Monday, October 18, 2010

MSC Cruises Announces 2011-12 Cruises

MSC Cruises is adding the United Arab Emirates to its 2011-12 winter cruise destinations.

The elegant MSC Lirica will be based in Abu Dhabi for the 2011-2012 winter season. The season includes a full schedule of 19 7-night cruises from Abu Dhabi, with departures every Sunday from October 30, 2011 through March 4, 2012, and from Dubai, with departures every Friday, from October 28, 2011 to March 9, 2012.

MSC Lirica will call at the port of Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman, Al Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, the island Kingdom of Bahrain and include two unforgettable and unprecedented nights in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The luxurious 59,000-ton MSC Lirica, which can host as many as 2,069 guests in 780 cabins, features a sophisticated and elegant decor, superb attention to details in all areas, the finest Italian and international cuisine and a dazzling array of entertainment and activities. The ship includes shops, a casino, a card room and the 713-seat Broadway Theater. Guests can choose from four different restaurants, soak up the atmosphere of the Lord Nelson Pub, chill to a variety of musical styles in The Beverly Hills Bar or dance their hearts out in the Blue Club Discotheque.

On October 14, 2011 MSC Lirica will depart from Genoa, Italy, for a 16-night cruise to Abu Dhabi to start her first cruise season in the United Arab Emirates. Her southbound course will take her from the Mediterranean Sea with calls in Naples, Italy, and Port Said, Egypt, through the Suez Canal to Aqaba in Jordan, Salalah and Muscat in Oman and, finally, to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Arabia will say farewell to MSC Lirica five months later, on March 11, 2012, when she starts her 17-night northbound return cruise from Abu Dhabi to Genoa in Italy. Scheduled stops are Al Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, Muscat and Salalah in Oman, Safaga in Egypt, Aqaba in Jordan, Port Sokhna in Egypt and through the Suez Canal to Port Said before calling in Naples and Genoa.

Ports of call during the Arabian itinerary include:

· Abu Dhabi is a cosmopolitan metropolis rich in splendor, from the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the world with its 800 domes and 1,000 columns, to the Heritage Village, Emirates Palace and Al Ain archaeological site with its palace museum. Guests can head into the desert to enjoy the thrill of a roller coaster-like ride through sand dunes or stay in the city for some of the finest, most sophisticated shopping in the world.

· Dubai is an ultramodern city steeped in tradition, flanking the coast with a natural creek on the edge of the Arabian Desert. Guests will delight in its worlds within worlds, discovering Ajman’s famous museum and souk, taking a leisurely tour of the city in a traditional Dhow after dinner, traversing the desert’s golden dunes in a 4x4 or bathing in the natural pools at Hatta.

· Bahrain means “two seas” in Arabic, referring to the freshwater springs of this magically unique archipelago of 32 islands, famed for its pearls since the Persian Empire. Guests can prepare themselves to be inspired by the prehistoric Royal Tombs and pottery at A’ali, alongside modern achievements that include the International Motor Racing Circuit and the 15-mile King Fahd Causeway to Saudi Arabia.

· Al Fujairah is a jewel of history and nature, set in majestic hillsides and wadis inhabited since the Iron Age. Visitors will marvel at its atmospheric old city and 17th Century fortress, Al Bithna Oasis, with its prehistoric tomb, and the exquisite village of Masafi in the Hajar Mountains. Sun-seekers will find paradise in its scenic secluded beaches.

· Muscat has been renowned as one of the world’s greatest ports since Ancient Rome. Guests can journey through time in the breathtaking Al Jalali and Al Mirani forts, the bustling souk, the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Mosque and the Beit Al Zubair museum. Then they can treat themselves to the timeless natural fragrances of the exclusive Amouage perfumery.


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