Agreement set to further bolster line’s position as leading passenger cruise operator in the Gulf
Deal pledges bilateral environmental commitments between cruise line and the port’s operator
Contract inked onboard MSC Bellissima’s on the occasion of her maiden call ceremony to Mina Rashid
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 8 December 2019 - MSC Cruises has announced that it has signed a long-term agreement with DP World for preferential berthing rights at Mina Rashid Port in Dubai. Thanks to the additional volumes, the Geneva, Switzerland-based cruise line will further consolidate its position as the largest passenger cruise operator in the Gulf region.
The contract was formally signed on Saturday by the line’s CEO Gianni Onorato and Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannaei, CEO, P&O Marinas & Executive Director, Mina Rashid on board MSC Bellissima, the most modern and one of the most environmentally-advanced ships deployed in the region, during her maiden call ceremony at Mina Rashid Port in Dubai.
Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, said: “This new agreement with DP World is a continuation of what has been a successful partnership and establishes a longer-term framework for our operations out of Dubai that provides our cruise ships with preferential berthing rights at the Mina Rashid cruise terminal.
“Our existing commitment to Dubai and the region is clearly demonstrated by MSC Bellissima’s presence this season, the most modern, as well as one of most environmentally-advanced, cruise ships to sail in the Gulf. We will strengthen that bond further in winter 2020-21 when we deploy the highly-innovative MSC Seaview, a ship especially designed to operate in warmer weathers, to serve the region.
“I’m also extremely pleased to add that our extended partnership with DP World, a visionary organisation that has the same environmental outlook as we have at MSC Cruises, will see us both work actively together to further reduce the carbon footprint of ship operations.”
Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannaei, CEO - P&O Marinas & Executive Director, Mina Rashid, said: “We warmly welcome MSC Cruises’ strategic decision to scale up their regional operations with Dubai as their base. It marks a new high in our long and mutually beneficial relationship. We’re particularly happy that a brand new vessel like MSC Bellissima, with its high green credentials, will be homeporting at Mina Rashid and spearheading MSC Cruises’ 2019-2020 winter cruise season.
"At Mina Rashid, we constantly invest in enhancing the services and support systems for today’s fleet of ultra-modern cruise vessels.
“The agreement with MSC Cruises for preferential berthing comes at a time when Mina Rashid has been experiencing double digit increase in tourist traffic. Key to this sterling performance is our flagship Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, the world's single largest covered cruise facility capable of handling 14,000 passengers a day.
"DP World UAE Region supports the Dubai Tourism Strategy goal of achieving 20 million tourists by 2020. MSC Cruises’ ambitions for the coming year is ideally placed to support this drive.”
Hamad Bin Mejren, Senior Vice President, Dubai Tourism, added: “We are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with MSC Cruises and solidify Dubai’s position as the leading cruise hub of the region. Dubai continues to provide its international visitors a superior customer service throughout their travels reflecting the city’s diverse offerings.
“We are committed towards protecting Dubai’s natural environment and will fully support partner efforts to carry out conservation and sustainable practices through their business. Our longstanding synergy with our valued partners allow us to cement Dubai’s position as a responsible, year-round-destination of choice.”
The long-term agreement comes on the back of MSC Cruises’ expecting to carry in excess of 180,000 passengers in Dubai this season, a figure that will progressively grow through the lenghth of the new agreement.
MSC Cruises will homeport several ships in Dubai throughout the contract’s term, thus also consolidating its position as the number one choice for cruise lovers from all over the world seeking warm winter sun in the increasingly popular Gulf region.
The new deal also includes commitments from both companies to further reduce the carbon footprint of MSC Cruises’ ships calling in Dubai.
This will include DP World’s implementation of a qualifying fuelling process when MSC Cruises deploys liquified-natural gas (LNG)-powered ships to the Gulf region.
MSC Cruises said last month that it will be the world’s first fully carbon neutral major cruise line in the world from 1 January 2020 with an ambitious programme where all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its fleet’s marine operations will be offset through a blend of projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take immediate action on greenhouse gas emissions.
All costs for the offsets, as well as any other associated items, will be covered directly and in full by MSC Cruises.
MSC Bellissima, which was launched in February of this year, will make 17 calls and spend 35 days in Dubai during the winter season until March 2020 and sail a range of 7-night itineraries in the Gulf.
