Qatar hires third cruise ship to act as a floating hotel for the World Cup

World Cup organizers in Qatar have hired a third cruise ship to function as a soccer fan hotel docked at Doha Port, providing much-needed rooms for the tournament.

MSC Cruises based in Geneva announced the deal six weeks before the World Cup begins on November 20. The 1,075-passenger MSC Opera will be available from November 19 to December 19.

MSC’s website listed Monday starting prices for the opera starting at 470 Swiss francs ($470) per person per night for the group stage, with a two-night minimum stay.

Qatar has not prepared enough hotel rooms for the World Cup participants, workers, volunteers, and fans, and therefore has created camping and cabin sites, hired cruise ships, and encouraged people to come to the country by plane and stay in campsites.

In 2019, MSC signed an agreement with the Qatar government to provide two ships with about 4,000 cabins as floating hotels to house the expected 1.2 million international visitors.

MSC World Europa, a high-end flagship, is beginning work at the World Cup after being built in France.

The tournament affects the prices on cruise ships; half the teams leave during the tournament, lowering prices. During the last week, MSC Opera rooms that are the least expensive cost 320 Swiss francs ($320), then 220 Swiss francs ($220).

All meals are included in the basic rate, but you can pay 90 euros ($87) per day for all meals.

Alcohol will be available on board, and MSC will provide wine by the glass and draft beer.

Qatar, which is home to more than 200,000 residents, is hosting the 2022 World Cup. Prior to the tournament, Qatar has relaxed its rules for FIFA’s commercial partners, including corporate hospitality providers and World Cup sponsor AB InBev, the maker of Budweiser beer.

Image Credit: AP Photo/Desmond Boylan, file