MSC and Scenic Cruises basing ships in Saudi Arabia this summer

MSC Cruises will launch a ship from Saudi Arabia this summer, with the MSC Bellissima offering 21 Red Sea voyages from Jeddah from the end of July through late October.

And, Scenic Cruises will launch Saudi Arabia cruises this summer from Jeddah, offering scheduled cruises as well as charter sailings on the Scenic Eclipse, a luxury expedition ship.

The Bellissima will be the second MSC ship in Saudi Arabia. MSC recently said it would launch cruises from the Kingdom this winter with the MSC Magnifica homeporting in Jeddah in November and sailing seven-day Red Sea cruises through March 2022. 

The 228-guest Eclipse will be based in Jeddah from July 17 to Dec. 9. It will be under charter through October, after which it will operate scheduled cruises to international guests. Among the destinations on its itineraries will be Yanbu, a port city with opportunities for swimming, diving, snorkeling and watersports in the Red Sea as well as rich cultural experiences. Beyond Saudi Arabia, the Eclipse will visit Aqaba in Jordan and Port Ghalib Marina, a short distance from Luxor in Egypt.

“Saudi Arabia will be one of the hottest tourist destinations in coming years, and we’re very glad guests will get to experience it in 6-star comfort on board Scenic Eclipse,” said Glen Moroney, chairman of Scenic Group.  

The MSC Bellissima will sail three- and four-day cruises to Safaga near Luxor, Egypt or Aqaba before returning to its Saudi homeport. MSC said it will be the largest cruise ship ever to sail the Red Sea. 

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