In a boost for the UAE’s growing importance as a centre for the cruise ship industry, Italy-based MSC Cruises has announced an expansion of its range of cruises to and from Abu Dhabi and Dubai for the 2018-2019 winter season, industry website cruiseradio.net has reported.
Featuring 11 and 14-night cruises, MSC Lirica will be making her debut in the UAE in November, offering longer itineraries, two overnight stays in Dubai, and cruises to India for the first time. The MSC Splendida will also sail the region during winter 2018/2019, offering shorter 7-night voyages. Cruises to India will begin in Dubai, calling at Abu Dhabi and Muscat before voyaging to Mumbai, Goa and Mangalore. MSC Cruises’ 11-night voyages from Dubai and Abu Dhabi will include calls at Sir Bani Yas, Khasab and Bahrain.
The UAE also figures on two longer cruises run by MSC which will traverse the historic Suez Canal. One, in November 2018, is a 17-day voyage beginning in Venice, calling at Piraeus and Heraklion, in Greece, passing through the Suez Canal to visit Aqaba in Jordan, and then calling at Muscat and Khasab before arriving at Dubai. In mid-March 2019, a twenty night voyage will commence in Dubai, calling at Sir Bani Yas and Muscat before going through the Red Sea into the Mediterranean, where calls include ports in Greece, Montenegro and Croatia before the end of the voyage in Venice.