Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2023

4 8 Elisabetta De Nardo explains to Rebecca Gibson why MSC Cruises has based its first World Class ship in the Middle East and highlights the diverse experiences guests can expect MSC World Europa MA IDEN SEASON Built to push the boundaries of what is possible at sea, MSC Cruises’ newest ship MSC World Europa will be an “ultra-modern metropolis” that will be “unlike anything” else in the cruise industry when it debuts in December 2022. The vessel, which will be the brand’s first LNG-powered ship, will boast game-changing environmental technology and onboard innovations that will transform the cruise experience. To develop a diverse and innovative itinerary that would befit such a transformative ship, MSC Cruises and the brand’s vice president of port development Elisabetta De Nardo began the process in the same way as they do for every other newbuild joining the fleet: by putting themselves in the shoes of their loyal guests. “Our fundamental starting point is always to consider itineraries from the perspective of the customers who sail with us frequently and are extremely knowledgeable about both our ships and what we have to offer,” says De Nardo. “They are very excited when we launch a new vessel and often plan their cruise holidays so they can be part of the celebrations associated with a maiden season, so we want to give them a wonderful holiday at sea. “However, MSC World Europa is more than just a new ship; it is the first vessel in our World Class series and boasts a very different design to previous classes of vessels. That has added to guest anticipation, so we wanted to create the best possible maiden season.” Impressed by the growing success of its voyages in the Middle East, MSC Cruises opted to homeport MSC World Europa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), for its maiden winter season. De Nardo explains the rationale. “Our voyages in the Middle East have become popular over the past few years and we now have the largest market share in the region,” she says. “The UAE is a particularly important country for us because it has real drive and ambition and is also home to highly respected major airlines and excellent airports. “ We’ve planned an incredible 66 separate shore excursions – there’s something for everyone” MSC World Europa will be the biggest ship that MSC Cruises has ever operated in the Middle East