MSC Cruises christened its newest flagship MSC World Europa at the brand-new Grand Cruise Terminal in Doha, Qatar yesterday (November 13).
The naming ceremony was hosted by comedian, producer and entrepreneur, Hamad Al Amari, and guests were treated to experiences from local artists, a cutting-edge video-mapping projection onto the ship’s hull, a drone show and a performance by international singer Matteo Bocelli.
The 47m-wide ship spans 22 decks and boasts more than 40,000 square metres of public space. As the line’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered vessel, it is their most environmentally advanced to date.
Speaking exclusively to Cruise Adviser, Antonio Paradiso, MSC Cruises managing director UK and Ireland said: “This ship is a game changer – I’m always excited when we launch the first of a new class of ship, and this is the natural evolution of the last two prototypes; we’ve taken the best of both but added even more.
“But it’s an ongoing exercise and you never stop learning – while our DNA hasn’t changed, what’s changing is how we use the space.”
“MSC World Europa is our most innovative and exciting ship to date. We’re already seeing a surge in bookings and it is proving to be the most popular ship for UK guests following MSC Virtuosa, which is based in Southampton year-round.”
The naming ceremony was part of MSC’s overall commitment to Qatar, reinforcing its support for the growth of international tourism there, as well as the broader Middle East region.
“Winter cruises in the Middle East have always been a success with our UK guests and in recent years we have expanded our offering in this popular region,” said Paradiso.
“We have developed new itineraries that include Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as well as, of course, Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and we have also increased the number of ports of embarkation.”
MSC World Europa will spend its inaugural season in the Gulf offering seven-night cruises from Dubai, before heading to the Mediterranean in summer 2023, offering seven-night cruises calling the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseille in France.