MSC Cruises will also deploy MSC Lirica in the Gulf for this winter season with 11-night cruises as well as 14-night cruises that call also to India.
The over 600-year old maritime tradition of exchanging crests took place today on board MSC Bellissima in Dubai at a maiden call ceremony between the ship’s Master, Captain Giuseppe Maresca, and senior officials from DP World, Dubai Tourism, Dubai Immigration, Dubai Customs and the Sharaf Shipping Agency, MSC Cruises’ agents in Dubai.
MSC Bellissima’s environmental specifications:
Energy-efficient hull and overall design: 28 per cent less fuel compared to Fantasia Class ships (entered in service between 2008-2013) which represents a reduction of 255kg less carbon dioxide per passenger, per cruise.
Hydrodynamics: optimised hull design and latest generation azipods and propellers.
Hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS): 97 per cent less sulphur oxide through a system which can operate in closed loop.
Shore-to-ship power: fully ready to connect to local power grid to reduce emissions while at berth in port.
Advanced waste management: comprehensive systems to reduce, recycle and reuse all waste aspects on board.
Ballast water treatment system: a system to avoid introducing invading species through ballast water.
Advanced wastewater treatment: the system treats wastewater to a very high quality and the end product is of a better standard than most shoreside municipal waste standards around the world.
Smart heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC): two high- and low-heat recovery loops to intelligently redistribute heat and cold from the laundry room and machinery spaces to warm up the swimming pools or other parts of the ship.
Trim Optimisation: a software application to monitor and optimise trim, the ship’s stability, in real-time. This technology supports ship officers to keep the vessel’s trim optimised to reduce fuel consumption and optimise performance.
Energy-saving LED lighting: all MSC Cruises ships use only energy efficient LED and fluorescent lighting.
Hull paints: the hulls of all MSC Cruises’ ships are coated with special environmentally-friendly paints which impede the growth of barnacles, algae and marine organisms in order to reduce drag significantly.
MSC Bellissima’s Specifications:
Ship name MSC Bellissima
Ship class Meraviglia Class
Delivery date 27 February, 2019
Gross tonnage 171,598 GT
Lower berth capacity 4,434
Max passenger capacity 5,686
Crew members 1,536
Number of cabins 2,217
Length / Beam / Height 315.3 m / 43 m / 65 m
Maximum speed 22.7 knots
About MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises is the fastest growing cruise line in the world. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC Cruises is part of the Cruises Division of MSC Group, the privately-held Swiss-based leading shipping and logistics conglomerate.
MSC Cruises’ fleet of 17 modern and innovative ships is one of the most environmentally-advanced in the industry. The Company is committed to environmental stewardship and works to minimise and continuously reduce the environmental impact of its fleet both while at sea and ashore by employing innovative marine and environmental technologies.
An industry-unprecedented €11.6 billion plan will see MSC Cruises’ fleet increase to 25 ships by 2027. Additionally, MSC Group’s Cruises Division is investing an additional €2 billion in a new luxury cruise brand comprising four super-yacht ships, launching one per year between 2023 and 2026.
Sailing to more than 200 destinations across five continents, MSC Cruises brings together more than 180 nationalities from around the world, offering an enriching and immersive cruise experience inspired by the Company’s European heritage. Expect to find international dining, world-class entertainment, award-winning family programmes and the very latest guest-friendly technology onboard.
About DP World
DP World is the leading enabler of global trade and an integral part of the supply chain.
We operate multiple related businesses – from marine and inland terminals, marine services, logistics and ancillary services, to technology-driven trade solutions.
Our portfolio of more than 150 operations in over 50 countries across six continents gives us a significant presence both in high-growth and mature markets.
DP World’s dedicated team of more than 50,000 employees from 120 countries build enduring relationships with governments, shipping lines, importers and exporters, communities, and many other essential constituents of the global supply chain, providing quality value-added services today and tomorrow.
Container handling is the company’s core business and generates more than half of its revenue. In 2018, DP World handled over 70 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) across our portfolio. With a pipeline of committed developments and expansions, we expect the current gross capacity of 91 million TEU to rise in line with market demand.
By thinking ahead, foreseeing change and innovating, DP World aims to create the most productive, efficient and safe trade solutions globally. We aim to be essential to the bright future of global trade, ensuring that everything we do contributes positively and sustainability to the economy and society.