MSC Cruises will offer Red Sea cruises later this year after sealing a partnership with new entity Cruise Saudi.
Cruise Saudi is a 100% Public Investment Fund-owned business that aims to develop Saudi Arabia’s cruise industry.
Red Sea cruises will launch in the coming winter 2021/22 season.
Fawaz Farooqui, Managing Director of Cruise Saudi, and Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, signed a landmark framework agreement to mark the beginning of the new partnership.
It will see MSC Magnifica homeport in Jeddah.
It will operate seven-day Red Sea cruises from November 2021 to March 2022 and will visit selected ports and destinations in the region, as well as three Saudi ports including weekly calls to the port of AlWajh.
This is the gateway to the World Heritage site of AlUla.
In addition to MSC Magnifica’s Red Sea sailings, MSC Cruises’ flagship MSC Virtuosa will sail in the Arabian Gulf during its winter 2021 programme with calls in Dammam, visiting AlAhsa oasis, another UNESCO World Heritage site.
.MSC Virtuosa will call at this destination every week from December 2021 to March 2022.
“I am delighted that MSC Cruises will be in a position to contribute to the Kingdom’s opening to international visitors through becoming a premier cruise destination,” Vago said.
They expect to attract about 170,000 guests on the two ships during the upcoming winter 2021/22 season.