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MSC Cruises to Base Ships in Saudi Arabia this Winter

Author: Olivia Sharpe

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MSC Cruises has announced the launch of its Red Sea cruises in the coming winter 2021/22 season

MSC Cruises has signed a landmark framework agreement with Cruise Saudi to bring its ships to Saudi Arabian waters.

Under the terms of the agreement, MSC Magnifica will homeport in Jeddah, the commercial hub and one of the largest cities of Saudi Arabia, 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 5 December in Jeddah, MSC Magnifica guests will have the chance to follow this global sports event during their trip aboard MSC Magnifica.

In addition, MSC Virtuosa's Arabian Gulf winter 2021 programme – running from December 2021 to March 2022 – will include calls to the port of Dammam, visiting AlAhsa oasis, another Unesco World Heritage Site.

Managing director of Cruise Saudi, Fawaz Farooqui, said: 'We are delighted to work with MSC Cruises and are keen to forge a long-term partnership.

'We look forward to exploring opportunities to increase the number and size of vessels operating on Saudi routes in the future.

'Saudi Arabia has a lot to offer visitors, and the new collaboration will open doors for intrepid travellers from across the globe to be amongst the first to experience the rich Saudi heritage and warm, hospitality.

'Meanwhile, through welcoming international tourists to these emerging destinations, it will create new sources of income for local communities.'

MSC Cruises' executive chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, said: 'Having witnessed at first-hand the richness of the local heritage, I am impressed with Saudi Arabia’s ability to preserve its traditions and culture and make them available for the world to see.

'I am delighted that MSC Cruises will be in a position to contribute to the Kingdom’s opening to international visitors through becoming a premier cruise destination and I look forward to helping tourists from all over the world as well as from the Kingdom discover the incredible wonders that this country has to offer, including the untouched beauty of its coastline and historical sites.'

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