Three MSC Ships Operating in the Middle East for Winter 2023-24

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MSC Cruises is set to offer a range of different cruises in the Middle East during the winter 2023-24 season. These 7-night voyages, with a variety of embarkation points, should help the company stay ahead of the cruising competition and offer amazing options for interested travelers in this emerging region.

MSC Cruises’ New Plans for the Middle East

On August 31, 2023, MSC Cruises announced plans to expand its operations in the Middle East for the winter 2023-24 season with a slew of 7-night cruise options. 

Guests can now enjoy sunshine and explore fascinating destinations around the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea all winter long.

As part of its Middle East efforts, the company will introduce new ports of call for two of its three sailing itineraries and offer 80,000 return air seats in total through its ‘Fly&Cruise’ program. This program aims to provide international guests with convenient and seamless travel options, combining flights with their cruise experiences.

For the company’s Red Sea sailings, MSC Orchestra will now visit the beautiful city of Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt. This new port of call ought to further enhance the cruise line’s Red Sea routes, offering guests access to the pristine beaches of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Manama Bahrain
Manama, Bahrain (Photo Credit: asims_gallery / Shutterstock)

Furthermore, MSC Cruises will also offer a 7-night Arabian Gulf aboard MSC Virtuosa, which will now visit Bahrain’s capital city, Manama.

MSC Cruises’ renewed focus on the region should help solidify its position as the leading cruise line in the Middle East and bring travelers to new and vibrant destinations.

Read Also: MSC Cruises Offering Longer Autumn Sailings That Guests Will Love

Three Ships to Sail Middle Eastern Itineraries

The three cruise vessels MSC Cruises will be operating in the Middle East for its winter 2023-24 sailings are MSC OperaMSC Virtuosa, and MSC Orchestra.

MSC Opera will embark on 22 different 7-night trips from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, plus an option between the UAE’s Fujairah or Khasab in Oman, along with Muscat, and finally a return voyage to Dubai.

For its scheduled 17 voyages in the Arabian Gulf, MSC Virtuosa will offer 7-night sailings. Dubai, Doha, Manama, Abu Dhabi, and Sir Bani Yas Island are all on the various itineraries. Doha, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi will serve as embarkation points for international guests. 

Anyone wishing to attend Formula One’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, taking place during the latter part of November 2023, should note that MSC Virtuosa will be transformed into a floating hotel for the motor racing event.

MSC Cruises and Formula 1
MSC Cruises and Formula 1 (Photo Credit: Jay Hirano Photography / Shutterstock)

MSC Orchestra will use Egypt’s Port Safaga as a homeport during the 2023-24 winter season. The 92,409-ton ship is scheduled to embark on 20 voyages (7 nights each) in total.

For its upcoming trips, MSC Orchestra is poised to sail to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Aqaba, which serves as a gateway to the enchanting city of Petra in Jordan; and calls to the coastal town of Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt. Additionally, the ship will dock at Sokhna Port, offering a gateway to Cairo, before returning to Safaga, serving as the embarkation point for the famed city of Luxor.

Travelers hailing from around the globe can commence their MSC Orchestra journeys from several different ports of departure, including Safaga, Jeddah, Sharm El-Sheikh, and Sokhna Port. A variety of initial boarding options should ensure a simple, easy-to-manage start to their adventures.

‘Fly&Cruise’ Middle East Offers

For the winter of 2023-24, the ‘Fly&Cruise’ package will offer MSC Cruises’ guests over 60,000 round-trip seats linking Europe, Canada, and South America with the Gulf region — specifically Dubai and Doha.

MSC Orchestra Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Vytautas Kielaitis /

Travelers departing from Brazil will head first to Cairo, and then commence their boarding process at Sokhna Port. 

MSC Orchestra’s Red Sea expeditions ‘Fly&Cruise’ program will offer another 20,000 round-trip air seats throughout the winter season. Accessible from European nations, this package includes flights to Hurghada in Egypt, along with air travel to Sharm El-Sheikh.

Overall, the flights and voyages MSC Cruises has planned for its Middle Eastern 2023-24 winter season will offer eager travelers plenty of options to choose from, with the convenience of round-trip travel plans to make their cruise experience a smooth and comfortable one.

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