MSC Cruises and Formula 1 partners for a unique experience

Cruise ship MSC Virtuosa
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MSC Cruises has announced a new partnership with Formula 1 to offer an unparalleled Grand Prix hospitality experience on board MSC Virtuosa at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November 2023.

Part of MSC Cruises’ partnership with Formula 1, this unique offering promises to bring the thrill of the final race of the season to the cruise ship. MSC Virtuosa will serve as a hotel for race fans throughout the weekend while docked at the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, just a short drive from the circuit.

MSC Cruises and F1 continue to expand partnership

MSC Cruises and Formula 1 are expanding their partnership beyond race-related sponsorship as the cruise line has announced an exciting new collaboration that will take race weekend accommodation to the next level.

F1 and MSC Cruises will offer a fully integrated Grand Prix experience to create an unparalleled and truly unforgettable racing experience for fans of all ages.

MSC Virtuosa will be converted into an F1 hotel during the upcoming Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix between 24th and 26th November 2023. The cruise line offers a wide range of onboard packages. MSC Virtuosa accommodates 4,842 guests based on double occupancy.

Credit: Wayleebird/

MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato commented: “Through this exclusive hospitality offer, we are bringing together the best of two worlds – Formula 1 and MSC Cruises. By working together, we will integrate the incredible atmosphere at the track with the incredible experience onboard our ships to create an unparalleled and truly unforgettable racing experience for fans of all ages.”

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is ​​the final race of the 2023 racing season, which started just last week with racing in Bahrain. Guests can take advantage of exclusive insider access and all-in-one racing packages while sleeping comfortably on board 181,000 gross tons MSC Virtuosa.

Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1 said: “We are delighted to be working with MSC Cruises to offer fans a unique and unrivaled hospitality experience during the season finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix™. With luxury accommodation, exclusive insider access and the convenience of all-in-one racing packages, we are confident this partnership will make the race weekend truly memorable.”

Formula 1 and MSC Cruises have one successful partnership since the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2022. The shipping company is the official cruise partner of Formula 1.

race weekend experience

All packages include various accommodation options, including elegant cabins and deluxe suites, all with half-board, free WiFi and transfers to and from the track. Fans can choose from a variety of different packages combining accommodation, race tickets and exclusive insider access.

MS Cruises and Formula 1
MSc Cruises and Formula 1 (Image credit: Motorsport Photographer / Shutterstock)

Guests can even purchase a package that includes a pit lane walk, guided track tour on a pickup truck, performances by Formula 1 personnel, and more.

The festive atmosphere will continue for guests on board as the specially designed program of themed activities, parties and entertainment, as well as a dedicated children’s program will keep the thrills alive even after the race is over.

MSC has previously been a partner to major sporting events

Using cruise ships as hotels at race weekends is a wise decision by Formula 1 organisers. This approach eliminates the need to build large hotels to accommodate the thousands of race fans who attend each race, while still providing them with excellent accommodations and additional amenities.

This isn’t the first time MSC has brought the world of sport onto its ships. MSC World Europe played a big role during the FIFA World Cup hosting thousands of fans from around the world in Qatar. The ship offered guests a unique and immersive football experience, complete with live coverage of the matches, special guest appearances and football-themed activities.
MSC Cruises and Formula 1

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