Betting for cruising Abu Dhabi holidays
The joint partnership betweeen Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and MSC Cruises will soon be providing worldwide holidaymakers with luxury cruises taking passengers along the Gulf's most inspiring shores.
Abu Dhabi’s ambition to become an international cruise hub and provide cruising Abu Dhabi holidays for worldwide travellers has received a significant boost, following the signing, between Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and MSC Cruises of a landmark co-operation agreement that will see one of the world’s fastest growing cruise operator deploy one of its top vessels to the UAE capital on a homeport basis from October 2011.
Abu Dhabi’s anticipated elevation from port-of-call to homeport status strengthens the UAE capital’s nascent cruise tourism credentials and serves as a core enabler in ADTA’s strategy to attract 2.3 million hotel guests to the Emirates by the end of 2012.
Under the terms of the agreement, Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed Port will serve as the primary embarkation and disembarkation point for the Italian operator’s maiden regional itinerary – scheduled for the 2011-2012 season - using its luxury MSC Lirica liner.
With its ultra-modern fleet, MSC Cruises’ entry into the Arabian Gulf will see MSC Lirica - a 59,000-tons vessel with a capacity of 2,199 guests in 784 cabins - provide 19 eight-day/seven-night cruises covering five destinations between November 2011 and March 2012.
“MSC Cruises is proud to become the first cruise company to choose Abu Dhabi as a homeport.” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Chief Executive Officer, MSC Cruises. “With our state-of-the-art vessel MSC Lirica operating 95 calls and 19 rotations in the region, our presence will have a significant impact on the tourism industry of Abu Dhabi”. - said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, ADTA.
The ADTA-MSC Cruises co-operation is a major coup of the authority’s Horizons Abu Dhabi programme, an incentive-based trade engagement initiative designed to attract innovative promotional concepts to stimulate consumer demand across the emirate’s rapidly-expanding tourism offerings.
The new pact will see the partners collaborate in a series of cross-marketing activities, leveraging their shared presence at international travel, tourism and cruise-specific shows. Taking in 14 different trade shows in 10 European and Asian countries, ADTA and MSC Cruises will share exhibition space for promotional purposes. ADTA and MSC Cruises will also jointly mount a year-long promotional and publicity campaign in more than 10 target markets to promote the MSC Lirica’s maiden season in the Gulf.
The luxurious MSC Lirica which will mark the official entry of MSC Cruises in the Emirates with 19 rotations in 2011-2012, features a sophisticated and elegant decor, superb attention to details in all areas, the finest Italian and international cuisine and a dazzling array of entertainment and activities.
Surrounding MSC Lirica’s 19 regional forays will be repositioning cruises from-and-to Genoa, Italy, on October 14th 2011 and on March 9th 2012.
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