MSC and the Arabian Gulf
The world’s swiftest-growing cruise company, family-owned MSC Cruises, has moved quickly to build on Abu Dhabi’s emerging popularity as a holiday destination by establishing the Arabian centre as an international embarkation hub.
In a deal struck with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, the Italian company is to deploy one of its leading vessels to the UAE capital on a homeport basis from October, 2011, steering cruise tourism to a region which prides itself on rich history, soft sandy beaches, safaris in the desert, supremely designed giant mosques and countless contemporary additions to the city skylines.
Entry into the Arabian Gulf will see the 59,000-tonne MSC Lirica, which has a capacity to cater for almost 2200 guests in 784 cabins and suites, offer 19 eight-day/seven-night cruises.
These cruises will cover five contrasting destinations between November, 2011 and March, 2012, ports of call being Dubai, on the edge of the Arabian Desert, Bahrain, famous for its prehistoric royal tombs, Al Fujairah and its 17th Century fortress, and Muscat in Oman, one of the world’s great ports since ancient Rome. MSC Lirica will become a perfect floating resort from which to explore this special part of the world.
Lynne Clarke, managing director of MSC Cruises (Australia and New Zealand), said it was a proud moment for the cruise company to become the first to select Abu Dhabi as a homeport.
“MSC Lirica is a stylish cruise ship which will operate 95 calls and 19 rotations in the region through this new positioning,” she said. “MSC Cruise’s presence will have a significant impact on the tourism industry of Abu Dhabi, and we are just as excited in Australia and New Zealand as everyone is on the other side of the world.”
“Quick and easy, with great prices,” she summed up. “Passengers will be able to either book a fly-cruise package for the seven nights or, if they wish, stay in the UAE before or after the cruise. It’s all about choice and catering to the wishes of our clients.
“We can also offer clients a great stopover package at amazing value before passengers fly onwards to Europe.
Cruising along the Arabian Peninsula and the Mediterranean would offer a unique cruise holiday, vibrant and widely popular.”
Fly-cruise prices for the seven-night Arabian Gulf cruises begin at $2594 per person, twin share, including return economy class air fares with taxes from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.
She will end the Arabian Gulf program on March 9, 2012 with a 23-day cruise from Abu Dhabi (also possible embarkation in Dubai) to Germany, the MSC Cruises’ fly-cruise package for this holiday starting at $3524 per person, twin share, including economy class return air fares with taxes from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.
Details: MSC Cruises, phone 1300 028502, www.msccruises.com.au