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.

Image result for MSC Europa"
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.

Qatar to charter cruise ships to host World Cup supporters

By Phil Davies

Cruise ships are to be chartered to help accommodate football supporters at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.The Qatar Tourism Authority announced at the Cruise Shipping Miami convention that it would be contracting rooms from cruise companies as a “means of additional accommodation”.

The QTA said: “Over the past few years, QTA established a number of strong relationships with international cruise operators as well as with other specialists involved in the industry.

“This has proved to be of great importance especially that Qatar will be extensively benefiting from cruise ships over the 2022 World Cup, as a means of providing additional accommodation supply for fans and visitors over the period.

“QTA will be contracting a minimum of 6,000 rooms on cruise ships for the 2022 tournament, and is building its knowledge base to develop this sector of the maritime industry.”

The Gulf state said it would have 100,000 hotel rooms available for fans, more than the minimum 60,000 required by Fifa, as part of its bid to host the tournament.

Temporary accommodation such as cruise ships could help the QTA hit the 60,000 figure and alleviate the potential for thousands of unoccupied rooms once the tournament comes to a close, City A.M. reported.

No vacancies? River ships offer to pick up the slack

By Michelle Baran

Insight Hotel room availability an issue? Try a river cruise! That’s the marketing approach some river cruise companies are taking in places like Brazil and Myanmar where demand is outpacing hotel capacity.

For the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil this summer, Amazon River cruise specialist Rainforest Cruises has introduced five-day Manaus World Cup Amazon cruises to correspond with the World Cup matches taking place in the Amazonian city of Manaus. For $1,999 per person, based on double occupancy, passengers will cruise onboard the 24-passenger Iracema, which launched in March 2011, or the 24-passenger Victoria Amazonica, which launched in 2000.

There will be four World Cup soccer matches played in Manaus — including USA vs. Portugal on June 22 — which has a new, 42,618-seat stadium to accommodate the fans. MichelleBaran

“With that in mind and with excitement building, hotels in Manaus are likely to book up far in advance,” Rainforest Cruises told travelers in a recent release promoting its World Cup cruises.

The Rainforest Cruises World Cup itineraries are designed so that the vessels will be docked in town during the matches and sailing through the Brazilian Amazon the remaining days.

It’s not the first time a river cruise line has offered up its available capacity, however big or small, to alleviate a capacity crunch on land. There’s a similar situation taking place in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), where river cruise companies are racing to build overnight passenger vessels that can serve as an alternative to a hotel infrastructure that isn’t ready for the country’s massive increase in tourists.

Consequently, Haimark Ltd. is introducing a 56-passenger river cruise vessel in Myanmar this September; Pandaw River Expeditions will launch two additional 40-passenger river cruise vessels in Myanmar this July; Sanctuary Retreats will launch the 48-passenger Sanctuary Ananda in Myanmar later this year; and AmaWaterways is launching the 56-passenger AmaPura there this year, as well.

And thus, a hotel capacity challenge becomes a river cruise opportunity.