Cruise

Qatar Airways teams up with Ponant to dabble in expedition cruising

Qatar Airways’ destination management venture, Discover Qatar, has partnered up with Ponant to launch its very first expedition cruise product, and it looks pretty spiffy if you ask us.

The cruises, which are aimed towards adventurous travellers, will give clients the chance to take a peek at the largest gathering of the world’s largest living fish – the whale shark – in the Al Shaheen marine zone.

Whale sharks are estimated to have existed for 60 million years and can live up to 100 years and grow up to 12 metres in length – which is 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 series will give clients access to the Al Shaheen restricted marine zone – a diverse ecosystem of immense natural beauty – to witness the whale shark gathering, as well as a unique coastal exploration adventure.

Qatar Airways group CEO 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’s cruise product offers clients an eight-night, nine-day expedition cruise package on board an expedition ship on a full-board basis, including five-star services, elegant accommodation, sight-seeing discoveries and exploration adventures.

Your clients can also extend their travel to a 10-night, 11-day package, including a three-night stay in Doha, to explore the city’s cultural heritage and traditions, visit must-see attractions and landmarks, and check out the colourful commerce and culinary offers within Souq Waqif’s vibrant alleyways.

Discover Qatar has partnered with Ponant to offer the cruise series using Le Champlain, one of the line’s new explorer-class cruise ships, which boasts innovative features, stylish design and cutting-edge technology.

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