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Cruise Saudi strengthens port and shore excursions team

Port and shorex experts Barbara Grabenweger and Serafin Blazquez have joined Cruise Saudi
Port and shore excursions experts Barbara Grabenweger and Serafin Blazquez have joined Cruise Saudi to lead the creation and implementation of the organisation’s port and shore excursions network.

Grabenweger, who previously held positions at Royal Caribbean Group and ITM-Group Mexico, will be director of shore excursions and product development and Blazquez joins as executive director of port and terminal operations having previously worked for Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services and Global Ports Holding.

The pair bring a combined 30 years' experience and will focus on sustainability and innovation to create an optimal experience for Cruise Saudi.

Recently formed to champion the cruise industry in Saudi Arabia, from developing ports, destinations and shore excursions options to welcoming cruise lines to the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf,  the latest additions to the team follow the dual appointment of Mark Robinson as chief commercial & operations officer and Miguel Reyna as chief development & asset management officer.

Tailor-made excursions

Working in partnership with local and international communities and businesses, Grabenweger will be responsible for developing the shore excursion product tailor-made to specific cruise lines as well as overseeing service delivery and consistency.

Red Sea preservation prioritized

Blazquez will prioritize the preservation the Red Sea’s ecosystem and the integration of local communities within his port and terminal operational strategy.

Commenting on these additions to the team, Robinson said, ‘I am delighted that Barbara and Serafin are joining our team. Their expertise in both shorex and ports operations will be extremely valuable to the realization of the vision that Cruise Saudi plans to deliver to the cruise market.’

Cruise Saudi aims to create 50,000 jobs by 2035, and preliminary studies indicate the company will be able to facilitate approximately 2m annual passengers at destinations and supported cruise voyages. 

Earlier this month at Seatrade Cruise Virtual: Expedition Cruising, Ghassan Khan, chief strategy officer at Cruise Saudi spoke of plans to develop six ports for cruise operations in the coming years including an initial three locations along the Red Sea and Dammam on the Arabian Gulf.