Emerald Cruises, a luxury boutique cruise line that recently expanded into the ocean-going cruise sector, has announced its first cruises will include calls in Saudi Arabia.
The cruise line, which has traditionally focused on the river cruise sector, is expanding into the ocean-going cruise space with its first cruise ship, the yacht-like Emerald Azzurra, and the Red Sea is on the itinerary.
Emerald Azzurra, carrying just 100 passengers in the luxury akin to a superyacht, will sail two Red Sea itineraries in 2022, visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Petra in Jordan, as well as Saudi Arabia.
Both itineraries will transit the Suez Canal. The first, a 10-day“Mysteries & Treasures of the Red Sea and Saudi Arabia” cruise, will sail from Limassol, Cyprus, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on February 14th, 2022.
The ship will call in Aqaba (for Petra), and Port Said (for the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx). The itinerary also includes Duba, Saudi Arabia, known as the Pearl of the Red Sea for visits to King Abdulaziz Fort or snorkeling, and Al Wahj to visit AlUla, the first World Heritage Site in Saudi Arabia and home to the tombs of Hegra.
The second Red Sea cruise, a 12-day “Ancient Wonders of the Red Sea and Mythical Greece” itinerary, will depart Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on March 18th, 2022 bound for Athens in Greece.
The cruise includes port calls in Al Wahj, Duba, Aqaba and Sharm-el Sheik, as well as Ain Sokhna, the nearest beach resort to Cairo, Crete, Santorini and Athens.
Highlights include a glass-bottom boat trip at Naama Bay in Sharm El-Sheikh, a traditional Felucca cruise on the Nile with a visit to the pyramids, and a walking tour of Agios Nikolaos, Greece.
Emerald Azzurra is due for delivery in January next year and is Emerald Cruises’ first custom-built ocean superyacht.
The majority of the 50 suites and staterooms will have private balconies while onboard amenities will includethe Sky Deck with its spa pool and the Wellness Deck with a spa, gym, sauna and hairdresser.
The superyacht’s marina platform is designed for easy access for snorkeling, paddle boarding and swimming.
Emerald Cruises is the latest cruise line to launch Saudi Arabian itineraries, with MSC Cruises leading the charge. While MSC is the only cruise line to homeport in Saudi Arabia thus far, several lines have announced itineraries featuring Saudi ports.
Scenic Group’s luxury boutique cruise ship Scenic Eclipse will sail to and from Saudi Arabia later this year, while Silversea Cruises has launched its first ever dedicated Arabian and African cruise itineraries.