24 Jun 2015 11:00
Geneva, Switzerland, 24 June 2015 –MSC Cruises S.A., the world’s largest privately-owned global cruise line and market leader in the Mediterranean and in South America, and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, announced today a new partnership agreement that will benefit MSC Cruises’ guests travelling to Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
The partnership with Etihad Airways reflects
MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to its guests and is testament to the
Company’s wish to always make its all-around offering a best-in-class
experience, both at sea and in the air – with “Fly&Cruise” packages from
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain,
Switzerland and the UK - with Etihad Airways or partner airlines in its network.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to
partner with Etihad Airways. Both companies are uniquely young, ambitious and
dynamic market leaders. With our “Fly&Cruise” packages, MSC Cruises guests
will benefit from Etihad Airways’ and our Company’s impeccable service from the
minute they leave their homes for a memorable cruise experience on MSC Musica.
Through our partnership and also together with Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu
Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority we will work to develop Abu Dhabi as an
ideal winter cruise destination to further strengthen our offer in the region.”
Hogan, President and Chief Executive of Etihad
Airways, declared: “Abu Dhabi is being
developed into a leading international cruise destination, with record
passenger numbers and ship calls reported during the recent 2014/2015 season.
Future projections are even stronger, as the new Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal
opens at the end of this year, and world-class cultural attractions such as Abu
Dhabi’s Louvre and Guggenheim museums enhance the local tourism offering.
partnership with MSC Cruises, as well as Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi
Tourism & Culture Authority, for ‘Fly&Cruise’ will expand source
markets for cruises in the UAE and regionally, bringing in more travellers from
destinations across Europe. It will also ensure a comfortable travel experience
for guests at all stages of their holiday, including their time in the air and
on the sea.”
In its focus on developing the cruise
market in the beautiful region of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman, MSC Cruises logically
partnered with Etihad Airways. Under the terms of the agreement, MSC Cruises’
guests will be able to fly to Abu Dhabi from Europe with Etihad Airways to
cruise in the region in the amazing Arabian winter. Guests will fly with the
national airline of the UAE to their cruise during winter 2015-2016 on MSC
nearly 20 per cent in terms of market share to Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise
season, MSC Cruises has brought over 100,000 passengers from 115 nationalities
to the Emirate between 2011 and 2015. Overall, Abu Dhabi’s 2014-2015 cruise
season, that ran from October 2014 until May 2015, welcomed a record 200,407
passengers and 94 ship calls.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO Abu Dhabi Ports, commented: “By providing state-of-the -art
facilities to cruise lines and industry partners, we are boosting Abu
Dhabi’s growth potential to be a regular port of call on the itineraries
of leading tour operators from across the world. Our innovation in service and
infrastructure has been delivering a lasting impression to visitors to Abu
Dhabi, supporting our mission to increase our share of the UAE’s
non-hydrocarbon based GDP and to contribute further to the tourism industry.”
From 13 December 2015 to 27 March 2016, MSC
Musica will sail 16 seven-night cruises in the region from Abu Dhabi, calling
Khor al Fakkan, Muscat, Khasab and Dubai.
MSC Cruises already partners with multiple
global brands that are bywords for excellence in their fields. Partnerships with
the Lego Group and Chicco are rooted in the Company’s commitment to creating
unforgettable holidays for children and families. A partnership with restaurant
brand Eataly adds high-end Italian cuisine based on exceptional ingredients to
the fleet’s rich dining offering, while Samsung and Expo 2015 - of which MSC
Cruises is the Official Cruise Carrier - echo the Company’s focus on