Drift in bliss…

Explore, relax, and dream with a cruise holiday. For the first time ever, global cruise company MSC Cruises offers passengers the chance to sail the Red Sea from its new homeport in Jeddah.

 

From November 13, the MSC Magnifica will sail seven-night itineraries, starting with a visit to Jeddah’s historical Al-Balad district, a Unesco World Heritage Site. The vessel then sets out for Aqaba, a spectacular ancient city of Petra in Jordan. There, you will be able to snorkel at the Aqaba Marine Park and visit Mamluk Castle, a fortress originally built by Crusaders in the 12th century, and the Aqaba Archaeological Museum.

Following this, the vessel will call at the port of Safaga, Egypt, to see the ancient sites at Luxor. There will also be stopovers at two other Saudi ports, Al-Wajh and Yanbu, before returning to Jeddah.

The coastal city of Al-Wajh is famed for its unspoilt beaches to the north and south. You will be able to explore its Hejazi-style old town, which was once the heart of a bustling fishing village. A private beach experience, including snorkelling and other water activities, is also possible in Yanbu, one of the Kingdom’s major Red Sea ports.

Onboard activities and entertainment

 

Whatever thrills you seek, you’ll find all sorts of ways to fill your days on board MSC Magnifica. The ship’s facilities include five gourmet restaurants, a spa, an open-air pool complex and an indoor pool with a retractable roof so that guests can enjoy a dip regardless of the weather.

 

Sports enthusiasts can enjoy a workout in the high-tech gym and dedicated jogging track, or play a round of tennis, minigolf, bowling and billiards with your family and friends.

The entertainment continues into the evening, with a panoramic discotheque, 4D cinema, Internet café, cigar lounge, a plush 1,200-seat theatre, and live entertainment in the lounges. But if you prefer a quiet evening, step out onto the deck for a romantic drink under the stars, and watch the waves go by.

 

For kids and teenagers, they will have a blast at the themed venues onboard the MSC Magnifica, along with kids’ clubs and dedicated programs filled with daytime activities. Plus, parents can get a little time of their own. The hardest part is deciding where to start.

The ship will sail its Red Sea itinerary through March 2022, and bookings open May 1, with discount options available.

Those who book a December trip aboard the MSC Magnifica will also be able to take part in history, as Saudi Arabia will host the inaugural Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021 on December 5 in Jeddah. Guests aboard the ship around this time can take part in the action while aboard their cruise.

Future cruise plans

Meanwhile, MSC Virtuosa, the line’s newest vessel, will also set sail in Saudi Arabia during its winter 2021/2022 season. The ship will include calls in Dammam, with visits to another Unesco World Heritage site, the Al-Ahsa Oasis. MSC Virtuosa will homeport in Dubai, making trips throughout the Arabian Gulf.

 

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The Switzerland-based line is partnering with Cruise Saudi, a Saudi-owned organisation, to promote the Kingdom as a cruise destination. In a statement, Cruise Saudi said it was “keen to forge a long-term partnership” with MSC Cruises.

Fawaz Farooqui, managing director of Cruise Saudi, shared, “We look forward to exploring opportunities to increase the number and size of vessels operating on Saudi routes in the future.”

MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago added, “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.” Vago said he hoped the voyages would attract tourists from across the world and local visitors from Saudi Arabia.

Would you go on this cruise holiday? We definitely will…

Visit: mcscruises.com

Images: Supplied