Dubai: Some good news who are looking out to spend vacations in Middle East. With 18 round-trip 7-night sailings and two 12-night sailings from Dubai to India starting in November, 2011, through to April, 2012, a cruise company has announced the extension of its third consecutive season in the Middle East.

Royal Caribbean International said the move is part of the deployment of a historic number of cruises by the global cruise brand, which has 22 ships currently in service, offering unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Middle East, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The interest in the two itineraries to India, which were introduced in 2010, was enormously high and therefore will be implemented again in the 2011-12 season, the company said in a statement.

The two 12-night India itineraries will start in Dubai, sail to Mumbai, Goa, New Mangalore -- which is a new port this season -- and call into Cochin. After two days at sea, the ship will arrive in Muscat and then sail back to Dubai.

Royal Caribbean Cruises has increased its fleet size to accommodate demand, which is growing at unprecedented rates.

Helen Beck, Regional Director, International Representatives, EMEA, for Royal Caribbean International, says that the company has just concluded a successful second season sailing around the Gulf.

"We've received great feedback from our guests on the new 12-night itineraries sailing to India that we introduced this year. We are happy to bring Brilliance of the Seas back to Dubai in November, starting her longer third season in the region," added Beck.

In 2005, there were only 13 ships serving travellers, but this figure almost doubled the following year, further increasing to 55 ships by 2007 and 87 ships by 2009, whilst in
2010, there were 103 ships that carried 390,255 passengers and the Department of Tourism is expecting to receive 135 ships in the year to 2012.

That number is likely to increase to approximately 180 by 2015 as the number of cruise travellers continues to increase in the region.

Agencies