MSC Cruises announced that it had signed a long-term agreement with DP World concerning preferential berthing rights at Dubai's Mina Rashid Port. Due to the additional volumes, the cruise line will further consolidate its position as the biggest cruise operator in the Gulf region.
The new contract was formally signed on Saturday, December 7, by MSC Cruises' CEO Gianni Onorato and CEO, P&O Marinas & Executive Director, Mina Rashid, Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannaei, on MSC Bellissima, the most environmentally-advanced cruise ship deployed in the region, during her maiden call ceremony at Dubai's Mina Rashid Port.
The long-term agreement comes on the back of the cruise line's expecting to carry in excess of 180,000 cruise passengers in Dubai this season, which will progressively grow through the length of the agreement.
MSC Cruises is due to homeport several of its ships in Dubai throughout the term of the contract, thus consolidating its position as the number one choice for cruisers from all over the globe seeking warm winter sun in the popular Gulf region.
The new contract includes commitments from both companies to reduce the carbon footprint of the cruise line's’ ships visiting Dubai. This will include the implementation of a qualifying fuelling process when MSC deploys liquified-natural-gas-powered ships to the Gulf.
MSC announced in November 2019 that it will be the first fully carbon neutral major cruise line in the world from January 1, 2020, with an ambitious programme where all direct carbon dioxide emissions from its fleet’s operations will be offset through projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities.
MSC Bellissima will make 17 calls and spend a total of 35 days in Dubai during the winter season through March 2020 and sail on 7-night itineraries in the Gulf.
The cruise line will also deploy MSC Lirica in the region for this winter season with 11-night sailings and 14-night voyages that call also to India.