World Cup 2022: Qatar bay cruise ships fill up as cabins go for $800 a night

Two vessels docked in Doha can carry nearly 10,000 guests between them

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Two cruise ships docked in Doha's West Bay offer some of the more expensive options for fans attending the World Cup later this year.

The luxury cruise liners ― the four-star MSC Poesia and five-star MSC World Europa ― will between them offer more than 3,800 cabins capable of accommodating just under 10,000 guests.

While accommodation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is likely to be more expensive than normal, fans who decide to book a night on board the MSC Poesia can expect to pay at least $179 per night including breakfast, for a room with no windows, the official website shows.

A suite on the 'MSC Poesia'. Photo: MSC Cruises

With a minimum of two nights' stay for most bookings, fans are looking at paying at least $358 per stay for a room that accommodates up to two guests.

The cheapest rate available on board the MSC World Europa is about $350 for a double/twin room, with a buffet breakfast. The most expensive room is priced at about $795, can sleep four and comes with full board.

Dates are already starting to fill up, with rooms unavailable from November 23 to December 2 on the MSC Poesia and from November 26 to December 1 on the MSC World Europa.

Both cruise ship hotels offer a variety of cabin options, from traditional and ocean-view rooms to those in the interior that have no windows.

Those who book the MSC Poesia will have access to three swimming pools, spa and wellness centres, a poolside cinema, tennis and basketball court, as well as restaurants and bars.

The MSC World Europa, which launched in December, has the longest dry-slide at sea, six swimming pools, 14 ocean-view Jacuzzis, spa and wellness centre, shops and a collection of restaurants and bars.

Prices increase

While the price per room remains the same throughout the tournament, the number of minimum nights per stay can increase, the nearer the dates are to the closing stages of the tournament, depending on the choice of room and ship.

For dates around the semi-final, a three-night minimum stay is expected, while for the final and third-place play-off, there's a minimum stay of four nights.

For the World Cup final, the cheapest four-night stay on board MSC Poesia is $717, including buffet breakfast.

The 'MSC Poesia' has a large pool area on board. Photo: MSC Cruises

The most expensive cabin for the final is on the MSC World Europa, at $3,183 for four nights ― in a room that sleeps four, offers sea views and includes full board.

Moored at Doha’s Grand Terminal during the tournament, the ships will be situated 10 minutes by shuttle from the centre of Doha, Souq Waqif. The closest World Cup venue will be Stadium 974, less than two kilometres away.

Various options have been announced by World Cup organisers, including a desert camp that will set you back $207 per night, with two single beds or one double on offer.

The camp quarters have bathrooms, fridges, Wi-Fi and housekeeping, with restaurants and takeaways available in the village.

Fans struggle to find accommodation

Tickets for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are some of the most sought after in the tournament’s history, with 804,186 allocated in the first round of applications from 17 million requests.

In total, slightly more than three million tickets were made available, but one million have been reserved for Fifa and its partners.

Hotels are likely to be allocated to qualified teams before they are advertised for paying supporters, as many are already booked out for the tournament's duration.

Airbnb accommodation is another option for fans, although prices more than quadruple from the start to the end of the tournament.

A Hayya card gives fans with a match ticket a visa to enter Qatar, stadium access and free public transport. But to register, they need to provide their accommodation details.

Updated: May 09, 2022, 9:40 AM
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