MSC plans more Gulf cruises

MSC Bellissima, photo credit: Cruising With Kids UK

MSC Cruises has announced that it has introduced new, extended two-week cruises in the Gulf on MSC Bellissima, for the winter 2019/2020 season. Doha will be a new embarkation port. Sales for these exclusive 14-night itineraries are now open, with the first cruise departing on the 28th November 2019.

“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.’

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO

MSC fly cruises

Thanks to a new partnership with Qatar Airways, guests will be able to fly from London as part of a Fly&Cruise package. On arrival in Doha, guests have all day to explore the fascinating city before a sunset departure.

MSC and Qatar Airways have formed a new partnership to make it easier for more people to take Gulf cruises

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 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.

artificial island qatar
Artificial islands in Quatar, Image by Konevi

MSC Gulf destinations

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 and bustling nightlife scene
  • Abu Dhabi – guests can visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World theme park or Yas Waterworld waterpark
  • 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
  • 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
  • Bahrain – a must-see stop on the itinerary is the Kingdom of Bahrain – a truly unique island nation close to Qatar

My visit to Dubai

Burj Khalifa Dubai
The view from the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai

I recently cruised to Dubai and am so glad I had the opportunity to spend a few days exploring. Dubai is a cruise destination full of superlatives: biggest, highest, grandest! A visit to the Burj Khalifa is one thing I’m glad I did as the view really shows you how vast it is. What I was most amazed to learn is how quickly Dubai has been developed over the couple of decades. What was once just desert is now a metropolis.

Burj Khalifa Dubai
The Burj Khakifa at night

Getting out into the desert for a hot air balloon ride was a fantastic experience that I would highly recommend if dune bashing isn’t your thing. We watched the sunrise from the hot air balloon and spotted onyx, desert foxes and camels during our flight.

hot air balloon Dubai
Hot air balloon trip in Dubai

MSC Gulf cruises

MSC Cruises will deploy two ships in the Gulf from November 2019 to March 2020. MSC Lirica will offer 11-night cruises as well as 14-night cruises that call 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.

To find out more about cruising on the new MSC Bellissima, check out Cruising with Kids UK review.

Happy cruising!

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Laura is a UK cruise blogger based in Cornwall, UK. She founded Cruise Lifestyle in 2016 to share useful advice about cruising, destinations and food.
Last port visited: Bridgetown, Barbados
Next port of call: unknown, but she can’t wait for cruising to resume safely!

Find me on: Twitter



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