MSC Cruises has announced that it has signed a long-term agreement with DP World for preferential berthing rights at Mina Rashid Port in Dubai. Thanks to the additional volumes, the cruise line will further consolidate its position as the largest passenger cruise operator in the Gulf region.
The contract was formally signed on Saturday by the line’s CEO Gianni Onorato and Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannaei, CEO, P&O Marinas & Executive Director, Mina Rashid on board MSC Bellissima, the most modern and one of the most environmentally-advanced ships deployed in the region, during her maiden call ceremony at Mina Rashid Port in Dubai.
Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, said: “This new agreement with DP World is a continuation of what has been a successful partnership and establishes a longer-term framework for our operations out of Dubai that provides our cruise ships with preferential berthing rights at the Mina Rashid cruise terminal.“
Partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai
MSC will strengthen that bond further in winter 2020-21 when the MSC Seaview will be deployed to serve the region during the Expo Dubai 2020. For MSC Cruises this will be the second partnership in a row with an Universal Exposition, after Expo Milano 2015. MSC Seaview will homeport in the hosting city, Dubai and Abu Dhabi calling Sir Bani Yas (UAE), Doha (Qatar) and Bahrain.
Working to further reduce the carbon footprint
The new deal also includes commitments from both companies to further reduce the carbon footprint of MSC Cruises’ ships calling in Dubai. This will include DP World’s implementation of a qualifying fuelling process when MSC Cruises deploys liquified-natural gas (LNG)-powered ships to the Gulf region.
MSC Cruises said last month that it will be the world’s first fully carbon neutral major cruise line in the world from 1 January 2020 with an ambitious programme where all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its fleet’s marine operations will be offset through a blend of projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take immediate action on greenhouse gas emissions. All costs for the offsets, as well as any other associated items, will be covered directly and in full by MSC Cruises.
Emirates opens first remote check-in terminal for cruise passengers
Emirates’ first remote check-in terminal, outside of the airport, was opened to provide seamless connections for cruise passengers. The Emirates check-in counters, located at Port Rashid, will allow passengers who are disembarking from their cruise ships to check in for their onward Emirates flight at the same facility.
The Emirates check-in facility at Port Rashid will have eight counters where Emirates staff will check-in customers’ luggage and issue boarding passes up to 4 hours before flight departure. The facility will be open during the sailing period from October to April. In the next 6 months, 198 cruise ships are expected to dock at Port Rashid where approximately 280,000 passengers will have onward Emirates flights.
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