembark within minutes of arriving and immediately begin enjoying their on-shore excursions, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) said yesterday.

Qatar Port Management Company Mwani Qatar, the exclusive operator of the state’s commercial and tourist ports said that the coordination between the company and its strategic partners (Qatar Tourism Authority, Ministry of Interior, and General Authority of Customs) have contributed to the successful docking of the ship and the ease of the entry of cruise passengers safely and conveniently.

The redevelopment of Doha Port to transform it into a fully-fledged cruise and leisure yacht terminal facility is underway in full swing in coordination with our strategic partners and stakeholders, Mwani Qatar said.