Middle East Cruise News

Saudi Arabia plans to develop Jazan as new cruise destination

Cruise Saudi has announced it will be developing the port city of Jazan into a cruise destination, adding to the diverse line-up of ports already available in the Kingdom.

During a ceremony in the city, Cruise Saudi signed an MoU with the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY) to develop the accessibility and the experiences in the region for cruise tourism.

Cruise Saudi is the government agency charged with developing a local cruise sector in Saudi Arabia, which only opened up to cruises in 2021, while Jazan will become the Kingdom’s fifth cruise destination after Al Wajh, Dammam, Yanbu, and Jeddah.

Turks Castle in Jazan, built during the time of the Ottoman Empire

Jeddah is the primary cruise port in the country, accommodating cruise ships sailing roundtrip itineraries in the Red Sea. It has been a homeport to MSC Cruises every year since 2021, with growing interest from other major cruise lines.

The plan for Jazan is to position the port as a gateway of Saudi Arabia’s southern region, which boasts pristine beaches, azure seas, verdant forests, and craggy mountain peaks.

The port sits on the tip of Saudi’s Red Sea coast, 370 nautical miles from Jeddah, putting it within a day’s sailing distance and making it a convenient port call option on roundtrip itineraries in the Red Sea.

Cruise Saudi said it is in the process of developing exceptional shore excursions and unique experiences to reveal the breath-taking beauty of a region previously hidden from global tourists.

Wadi Lajab is 2 hours drive from the port

“By opening up Jazan to global tourists, we can continue to expand on our unique offering of previously untapped extraordinary and unique tourist experiences,” said Lars Clasen, CEO at Cruise Saudi. “We’re excited to see what the future holds between Cruise Saudi and a destination which has such huge potential for international tourism.”

Saudi Arabia only opened up to international cruise tourism in 2021 but has already seen significant interest from cruise lines and passengers as a result of its diverse mix of curated, high-quality shore experiences and ancient landmarks and archaeological sites, as well as its rich Arabian culture.

The Kingdom aims to welcome 1.3 million cruise passengers per year by 2035 and is fast-developing modern cruise infrastructure such as cruise terminals in Jeddah, Damman and Yanbu.

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