Geneva-headquartered MSC Cruises has announced that one of its ships, MSC Bellissima to sail Red Sea cruises this summer, it will sail 21 voyages from Jeddah, the commercial hub of Saudi Arabia from the end of July to late October. The Meraviglia-class vessel which came into service in 2019 will offer both three and four-night cruises to Safaga for Luxor, Egypt, or Aqaba for Petra, Jordan before returning to her Saudi homeport.
MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Piefrancesco Vago said in a press statement: “As the tourism industry of Saudi Arabia grows progressively for its own residents and international visitors, we are looking forward to making a positive and lasting contribution as more people explore and discover the rich heritage and incredible cultural attraction it has to offer.”
MSC Bellissima To Sail Red Sea Cruises and will be the largest cruise ship ever to sail the waters of the Red Sea. The summer sailings will add to MSC Cruises’ previously announced winter 2021/22 Red Sea voyages from Jeddah starting in November.
The ship has a 975-seat main theater, a bowling alley, aquapark, an F1 simulator, a cinema, kids club, and a shopping gallery, offering more than 200 brands for its guests to shop from.
MSC Cruises has also told Arab News in May that it expects half the passengers on its new Jeddah-based cruises to come from Saudi Arabia with the remainder from around the world as it prepares to become the first operator to homeport in Jeddah.
The Public Investment Fund launched Cruise Saudi in January of this year to develop a cruise industry in the Kingdom and help create more than 50,000 jobs in the tourism industry through 2035. It will develop ports and terminals in several Saudi cities to provide access to Saudi heritage and culture, including three of the five UNESCO World Heritage sites located near the coast.