Qatar Bay cruise ships fill up as cabins cost $800 a night

Two cruise ships moored in Doha’s West Bay provide some of the most expensive options for fans attending the World Cup later this year.

Luxury cruise liners ― the four stars MSC Poesia and five stars MSC World Europe ― will offer between them more than 3,800 cabins capable of accommodating just under 10,000 guests.

While accommodation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is likely to be more expensive than normal, fans who decide to book a night aboard the MSC Poesia can expect to pay at least $179 per night, including breakfast, for a windowless room, the official site says.

With a two-night minimum stay for most bookings, fans plan to pay at least $358 per stay for a room that sleeps up to two people.

The cheapest fare available on board the MSC World Europe is around $350 for a double/twin room, with a buffet breakfast. The most expensive room costs around $795, sleeps four, and includes full board.

Dates are already starting to fill up, with rooms unavailable from November 23 to December 2 on the MSC Poesia and from November 26 to December 1 MSC World Europe.

Both cruise hotels offer a variety of cabin options, from traditional and ocean-view rooms to inside ones that don’t have windows.

Those who book the MSC Poesia will have access to three swimming pools, spa and wellness centers, a poolside cinema, a tennis and basketball court, as well as restaurants and bars.

the MSC World Europelaunched in December, boasts the longest dry slide at sea, six swimming pools, 14 ocean-view Jacuzzis, a spa and wellness center, shops, and a collection of restaurants and bars.

Prices increase

Although the price per room remains the same throughout the tournament, the minimum number of nights per stay may increase the closer the dates are to the closing stages of the tournament, depending on the choice of room and ship.

For dates around the semi-final, a minimum stay of three nights is foreseen, while for the final and the match for third place, there is a minimum stay of four nights.

For the World Cup final, the cheapest four-night stay on board MSC Poesia is $717 including buffet breakfast.

The 'MSC Poesia' has a large swimming pool on board.  Photo: MSC Cruises

The most expensive cabin for the final is on the MSC World Europeat $3,183 for four nights ― in a room for four people, with sea view and full board.

Docked at Doha Grand Terminal during the tournament, the vessels will be located a 10-minute shuttle ride from the center of Doha, Souq Waqif. The nearest World Cup venue will be Stadium 974, less than two kilometers away.

Various options have been announced by World Cup organizers, including a desert camp that will set you back $207 per night, with two single beds or one double bed on offer.

Camp quarters have bathrooms, refrigerators, Wi-Fi, and housekeeping, with restaurants and take-out available in the village.

Fans struggle to find accommodation

Tickets for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are among the most sought after in the tournament’s history, with 804,186 awarded in the first round of applications out of 17 million applications.

In total, just over three million tickets have been made available, but one million has been reserved for Fifa and its partners.

Hotels will likely be allocated to qualifying teams before they are announced for paying supporters, as many are already booked for the duration of the tournament.

Airbnb accommodation is another option for fans, although prices have more than quadrupled from start to finish of the tournament.

A Hayya card gives fans with a match ticket a visa to enter Qatar, access to the stadium and free public transport. But to register they need to provide their accommodation details.

Updated: May 09, 2022, 09:40

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