Middle East Cruise News

MSC Musica to homeport in Saudi Arabia for 2024/25 Middle East cruise season

The 2024/25 Middle East cruise season is shaping up to be one of the largest to date, with MSC Cruises deploying two ships to the region, while AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, and TUI are all returning with larger and newer ships as well.

MSC Cruises previously announced that its new eco-ship MSC Euribia would be depoyed to Dubai to operate 7-night roundtrip cruises in the Arabian Gulf, and has now confirmed that it will also be returning to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia during the same season.

MSC Cruises will homeport in Jeddah with MSC Musica, sailing 7-night roundtrip Red Sea itineraries visiting Aqaba for Petra in Jordan, Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt and Sokhna Port for the country’s capital Cairo, as well as Safaga, Egypt’s gateway to Luxor.

MSC Musica

In addition to Jeddah, MSC Musica will also offer Safaga as an embarkation port, following a trend of interporting that has grown in popularity in the European and Middle East markets. MSC also offers interporting in the Arabian Gulf, with Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha all serving as potential homeports, as do Costa and AIDA Cruises.

The announcement of cruises from Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea, and from the UAE in the Arabian Gulf, comes as part of the roll-out of MSC Cruises’ wide-ranging global itineraries for 2024/25.

MSC Meraviglia will continue sailing from New York City, with a wide range of itineraries spanning 7 to 11 nights, while MSC Seascape will sail weekly cruises from Miami to the Caribbean.

MSC Divina will operate a range of 3 to 10-night Caribbean cruises from PortMiami, while MSC Seashore will homeport in Port Canaveral and MSC Virtuosa will be based in Fort-de-France, Martinique.

In Europe, MSC World Europa will visit island hotspots like Sicily, Malta and more, while MSC Preziosa will offer 7-night cruises in Northern Europe departing Hamburg, to Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Le Havre, and Southampton with extended port stays.

MSC will also sail a 21-night grand vouage from Southampton on January 5th, 2025, visiting the Canary and Madeira Islands, as well as Morocco.

This will be MSC Cruises’ fourth cruise season in Saudi Arabia, after it previously homeported MSC Splendida in the country in 2020, followed by MSC Bellissima in 2021, and MSC World Europa in 2022.

Saudi Arabia’s nascent cruise industry is poised for major growth in the coming years, with local tourism authority Cruise Saudi having recently confirmed the acquisition of a $330-million cruise ship for a new domestic Saudi Arabian cruise brand AROYA Cruises.

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