Middle East

MSC Cruises: 3 Ships Sailing In The Middle East During 2023/2024

MSC Cruises, a prominent name in the cruise industry, is set to make waves in the Middle East during the 2023/2024 season with three of its ships embarking on captivating voyages.


  • As the popularity of cruising in this region continues to grow, MSC Cruises is strategically expanding its offering.
  • MSC Cruises is introducing new ports of call and enhancing its itineraries to provide travellers with unforgettable experiences.
  • With a fleet of modern and luxurious ships, MSC Cruises is cementing its position as a leading cruise line in the Middle East.
  • Visit www.sandtontimes.co.za for more stories.


The stunning MSC Virtuosa will be the star of the show with its 7-night Arabian Gulf voyages from the glamorous city of Dubai. This itinerary is designed to showcase the mesmerizing beauty and culture of the region. Travelers will have the chance to explore iconic destinations such as Doha in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, and the captivating city of Manama in Bahrain.


Manama, with its striking skyline, rich cultural heritage, and historic sites like the AI-Fateh Grand Mosque and Qal’at al-Bahrayn (Fort of Bahrain), promises to be a highlight of the journey. Moreover, MSC Virtuosa will also provide a unique experience for Formula 1 enthusiasts, serving as a cruise ship hotel for the Formula 1 (F1) Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.


The MSC Orchestra will set sail on 7-night Red Sea itineraries, departing from Egypt’s Safaga. This journey will take travellers to enchanting destinations such as Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Aqaba for Petra in Jordan, Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, and Sokhna Port for Cairo. Each port of call offers a distinctive blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Notably, Sharm El-Sheikh’s pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs make it a paradise for snorkelers and beach lovers.


In an effort to make the Middle East voyages even more accessible, MSC Cruises is launching its ‘Fly&Cruise’ program. This initiative includes a significant number of return air seats – over 80’000 – to ensure a seamless and convenient travel experience for guests. Whether traveling from Europe, South America, or Canada, international travellers will have the opportunity to embark on their dream cruise with ease. The program will collaborate with leading airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airways, connecting major cities to Dubai and Doha.


Middle East
Guests sailing on the MSC Virtuosa can explore the glitz and glamour of Dubai, from the iconic Burj Khalifa to thrilling dune safaris in the Arabian desert. Image: MSC Cruises

These itineraries offer a variety of exciting destinations, each with its own unique charm and attractions. The addition of Manama, Bahrain’s bustling capital, adds cultural richness to the itinerary with landmarks like the AI-Fateh Grand Mosque and Qal’at al-Bahrayn.


The MSC Orchestra’s Red Sea sailings promise adventures aplenty. From the lively city of Jeddah, guests can venture to the historic Al-Balad and even embark on an excursion to AlUla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring ancient rock formations and tombs. Sharm El-Sheikh offers a laid-back paradise, perfect for relaxation and underwater exploration in its vibrant coral reefs.


MSC Cruises’ commitment to expanding its presence in the Middle East is evident through the introduction of new ports of call and the ‘Fly&Cruise’ program. The 2023/2024 season promises unparalleled experiences, from the luxurious comfort of MSC Virtuosa to the cultural immersion provided by MSC Orchestra’s Red Sea sailings. As travellers seek to explore the wonders of this captivating region, MSC Cruises is leading the way with unforgettable cruise journeys that showcase the best the Middle East has to offer.


To discover more about these exciting itineraries and embark on a journey of a lifetime, visit the official MSC Cruises website.


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Sandton Times Correspondent

Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


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