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MSC Splendida debuts in Saudi waters as Cruise Saudi’s third season gets underway

Plaque and key exchange in Jeddah Islamic Port in the presence of Dr. Hani Gharbawi, chief legal and governmental affairs officer at Cruise Saudi and MSC Splendida’s captain
Cruise Saudi, Jeddah Islamic Port and Yanbu Commercial Port welcomed MSC Splendida this week on inaugural visits to Saudi ports.

Cruise Saudi is embarking on its third cruise season which runs from November 2022 until May 2023. Over 75 calls are expected from ships from five different brands.

Plaque and key exchange ceremonies were held in Jeddah Islamic Port on Wednesday in the presence of MSC Splendida’s captain, Dr. Hani Gharbawi, chief legal and governmental affairs officer at Cruise Saudi, and officials from The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani); today a similar exchange took place in Yanbu Commercial Port.

Jeddah and Yanbu

Throughout the season, MSC Splendida will make weekly calls at both Jeddah and Yanbu Ports, on 3, 4 and 7-day cruise itineraries, which also include Egypt and Jordan.

The visits are in line with Cruise Saudi and Mawani’s goals to establish a fully integrated cruise industry in Saudi – an additional arm to the country’s flourishing tourism industry – and to transform the country into a premier global cruise destination.

Dr. Gharbawi commented on the arrival of the ship: ‘We are pleased to welcome MSC Splendida to Saudi – the fourth ship from MSC Cruises to sail Saudi waters since Cruise Saudi launched the industry less than two years ago.’

MSC Orchestra kicked off the winter season last week, MSC Virtuosa visited earlier this year and MSC Bellissima was the first ship to homeport from Jeddah Islamic Port’s cruise terminal in July 2021.

Five brands

In addition to MSC Splendida, the following ships are scheduled to call at Saudi ports during the season: MSC Orchestra, MSC Sinfonia, Silversea’s Silver Spirit and Silver Cloud,  Viking’s Viking Neptune, Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Bolette and ROW Management's residential ship The World.

Since its launch in January 2021, Cruise Saudi – in conjunction with Mawani and other local and governmental entities – has developed three ports in Saudi (Jeddah, Yanbu, and Dammam) with the required infrastructure to receive cruise ships.

The company operated a summer 2021 season followed by a full winter season 2021/2022  and welcomed 50,000+ local and international passengers of 80+ nationalities.


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