Qatar Charters Two MSC Cruises Ships as Hotels for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Qatar has signed an agreement with MSC Cruises to charter two ships to accommodate fans during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

The two ships, with a combined capacity of nearly 4,000, will act as floating hotels during the tournament. They will be berthed at Doha Port.

According to Qatar, chartering cruise ships for fans has long been part of its accommodation strategy, with the country keen to offer sustainable solutions for the month-long tournament, which will kick-off on Nov. 21, 2022.

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MSC Europa

Under the terms of the agreement, the State of Qatar will charter MSC Cruises’ MSC Europa and MSC Poesia. Scheduled for delivery in 2022, the MSC Europa is currently under construction at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France. As the first LNG-fueled ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet, she will run on this fuel while at berth in Doha. Being the most environmentally friendly marine fuel currently available, her air emissions will thus be kept to a minimum, according to a statement from MSC.

The cruise ships will be served by shuttle buses which will take fans to Qatar’s transport infrastructure, including Doha Metro, from where they will be able to access stadiums, fan zones and other attractions.

In addition to floating hotels, Qatar’s other accommodation options will include hotels, apartments and fan villages.

FEMA Carnival Charter Cost $74.7 Million

Carnival Fascination

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) charter of the Carnival Fascination will cost the agency $74.7 million, according to the contract between FEMA and Carnival Corporation, which was obtained by Cruise Industry News through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The ship was chartered to provide housing for relief staff in the United States Virgin Islands following a number of hurricanes in September.

The charter period runs from October 11, 2017, to February 3, 2018, at a cost of $39.7 million, while a separate provision for port costs and other vessel costs comes in at $35 million, totalling $74.7 million.

By comparison, a 116-day operating period for the 2,056-guest Carnival Fascination would have resulted in gross revenue of approximately $44.2 million (versus the $39.7 million for the charter), calculated using gross revenue per passenger day reported by Carnival Corporation in the fourth quarter of 2016 and analyzed by Cruise Industry News.

By comparison, FEMA chartered the Grand Celebration in a similar deal for $25.8 million. 

The contract stipulates Carnival will provide three hot and cold buffet meals per day as well as drink availability (water, coffee, tea, juice) between meals. Staterooms will be cleaned on a weekly basis. In addition, Carnival will provide access to public spaces for FEMA personnel.

The separate $35 million line item includes docking and port fees in San Juan, various logistics provisions, waste removal, fuel costs, incremental costs related to crew compensation, and the “refurbishment of the ship at the end of the charter period to bring the ship to the same standards as the beginning of the charter period.”