Lindsay on Location has made its way to Doha, Qatar for the naming of MSC World Europa and the kickoff of the FIFA World Cup. World Europa is the 6th largest ship in the world, and we had the honor of staying on board. She will set sail this winter going from Qatar to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. But, for now she is housing fans from all over the world for the World Cup.
MSC is a company enriched in family. They began as a company that shipped goods. As the need grew stronger for shipping cargo, so did the business of cruising. The Italian family wanted to take their expertise in boats and bring it to the people. They created MSC cruises to stand out and have their boats be like no other.
We had the honor to be at the naming ceremony for World Europa. What is a naming ceremony? I had the same question. It is a huge celebration and has been a tradition since cruise ships began. There was live music, digital art performance, drone shows, and of course the breaking of the champagne bottle against the ship to make it all official. I highly recommend checking out a naming ceremony if you get the chance. It is such an experience to feel like you are a part of it all from the beginning.
With their state of the art modern design and their goal to make cruising sustainable. They are environmentally advanced by using liquified natural gas. It has something for everyone: 13 restaurants, one of which is from Michelin Star, Niklas Ekstedt. A waterpark for kids and adults, including a virtual reality water slide. They have the first ever microbrewery onboard that is using purified sea water to create their exclusive beer. One of my favorites was the Venom drop which is the longest slide at sea. It runs from the top of the ship straight to the bottom, and it had me screaming! There’s even a hidden speakeasy onboard, which I am still looking for. If you find it, let me know.
We had been docked in Doha, which has 99% of the population of the entire country; with the rest of the country being desert. This is definitely a place for those who love the heat. In July it averages around 110 F/43 C degrees. But, summer is also the time to come if you want great deals on airfare and accommodations.
Doha is all about mixing history, culture, and tradition but at the same time the country is looking towards advancement and the future. The skylines and architecture bring people from all over the world. I loved visiting the downtown souk that was full of spices, textiles, and local goods. Visiting a Souk is a must. You get to meet so many locals and see so much of their culture. It is also a great place to grab some souvenirs. At the market you even get to get up close and personal to camels.
We have been waiting for 4 years for this world cup and it is in the middle east for the first time ever. Doha is so ready for the games to begin. This is also the first time the world cup has not been in the summer. Due to the heat here they moved it from May to November. Doha has built 8 stadiums around the city. All unique and personal to the country. The stadium 974 was built out of shipping containers. This is an ode to how important the shipping market is to Doha. They used 974 shipping containers and it also happens to be the country code. They also have stadiums that look like the sails of the famous pearl boats, as well as one that looks like a spice bowl.
Get ready to root on your favorite teams!