MSC to cruise into new Arabian home

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Teaming up with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, MSC Cruises is setting up a homeport in the UAE capital, sending its MSC Lirica to Mina Zayed from October 2011.The 59,000 tonne MSC Lirica is set to offer 19 eight day cruises with ports of call in Dubai, Bahrain, Al Fujairah and Oman’s Muscat from October 2011 through to March 2012.Both the cruise company and tourism authority expect the move to the Arabian Peninsula will steer cruise tourism to the region resulting in 2.3 million annual hotel guests by the end of 2012.“[T]his partnership provides Abu Dhabi a firm footing on the international cruise tourism map and reinforces the strategic case for a world-class, purpose-built cruise terminal in the emirate,” Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority director general Mubarek Al Muhairi said.MSC Cruises Australia and New Zealand managing director Lynne Clarke said the Lirica “is the right ship for the area”, ensuring very “destination focused” cruising.“The Emirates has always been known as a stop over destination,” Ms Clarke said.“What we’ve done is extend that.”According to Ms Clarke this “very lucrative project” will open up cruising to the Australian and New Zealand markets as much as to their counterparts “on the other side of the world”.The new cruise packages will provide cruise fans ‘down under’ with shorter cruising options closer to home, Ms Clarke said.“We can also offer clients a great stopover package at amazing value before passengers fly onwards to Europe,” she added. Check out pictures from the Australian launch of the new cruise destinations, featuring famous Australian artist and UNICEF ambassador Ken Done.last_img read more