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Khasab Port waives berthing fees in drive to support cruise tourism

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Visiting yachts and leisure boats can berth for free at Port of Khasab in Musandam Governorate as part of a campaign by local maritime authorities, as well as the Omani government, to position Khasab as a year-round cruise destination.

The initiative is being jointly supported by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT), Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, and the Governorate of Musandam.

Oman International Container Terminal (OICT), which manages Port of Khasab, has described the berthing fee waiver as a “first-of-its-kind offer” aimed at attracting niche cruise holiday traffic from across the region to the Sultanate of Oman.

“The initiative is aimed at achieving a breakthrough to make Port of Khasab a year-round cruise destination, by welcoming yachts and tourism to Musandam Governorate 365 days a year, and not just during the traditional cruise season in winters from October-March,” said an official representative of OICT.

In remarks to the Observer, the official noted that the offer applies to visiting yachts and leisure crafts from any country for the duration of this year. The goal, the executive explained, is to encourage leisure boat-owners to explore Khasab in its entirety, encompassing not only its stunning fjords and rich underwater life, but also rugged landscapes onshore and the governorate’s diverse culture. Opportunities for snorkeling and dolphin-spotting also abound in Khasab’s coastal waters.

Since the resumption of cruise ships to the Sultanate of Oman – after the pandemic-induced hiatus – Port of Khasab has been receiving its fair share of port visits, according to the executive.

“The cruise season in Khasab started from the beginning of October 2022 and since then we have received numerous and varied cruise liners and we expect to see more cruise and yachts visiting Musandam Governorate through Khasab Port,” the official said, adding that the port is looking forward to serving cruise ships arriving on at least two-night stay-overs, as opposed the current trend of day-trips without night layovers.

At least one new cruise call was witnessed earlier this month, following the launch of the free berthing promotion launched by the authorities, the executive stated.

Last March, OICT was assigned the mandate to manage, develop and operate Port of Khasab under a MoU signed with the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology.

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