The Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) and the Cruise Saudi Company inaugurated on Wednesday the first cruise ship terminal at Jeddah Islamic Port, reported the Saudi Press Agency.
A number of partners from the government and private sectors were present at the event.
The inauguration comes only six months after the establishment of the Cruise Saudi Company, which was announced in January at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh. It also comes two days before the departure of the first cruise from Saudi Arabia to local and regional destination.
The MSC Bellissima cruise ship will depart Jeddah Islamic Port on July 30 for stops in Jordan and Egypt and end its journey on October 30.
President of Saudi Ports Authority, Omar bin Talal Hariri, said that choosing Jeddah Islamic Port to have the first cruise ship terminal in the Kingdom stems from its pivotal strategic location on the Red Sea and its proximity to the tourist sites and activities in Jeddah.
He added that MAWANI worked in cooperation with its partners to develop infrastructure, marine and logistical services at Jeddah Islamic Port, by inaugurating a passenger terminal for cruise ships accommodating more than 2500 passengers.
Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, Pierfrancesco Vago stressed that the launch of the largest and most modern cruise ship on the Red Sea coast is a historic step that represents a new beginning for cruise tours in the Kingdom.
He expressed his pride in the partnership with Cruise Saudi and in working with all partners to provide tourist experiences that meet the highest international standards.