MSC Cruises and Formula 1 Partner for Unique Experience

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MSC Cruises has announced a new partnership with Formula 1 to offer an unparalleled Grand Prix hospitality experience on board MSC Virtuosa during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November 2023. 

As part of MSC Cruises’ partnership with Formula 1, this unique offering promises to bring the trackside thrills of the final race of the season to the cruise ship. MSC Virtuosa will serve as a hotel for race fans throughout the weekend while docked at the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, just a short drive from the circuit.

MSC Cruises and F1 Take Partnership Further

MSC Cruises and Formula 1 are extending their partnership beyond the sponsorship around the races, as the cruise line has announced an exciting new collaboration that takes race weekend accommodation to the next level. 

F1 and MSC Cruises will provide a fully integrated Grand Prix experience to create an unrivaled and truly memorable race experience for fans of all ages.

MSC Virtuosa will be transformed into an F1 hotel during the upcoming Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix between November 24 and 26, 2023. The cruise line offers a wide range of packages to stay onboard. MSC Virtuosa has space for 4,842 guests at double occupancy.

MSC Virtuosa Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Wayleebird /

Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, commented, “Through this exclusive hospitality offering, we are bringing together the very best of two worlds – Formula 1 and MSC Cruises. By collaborating together, we are integrating the incredible atmosphere at the track with the incredible experience on board our ships to create an unrivaled and truly memorable race experience for fans of all ages.”

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the final race of the 2023 race season, which only started last week with the race in Bahrain. Guests will be able to take advantage of exclusive insider access and all-in-one race packages while sleeping comfortably onboard the 181,000 gross tons MSC Virtuosa.

Stefano Domenicali, President & CEO of Formula 1, said: “We are delighted to join forces with MSC Cruises and bring fans a unique and unparalleled hospitality experience during the season finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix™. With luxurious accommodations, exclusive insider access, and the convenience of all-in-one race packages, we’re confident that this partnership will make the race weekend truly unforgettable.”

Formula 1 and MSC Cruises have had a successful partnership since the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2022. The cruise line is the official cruise partner for Formula 1.

Race Weekend Experience

All packages include various accommodation options, including elegant cabins and deluxe suites, all with half board, complimentary Wi-Fi, and transfers to and from the track. Fans can choose from a variety of different packages that combine accommodation, race tickets, and exclusive insider access.

MS Cruises and Formula 1
MSc Cruises and Formula 1 (Photo Credit: motorsports Photographer / Shutterstock)

Guests can even purchase a package that includes a pit lane walk, a guided track tour on a flatbed truck, Formula 1 personnel appearances, and more.

The festive atmosphere will continue aboard for guests, as the specially designed program of themed activities, parties, and entertainment, as well as a dedicated kids’ program, will keep the thrills going even after the race has ended.

MSC Partnered with Major Sporting Events Before

Utilizing cruise ships as hotels during race weekends is a wise decision by Formula 1 organizers. This approach eliminates the need to construct large hotels to accommodate the thousands of race fans who attend each race while still providing them with excellent accommodations and bonus amenities.

This is not the first time that MSC has brought the world of sports to its ships. MSC World Europa played a huge role during the FIFA World Cup, housing thousands of fans from around the world in Qatar. The ship offered guests a unique and immersive football experience, complete with live broadcasts of the matches, special guest appearances, and football-themed activities.

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