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Cruising To Qatar: Is Qatar The Next Hot Cruise Ship Destination?

One of the best and most exciting things about the expanding passenger cruise ship industry is that I see it as a means of actually bringing the world closer together.  For example, more and more passengers and ships are heading to both China and Russia, giving citizens greater opportunities to explore the world onboard a cruise ship.

Both Cuba and Israel are also seeing more cruise lines each year, bringing people to their shores who might otherwise never have the chance to see the unique cultures of both those often isolated countries.

The latest exotic country to open itself as a potential new cruise line destination is the tiny yet extraordinarily wealthy Gulf nation of Qatar.  This week alone, three cruise ships have docked in Doha–Seabourn Cruise Line’s Sojourn, MS Island Sky, and MS Europa 2.

Seabourn Cruise Line is an ultra-luxury and award-winning cruise line that has been based in the State of Washington since 2011, but it is actually owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, which has its headquarters in Miami. Carnival moved Seabourn out of Miami a few years ago, most likely to create geographical distance from many of the best passenger cruise ship accident lawyers, who are based in South Florida.

This fact often comes as a shock to people who are hurt aboard a Seabourn cruise ship: The Seabourn passenger contract requires that any claim against Seabourn be filed in Federal Court for the Western District of Washington (Seattle and Tacoma Washington) regardless of where the passenger is from or where incident occurred–even if it occurred in Qatar.

The increase in cruise ship traffic to Qatar is part of the country’s effort to show the world that it can become a major tourism destination. In fact, next month Qatar will host a two-day regional cruise ship forum, where corporate representatives from 11 cruise lines will be joining governmental officials, tourism, immigration, and security experts to discuss future plans for the industry in the Gulf.

Qatar has big aspirations, announcing it wants to attract 7 million visitors a year by 2030, and it is set to meet its target of 3 million visitors by the end of 2015, with most of those visitors coming from the neighboring country of Saudi Arabia.

Qatar is also scheduled to host the World Cup in 2022 and plans to work with the cruise lines to use their ships as “pop hotels” to accommodate the surge in demand for rooms.

The question I have is where those ships cruising to Qatar are going to dock? Bids have also been requested by Qatar to redesign its old Hamad Port to accommodate the new mega cruise ships birthed almost monthly by the major cruise lines–Carnival and its subsidiaries, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian.

If you are injured aboard a Seabourn cruise ship or on a cruise to or from Qatar, we recommend you contact an experienced cruise accident attorney immediately to investigate your potential claim.  Our maritime injury attorneys have nearly 50 years of combined legal experience helping people hold cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, Princess, Norwegian, and Seabourn responsible when they put their profits ahead of passenger safety.

We work hard to help our clients recoup money for medical expenses, travel expenses, lost cruises, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  Call us today and let our years of experience and success help you.  We proudly offer free initial consultations to anyone hurt during a cruise.  Call us today toll-free at 1-866-597-4529 or email us at NEWCASE@aronfeld.com.

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