Soccer fans will have a unique accommodation opportunity when they attend the World Cup next month. Qatar is hiring cruise ships to house everyone during the famed sporting event.
World Cup organizers are hiring another cruise ship to dock in host country Qatar during the soccer tournament. The move comes due to concerns Qatar does not have the necessary amount of accommodations to house all the players, support staff, and fans. This latest order means three ships from MSC Cruises will dock at Doha Port to provide housing during the World Cup: MSC Europa, MSC Poesia, and now MSC Opera.
“We are delighted that Qatar has selected our ships to ensure that tourists who visit the country during the upcoming FIFA World Cup have high-end accommodation and services available to further enrich their experience,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “The tournament is one of the world’s most popular events and this will be another opportunity for holidaymakers from across the globe converging on Doha to experience our ships and enjoy the unique international experience that only MSC Cruises can offer.”
Accommodations And Prices
The three cruise ships will offer more than 5,000 rooms combined. They will be available from November 19–December 19, 2022. Prices start at $470 per person per night with a two-night minimum stay during the group stage of the competition. Prices fall from there, as teams are whittled down ahead of the finals. During the round of 16 and quarterfinals, rooms drop to about $320 per person per night, then down to $220 during the final week of the World Cup.
But, these rates are your typical cruise rates. They do include breakfast each day, but any other meals will cost extra. Wine and draft beer will also be available for a fee. Cruise ship guests will be able to access the sports arenas via shuttle bus.
Focus On The Environment
The MSC Europa is the newest ship in the company’s fleet and is being built as an environmentally-friendly ship. The Europa will be the first ship run by liquefied natural gas, which minimizes emissions. All of the MSC cruise ships feature advanced waste and water treatment systems and other technology to lessen their carbon footprints.
“It is important we provide sustainable solutions for the country while ensuring an unmatched fan experience,” said Yasir Al Jamal, chairman of the SC’s Host Country Operations Office.
The World Cup is held once every 4 years and draws fans from across the globe. This year, officials are expecting more than 1.2 million people to attend matches in Qatar when the tournament begins in November 2022. In addition to the cruise ships, Qatar is leveraging hotels, fan villages, and apartments to accommodate the influx of visitors.
This is not the first time sports organizers worried about the lack of accommodations. The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, had a housing shortage, so the United States basketball teams stayed on a cruise ship. Olympic stakeholders also stayed on a second ship during those Olympic games.
Heading to Qatar for the World Cup? Here’s everything you need to know, plus our guide to spending a day in Doha.