After careful consideration and full consultation with all stakeholders, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the upcoming Whale Sharks of Qatar Expedition Cruise which was scheduled to operate between March and April 2021. The safety and wellbeing of our customers is always our highest priority and due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we believe this is the most responsible decision to take.
It is very much our intention to operate a similar Whale Sharks of Qatar Expedition Cruise in 2022 and we hope that you will consider cruising with us then.
Thank you again for your understanding, and please again accept our sincere apologies for any disappointment or inconvenience.
Get ready to set sail on a coastal journey of art, history, wildlife and culture and go where few have gone before as we unearth Qatar’s hidden treasures. Our 8 or 10 night package includes a stay in Doha, luxury expedition cruise, sightseeing adventures and more for an unforgettable experience.
Each day presents a new discovery, whether you are sailing alongside Whale Sharks, learning about the region’s most significant historical trading hub or venturing up the mouth of the inland sea. Until now, many of the areas you will explore have been closed to the public, so you will be among the very first to enjoy this once in a lifetime experiences.
During your cruise you will stay onboard the luxurious Le Champlain, one of the finest expedition vessels in the world. With a maximum of 170 guests on board, you will get to know our professional and highly-skilled expedition team who will offer keen insight, unique perspectives, and hands-on attention not found in a guidebook. Make your next adventure a voyage you’ll remember for the rest of your life exploring some of the most exclusive experiences on the planet.
Be the first to experience what is one of the most exclusive experiences in the world when you journey aboard Le Champlain on the first publicly available trip to see the Whale Sharks of Qatar by Sea.
Enjoy this short video and get a brief insight into the world of the Whale Sharks of Qatar
Qatar is home to one of the largest aggregations of Whale Sharks on the planet. Until now, the area that hosts the Whale Sharks has been closed to the public, so there is still very little known about them. Each year there are hundreds of Whale Sharks that congregate in the Al Shaheen region off the north east coast of Qatar in the months from April to September. On this voyage, you will be among the first to see them in Qatari waters. While these magnificent creatures are the biggest fish in the ocean, they are also one of the most gentle and majestic creatures that you will find underwater. Sailing alongside the Whale Sharks of Qatar is a once in a lifetime experience and one of the major highlights of the cruise.
The reason the Al-Shaheen region attracts so many Whale Shark is because of its unique ecosystem. The average seawater temperature in the gulf averages between 32-34 degrees during the summer months, however the seawater around Al Shaheen is a much cooler 27 degrees. This is the perfect temperature for fish to breed and it is the abundance of fish eggs, the Whale Sharks number one source of food, that attracts them.
Did you know: The Whale Shark Research project in Qatar have recorded more than 600 Whale Shark in their database which is a world record.
You find out more about Whale Sharks here.
During the cruise you will also have an opportunity to go for a snorkel where you will explore Coral cities and swim alongside everything from turtles to tropical fish and maybe even dolphins.
One of the highlights of the cruise will be a stop at Khor Al Adaid, also known as the Inland sea. The inland sea is one of only 3 places in the world where the sea meets the desert with an unparalleled lagoon system. Khor Al Adaid’s marine life is as diverse as the area itself and includes marine reptiles, crustaceans, finless porpoises, turtles and dolphins. You will also find a cities of coral, fleshy algae, seagrass meadows and mussel beds along the sea floor.
You will not only get up close to creatures of the sea, but you will also gaze your eye upwards and see Qatar’s incredibly diverse birdlife. Every winter, nearly three billion birds from Europe and Siberia fly to Africa between September and April, with one-third of them using Qatar as their favourite stopover.
Did you know: Qatar and its islands attract around 300 varieties of migratory birds.
Qatar is incredibly rich in history and used to be one of the major trading ports of the Middle East in the 1800’s. During your exploration, your team of expedition leaders and local guides will talk you through the unique story that has defined what Qatar is today.
In the north, the UNESCO World Heritage site at Al Zubarah, was one of the most important trading and pearling centres in the 18th and 19th centuries. With trading links across the Indian Ocean, Arabia and Western Asia, here you will see the ruins take a step back in time.
Zekreet is known for its links to the oil industry, but before Oil was discovered, the Zekreet Fort was an important archaeological site that was re-discovered in the 1970’s.
During the cruise you will also have a chance to experience Qatar’s booming art scene. One of the more interesting pieces of art you will visit is East-West / West-East by world renowned sculpture Richard Serra. Set in the Brouq Nature Reserve, the piece comprises four steel plates, each more than 14m tall and is certainly worth seeing if you are interested in unique art set in unusual landscapes.