MSC Cruises Introduces New Arabian Gulf Itineraries for MSC Bellissima

Author: Isabella Sullivan

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The two-week adventure will call on a host of beautiful Arabian nations, from glitzy Dubai right through to the intriguing port city of Khasab

There’s a whole lot more to cruising the Arabian Gulf than just stopping off in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and MSC Cruises is on a mission to broaden travellers’ horizons by introducing new two-week itineraries.

Giving passengers a total of 14 glorious Arabian nights, the voyages will take place on the brand’s latest and most extravagant addition to its fleet, MSC Bellissima, with cruises starting on 28th November 2019.

The new itineraries were launched to complement the cruise line’s partnership with Qatar Airlines, with passengers able to fly from London to Doha as part of a Fly&Cruise package, before having a day to explore the exciting Gulf city.

MSC Bellissima, mega ship, christening, cruise
The voyages will take place on MSC’s extravagant new addition, MSC Bellissima

After a day of exploring the city’s stylish shopping malls, colourful souqs and postcard-perfect beaches, travellers will board MSC Bellissima to begin their Arabian adventure, with the ship docking in a total of nine exciting ports.

Ensuring guests have plenty of time to soak up Dubai’s eclectic and glitzy atmosphere, the ship will spend over 35 hours in port (two overnight stays), allowing guests to see the world’s tallest building, one of the largest shopping malls and experience its vibrant nightlife.

Along with Dubai, other UAE stops will include Abu Dhabi – rich in culture and famed for its ornate mosques – and MSC’s private island of Sir Bani Yas – home to the Arabian Wildlife Park, with its roaming giraffes, cheetahs and gazelles.

msc cruises arabian gulf
Guests will have the opportunity to venture into the deserts of the UAE

Venturing out of the UAE, MSC Bellissima will also call on the Omani capital of Muscat, which is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East.

While docked, cruisers will be able to see sights such as the fish market, famous Portuguese fort and the world-famous Muttrah’s Souq.

Less frequented than its glitzy Middle Eastern counterparts, Oman’s port city of Khasab is also on the ship’s itinerary, known as The ‘Top of the Emirates’ due to its northern location.

MSC cruises arabian gulf
Passengers can visit Bahrain’s Al Fateh Grand Mosque

Founded by the Portuguese in the 17th century, the city’s centuries-old port is worth a see, with MSC offering a host of ‘interesting excursions’ for travellers.

Finally, the ship will dock in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the small island nation off the coast of Qatar. Famous for its plethora of forts and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Qal’at al-Bahrain, Bahrain is also home to its own Formula 1 Grand Prix and has a growing foodie and arts scene.

msc cruises arabian gulf
Oman’s Muscat mixes glitzy high rises with 17th-century forts

In addition to its new 14-night cruises, MSC Bellissima will also offer more compact seven-night cruises around the Gulf, with guests embarking in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Along with the line’s new flagship liner, MSC Lirica will also be deployed to the Gulf later this year, offering 11-night cruises as well as 14-night cruises that also dock in India.

To get planning your Arabian adventure, visit