MSC World Europa on Sunday night became the largest cruise ship ever to have its naming ceremony held in the Middle East.
The naming ceremony is a long-running maritime tradition that marks the official commissioning into the fleet, following on from the ship’s delivery and maiden voyage.
The event welcomed guests from all over the world and was hosted by MSC World Europa’s Captain Marco Massa and comedian, producer and entrepreneur, Hamad Al Amari.
Guests from around the world were treated to entertainment by local artists, a cutting-edge video-mapping projection onto the side of the ship’s massive hull, a huge drone show and a grand finale performance by international singer-songwriter Matteo Bocelli.
This intimate concert marked the first time the singer has presented his solo work in Doha.
The night culminated in a firework display against the West Bay Doha skyline, and a gourmet gala dinner onboard the ship.
MSC World Europa is not only the newest ship in the MSC fleet, but also the largest it has ever operated, carrying 6,700 passengers at double occupancy, with 13 restaurants, dozens of cafes and bars, a bumper car area, ice skating rink, and the longest dry slide at sea.
The Venom Drop slide descends 11 decks from the pool deck down to the promenade, a huge indoor/outdoor entertainment, dining and retail space between the split superstructure at the aft of the ship.
This space, called the World Promenade, is home to various shops and clothing boutiques, as well as The Malt Lounge overlooking the Lanai infinity pool at the stern of the ship, across from the Sweet Temptations store, selling a range of confectionary treats.
Up on the pool deck, there are seven pools, 13 whirlpools and another handful of restaurants and cafes, including the Surfer’s Bar, Box Bar, and the Aurora Borealis Water Park.
At the ceremony on Sunday night, Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, said the celebration was a reflection of MSC Cruises’ ongoing commitment to the growth of the Middle East cruise market.
The deployment of MSC World Europa to Dubai for the coming winter cruise season makes MSC cruises the brand leader in the region in terms of overall capacity, but all the major homeporting cruise lines (including AIDA, Costa, and TUI) have increased the size of ships homeporting in Dubai this season.