After serving as a floating hotel during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the MSC World Europa, a futuristic, lower-carbon-fuelled cruise ship made its first call at Mina Rashid on the 21st of December 2022.
The vessel began its new winter season with a 4-night sail from Doha to Dubai, reinforcing Mina Rashid and the Emirate’s position as the region’s most preferred destination for leisure marine activities.
Carrying over 4,500 passengers, the vessel and its crew, led by Captain Marco Massa, were welcomed by Esam Ahmad, Senior Manager – Business management, P&O Marinas. The captain was presented with a custom-made plaque celebrating the event, in front of senior officials representing MSC and DP World.
The cruise ship is scheduled to make 14 calls to Mina Rashid, bringing in over 189,000 tourists to the Emirate, underscoring Dubai’s position as the gateway for regional and international cruise itineraries.
State-of-of-the-art vessel with a futuristic approach
Powered by LNG, the MSC World Europa emits 99% less sulphur dioxide (SO2), 85% less nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and 20% less carbon dioxide (CO2), compared to non-LNG powered ships, making it one of the most futuristic vessels in the world.
The MSC World Europa is also the first in its class to accommodate an LNG-powered fuel cell, helping cut its carbon emissions further. The 50-kilowatt fuel cell runs on solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and uses LNG to produce electricity and heat. This technology helps the vessel reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% when compared with ships powered by conventional LNG engines alone.
Esam Ahmad, Senior Manager – Business management, P&O Marinassaid: “The arrival of the MSC World Europa at Mina Rashid is a significant milestone for the cruise terminal. It reaffirms our capabilities in accommodating vessels that are not only massive in size, but also unique in their requirements. We are proud of the fact that Mina Rashid is capable of catering to such distinctive and advanced needs, and we are ready to welcome more ships that require similar services.”
“Owing to Dubai’s strengths, including investments in the tourism industry and the expansion of cruise terminals, we predict another robust winter for the 2022/2023 season. At our cruise terminal, we expect a significant rise in port calls in comparison to last year. Additionally, passenger and crew inflows are expected to rise to around 600,000, which is more than double the number recorded in the previous season,” Esam added.
Saud Mohammed Saeed Hareb, Assistant Manager, International Operations, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, commented: “As cruise tourism continues to play a pivotal role in the growth of Dubai’s tourism sector, the first call of the MSC World Europa to Mina Rashid further reinforces Dubai’s position as the cruise hub of the region. The arrival of this eco-friendly cruise vessel is also a fitting representation of our sustainability-oriented tourism strategy, with the most modern Mina Rashid being a reflection of the city’s rapid development and relentless drive to position itself as a global destination for cruise tourism. We are indeed grateful to our valued network of public and private sector stakeholders like DP World for their continued cooperation and support, which has led to an ever-increasing number of cruise operators seeking to anchor in the Emirate and take advantage of Dubai’s diverse destination offering, world-class infrastructure, superior air and sea connectivity, and its strategic location between east and west.”
An ideal cruise terminal
As of today, Mina Rashid has a berthing capacity of 454 yachts, inclusive of 19 superyachts berths, attracting some of the largest leisure boats across the globe. Additionally, the cruise terminal’s round-the-clock fuelling and dock attendance, yacht repair services, free Wi-Fi, and a variety of other offerings which ensure the comfort of the ship’s crew and passengers, make it a desirable docking station.
These capabilities enhance Mina Rashid’s role in driving the growth of tourism in Dubai. Capable of handling over 25,000 passengers a day, the cruise terminal is well positioned to cement Dubai as the cruise hub of the region. Furthermore, Mina Rashid’s strategic location at close proximity to Dubai’s most popular landmarks and tourist hotspots, such as the Burj Khalifa, Downtown, make it the most convenient location for the city’s guests.