Set sail for the Middle East with these 3 MSC Cruises voyages

The MSC Virtuosa voyaging the Arabian Gulf. Picture: Supplied

The MSC Virtuosa voyaging the Arabian Gulf. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 1, 2023


Exploring the Arabian Gulf from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to Manama in Bahrain is just one of cruise offerings to look forward to this season.

MSC Cruises has announced that it will add new ports of call for two of its three sailing itineraries in the Middle East during the Winter/Summer 2023-24 season.

The cruiseliner said the new ports of call cemented its position as as the region’s number one line.

It said it would back up its ambitious drive in the area’s growing popularity, with 80 000 return air seats as part of its “Fly&Cruise” programme with leading airlines, providing winter sunshine for international guests.

What can cruisers look forward to for the 2023 Winter/Summer season?

MSC Virtuosa

Discover Dubai’s fascinating sites. Picture: Supplied

MSC Cruises said its MSC Virtuosa would sail 17 new seven-night voyages in the Arabian Gulf from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to Doha in Qatar, the new port call of Manama in Bahrain, both Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island in the UAE and back to Dubai.

It said international guests had a choice of three embarkation ports – Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi.

In Dubai, guest would get to discover the glamorous city renowned for its dazzling skyscrapers, gorgeous desert landscapes, magnificent fountains, grand shopping malls and pristine beaches.

While in Manama, guests could acquaint themselves with the bustling and vibrant metropolis known for its stunning coastline, savoury cuisine, towering skyscrapers and rich cultural heritage and historic sites.

MSC said MSC Virtuosa would also serve as a cruise ship hotel for the Formula 1 Ethiad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix between November 24 and 26.

MSC Opera

Get lost in the captivating attractions of Abu Dhabi. Picture: Supplied

MSC Cruises said the MSC Opera would return 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.

According to MSC Cruises, guests can look forward to an abundance of cultural attractions including world-class museums, awe-inspiring mosques, exhilarating amusement parks, breathtaking desert dunes and beautiful islands in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi.

Muscat in Oman was a captivating destination full of rich history and culture with endless opportunities to create unforgettable memories.

MSC Orchestra

Explore Muscat’s rich history and culture. Picture: Supplied

The MSC Orchestra would also operate a new itinerary during the Winter/Summer 2023-24 season, from Safaga in Egypt with 20 seven night sailings to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Aqaba for Petra in Jordan, a new port of call at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Sokhna Port for Cairo in Egypt and back to Safaga for Luxor.

International guests can embark at Safaga, Jeddah, Sharm El-Sheikh and Sokhna Port.

The cruiseliner said guests would have the opportunity to uncover stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs and world-class amenities in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Guests would also experience the unique opportunity to explore a plethora of sites including Al-Balad, the old town of Jeddah which dated from the 7th century, boasting beautiful buildings and an ancient souk in Jeddah Saudi Arabia.

For more information on MSC Cruises Middle East itinerary, visit