MSC Cruises has agreed to charter two cruise liners to accommodate fans during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The cruise liners, which feature a combined capacity of 4,000 cabins and more than 9,000 beds, will act as floating hotels during the controversial tournament.
One of the cruise ships, MSC Europa, will be the second-largest class of cruise ship in the world, according to Cruise Arabia & Africa.
One of the major problems faced by Qatar in hosting the FIFA 2022 World Cup is an under-developed tourism industry compared to other countries in the region, such as the UAE.
As such, Qatar had been planning to charter cruise ships for some time, according to a press release from MSC Cruises.
While MSC Poesia was launched in 2008 and is currently deployed in the European and Brazilian cruise markets for MSC Cruises, MSC Europa, is currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire, France, and will be delivered in 2022.
At 200,000-gross tons and carrying 5,400 passengers, she will be the first of five in MSC’s World-class cruise ships, the second-largest class of cruise ship after Royal Caribbean’s 230,000-gross ton-plus Oasis-class.
The first liquefied natural gas-powered ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet, she will use the most environmentally friendly marine fuel currently available, keeping air emissions to a minimum.
Qatar is accused of using bribes to secure the rights to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup and has allegedly employed abusive practises in the treatment of its migrant workers building the stadiums and associated infrastructure for the event.