Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

MSC Cruises extends Arabian Gulf sailings by three months

CRUISE_MSC Bellissima.jpg
MSC Bellissima replaces MSC Virtuosa from 2 April calling Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha
Demand for sailings in the Arabian Gulf has prompted MSC Cruises to extend its operations in the region by three months.

On conclusion of its sailings in the Red Sea, MSC Bellissima will move to replace MSC Virtuosa calling Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

A popular destination

‘We have seen that the itineraries in the UAE and Qatar have been very popular with our guests and so to respond to this demand, we have decided to extend our presence in the region,’ explained Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises.

He added, ‘These cruises are also appealing as they are very accessible to our guests thanks to the great flight connections into Dubai International Airport. We are offering a comprehensive Fly&Cruise programme with award-winning airline, Emirates, with flights from 21 international airports, making the whole experience for our guests seamless from end-to-end.’

MSC Bellissima

MSC Bellissima’s Red Sea sailings from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia draw to a close on March 26, at which point the ship moves to the Arabian Gulf to take over from MSC Virtuosa starting April 2. From then to June 25, MSC Bellissima will sail 12 additional seven-night cruises calling Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates and Doha in Qatar.  

‘The decision to deploy MSC Bellissima for this extended part of the season was taken because this is a highly popular and well appreciated ship…’ continued Onorato. The vessel transfers to the Far East from July, sailing itineraries in Japan and China.  

MSC Virtuosa

MSC Virtuosa – which has been sailing the Gulf since November 2021 with extended stays in port and with overnights in Dubai – will reposition to Southampton, UK where it will homeport through summer.