Thomson Celebration is to home-port in Dubai for the first time during for Winter 2016/17.

The ship will sail two seven-night itineraries. The ‘Arabian Nights’ itinerary will call at Khasab (Oman), Muscat, Doha (Qatar) and Abu Dhabi while the ‘Cities of Gold’ itinerary will call at Khor Fakkan (UAE), Muscat, Manama (Bahrain), and Abu Dhabi. Both itineraries will include an overnight stop in Dubai.

A range of shore excursions will be offered and highlights will include the spectacular sites of the Burj al Arab and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the Grand Mosque in Muscat. Guests can explore the magnificent Musafi Mountains in Khor Fakkan or dine on a Dubai Dhow cruise. In Abu Dhabi passengers can visit Ferrari World and the dazzling Emirates Palace, or be more adventurous with desert safaris.

Helen Caron, Managing Director of Thomson Cruises, said: “We know that destinations are one of the key deciding factors for our customers and our decision to set sail from Dubai will allow holiday-makers to see and experience more destinations than ever before. As Dubai becomes more and more popular for winter sun and incredible excursions, we know our customers will be as excited as we are to welcome this destination to our programme. With the average Brit visiting more than 14 foreign countries in their lifetime, we can’t wait for everyone to discover Arabia, from the glamour and opulence of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to the ancient heritage sites in Oman.”

Flights from six regional airports – Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and London Gatwick – will transport guests to and from Dubai to connect with the 1,264-passenger cruise ship. Thomson will also offer cruise-and-stay packages with an option to add a seven night stay in Dubai staying at a variety of hotels including the spectacular Atlantis the Palm.

The new itineraries will go on sale in November, with the first departure planned for December 2016.

This news follows the announcement earlier in the year that Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas will be acquired by Thomson Cruises and operated as Thomson Discovery from June 2016. Thomson Cruises is also to add Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 to its fleet from German sister-line TUI Cruises although no firm dates for this transition have yet been announced.

(Photo credit to Thomson Cruises)