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MSC Bellissima makes Doha debut

MSC Bellissima arriving in Doha, Qatar
The Port of Doha welcomed MSC Bellissima for its maiden call, two weeks after MSC Cruises’ announcement that two of its ships will chartered by the government of Qatar to accommodate football fans during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

MSC Bellissima, which was launched earlier this year is sailing eight 7-night cruises during the winter season - November 2019 to March 2020 - in the Gulf region.

MSC Cruises will also deploy MSC Lirica in the Gulf for this winter season with 11-night cruises as well as 14-night cruises that call also to India.

Qatar Airways partnership

A partnership with Qatar Airways makes Doha a convenient and easily accessible port for guests from the UK, France and Italy to embark MSC Bellissima as part of a fly-cruise package, says the line.

Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises said: ‘We are especially pleased to celebrate MSC Bellissima’s maiden call to Doha. It was the opportunity to celebrate another milestone of the broader partnership that our Group enjoys with Qatar and its people.’

MSC Seaview arriving in 2020/21

Next season, MSC Seaview will be calling Doha weekly, which Onorato referred to as ‘testimony of our commitment to develop further the potential of Doha as a homeport.’

MSC Europa, scheduled for delivery just months ahead of the World Cup along with MSC Poesia  will be used as floating accommodation in Doha in 2022.

His Excellency Mr Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Qatar’s Minister of Transport and Communications, added: ‘Doha Port is playing a key role in reinforcing Qatar’s position as an attractive tourist destination through securing and receiving international cruise ships, as well as providing all the facilities necessary for the growth of a sector that is considered a key contributor to the economic diversity pursued by Qatar National Vision 2030.’ 

His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, Secretary General of Qatar National Tourism Council and Group CEO of Qatar Airways, said, ‘Our partnership with MSC Cruises goes beyond adding Qatar to cruise itineraries, to supporting the development of Doha Port and ultimately offering unique accommodation experiences to the visiting fans in 2022.’

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