The Dream-class cruise ship, Costa Diadema, which was built in 2014 and is owned by the Carnival Corporation and operated by the Genoa-based Costa Tours, has arrived in Egypt. The cruise ship carries more than 30,00 passengers and 1,170 crew members throughout the course of its 14-day roundtrip sail through the Mediterranean. Costa Diadema’s first stop was Port Said and according to the Media Office of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE), 1,600 tourists on board are set to tour archaeological and historical attractions in Alexandria and Cairo.
Considered to be one of the largest ships in the world, Costa Diadema measures 304 meters in length and 37 meters in width. It weighs 133,019 tonnes in total, has 1,862 total cabins, and has an outdoor promenade that extends for more than 500 meters. It can hold up to 4,947 passengers and 1,253 staff members.
Not only that, but Costa Diadema also provides a wide range of recreational services to its guests, including seven restaurants, a three-story theatre, three dining places, a 4D movie theatre, and a deck with two swimming pools. Also, the ship is scheduled to organize a series of monthly cruises in Egypt.
This comes within an integrated program to attract cruise ships to the Suez Canal Economic Zone ports, from March to Dec. In light of this, on Nov. 16, Waleid Gamal El-Dein, Chairman of SCZONE, signed a contract for “the development of an industrial zone” in East Port Said Port between The General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone and Roots company. The contract comes in view of the integration strategy between the industrial zones and the affiliated ports pursued by the Suez Canal Economic Zone.
“The multi-purpose terminal comes within the framework of SCZONE’s keenness to maximize the benefit from the East Port Said port, which is located at the northern entrance to the Suez Canal. This project will provide 400 direct and indirect job opportunities, with cumulative investments estimated at $65 million.”Waleid Gamal El-Dein, Chairman of SCZONE via SCZONE
What does this mean for future tourism in Egypt?
Well, the fact that Egypt is concentrating its financial resources on projects to develop ports can only mean that the country is becoming a popular destination for “cruise tourism;” allowing visitors to enjoy an entertaining vacation in which they spend time at several locations throughout their trip. Also, Tourism Teacher suggests that cruise tourism has become most popular in the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas. This type of tourism alone in 2019, pre-COVID, welcomed 29.7 million passengers, created jobs for 1.8 million people around the world, and contributed over $154 billion to the global economy.
Egypt’s ambitions go beyond “cruise tourism,” though, as the nation has the potential to develop into a major yachting hub. Thanks to its stunning natural scenery, vibrant nightlife, luxurious resorts, and potential position as a link between the Eastern Mediterranean and Dubai’s expanding yachting community and wealthy Gulf residents. What is more evident is how private investments in new ports will undoubtedly hint toward the emergence of a vibrant tourism sector in Egypt over the next years in both the yachting and cruise tourism sections.