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MSC Cruises Returns to the United Arab Emirates

Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman Click here for high-resolution version

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwired - Apr 4, 2013) - MSC Lirica will return to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the 2013/2014 winter season, taking travelers on unparalleled journeys featuring rich traditions, vibrant modernity and dramatic landscapes.

On November 5th, 2013, MSC Lirica will set off on an 18-night grand voyage from Genoa, Italy, arriving in Dubai, UAE, on November 22, 2013 after calls in Civitavecchia, Italy; La Valletta, Malta; Piraeus, Greece; Port Said, Egypt; Safaga, Egypt, and Salalah and Muscat, Oman.

From November 23, 2013 until March 29, 2014, MSC Lirica will offer 18 seven-night cruises from Dubai, calling in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Khor al Fakkan, UAE; and Muscat and Khasab, Oman, with an overnight stay in Dubai allowing travelers to enjoy the unique nightlife of this glittering oasis.

"The UAE government's recent decision to allow multiple entry visas for cruise ship passengers has dramatically simplified visa procedures," said MSC Cruises CEO Pierfrancesco Vago. "This makes the region even more attractive to cruise lines and ensures that many more travelers can discover this truly unique destination with ease."

Enjoy unspoiled beaches and rugged mountain views

Khor al Fakkan is the perfect gateway from which to discover desert dunes, numerous valleys and spectacular oases, as well as the rugged Masafi and Hajar Mountains and stunning beaches and warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Visitors can enjoy trips to the oldest mosque in the UAE, Fossil Rock, famed for fossils dating 80 million years as well as Camel Rock, an eponymously shaped outcrop in the middle of the desert.

Explore mystical Muscat

Travelers to Muscat have a host of mystical landmarks to behold from the Al Alam Palace, flanked by the breathtaking Al Jalali and Al Mirani forts, to the captivating Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque with its five impressive minarets. Popular sites include the old town's bustling souk, the Bait Al Zubair archaeological museum and the exclusive Amouage perfumery with its timeless, natural fragrances.

Cruise crystalline fjords in a traditional dhow

A relaxing cruise on a traditional Arabian dhow (sailing vessels with one or more masts and lateen sails used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean) is the perfect way to discover Khasab -- also known as the "Norway of Arabia" thanks to its sinuous coastline -- and its fjord-like waters, scenic fishing villages and limestone cliffs. Travelers can enjoy a refreshing dip by historical Telegraph Island and perhaps, a dolphin encounter or two.

Discover the wonders of Dubai

An ultra-modern city steeped in tradition, flanking both the coast and the Arabian Desert, Dubai with its eclectic mix of natural and man-made wonders, is a destination which must be experienced first-hand to truly comprehend its allure. For the glitz and glamour of modern Dubai, travelers can head to the sumptuous Burj Al Arab Hotel, the only 7-star hotel in the world, the magnificent Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made archipelago of islands in the shape of a palm tree, or one of Dubai's swanky neighborhoods.

Behold awe-inspiring architecture and magnificent mosques in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is home to awe-inspiring architecture, futuristic skyscrapers and magnificent mosques, including the hauntingly beautiful Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a masterpiece of neo-Islamic architecture and one of the largest mosques in the world. Heritage Village, Emirates Palace, Al Ain archaeological site and Manarat Al Saadyat, a center recounting the development of the richest city in the world, are fascinating insights into this modern metropolis.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit us online at www.msccruisesusa.com or call 1-877-655-4655.