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A trio of MSC Cruises ships to spend the 2023/24 winter in the Middle East


The upcoming winter season will provide a variety of opportunities for cruisers to enjoy the Arabian Gulf with MSC Cruises.

MSC Virtuosa will be based in Dubai for the 2023/24 northern winter.

MSC Cruises will deploy three ships in the Middle East for the upcoming 2023/24 winter, with the trio set to unlock a range of new ports for the European line.

Bahrain’s capital city of Manama will become a debut port of call for MSC Virtuosa on her maiden seven-night Arabian Gulf voyages from Dubai.

Guests can acquaint themselves with the city by visiting some of its most intriguing landmarks, including the striking AI-Fateh Grand Mosque, featuring the largest fibreglass dome in the world.

International guests have a choice of three embarkation ports on this sailing: Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi.

MSC Virtuosa's atrium is a kaleidoscope of shiny silver and blue.

MSC Virtuosa will also serve as a cruise ship hotel for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix to be held between November 24 and 26.

MSC Orchestra will welcome a new port of call in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, further enhancing the cruise line’s Red Sea itineraries.

Highlights of this new destination include the Al Mustafa Mosque, a trip to the golden sand beaches of Naama Bay, or discovering the nearby Ras Mohammed, a national park famous for having some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world and for being a haven for rare marine life.

The ship will operate a new itinerary during the Northern Hemisphere winter 2023-24 season with 20 seven-night sailings from Safaga in Egypt.

MSC Opera returns to the region after a successful 2022-23 season with 22 separate seven-night sailings in 2023-24 from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, either Khasab in Oman or Fujairah in the UAE, the Omani capital Muscat and back to Dubai.

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Written by: Jon Underwood
Published: 5 September 2023

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