The 2022 FIFA World Cup organisers, which will be held in Qatar, have chartered a third cruise ship to supply an additional thousand or more hotel rooms for the duration of the tournament.
On 20 November, an estimated 1.2 million visitors will arrive in the Middle Eastern country for the games, overwhelming Doha’s 31,000-room hotel capacity. Qatari organisers provide a wide range of accommodation choices for fans, including containerised “cabins” on the city’s outskirts, a tent “fan village” for 1,800 on Qetaifan Island, several apartment complexes, and three cruise ships provided by MSC Cruises.
With the MSC Opera now joining the MSC World Europa and MSC Poesia, Qatar has a total of three ships contracted for berthing purposes. Rates during the Games start at around A$752 per night, with prices dropping in the last week of the events. The minimum stay is two nights.
The MSC Opera, launched in 2004, is a cruise ship that can hold up to 2,700 people. Her 2015 makeover was extensive.
She was most recently in the headlines in 2019 after colliding with a moored river cruise ship in Venice’s historic Giudecca Canal. The incident’s technical cause was an untimely fatality caused by a loss of power to the bridge controls. The captain and other crew members were convicted and sentenced to prison for the event. Still, they were able to get their sentences commuted into monetary fines and continue their jobs.
The 115,000 hotel rooms in the neighbouring UAE are available but quickly filling for those ready to fly every day. According to The National, bookings for Emirates rooms and short-haul flights between Dubai and Doha are increasing dramatically.