Tuesday, 26 October 2010

MSC Lirica to be based in Abu Dhabi

By guest blogger Steve Newman

Abu Dhabi's ambition to become an international cruise hub has received a significant boost following the signing of a landmark co-operation agreement between Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and MSC Cruises that will see the company deploy one of its top vessels to the UAE capital on a home-port basis from October 2011. Abu Dhabi's Mina Zayed Port will serve as the primary embarkation and disembarkation point for MSC Lirica.

Surrounding Lirica's 19 regional forays will be repositioning cruises from and to Genoa in Italy. On October 14, 2011, the vessel will depart Genoa for a 17-day/16-night maiden voyage to Abu Dhabi, where she will begin her maiden regional season.

A southland course will take Lirica through the Mediterranean, calling at Naples and Port Said (Egypt), before going through the Suez Canal and reaching Aqaba (Jordan). The vessel stops in Salalah and Muscat in Oman, then Dubai, before reaching her home port in Abu Dhabi. The luxury ship then leaves the UAE for Genoa on March 9, 2012.

With regional tours departing Abu Dhabi every Sunday from October 28, 2011, Lirica will travel round the Arabian Gulf peninsula to Muscat, before turning round en route for the UAE's eastern emirate of Fujairah on the Indian Ocean. It will continue heading north to Bahrain, then sail southwards to Dubai, before completing its journey in Abu Dhabi.

For further information log on to http://www.msccruises.co.uk/ or visit specialist agents The Cruise Line Ltd.