The Cruise Division of MSC Group in partnership with Qatar Airways today announced that the naming ceremony for MSC Cruises’ first liquefied natural gas-powered ship, MSC World Europa, will take place on November 13 in Doha, the capital of Qatar, according to a press release.
The new ship will also officially inaugurate the port of Doha’s new Grand Cruise Terminal.
The announcement is part of MSC’s overall commitment to Qatar and the continued importance of the Middle East, where MSC Cruises is brand leader, and also supports Qatar’s Vision 2030 pledge to triple the number of international tourists visiting the country by that year, the company said in a prepared statement.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division of MSC Group, said: “We are incredibly proud that in November we will name our most innovative, futuristic and the world’s largest environmentally-focused cruise passenger ship in Doha. MSC World Europa represents the future of cruising, a totally new platform that will provide our guests with an unforgettable cruise not experienced anywhere before, so it is fitting that this monumental event will take place in one of the seven new Urban Wonders of the World and inaugurate the city’s magnificent new Grand Cruise Terminal.
“Qatar will continue to play an important role in our strategy to expand our presence in the broader Gulf region as we see greater demand from our guests to visit this culturally rich and yet fully discovered part of the world. I would like to thank Qatar Airways for its collaborative partnership and strong support in making this event happen.
“And it is only fitting that this event marks the coming into service of the highly anticipated MSC World Europa, the first in our trailblazing ‘World Class’ of ships that introduces a completely new cruising platform that boasts future-proof marine and onboard hospitality technologies, state-of-the-art environmental technologies as well as ground-breaking and ultramodern design. The ship will become the biggest and most environmentally high-performing passenger ship to sail out of Doha and across the Middle East and welcome guests from around the world for the winter 2022/2023 season.”
His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, added: “Qatar has taken important steps to position itself as a world class destination for cruise passengers and the naming ceremony of MSC World Europa in Doha is another landmark event as we grow this important tourism sector. As Qatar places great importance on sustainability, it is fitting that we host this ceremony for such an environmentally focused cruise ship. In addition, the opening of the new Grand Cruise Terminal is a state-of-the-art facility that firmly puts Qatar on the map for cruise ships and positions Doha as one of the most modern ports in the world.”
The ship naming ceremony will take place at Doha’s brand new Grand Cruise Terminal, a 24,000 square meters facility that will handle up to 28,000 passengers a day and has the capacity to host two mega-cruise ships a day.
The ship will sail her maiden voyage on Dec. 20, offering seven-night cruises with calls at Doha in Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates, plus Dammam in Saudi Arabia.
For the upcoming winter season the MSC Opera will also offer seven-night itineraries in the Gulf region with calls at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas island, plus two destinations in Oman – Muscat and Khasab.
The MSC World Europa will then move to the Mediterranean Sea next March where she will offer seven-night cruises to the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseille in France.