This is our review of the Mariner Lounge at Hamad International Airport in Doha.
In theory this review is not relevant for 99.9% of our readers. In reality I know that quite a lot of you will be interested to see what is inside (presumably) the only airport lounge in the world exclusively for seafarers.
The website for the lounge is here.
Whilst in the airport last month I was given a tour of the three new oneworld airport lounges that have recently opened. These reviews are to come. I was also offered the chance to see the Mariner Lounge and I couldn’t resist.
Why does Doha’s airport have a Mariner Lounge?
This is an interesting story, and one which shows a genuine bit of business ingenuity.
The majority of crew working on cargo ships, and the ‘back of house’ crew on cruise ships, come from the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Russia and Ukraine. There are around 1.6 million people globally working as seafarers.
The major Middle Eastern airlines have a decent share of the market for moving these 1.6 million people to and from their vessels. It is an attractive sector to target, and Qatar Airways decided that offering a dedicated lounge for seafarers in Doha would attract the major ship operators who buy the tickets.
Where is the Mariner Lounge at Doha Airport?
It is tucked away near the Oryx Lounge, which is used by Air Canada, Air France, KLM and American Airlines amongst others, and the Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre.
We’re going totally off topic now, but here is the swimming pool in the Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre which you can access (6am to 2am) on a pay as you go basis or by checking into the transit hotel:
Back to the Mariner Lounge ….
The Mariner Lounge is exceptionally smart, especially when you consider that virtually everyone visiting it will be on a discounted economy ticket.
The lounge was originally built for another purpose but became redundant at some point, turning into the Mariner Lounge.
Here is the classy reception:
Here’s a wide shot:
The seating is very smart:
(Whilst the lounge does not look busy, this was the same for the entire airport. I was there in the late morning when there is a lull between the ‘banks’ of departures.
Whilst it’s not overrun with food, there was a decent selection of hot and cold snacks available:
How do you get into the Mariner Lounge?
According to the Qatar Airways website, access is available to:
Seafarers and offshore workers who travel on Qatar Airways flights and show valid documentation
I was told that the primary access routes are by flying on a ticket in a specific fare class allocated to the shipping companies or showing (for UK citizens) a seaman’s card or equivalent.
In reality it is very unlikely that you will ever see inside it but at least you now know what you’re missing!
You can find out more about the Mariner Lounge on the Qatar Airways website here.
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