CruiseLatest flagship MSC Virtuosa to serve region in winter 2021-22

MSC jumps the queue in Abu Dhabi

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MSC Virtuoso is due to be launched officially later this year.
MSC Virtuoso is due to be launched officially later this year.

GENEVA - MSC Cruises has signed a long-term agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports for preferential berthing rights at both the Zayed Port and Sir Bani Yas Island.

Looking further ahead, we will deploy our biggest ship to the Gulf region for winter 2021-22 with MSC Virtuosa, a 331-metre-long vessel which can accommodate 6,334 guests and is due to be launched later this year,– Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises

Port Zayed is the main cruise passenger gateway to Abu Dhabi, and Sir Bani Yas is a beach enclave located 170 kilometres off the UAE coast.

Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, said the agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports “demonstrates another long-term commitment from MSC Cruises to the Gulf and it will further consolidate our position as the largest passenger cruise operator in the region”.

MSC is currently serving the city and Sir Bani Yas Island with both MSC Bellissima, and MSC Lirica.

MSC Lirica will return to Abu Dhabi and the Gulf in winter 2020-21 to be joined by MSC Seaview, a ship especially designed to operate in warmer weathers.   

“Looking further ahead, we will deploy our biggest ship to the Gulf region for winter 2021-22 with MSC Virtuosa, a 331-metre-long vessel which can accommodate 6,334 guests and is due to be launched later this year,” said Mr Onorato.

MSC Seaview, which has the cruise industry’s highest ratio of open space per passenger, will make her maiden call to Abu Dhabi on Dec.6 2020 and to Sir Bani Yas Island the following day.

Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, acting executive director of tourism and marketing at Abu Dhabi government’s  Department of Culture and Tourism, added, “This historic deal will play a significant role in positioning Abu Dhabi as a top destination for cruises in the region.

“MSC Cruises was one of the key players in helping us attract over 500,000 cruise visitors to the capital last year, and we have no doubt in the successes it will bring over the coming years.”

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