While England's soccer team fights for gold in Qatar at the World Cup, their friends and family are enjoying an ultra-luxury experience aboard the HMS Wag.
The ship is, quite literally, the world's newest cruise ship having been launched in late 2021 but only just acquired by its owner MSC Cruises on October 24th, 2022. It's legal title is the MSC World Europa, but it has been dubbed the HMS Wag by British media. The 'wag' being a colloquial term for 'wives and girlfriends.'
For its first voyage, the ship has been anchored off the coast of Doha in Qatar to provide an epic World Cup experience for the English team's wives, families, and friends.
No players will be allowed on board, however. At least not until England is eliminated from the tournament. On arrival the England team was immediately placed in a strict Covid bubble at Doha’s Souq Al Wakra hotel. Should England win the tournament, however, one doesn't have to think hard about where the afterparty will be held.
Some of the incredible features of the ship include a Swarovski staircase comprising 8,000 octagonal crystals, an actual sub-zero 'snow room' that creates real precipitation, seven pools, a waterslide named the 'Venom Drop that twists and drops over11 decks, a luxury watch shop, £6,000 royal suites ($7200 USD), a yacht club, a bumper car track, a Michelin-star restaurant headed by famous chef Niklas Ekstedt, and alcohol (which is banned by the Qatari government from being served on land during the tournament). Some of that booze includes £400 bottles of champagne. There's even a microbrewery on board.
The ship itself is 333 m long (1094 ft), 47 metres wide (154 ft) and weighs over 215,000 gross tonnes. The vessel layout includes 22 decks, more than 2,600 guest cabins and over 40,000 square metres (430,000 sq ft) of public space. There are two 1600 sq ft 'owner suites' that have their own private balcony, a walk-in wardrobe, a dining room, and a whirpool.
There's also an additional 32 onboard restaurants including an American-style steakhouse, a Latin street food joint, an Asian grill, a sushi bar, an ice cream parlour, and 24-hour butler service. A couple other snazzy details including a cigar lounge, a jazz-themed speakeasy, and a cocktail bar.
The ship also runs on LNG (liquified natural gas) as opposed to diesel fuel. The alternative fuel source will reportedly generate a 99% decrease in sulfur dioxide emissions, an 85% decrease in nitric oxide emissions, and a 20% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions compared to diesel powered ships. The MSC World Europa is also the world's first ship to ever implement an LNG-powered fuel cell. The 50 kilowatt fuel cell produces the ship's onboard electricity and heat.
You can take a virtual tour of the epic 'HMS Wag' below: +