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MSC Cruises and Etihad partner to bring European fly-cruise passengers to the Arabian Gulf

MSC Cruises and Etihad partner to bring European fly-cruise passengers to the Arabian Gulf
MSC Cruises and Etihad Airways announced a new partnership agreement that will benefit MSC Cruises’ guests travelling to Abu Dhabi and the UAE to join MSC Musica’s winter 2105/16 Middle East cruise itineraries.

Fly-Cruise packages will be offered to passengers sourced from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK - with Etihad Airways or partner airlines in its network.

Calling both companies ‘uniquely young, ambitious and dynamic market leaders’, MSC Cruises ceo Gianni Onorato said, ‘through our partnership and also together with Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority we will work to develop Abu Dhabi as an ideal winter cruise destination to further strengthen our offer in the region.’

James Hogan, president and ce of Etihad Airways, added, ‘Abu Dhabi is being developed into a leading international cruise destination, with record passenger numbers and ship calls reported during the recent 2014/2015 season. Future projections are even stronger, as the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal opens at the end of this year, and world-class cultural attractions such as Abu Dhabi’s Louvre and Guggenheim museums enhance the local tourism offering.’

Contributing nearly 20%, in terms of market share, to Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise season, MSC Cruises brought over 100,000 passengers from 115 nationalities to the Emirate between 2011 and 2015.

Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise season, that ran from October 2014 until May 2015, welcomed a record 200,407 passengers and 94 ship calls.

‘Our innovation in service and infrastructure has been delivering a lasting impression to visitors to Abu Dhabi, supporting our mission to increase our share of the UAE’s non-hydrocarbon based GDP and to contribute further to the tourism industry,’ commented Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, ceo Abu Dhabi Ports,

From 13 December 2015 to 27 March 2016, MSC Musica will sail 16 seven-night cruises in the region from Abu Dhabi, calling Khor al Fakkan, Muscat, Khasab and Dubai.