MSC, Cruise Saudi Sign Landmark Deal

Cruise Saudi and MSC Cruises are launching Red Sea cruises in the winter 2021/22 season.

Fawaz Farooqui, Managing Director of Cruise Saudi, and Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, signed a landmark framework agreement in the Saudi capital city Riyadh to mark the beginning of the new partnership.

Under the terms of the agreement, MSC Magnifica will homeport in Jeddah, the commercial hub and one of the largest cities of Saudi Arabia, as well as the second-largest port in the Middle East with a historical centre that has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Operating seven-day Red Sea cruises from November 2021 to March 2022, the vessel will visit a selection of ports and destinations in the region and three Saudi ports including weekly calls to the port of AlWajh, the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage site of AlUla.

As the Kingdom prepares to host the inaugural Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021 on Dec. 5 in Jeddah, MSC Magnifica guests will have the chance to follow this exciting global sports event during their trip aboard MSC Magnifica.

In addition to MSC Magnifica’s Red Sea sailings, MSC Cruises’ flagship MSC Virtuosa will see her winter 2021 program in the Arabian Gulf enriched with calls in the port of Dammam, visiting AlAhsa oasis, another UNESCO World Heritage site.

MSC Virtuosa will call at this destination every week from December 2021 to March 2022.

The two companies expect a total of up to 170,000 guests to explore Saudi Arabia’s historical, cultural and natural treasures on board the two MSC Cruises ships during the upcoming winter 2021/22 season.

Saudi residents will also get the opportunity to spend their holidays in their home country and discover its wonders from the comfort that only a cruise ship can provide.

International guests will be able to reach Jeddah via direct flight connections from key European and international cities serviced by Saudia, the Kingdom’s flag carrier.