MSC Cruises has signed a long-term agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports for preferential berthing rights at both the Zayed Port and Sir Bani Yas Island.
Port Zayed is the main cruise passenger gateway to Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, and Sir Bani Yas is a beach oasis located 170 kilometres/110 miles off the UAE coast. The contract was signed at the line’s Geneva, Switzerland headquarters by its CEO Gianni Onorato and Noura Rashid Al Dhaheri, Director of Cruise Business, Abu Dhabi Ports.
Abu Dhabi is a very important embarkation port and popular destination for ashore visits during winter cruises and MSC is currently serving the city and Sir Bani Yas Island with MSC Bellissima and MSC Lirica.
MSC Lirica will return to Abu Dhabi and the Gulf in winter 2020-21 to be joined by the highly-innovative MSC Seaview, a ship especially designed to operate in warmer weathers. During the season the region will held the EXPO 2020 Dubai and MSC has become the Authorised Ticket Reseller and will offer to ship’s guests packages to visit the Universal Exposition.
Abu Dhabi Ports has also announced plans to design and construct a new cruise jetty at Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach. The new 100 million-dirham ($27 million) new jetty project will be completed in Q4 2020, in time for the launch of the 2021 cruise season. The expansion will allow two vessels to dock at any given time and provide up to 5,000 passengers with direct access to embark and disembark at an accelerated rate on the southeast beach of Sir Bani Yas Island.
Looking further ahead, MSC will deploy the future flagship MSC Virtuosa to the Gulf region for winter 2021-22.
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