MSC Cruises became a part of the cruise industry only within the last couple of decades. Being supported by the 40 years of expertise attained by its parent shipping firm, however, means that the cruise company is already recognised worldwide for its elegance and refined service, both on board and off.
The MSC Cruise experience has been shaped over the years by its Mediterranean influences, specialising in traits such as warmth, hospitality, an unhurried pace of living and a zest for life. It is this convivial atmosphere and the diversity of its passengers that MSC Cruises believes distinguishes it from the rest of the industry.
Following several years of unprecedented growth, MSC Cruises is now the market-leading cruise company in the Mediterranean, South Africa and Brazil. As well as sailing year-round in the Mediterranean, plus offering a wide range of seasonal itineraries in northern Europe, the Caribbean and French Antilles, South America, southern Africa, Dubai, the Emirates and Oman, MSC Cruises also offers corporate clients the chance to showcase their businesses in on-board conferences.
MSC Cruises offers corporate clients the chance to showcase their businesses in on-board conferences
The luxurious MSC Orchestra departs from Dubai and returns after 7 nights
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Khor Fakkan/Al Fujayrah, UAE
For the upcoming 2014-15 cruise season, MSC Cruises will be offering extended itineraries in Dubai and the Emirates. The natural appeal of the region means that business meetings and conferences are being held there more and more frequently, making it a more common destination for business travellers across the globe. Antonio Paradiso, MSC Cruises Executive Director, Emerging Markets, said: “The addition of four more cruises is a response to the increasing demand for Dubai-based itineraries from all around the world. The Gulf is an amazing destination that contributes to creating an exotic journey that can be enjoyed by all.”
Concerning MICE events, he added: “It is also important to stress the fact that the new multi-entry visa system recently implemented by the UAE has made multi-stop trips easier and cheaper for cruises, hence increasing the demand for the region which sits half way between Europe and South East Asia. Tourists, but most importantly business travellers, will find Dubai more attractive and we are ready to assist them in their search for the perfect corporate event.”
Dubai will also be the port of departure for the first ever MSC voyage to Australia. This journey will see the MSC Orchestra leaving the shores of the UAE to embark upon an epic 33 night journey, taking guests to India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia on the way.
MSC Cruises’ immediate response to this increase in tourism in the region, along with its Business Destinations award for Best MICE Cruise Company in the Middle East, 2014, suggests the lengths that this company has been going to in order to target the influx of business travellers who are looking for something more unique in the area. Mr Paradiso said: “Receiving this Business Destinations award means a lot to us at MSC Cruises. We have worked hard to please all our guests, especially our business guests, and it’s good to see that it shows.”
Exploring the world
A voyage on the MSC cruise ship MSC Orchestra gives passengers the opportunity to explore unique cities across the world. Its journey to Oman departs from the port of Dubai, an ultramodern city that remains steeped in tradition and is flanked by both the coast and the edge of the Arabian Desert. Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates: its geographical location has meant that since the beginning of the 20th century the city has become an important centre for trade, and has consequently made it one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.
The first leg of the journey brings travellers to Abu Dhabi. The UAE capital boasts a spectacular skyscraper-filled skyline, earning the city the nickname ‘the Manhattan of Arabia’. This city is not just famous for being the capital of the United Arab Emirates, but also for being home to some of the most impressive buildings in the world; for example the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. The mosques of Abu Dhabi are some of the largest in the world, with over 1,000 columns covered with marble panels and inlaid with lapis lazuli, red agate, amethyst, abalone and pearls.
As the ship continues on its way, passengers are given the opportunity to discover the region in more depth: a call at Khor Fakkan gives guests access to the spectacular snorkelling of the Middle East, as well as walks through lively souks, archaeological sites, the Hajar Mountains, and the dry river beds known as the wadi.
The MSC Orchestra will then follow the coastline and head to Oman. Muscat, the capital city, is one of the largest ports in the world and has a rich history that is visible in the forts of Al Jalali and Al Mirani; boasting many souks and traditional buildings such as the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. The town of Khasab, a settlement of fishermen and Bedouins, is known as ‘the Norway of Arabia’ due to its landscapes that recall the Scandinavian fjords.
MSC Cruises invites its passengers to embark upon an exploration of modern luxury teamed with natural wonders. The contrasts in locations and views promise to surprise and delight, from the sensational on-board conferences to the exhilarating ocean skylines; the desert safaris of Abu Dhabi to the futuristic cityscape of Dubai.