Discover Qatar has announced the launch of its very first expedition cruise series.

It will offer guests an experience travelling in luxury and comfort around the destination’s coastline.

The cruises, which are designed for seasoned and adventurous travellers, provide a unique opportunity to observe the largest gathering of the world’s largest living fish – the Whale Shark – in the Al Shaheen marine zone.

Whale Sharks, often referred to as ‘gentle giants’, are estimated to have existed for 60 million years.

They can live up to 100 years and grow up to 12 metres in length – about the size of a large school bus.

Between the summer months of April and September, during their annual migration to the region, Whale Sharks are found feeding in groups of hundreds in the Al Shaheen marine zone within the Arabian Gulf, which lies 80 kilometres off the northern coast of Qatar.

The Discover Qatar expedition cruise will give passengers the privilege of accessing the Al Shaheen restricted marine zone – a diverse ecosystem of immense natural beauty – to witness the majesty of the Whale Shark gathering, as well as a unique coastal exploration adventure.

Discover Qatar is the destination management subsidiary of Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar is a unique setting for expedition cruises, and I am hugely excited to launch our first product in this area to show off our country’s beauty to the world.

“Qatar, with its abundance of rugged, untouched nature, surrounded by crystal waters and a unique biodiverse ecosystem, offers exciting adventures that allow visitors to connect with nature and visit areas of Qatar that are only accessible by the sea.

“Also, our guests will have the unparalleled opportunity to observe the biggest gathering of the world’s largest fish – the Whale Sharks.”