Business Traveller (Middle East)

MSC Cruises to base its new and most environmen­tally advanced ship in the UAE


THE UAE WILL BE the base for the largest and most environmen­tally high-performing passenger ship to sail in the Middle East, MSC World Europa, from next winter.

The vessel’s Swiss-based owner and operator, MSC, will also dedicate a second ship, MSC Opera, to the Gulf region for the 2022/23 sailing season with a view to becoming the region’s number-one cruise line for holidays at sea.

From December, MSC World Europa will be based in the UAE, offering seven-night cruises from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Sir Bani Yas Island, Dammam in Saudi Arabia and Doha in Qatar.

MSC Opera will operate a different itinerary from Dubai and Abu Dhabi with visits to Sir Bani Yas Island, as well as Muscat and Khasab in Oman. The seven-night cruise finishes with an overnight stay in Dubai.

MSC World Europa is currently under constructi­on at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France and will be delivered in October 2022 before she sets sail for the Arabian Gulf to operate cruises from December until March 2023.

The 2,626-cabin vessel will be able to accommodat­e up to 6,762 passengers and will be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG), the first vessel in MSC Cruises’ fleet to use the cleanest fuel currently available at scale for ocean cruise ships.

MSC Cruises said shares the UAE’s ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and the LNG-powered MSC World Europa represents a major milestone in the company’s strategy to achieve its goal of eradicatin­g carbon emissions.

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