Cruise Saudi welcomes the world to explore Kingdom


With undiscovered tourism opportunities to unexplored beaches, islands and destinations that boast the country’s rich cultural heritage and history, Saudi is an up-and-coming, exciting destination on the global tourism stage.

There’s simply so much that the world has yet to see, and Cruise Saudi has opened a new gateway connecting Saudi to the rest of the world – welcoming everyone to come and explore the country’s diverse offering.

Saudi has rapidly been expanding its tourism presence and offering, with six world heritage sites recognized by UNESCO since 2018, and several renowned international events have been hosted in cities around the country including Formula One Grand Prix, MDL BEAST’s Soundstorm festival, Red Sea International Film Festival, and many more.

Since Cruise Saudi’s launch in 2021, cruise ships from four international cruise lines have been welcomed to Saudi: MSC, Scenic, Viking and Silversea, which have completed more than 70 sailings during the summer and winter seasons in 2021/22. Around 50,000 local and international cruise passengers had the opportunity to explore Saudi, by sea and land.

Cruise Saudi and Aman Group recently announced Project Sama – a joint venture to build a first-of-its-kind luxury yacht to sail Saudi waters by 2025 – to offer best-in-class, seamless holiday experiences to elite guests with a focus on luxury, exploration and innovation.

The company aims to develop six cruise ports by 2025 with multiple destinations and different excursions that cater to all sorts of activities and interests for visitors from culture and heritage to entertainment, adventure and nature.

Infrastructure development remains a key focus during these early days of the industry, as is the sustainability of the industry that Cruise Saudi is developing, the health and safety of all passengers and crew, the end-to-end enjoyment of all guests, the training of not only crew members, but also support staff land side and on shore excursions.

Cruise Saudi is committed to the development of the tourism sector in Saudi, and this includes training the current and future workforce to operate the industry effectively and efficiently.

These programs have been designed to scout and nurture young Saudis to become skilled professionals – future leaders of the industry – and work toward the company’s goal of creating 50,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2035, in line with Vision 2030.

Cruise Saudi has been welcomed by prestigious industry bodies and secured memberships of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports (MedCruise). This highlights Saudi as an important player in the cruise industry and enables Cruise Saudi to build productive synergies within the industry globally.

The company’s achievements have been recognized by the global industry with several award nominations and wins: Best New Business Model at the 2021 Tourism Innovation Summit Awards, Best Business to Business Campaign: Launching Cruise Saudi at the 2021 MEPRA (Middle East Public Relations Association) Awards, finalist for Destination of the Year at the 2021 Seatrade Cruise Awards as well as a finalist in two categories at the PRCA (Public Relations and Communications Association) MENA Awards 2022: Best PR Campaign: B2B and Launch of the Year.

Cruise Saudi aims to welcome one million cruise passengers by 2028 as part of Saudi’s plan to see 100 million local and international visits by 2030. Its ultimate goal is to establish the Red Sea and Saudi as a cruising hub, echoing the history of the region as a maritime hub.