MSC Cruises and Explora Journeys, part of the Cruise Division of the MSC Group, have announced plans to open a joint office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The office will accommodate the commercial, sales and marketing departments for both cruise lines and is scheduled to open by November this year, just ahead of the 2023/24 cruise season.
MSC Cruises will begin its third season of Red Sea roundtrip itineraries from Jeddah this November, with MSC Orchestra offering 20 seven-night sailings to Aqaba in Jordan to visit Petra, Sharm El-Sheikh, Sokhna Port for Cairo and Safaga for Luxor.
The ship will spend six months in the Red Sea, marking MSC Cruises longest cruise season to date in the country, and underscoring the significant growth Saudi Arabia is experiencing as a cruise destination.
While Explora Journeys is not homeporting in the Kingdom like MSC, the new luxury cruise brand within the MSC Group will be sailing a range of cruises to and from the country, while also offering it as a port of call, during 2024 and 2025.
The new office will help MSC and Explora establish Saudi Arabia as a source market, building on the popularity of cruise tourism among the Saudi public, who accounted for up to 50% of passengers on MSC Cruises’ first cruise season out of Jeddah.
“MSC has had a presence in the Kingdom since 1996 and our shipping business here has grown exponentially and been an important contributor to the local economy,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of the MSC Group.
“We are very pleased that on the leisure side of things cruising is growing in popularity in Saudi Arabia and as such is playing an increasingly important role for us,” he added.
“We are seeing more of the Kingdom’s citizens and residents attracted to the great proposition that cruising offers and as such it is important for us to have a physical presence within the country,” he said.
“We are very much looking forward to opening the doors of our new office that will be dedicated to selling MSC Cruises and Explora Journeys for our local customers.”