Travellers keen go on a UAE cruise will soon be able to do so aboard the MSC World Europa, a new vessel that will sail the Arabian Gulf using one of the cleanest marine fuels available.
Currently still under construction at a shipyard in France, the MSC World Europa is set to be delivered to the cruise line in October before making its voyage to Dubai in December where it will begin winter sailings.
The mammoth passenger cruise ship will have 2,626 cabins and can accommodate almost 7,000 passengers. At over 330 metres in length, it will also have six swimming pools, 13 restaurants, an indoor promenade, aqua park and a spiral-shaped 11-deck slide, which will be the longest dry slide at sea.
Sailings will be powered by liquefied natural gas and the ship will have an underwater radiated noise management system, advanced wastewater treatment systems and a range of energy-efficient equipment.
MSC World Europa is the first in the MSC Cruises’ fleet to use cleaner fuel, something that is a key part of the company’s wider plan to eradicate carbon emissions.
“MSC World Europa will redefine the cruise experience with a variety of never-before-seen features unlike anything at sea today and the vessel will be an additional benefit to the UAE’s tourism industry,” said Gianni Onorato, chief executive of MSC Cruises.
“The ship will attract many international passengers from around the world, especially from Europe, and we hope to also see strong interest from guests from the GCC, especially the UAE”.
Winter cruising to Oman's Khasab and Muscat
It isn't the only MSC cruise ship headed for the Emirates.
The MSC Opera — a Lirica-class cruise ship — will also port in the UAE next winter.
Built in 2004 and refurbished in 2015, the 250-metre-long ship is able to reach destinations that are inaccessible to larger mega-ships. This is why the beauty of Oman's Muscat and Khasab will feature on MSC Opera's winter itineraries.
The seven-night sailings will finish with an overnight stay in Dubai to give international passengers plenty of time to explore the city.
A new jetty in Abu Dhabi
The news comes following the opening of a new jetty for passenger ships at Sir Bani Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. MSC Cruises said this new facility will be well received by cruise holidaymakers.
In November, the cruise liner held the naming ceremony for the MSC Virtuosa in Dubai. The city's largest cruise ship was inaugurated in a ceremony at Port Rashid attended by Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed, chairman of Dubai Council for Border Crossing Points Security, Hollywood actress Sophia Loren and musician Rag’n’Bone Man.
Since then, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the ship has been sailing around the Arabian Gulf and is one of the company's best-performing ships for the winter season, according to Onorato.
MSC Virtuosa will finish voyaging on Saturday, March 26, and the company has already extended the season by replacing the ship with the MSC Bellissima from April until Saturday, June 25.
The extension marks the first time that the company will offer spring break holidays at sea in the Arabian Gulf.