MSC Cruises has enriched the seven-night itinerary to include Cairo in Egypt plus there are now three embarkation ports for passengers to choose from: Sokhna Port and Safaga in Egypt, and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
The vessel also calls Aqaba for Petra, Jordan and Yanbu in Saudi Arabia as part of the programme.
Extended stay, fly cruise
An extended 13 hour stay in Sokhna Port allows for trips to the Great Pyramid of Giza while under the line’s ‘Fly&Cruise’ programme, a nine-night travel package has been introduced that includes a two-night pre-stay in Cairo before the seven-night sailing.
Itinerary highlights are as follows:
There are five shore excursions from Sokhna Port for Cairo, allowing passengers to observe the Great Pyramid in Giza, the Citadel of Saladin, mosques, madrasas, hammams, bazaars and fountains belonging to the ‘city of a thousand minarets.’
Hurghada and Luxor
From Safaga there are 13 shore excursions spanning Hurghada and Luxor. The port town of Safaga is just down the coastline from the former, known for its beach life; passengers can journey to the latter for visits to the Luxor and Karnak temples, as well as the Valley of the Kings also in ancient Luxor.
The ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra, Jordan – hewn out of solid rock by Nabatean Arabs more than 2,000 years ago – can be accessed as part of the eight excursions possible from Aqaba port.
In contrast, Saudi Arabia’s second largest city blends antiquity with modernity, enabling passengers to see centuries of local traditions, especially as part of the ‘City of Culture and History’ excursion.
From the port, passengers can venture to Hegra, the first UNESCO World Heritage site in the country, revealing more than 100 monuments. The ancient city of AlUla is situated in a desert setting in the Hijaz mountains where pilgrims, travellers and permanent settlers have gathered over the centuries. Surrounded by an ancient oasis, AlUla’s Old Town is dominated by a citadel dating back to the 10th century and has some 900 brick houses, 400 shops and a maze of alleyways and squares.
There are three shore excursions overall to choose from departing Jeddah port.
A kaleidoscope of fish, marine flora and the sunken wreck of the British ship Iona can be seen while snorkelling at Iona Coral Reef from Yanbu which is frequently regarded as Saudi’s Arabia’s diving capital based on its striking reef systems. Or guests can head to Baridi Island Getaway for fun, sun and relaxation.