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.
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.
The MSC Magnifica will be stretched by 23 meters, adding 215 new cabins ahead of her 2021 summer season from Southampton, the company announced today.
The stretch project is valued at $140 million, according to company officials; the 215 new rooms will include 92 balcony cabins.
Other additions will include a new water park, a new shopping area, two new restaurants and a redesigned kids area.
When work is completed, the MSC Magnifica will feature two new onboard environmental advances to complement a wide range of existing environmental technologies across the company’s entire fleet: a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system. The ship will also get a shorepower system.
The UK summer season will run from May to October with cruises ranging from two to 14 nights, sailing to the Canary Islands and Madeira, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Baltic. Sales are set to open on Sept. 12.
The Magnifica is one of four ships in MSC’s Musica class of vessels, built at Chantiers de l’Atlantique and launched in 2010. She has a capacity for 2,550 guests at double occupancy.
Other Musica class vessels include the Musica, Orchestra and Poesia.
MSC previously stretched its four Lirica-class ships as more cruise operators turn to stretching vessels to add capacity.