Its goal is to develop a thriving cruise industry, with a variety of destination experiences from the sea that reflect the unique culture of the country and enable opportunities for exploration and business both locally and internationally.
Building a New Industry
Cruise Saudi is driving the development of a fully integrated and world-class cruise industry that earns a world-class reputation for quality and establishes Saudi as a cruise hub reflecting its history as a regional maritime hub. The company has equipped ports around Saudi with the infrastructure required to welcome cruise ships, including a cruise terminal located at Jeddah Islamic Port enabling passengers to embark and disembark, including cruise ports in Yanbu and Dammam.
So far, Cruise Saudi has operated two successful seasons in 2021/2022, welcoming more than 50,000 passengers from more than 80 nationalities to experience Saudi via cruise – and many, for the first time. Ships from five international cruise lines have come to Saudi, and six more cruise ships are already planned for the upcoming season.
Cruise Saudi aims to develop further ports around the country, opening up more destinations in Saudi to cruise tourism, and plans to welcome 1.3 million cruise passenger visits by 2035.
A Fresh Perspective
Establishing cruising as a new pillar to Saudi’s rapidly expanding tourism industry is a significant undertaking and Cruise Saudi is operating within the broader context of Saudi’s Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy and develop new revenue-generating industries such as tourism to ensure opportunities and possibilities for current and future generations.
Cruise Saudi is committed to ensuring that the industry is set up for long-term success – one that reflects both innovation and looks to the future whilst keeping the history and heritage of the country at its heart. By bringing together industry leaders in Saudi tourism and entertainment – who bring the expertise and an understanding of Saudi culture – and global cruise industry experts, Cruise Saudi has the right mix of technical and cultural experts to bring a fresh perspective on cruising and create a truly unique experience.
Building for the future is an important aspect in Cruise Saudi’s approach – thus, it continues to work with governmental entities, local partners (such as universities and educational institutes) and international partners to offer training and development opportunities to equip young Saudis with the needed skills to deliver a high-quality cruise sector as the tourism industry in Saudi continues to expand.
Keeping in mind the importance of building for the future is also an important aspect of Cruise Saudi’s approach. It continues to work with governmental entities and other partners to establish training and development programs to create opportunities for Saudis and equip them with the skills needed to continue to deliver a high-quality cruise sector as the tourism industry in Saudi continues to expand.
Creating New Opportunities
As a relatively undiscovered tourism location, Saudi is an exciting and unmissable destination for cruising. There are endless possibilities for exploration for every type of visitor from dune bashing in the desert, to swimming amongst the untouched coral reefs and marine life of the Red Sea and exploring the ancient history and heritage of the country – Saudi offers a wealth of new opportunities for cruise passengers to experience.
Three of Saudi’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites – AlAhsa Oasis, Hegra Archaeological site in AlUla, and Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah – are accessible via cruising for the first time.
Cruise Saudi is also working with partners on ground – such as The Red Sea Development Company & Amaala, Jeddah Central Development Co., NEOM, Sharqiya Development Authority and the Royal Commission for AlUla – to activate more destinations and promote touristic activities around Saudi.
Saudi: A unique, unmissable, and must-visit destination
Saudi is one of the newest players in the global cruise industry, bringing its incredibly rich and diverse cultural heritage, historical wonders, natural landscapes and marine ecosystem for cruise guests to experience for the first time.
It is a unique and unmissable destination home to six UNESCO World Heritage Sites which have rarely or never been seen by international tourists and none of which have ever been available as part of cruise itineraries before – and it is now possible to visit three of these UNESCO Sites via cruise: AlAhsa Oasis, Hegra Archaeological site in AlUla, and Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah.
With superior connectivity to the rest of the world, Saudi is in an ideal position to become a global cruising hub, echoing the history of the region as a maritime hub. Approximately 250 million people in Europe, Asia and Africa live within a three-hour flight of the Red Sea and Arabian Peninsula making the potential cruise market huge.
Cruise Saudi was established with the aim of becoming a world-class cruise port and cruise line operator and is driving the development of destination experiences to build a thriving cruise sector in Saudi. As part of Saudi’s economic and social transformation plans, cruising is creating new bridges between Saudi and the rest of the world enabling more ways for visitors to come and experience Saudi via the pristine Red Sea and Arabian Gulf.
Apart from the UNESCO sites, Cruise Saudi’s itineraries feature multiple destinations and different shore excursions that cater to all sorts of activities and interests for visitors from culture and heritage to entertainment, adventure and nature – all to ensure tourists have the complete Saudi experience.
Since its launch in 2021, Cruise Saudi completed two successful seasons – Summer & Winter – with 50,000+ passengers experiencing cruising in the Red Sea. Cruise Saudi has welcomed five major international cruise lines and looks forward to welcoming six more ships in its upcoming season. With the aim to bring 1.3 million cruise passengers to experience Saudi by 2035, Cruise Saudi has exciting plans for the future.