MSC Cruises will return to Tunisia for the summer, 2022 cruise season after a lengthy absence following the unrest of the so-called Arab Spring.
MSC Opera will call in Tunisia’s port of La Goulette (Tunis) on its Mediterranean itineraries in 2022, with at least 27 port calls scheduled for the season.
After her Middle East cruise season in Dubai for the winter, 2021/22, MSC Opera will homeport in Bari and Trieste in Italy for the summer, sailing week-long roundtrip itineraries from both cites between April and October, 2022.
Tunisia’s Minister of Tourism Habib Ammar and Minister of Transport Foued Ben Othman met with MSC’s Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago and CEO Gianni Onorato at its Geneva headquarters to agree on the planned voyages for next year.
“Tunisia is a beautiful and hospitable country that holds a special place in the heart of MSC Group, from cargo to ferries and cruises,” said Vago.
“I have no doubt that having La Goulette on our Western Mediterranean itinerary for the MSC Opera next summer will be again a great attraction for many of our guests who wish to visit this incredible country,” he added.
Tunisia is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of ancient archaeological marvels at Carthage, the charming and picturesque village of Sidi Bou Said and the Medina of Tunis with its hundreds of monuments, palaces, mosques and fountains.
“Guests of the MSC Opera can be assured that they will discover spectacular and beautiful attractions in our wonderful country and the warmest of welcomes,” said Tunisia’s Minister of Tourism Habib Ammar.
MSC Cruises and the Tunisian Ministry of Tourism also agreed to work jointly on dedicated future communications programs, particularly in Italy, France and Germany, to promote the attractiveness of Tunisia as a destination.
MSC Cruises returned to Tunisia a few years after the ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in 2011 that overthrew long-time dictator Ben Ali, which provoked a years-long process of democratisation in the country.
In March, 2015, passengers from MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises were victims of a terrorist attack at the popular National Bardo Museum during a shore excursion in Tunis, the capital.
Nine passengers were killed and a further 12 were injured, leading all major cruise lines to drop Tunisia as a port of call. However, in recent years the Tunisian government has improved security, leading MSC Cruises to return to the country.