MSC Cruises has announced an expansion in its sailing itineraries for the 2023-24 Northern Hemisphere winter to fortify its dominance in the Middle East. With three ships set to cruise the region, two of these journeys will feature brand-new ports of call.
The MSC Virtuosa will conduct 17 seven-night trips starting from the glittering city of Dubai, UAE, meandering through the Gulf to Doha, Qatar, before making its debut call in the dynamic city of Manama, Bahrain. Further enhancing the voyage, travellers will experience Abu Dhabi and the pristine Sir Bani Yas Island in the UAE before returning to Dubai. Guests also can embark from three distinct ports: Dubai, Doha, or Abu Dhabi. Moreover, during the FORMULA 1® ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX™, from 24-26 November 2023, MSC Virtuosa will be transformed into a premium cruise ship hotel.
Following its triumphant 2022-23 season, the MSC Opera is set to return with 22 separate week-long journeys in 2023-24. These expeditions will launch from Dubai, covering Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, with an optional stop in Khasab, Oman or Fujairah, UAE, and wrapping up with the Omani capital, Muscat, before returning to Dubai.
The MSC Orchestra is also introducing a fresh itinerary for the season. From Safaga, Egypt, this cruise will offer 20 week-long voyages, covering Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Aqaba for Petra in Jordan, the newly-added Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, Sokhna Port for Cairo, Egypt, and cycling back to Safaga for Luxor. International voyagers can embark from Safaga, Jeddah, Sharm El-Sheikh, or Sokhna Port.
Highlighting the Middle East itineraries:
- MSC Virtuosa: Guests aboard can immerse themselves in the marvels of Dubai, from its iconic skyscrapers to the enchanting desert safaris. In Manama, Bahrain, they can experience the city’s rich heritage at the Bahrain National Museum or the UNESCO site, Qal’at al-Bahrayn.
- MSC Opera: Travelers can dive deep into Abu Dhabi’s cultural roots, marvel at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, or indulge in the adrenaline-pumping Ferrari World theme park. In Muscat, Oman, the historic Sultan Qaboo Grand Mosque and the bustling Muttrah Souk await discovery.
- MSC Orchestra: Venturing out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, guests can explore the historic Al-Balad or the UNESCO site, Hegra, in AlUla. Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, promises pristine beaches and a diving paradise in Ras Mohammed National Park.
For detailed itineraries, head to your professional travel advisor.