(11:00 a.m. EDT) — MSC Cruises has created an exclusive “beach oasis” for passengers on Dubai and Abu Dhabi cruises from this winter.
The 1.5 mile long stretch of land on the natural island of Sir Bani Yas, just off the southwest coast of Abu Dhabi, features hundreds of palm trees, shaded cabanas and more than 2,000 sunbeds across 387,500 square feet of beaches.
It is MSC’s second exclusive island development — last year the line announced plans to create Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas.
Starting from this December, MSC Fantasia will add the destination to cruise itineraries in the Emirates.
The development is on a smaller island connected to the main island by a wooden boardwalk which allows MSC Cruises’ passengers exclusive access.
Other facilities include:
· Food and refreshments;
· An MSC Aurea Spa (pictured below) area offering a menu of massages from beachside cabana huts;
· Sports facilities, including beach volleyball and tennis;
· A family and kids-dedicated area, with a parents’ pergola;
· A Bedouin tent offering arts and crafts created by local communities; and
· A lounge space with a bar and live music, for relaxing.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises CEO. “Today’s announcement is further proof of our commitment to enriching our itineraries and to making available to our guests unique experiences that enable them to discover new cultures and beauties. Additionally, this new, exclusive beach oasis experience stays true to our core values to provide our guests excellence in service, the best in entertainment as well as food options that are of the highest quality and always fresh.”
MSC Cruises has been working closely with the Abu Dhabi Port Authorities and ecologists for more than two years to develop the project and to support the ongoing preservation work.
The island is one of region’s largest wildlife reserves due to decades of intensive conservation work and ecological investment to restore and maintain its biodiversity. The Arabian Wildlife Park on the main island of Sir Bani Yas is home to more than 13,000 indigenous and endangered animals, as well as millions of trees and plants.
The first cruise of the winter season departing December 3, 2016 and calls at the island on December 5, 2016.
Prices start at $719 per person for a 7-night cruise this winter on MSC Fantasia.