Sunday, July 3, 2022

MSC Cruises unveils its new crusieliner MSC Virtuosa in Dubai

The official naming ceremony of the MSC Virtuosa, the new luxury liner launched by MSC Cruises, took place in Dubai ahead of her inaugural cruise season in the Arabian Gulf, where the cruiseliner’s godmother Sophia Loren officially named the liner.

Equipped with some of the latest marine technologies available, MSC Virtuosa is one of the world’s most environmentally advanced cruise ships. No effort has been spared to minimize her footprint. MSC Cruises shares the UAE’s ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and MSC Virtuosa represents yet another milestone on the journey towards reaching this goal.

MSC Virtuosa can carry up to 6,334 passengers and 1,704 crew and is set to serve the Arabian Sea until March 2022 from her base in Dubai.

His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Council for Border Crossing Points Security said: “Dubai’s glorious seafaring legacy, which is an integral part of its cultural heritage, has inspired its development as a major global maritime destination. The emirate’s status as a leading international maritime hub has significantly strengthened its position as a pivotal global trade and tourism centre.”

Furthermore, His Highness noted that “Dubai’s renewed growth as an international cruise tourism hub, overcoming the repercussions of global challenges in the industry, is testament to the vision of the leadership to create an infrastructure that surpasses the world’s best. The accelerated rebound of its cruise industry also reflects Dubai’s ability to adapt rapidly and flexibly to the evolving global situation and take advantage of new opportunities emerging in a changing environment.”

A long-standing maritime tradition, the official Naming Ceremony of MSC Virtuosa took place in the presence of the Master of the Vessel, Captain Francisco Veniero. The event was held in compliance with all public health and safety protocols established by the Dubai government, supported by MSC Cruises’ industry-leading health and safety protocol that allowed the line’s ships to restart operations in 2020.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said, “It is a proud moment for us to host the MSC Virtuosa naming ceremony at Mina Rashid that has consistently reaffirmed its status as a leading destination, regionally and globally. The port’s state-of-the-art facilities, passenger handling capacity and strategic location have helped us win several significant accolades, the recent being The Middle East’s Leading Cruise Port Award at The World Travel Awards 2021, received for the 14th consecutive year. To ensure that the port continues to be an integral contributor to the UAE’s economy and a significant economic pillar of Dubai, we are working to enhance its capabilities. Our sole aim is to reinforce its status as a preferred recreational facility that represents Dubai’s rich cultural heritage. Through our efforts, we will strive to ensure that the Emirate continues to gain recognition globally as a world-class cruise destination. We are also expecting a total of 126 ship calls and over 500,000 cruise visitors for the upcoming 2021/22 cruise season. This will further bolster Dubai’s tourism figures and drive our progress.”

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said, “We are honored to host this time-honoured maritime tradition ceremony in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates during its Golden Jubilee year and with it, to mark our Group’s longstanding and long-term commitment to this region. This is also why this winter MSC Virtuosa, a new and one of the most technologically and environmentally advanced ships in our fleet, will homeport in the country as part of our deployment in the Gulf region. Cruising is an integral part of Dubai’s dynamic tourism industry, and we will continue to promote the UAE and the Middle East all around the world as an attractive holiday option to support the further growth of the tourism industry locally.”

MSC Virtuosa features 10 restaurants, 21 lounges, plus five swimming pools, and will serve stunning Arabian Sea itineraries throughout the winter season.  The innovative ship stands 19-decks tall and is set to welcome guests this winter for week-long cruises from Dubai with the very best of fine dining international cuisine, world-class entertainment, relaxing lounges with the largest shopping area at sea, spa and fitness centre, an aquapark and clubs for toddlers to teenagers. The ship’s showstopping feature is its iconic 112-metre promenade with a stunning LED sky dome, the social heart of the ship.

The new liner will also be equipped with Favendo’s Real Time Location Services (RTLS) that will keep track of exactly where people and assets are located and to provide personalized information about restaurants or pools or any “point of interest” on board.

Following the naming ceremony, MSC Virtuosa will depart on November 28 from Dubai for her maiden Gulf voyage with visits to Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island and Doha.

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