6 nights onboard MSC Virtuosa

Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates

MSC Virtuosa’s namesake comes from the word virtuoso, meaning someone highly skilled in any field of activity, and so MSC Virtuosa was named to pay homage to the skill and expertise of the MSC Cruises architects and shipyard partners at Les Chantiers de l’Atlantique who designed and built this innovative class of ships. This new cruise ship is one of the two largest in MSC Cruises’ fleet, along with her sister ship MSC Grandiosa, boasting an impressive array of guest features all coming together in perfect harmony to deliver the ultimate cruise holiday experience.

Leaving from: Doha
Cruise ship: MSC Virtuosa
Visiting: Doha Bahrain Abu Dhabi Sir Bani Yas Island
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MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises may be headquartered in Switzerland, but the ambience onboard its 23 ships is very much Italian owing to its owners, the Aponte family.

Ships feature a two-storey Mediterranean-style promenade and Instagram-worthy glass staircases filled with Swarovski crystals.

The line’s flagship is the 6,327 passenger MSC Euribia, which is MSC's second ship to run on liquefied natural gas.

6334
Passengers
1704
Crew
2021
Launched
181541t
Tonnage
331m
Length
43m
Width
22kts
Speed
14
Decks
USD
Currency
Cruise Itinerary
Day 1
Doha, Qatar
Day 2
Bahrain, Bahrain
Day 4
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Day 5
Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates
Days 6 - 7
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Doha, Qatar image
Day 1
Doha, Qatar
Doha (population 700,000) is the capital of the State of Qatar, an emirate occupying the small Qatar Peninsula bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and otherwise surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Qatar was ruled by many different powers through the centuries, in fact historians have traced human habitation dating back 5000 years. From its earliest history, Qatar was a very important trade route connecting Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Among its occupiers were the Portuguese, the Ottomans and finally the British during the turbulent years of the 20th century. Qatar gained independence in 1971, and with resources from oil exportation, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad made improvements in social programmes including education, health and housing. In 1995, his son, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani assumed the throne and brought with him a modern and progressive approach that quickly transformed the country. Doha, home to 80 percent of the country’s population, was founded under the name of Al-Bida in 1850. It became the capital of the British protectorate of Qatar in 1916. When the nation gained its independence, Doha remained the capital. During the early 20th century, much of Qatar’s economy depended on fishing and pearling. But after the introduction of Japanese cultured pearls, Doha and the whole region suffered a decline. Only when oil was discovered, prosperity returned following World War II. Today, the country produces over 800,000 barrels of oil daily. Doha is situated halfway down the east coast of the peninsula. It is an intriguing mixture of old and new, with ultra modern architecture next to traditional souqs and historic forts. It boasts a university and the Qatar National Museum (currently closed for renovation), which opened 1975 in what was originally the ruler’s palace. As the country’s cultural and commercial centre, Doha enjoys excellent communications with the outside world through its modern seaport, airport and telephone links. The Al Jazeera Arabic satellite television news channel began broadcasting in 1996 with its headquarters in Doha. While Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken. Please Note: Conservative dress is required when going ashore. As a rule, women should not wear miniskirts, shorts or sleeveless tops and men should always wear a shirt in public. Please do not photograph people without their permission, especially women.You may not take pictures of government buildings, embassies or anything military in nature, including airports.
Bahrain, Bahrain image
Day 2
Bahrain, Bahrain
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates image
Day 4
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Just a few decades ago, Abu Dhabi, the island capital of the United Arab Emirates, was a small fishing village with houses made of mud-brick and palm fronds. Today, as a result of revenue from oil, Abu Dhabi is one of the world's richest cities, with wide, tree-lined okulevards, lush green parks, gushing fountains and imposing skyscrapers. Somewhat of a dichotomy, Abu Dhabi is a combination of ultra-modern sophistication and Arab mystique, with friendly and hospitable people offering a warm welcome to visitors. Abu Dhabi's history originated in the 18th century, when, according to legend, a group of tribesmen pursuing a gazelle came upon a freshwater well which they named Abu Dhabi, or "Father of the Gazelle". In the 19th century, the first fort was built over this well by a sheikh of the Al-Nahyan dynasty. The fort's name is Al Husn Palace, also known as Old or White Fort, and it is one of the few buildings in Abu Dhabi that is more than 25 years old. Its whitewashed walls are eye-catching amid the backdrop of today's skyscrapers. Presently, it is home to the Cultural Foundation and serves as a documents centre. Abu Dhabi had little significance until the discovery of vast oil reserves in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the years following, the city's economy and infrastructure developed rapidly and changed Abu Dhabi beyond recognition.
Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates image
Day 5
Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates
Dubai, United Arab Emirates image
Days 6 - 7
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai sits on a golden sandy coastline in the Arabian Gulf, where the warm azure waves of the sea meet the desert. A high-rise oasis, this city is a pleasure-dome surrounded by dunes; one of the most fashionable on the planet thanks to its ability to satisfy the needs of legions of demanding vacationers. Dubai is about having fun—and it's one big adult playground.Nature plays her part here, with year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches, dramatic arid landscapes, and warm waters, but it's the man-made attractions that make Dubai so alluring. You can launch yourself into high-adrenaline desert adventures, diving and water sports, and some of the world's best golf courses. The 5-, 6-, and 7-star hotels offer the ultimate in luxury, and the party scene is hot. Shopping malls are the biggest in the world and are packed full of high-class merchandise. And with hundreds of restaurants with cuisine from around the world, you can munch your way from Mexico to Malaysia.Dubai is an Arab country with a long history as a trading port. Traces of its traditional life, customs, and architecture can still be seen and explored, but today and tomorrow are much more important than yesterday. Almost every building in this metropolis is less than 20 years old and the most dramatic developments—groundbreaking megaprojects—have just been completed or are still under construction.The city is certainly unique. Islam is its anchor, but it has opened its doors to the rest of the world and has invited them in to work, rest, and play, which creates a truly international atmosphere. Unashamedly modern and materialistic, life here takes place at breakneck speed. The landscape is stark, the confidence is sky high, the can-do spirit is palpable, and the bling is in your face. Dubai produces strong reactions in people, but one thing is certain—love it or loathe it—you will not forget it. It is without a doubt, one of the world's true must-see destinations.Shisha: Smoke Without Fire. Emirati men love socializing, but as they don't drink alcohol they get together over coffee and shisha instead of a drink at the bar after work. The shisha, or hookah, is a smoking device, usually made of glass, that filters smoke through water before it reaches the smoker's mouth. Shisha tobaccos are aromatic and are often mixed with apple, cinnamon, or cherry, so their taste isn't as strong as other tobaccos. Smoking shisha is said to induce relaxation—but you'll have to decide if it's for you!
Ship Details
MSC Cruises
MSC Virtuosa

MSC Virtuosa’s namesake comes from the word virtuoso, meaning someone highly skilled in any field of activity, and so MSC Virtuosa was named to pay homage to the skill and expertise of the MSC Cruises architects and shipyard partners at Les Chantiers de l’Atlantique who designed and built this innovative class of ships. This new cruise ship is one of the two largest in MSC Cruises’ fleet, along with her sister ship MSC Grandiosa, boasting an impressive array of guest features all coming together in perfect harmony to deliver the ultimate cruise holiday experience.

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