Credit: MSC Cruises

Qatar hires MSC Opera as third floating hotel in Doha for World Cup 2022

Author: Calum Brown

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MSC Cruises has confirmed that they will deploy MSC Opera as a floating hotel in Doha for the duration of 2022’s football World Cup.

Looking for unique accommodation in Qatar, to enjoy the calm before the score?

You can now reserve a room aboard MSC Opera – operated by Geneva-based MSC Cruises – for the duration of the FIFA World Cup 2022 (20 November – 18 December).

The 1075-cabin cruise ship will dock in Doha and act as a floating hotel from 19 November through to 20 December. A variety of cabin options are available, and travellers can opt to book with breakfast only, or full board with a drinks package.

Alcohol will be served

Working in cooperation with Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, accommodation is booked on conditions of a two-night minimum, and alcohol is expected to be available onboard with MSC serving wine and draft beer.

Qatar typically limits the consumption of alcohol strictly to luxury hotels, but this rule has been eased for FIFA’s commercial partners.

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Credit MSC Cruises

Third ship for World Cup 2022

MSC Opera is the third ship hired by the Qatari government to operate as a floating hotel in Doha Port, adding much-needed rooms for the tournament.

MSC Poesia and MSC World Europa had previously been confirmed as ‘football fan hotels’ for the duration of the FIFA World Cup 2022. The advanced, LNG-powered, flagship MSC World Europa will enjoy its first posting at Doha Port after being built in France.

With all three MSC ships in port, Qatar’s government aims to provide over 5000 cabins as floating hotel rooms to help accommodate the 1.2-million expected international visitors.

The Qatari government are employing cruise ships to address a shortage of hotel rooms.

Why is Qatar using floating hotels?

Qatar’s infrastructure cannot offer the accommodation required for all teams, employees, volunteers, and fans, throughout the event. There simply aren't enough hotel rooms to facilitate the incoming crowd.

Organisers have therefore sought alternative means to provide lodgings - creating camping and cabin sites, hiring cruise ships, and encouraging fans to stay in neighbouring countries.

However, out of those other options, nothing matches the experience offered onboard one of MSC’s ships. Football fans can catch a Broadway-style show in between matches, hit the gym, or cool off in one of the various swimming pools, before feasting on beautifully-prepared meals.

You can book accommodation on MSC Opera, MSC Poesia, or MSC World Europa through our dedicated MSC page.

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About Calum Brown

Calum holds a deep interest in all things heritage and remains one of Britain’s most enthusiastic historians.

As a seasoned journalist, he has spent considerable time abroad and relishes all forms of transport. Shipping is in the blood, with a family connection to Stena Line embedded in his DNA. He also refuses to admit that 21st Century music exists.

Calum has developed a skill for bringing history alive, and always insists on making heritage accessible for everyone.