Msc Cruises Announces Qatar Airways Partnership, New Longer Cruises And Additional Embarkation Port As Part Of Further Enrichment Of Gulf Cruise Offering

MSC Cruises announced that it has introduced new, extended two-week cruises in the Gulf on its latest flagship, MSC Bellissima, for the winter 2019/2020 season, with Doha, Qatar, as a new embarkation port.

New partnership with five-star-rated Qatar Airways will offer guests a seamless Fly&Cruise experience

New 14-night Gulf itinerary served from Doha, Qatar, an additional embarkation port in the region

Newly launched MSC Bellissima to spend the winter in the Gulf


Geneva, Switzerland – 23 May 2019MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America, South Africa and the Gulf, today announced that it has introduced new, extended two-week cruises in the Gulf on its latest flagship, MSC Bellissima, for the winter 2019/2020 season, with Doha, Qatar, as a new embarkation port. Sales for these exclusive 14-night itineraries are now open, with the first cruise departing on the 28th November 2019.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, commented: “We are committed to constantly enriching our itineraries and providing our guests with as many options as possible – that’s why we’re delighted to introduce a new 14-night cruise to our already diverse offering in the Gulf. We now offer a third embarkation port in this region with the addition of Doha, Qatar. We have also introduced a new partnership with Qatar Airways that will make this a convenient and easily accessible port. With these new additions, we’re able to offer a wide choice of cruises to suit any guest looking for a winter-sun holiday in the ever-popular Gulf region.’

Thanks to a new partnership with Qatar Airways, guests will be able to fly from London, Vienna, Rome, Milan, Paris to Doha as part of a Fly&Cruise package with the five-star-rated flag-carrying airline, offering total peace of mind. On arrival in Doha, guests have all day to explore the fascinating city before a sunset departure.

Qatar, and its capital city Doha, has become one of the world’s fastest-growing must-see hotspots in the last few years thanks to immense investment in fantastic facilities and attractions. This, combined with being a centre for culture and history, now attracts around two million holiday-makers a year. Whether it’s the photogenic Doha Corniche waterfront, family-friendly Aqua Park Qatar, the Arab Museum of Modern Art or simply the stunning beaches guests want – there’s no arguing that Doha is the ultimate winter-sun destination.

During these exclusive 14-night cruises, guests will be able to explore a rich itinerary of destinations, with a total of nine port calls, including:

  • Dubai – two overnight stays in the breath-taking modern city. With over 35 hours in port, guests have plenty of time to explore the world’s tallest building, glitzy shopping malls, bustling nightlife scene and much more
  • Abu Dhabi – with an eclectic mix of top modern tourist attractions and some of the world’s most well-known cultural hotspot, guests can visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World theme park or Yas Waterworld waterpark to name just a few
  • Sir Bani Yas – the highlight for many, this island destination just off the coast of Abu Dhabi is an exclusive haven for MSC Cruises guests on the day of the ship’s call. A beach oasis destination with areas for relaxing, sunbathing and swimming, guests simply won’t want to leave
  • Muscat, Oman –one of the oldest cities in the Middle East where guests can visit sites such as the fish market, the Portuguese fort and, above all Muttrah’s Souq, a must-see destination.
  • Khasab, Oman - also known as the Top of the Emirates– it’s the most “northern” city in the Emirates. Khasab is a town founded by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 17th century in the best possible natural port of the area and offers many interesting excursions.
  • Bahrain – a must-see stop on the itinerary is the Kingdom of Bahrain – a truly unique island nation close to Qatar. Known for its unique forts, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Qal'at al-Bahrain (Bahrain Fort) is a sight not to be missed

MSC Cruises will deploy two ships in the Gulf from November to March. MSC Lirica will offer 11-night cruises as well as 14-night cruises that call also to India. In addition to the new 14-night itineraries, MSC Bellissima will also offer seven-night Gulf cruises embarking in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Guests can book their Gulf cruises now – for more information please visit www.msccruises.co.za




MSC Bellissima offers a stunning array of features including innovative MSC for Me technology providing an enhanced onboard experience, furthered by the world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant, Zoe, a voice-enabled Artificial Intelligence device fitted in every cabin. Guests will be spoiled for choice with 12 international dining venues and 20 bars to choose. For exclusive entertainment, guests may opt to discover two brand new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows designed especially for MSC Bellissima or relax in the Grand Canyon-themed Water Park - an oasis for kids and families.

Featuring a 96m central promenade with an 80m LED dome, Galleria Bellissima is filled with MSC Cruises’ largest shopping area, as well as specialty restaurants and tranquil spots for shopping, eating and relaxing. In the evening, the ship comes alive with music, parties and entertainment. With 19 decks and 2,244 cabins, this marvel is full of hidden treasures to be discovered and experienced.