MSC Cruises will base their 137,936 gross ton ship, MSC Fantasia, in the Emirates for winter 2016/2017 which will become the largest ship to sail in the region.

MSC Fantasia will operate in the Arabian Sea between December 2016 and March 2017 sailing three different week-long itineraries in rotation over 16 weeks:

  • Itinerary 1: Abu Dhabi, UAE; Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE; Manama, Bahrain; Doha, Qatar; Dubai, UAE (overnight); and Abu Dhabi.
  • Itinerary 2: Abu Dhabi, UAE; Muscat, Oman; Khasab, Oman; Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE; Dubai, UAE (overnight); and Abu Dhabi.
  • Itinerary 3: Abu Dhabi, UAE; Muscat, Oman; Khor al Fakkan, Al Fujairah; Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE; Dubai, UAE (overnight); and Abu Dhabi.

Guests will have the flexibility to choose their preferred embarkation point, with both Abu Dhabi and Dubai on offer. Fly-cruise packages sailing from Dubai will be available with Emirates flights from London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow. Similarly,  fly-cruise packages sailing from Abu Dhabi will be available with Etihad Airways flights from London, Manchester and Dublin.

Some itineraries can be enjoyed as a 14-night back-to-back cruise.

MSC Fantasia was launched in 2008 and has a capacity of 3,274 passengers. The ship will become the newest and largest to ever operate in the region.

Giles Hawke, executive director UK and Ireland of MSC Cruises, said: “Since MSC Cruises began its Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman programme in 2011 it has gone from strength to strength. Every year we have seen increasing numbers of British holidaymakers heading off to explore these fascinating destinations in the sunshine. Sir Bani Yas Island is an amazing place that gives visitors the opportunity to see a wide range of Arabian wildlife up close. I am sure it will prove very popular.”

Prices for a seven-night fly-cruise start from £799 per person based on two sharing a cabin, including return flights from the UK and overseas transfers. Until 30 November 2015 MSC Cruises are offering a free balcony upgrade on selected sailings.

This winter MSC Cruises will be operating the 2,550-passenger MSC Musica in the region with a total of 15 weekly sailings from Abu Dhabi scheduled.

(Photo credit to MSC Crociere)