MSC Cruises award-winning cruise liner MSC Orchestra departed Dubai Saturday on the final 7-night roundtrip Dubai to Dubai cruise of her Middle East cruise season, marking the end of one of the most successful cruise seasons in the region for the Italian cruise line.
MSC Orchestra’s final 7-night cruise will end this coming Saturday, when she will depart from the Dubai Cruise Terminal once more, but this time bound for Singapore, a two week cruise departing on February 21st that can also be booked as a much shorter three-day cruise to Mumbai.
MSC Orchestra will cruise via Singapore to Fremantle, Australia, where she will take part in commemorations to mark ANZAC Day on April 25th, which honours the soldiers of Australia and New Zealand who died in the Gallipoli campaign during World War One.
Orchestra’s cruise to Fremantle will be particularly poignant as it will mark the 100th anniversary of the WWI campaign. The 36-night cruise will depart Fremantle on March 26th bound for Rome. The ship will then re-position to Kiel and sail and number of 7 and 14-night roundtrip cruises out of the city and St Petersburg.
The position of MSC Orchestra in Northern Europe is likely to see more Middle East-based cruise passengers booking cruises on the ship, as Northern Europe is one of MSC’s most popular cruise destinations for Arabs and expats alike in the Middle East according to Antonio Paradiso, Executive Director of Emerging Markets for MSC.
“In 2014 we saw some extremely encouraging growth year on year for cruises on MSC Orchestra out of Dubai, which is a really positive indicator of what’s happening cruise-wise in the Middle East,” Paradiso told Cruise Arabia & Africa. “Around 70% of our Middle East domestic departures are expats, while the rest are locals. The most popular itineraries for Middle East domestic departures are the Med, especially eastern Med and Northern Europe.”
MSC Cruises have seen significantly greater demand for the 2015/16 cruise season as well, with the cruise line deploying MSC Musica in the Middle East cruise market later this year. However, due to greater than expected bookings in 2014, they have been forced to extend her cruise season with an extra four 7-night roundtrip Dubai cruises.