Just last week, the team from Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine was on board the brand new MSC Seashore for its naming ceremony at Ocean Cay in the Bahamas. Over the weekend, MSC Cruises held another naming ceremony for the other ship they launched in 2021, MSC Virtuosa. On hand in Port Rashid, Dubai was Hollywood legend Sophia Loren who christened the ship, her 17th in the fleet as well as UAE TV personality Omar Butti who served as Master of CeremoniesExecutive Chairman of MSC Cruises Pierfrancesco Vago was also on hand and was excited to begin cruising the United Arab Emirates.
“We are thrilled to host this time-honored maritime tradition ceremony in the United Arab Emirates during its Golden Jubilee year and with it, to mark our longstanding and long-term commitment to this region. This is also why this winter, MSC Virtuosa, a new and one of the most technologically and environmentally advanced ships in our fleet, will homeport in the country as part of our deployment in the Gulf region. Cruising is an integral part of the UAE’s dynamic tourism industry and, thanks to our uniquely global distribution network, we will continue to promote the country and the Middle East all around the world as an attractive vacation option to support the further growth of the tourism industry locally.”
Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri echoes the sentiment that Dubai is ready to become a leading tourist destination worldwide.
“Dubai continues to chart a course forward as one of the world’s leading tourism destinations and the cruise capital of the Middle East, as we continually strive to realize the goal inspired by our visionary leadership to make Dubai the most preferred, visited and revisited destination. Hosting the naming ceremony for MSC Cruises’ newest flagship vessel, MSC Virtuosa, in Dubai is a testament to the popularity of the city as the cruise gateway to the region. Dubai’s reputation as a cruise hub continues to grow in stature, and iconic moments and milestone events such as these reflect the crucial contribution of cruising to the city’s tourism industry. With Dubai continuing to welcome international tourists, this event will build on the momentum generated by the recent launch of the new cruise season, further fueling growth during this landmark year for Dubai featuring Expo 2020 and celebrations surrounding the UAE Golden Jubilee, and beyond.”
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About MSC Virtuosa
The 19-deck MSC Virtuosa features 10 restaurants, 21 bars and lounges, and five swimming pools. The ship will sail Arabian Sea itineraries throughout the winter season from her homeport in Dubai with calls on Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island and Qatar. The ship is part of the Meraviglia-class vessels featuring an iconic 367-ft.-long Mediterranean style promenade with an LED sky dome, serving as the social heart of the ship. Spread out along the 19 decks are fine dining restaurants, world-class entertainment, relaxing bars and lounges, boutique shopping, spa and fitness centers, an aquapark and clubs for kids from toddlers to teenagers.