Middle East Cruise News

MSC Lirica makes maiden port call in Doha as she begins new Dubai cruise season

Doha Port in Qatar received a port call from MSC Lirica this week for the first time, as the ship began her new Arabian Gulf cruise season sailing roundtrip out of Dubai.

MSC Lirica is the second ship MSC Cruises has homeporting in Dubai this cruise season. She joins her much larger fleet mate MSC Splendida, which is also cruising roundtrip from Dubai.

maiden call doha 28.11 (15)

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To mark the maiden port call by Lirica, ship agents GWC Marine presented the ship’s master, Captain Raffaele Ponti, with a commemorative crest.

MSC Lirica is a mid-sized cruise ship in the global fleet, and the smallest class operated by MSC Cruises. She holds just 1,500 passengers, making her a more intimate, traditional cruise ship than her giant fleetmates MSC Splendida, which is soon to be replaced in Dubai by the even larger MSC Bellissima.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders involved, who worked hard and in tandem to ensure a successful debut for MSC Lirica’s maiden call in Doha Port,” said GWC Group CEO Ranjeev Menon.

“Our shipping agency services is the latest expression of GWC’s sincere desire to fulfil every customer and client requirement by directly understanding their needs and offering a comprehensive and collaborative set of solutions capable of handling any project, no matter the size,” he added.

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The Doha skyline from the sundeck of MSC Lirica.

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MSC Lirica is one of several dozen cruise ships that will visit Doha Port on 126 cruise itineraries during the 2018/2019 cruise season.

The revitalisation of Doha Port into a cruise port is expected to bring significant economic returns to companies, hotels, restaurants, retail, services and tourist attractions in Qatar.

The redevelopment aims to transform Doha Port into a future hub port for cruise ships and luxury yachts of all sizes, according to a press release distributed by GWC.

However, the likelihood of Doha ever being used a regular turnaround port by any of the Arabian Gulf-based cruise lines is remote. Dubai is the current homeport for 90% of all roundtrip cruise itineraries in the region.

MSC Lirica is cruising roundtrip in the Arabian Gulf from Dubai between November, 2019 and March, 2019 on cruise itineraries from 11 to 14 nights in length that visit all the major cruise ports of the region, as well as the west coast of India.

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