'MSC World Europa' passes through Suez Canal on way to Qatar for Fifa World Cup

Luxury cruise ship will be used as a floating hotel for football fans

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An enormous Dh4.1 billion ($1.1bn) cruise liner headed to the Qatar for the Fifa World Cup is currently passing through the Suez Canal.

MSC World Europa, a 205,700-tonne luxury ship, was inching through the Suez Canal, a shipping link between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, according to vessel-tracking service MarineTraffic.

The website says the liner is expected to dock at Port Rashid in Dubai on Wednesday, November 9.

The ship is on its maiden voyage and will eventually moor at the Grand Terminal in Doha, where it will be used as a floating hotel from November 19 to December 19 for fans attending the Fifa World Cup.

MSC World Europa can accommodate 6,762 guests in 2,633 cabins and has six swimming pools, 14 ocean-view whirlpools, 13 dining venues and more than 30 bars and cafes.

It will have its naming ceremony in Doha before the World Cup begins, on November 13.

After the month-long tournament, MSC Europa ― the largest ship in the company's fleet ― will spend the winter months offering cruises in the Arabian Gulf.

Two other MSC ships will set sail for Doha soon ― the MSC Poesia and the MSC Opera ― which will also be docked at Doha Port to accommodate fans.

The cruise ships have a combined capacity of 4,000 rooms and can accommodate up to 9,400 people. The cruise ship hotels will offer a variety of cabin options, from traditional and ocean-view cabins to balcony cabins and luxurious suites.

Rooms on the three ships range from $220 to $469 a night but prices can be higher during weekends.

Updated: November 04, 2022, 10:37 AM