MSC World Europa has begun her first ever cruise season in the Arabian Gulf, sailing a four day repositioning cruise from Doha to Dubai, where she will spend the winter months cruising roundtrip to Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
MSC World Europa has spend the last four weeks docked in Doha as a floating hotel ship during the FIFA World Cup 2022, but will now offer weekly cruises from Dubai until March next year.
The vessel is the largest to ever homeport in the Middle East for a full cruise season, and is the newest in the MSC fleet, having been named in Doha ahead of the FIFA tournament.
On each of her 7-night cruise itineraries, MSC World Europa will call at four ports in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These include Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Doha, and Damman.
The first in a new class of four ships known as the World Class, the 205,700-gross ton MSC World Europa was built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France.
She carries 5,400 passengers and is the largest in the MSC fleet, introducing a range of entertainment features and amenities for the first time for the cruise line, such as the longest dry slide on a cruise ship and a split superstructure that creates an indoor-outdoor space in the middle of the vessel.
This 104-meter-long space is called the Promenade. The seven deck-high area opens onto the aft of the shipwhere the Venon slide is located. In addition to sea views, the space features entertainment, retail and al-fresco dining.
Many of the ship’s 13 restaurants are located in this area, although with several dozen bars, cafes and lounges dotted around the vessel passengers will never be far from a dining or refreshment option.
MSC World Europa is essentially a hotel, resort and mall in one, with six pools, a water park, multiple children’s play areas for babies, toddlers, children, and teens, video game arcades, a theatre, spas, a salon, boutiques and shops. There are even bumper cars.
The ship is also the first LNG-powered vessel for MSC Cruises, which says the cleaner burning fuel reduces greenhouse emissions by up to 20 percent and reduces nitrogen oxides by 85 percent.