Discover Qatar, a destination management company, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, announced the launch of its first expedition cruise, which will offer passengers an inspiring experience along the coast of Qatar.
The cruises, designed with experienced and adventurous travelers in mind, provide a unique opportunity to observe the gathering of the largest living fish in the world – the whale shark – in the marine area of Al Shaheen. Whale sharks, often referred to as “friendly giants”, are estimated to have been around for 60 million years. These specimens can live up to 100 years and grow to 12 meters in length – roughly the size of a large school bus.
Between the summer months, from April to September, during the annual migration to the region, hundreds of whale sharks are sighted in the oil and gas field of Al Shaheen, in the Arabian Gulf, which is 80 kilometers off the north coast of Qatar.
The Discover Qatar expedition cruise will give passengers the privilege of accessing the restricted area of Al Shaheen – a diverse ecosystem of immense natural beauty – to witness the gathering of whale sharks, as well as experiencing a unique coastal exploration adventure.
Between the possibility of watching whale sharks, diving in reefs, exploring swamps, even crossing the turquoise waters of the Khor Al Adiad channel, a team of expert guides, marine biologists, naturalists and ornithologists, will guide passengers through a journey wildlife, offering a cultural perspective on the places explored and ensuring a memorable experience.
The Chief Executive of the Qatar Airways Group, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar is a unique setting for expeditionary cruises and we are very excited to launch our first product in this area, in order to show the beauty of our The Qatar peninsula, with its wild and abundant nature, surrounded by crystal clear waters and a unique and diverse bio ecosystem, offers impressive adventures that allow visitors to create a connection with nature. guests on board will have an unparalleled opportunity to observe the widest gathering of the largest fish in the world – whale sharks“.
Discover Qatar offers customers an eight-night, nine-day cruise expedition package aboard a luxury ship. Customers will enjoy five-star service, luxury accommodation, as well as a range of discoveries and adventures throughout the expedition, while the highly trained crew will ensure a safe trip in comfort and elegance.
Customers will also have the option of extending their stay of ten nights and eleven days, with three nights in Doha, to explore the cultural heritage and traditions of the city, enjoy the diverse gastronomic offerings, stroll through the vibrant alleys of Souq Waqif and visit the city’s mandatory attractions and landmarks.
Discover Qatar has partnered with PONANT, the world leader in luxury cruises, to provide this unique experience. Customers will travel aboard ‘Le Champlain‘, one of PONANT’s new cruise ships, which boasts innovative features, elegant design and the latest technology.
This impressive ship offers 92 luxurious cabins and suites, equipped with high-quality amenities, a 24-hour butler service, two restaurants and a luxury spa. Customers will also enjoy an infinity pool and a futuristic multisensory underwater room, with huge observation windows below the waterline. A hydraulic platform will facilitate disembarkation and embarkation when customers participate in expeditions.
The cruise season will start in April 2021 and will have seven consecutive weekly departures. Prices start at USD 5,295 per person.