Open shores

Cruise Saudi

Cruise Saudi, a 100% Public Investment Fund (PIF)-owned business, has proved to be a pioneering force in the development of Saudi’s tourism industry, and a crucial pillar in the country’s ambitious Vision 2030.

Cruise Saudi is making waves. Having previously been closed to all but religious pilgrims and business travelers, Saudi Arabia offers a unique opportunity to visit some of the last shores on earth to be explored. Cruise Saudi can therefore offer cruise lines an exciting and fresh port of call, with a compelling and unique offering of onshore experiences, state-of-the-art port facilities, and exceptional owned cruise ship, ensuring passengers have an authentically Saudi experience from start to finish.

Cruise Saudi works collaboratively with stakeholders, government, and regulatory entities to improve cruise tourism in Saudi, not only to create an exceptional full-service cruise infrastructure, but also to introduce maritime e-visas for cruise passengers. This has made it simpler for tourists to travel to Saudi, smoothing their experience inside the terminal, facilitating the immigration process, and eliminating biometric screening.

Throughout the seasons, Cruise Saudi has also worked in tandem with public- and private-sector partners to build and refurbish berths and passenger terminals at Jeddah Islamic Port, Yanbu Commercial Port, and Dammam’s King Abdulaziz Port as homeports and ports of call. With further ports in development, for example the recent MoU signing with the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu to open a cruise port in Jazan, Cruise Saudi continues to increase Saudi’s accessibility on a local, regional, and international level. Also working closely with local businesses and tour guides, Cruise Saudi puts tourists at the heart of their Shorex programme, to tailor experiences and adventures to the specific needs of the visiting passengers and therefore creating experiences that are unique.

Cruise Saudi’s pioneering Shorex program is crucial to creating unique experiences and is designed to ensure that passengers experience the best of Saudi. From thriving marine life to bustling restaurants and souqs, and with three UNESCO World Heritage Sites accessible by cruising, there is an abundance of truly amazing experiences. The dynamic offering of excursions available includes snorkelling in the Red Sea coral reef, discovering secluded islands in Yanbu and exploring the thriving city metropolis of Dammam. The latter was largely closed off to outsiders prior to Cruise Saudi launching the cruise facilities in King Abdulaziz Port in January 2023.

Cruise Saudi announced the launch of its owned cruise-line, AROYA Cruises, in Summer 2023, the first of its kind with a commitment to showcase remarkable Arabian experiences. The visionary product, the likes of which have never been seen before in the local or regional marketplace, is a significant step in providing new holiday options for Saudi-nationals and their neighbours, a unique opportunity for them to explore their homeland like never before.

AROYA Cruises will reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and warm hospitality, providing an immersive journey, designed and tailored to reflect its brand values of inspiration, enrichment, generosity and respect. For this owned cruise line, Cruise Saudi has partnered with cutting-edge tech organisations and world-leaders in cruise ship design to provide the highest standard of service, comfort, and experience on the cruise ship. These collaborations embrace localised preferences and combine this remarkably Arabian experience with integrated cutting-edge technology, state-of-the-art facilities and quality modern interiors, all designed with passenger comfort at its heart.

Meanwhile, AMAN at Sea, created in partnership with hotel brand Aman, is a purpose-built ultra-luxury superyacht designed to the renowned luxury standard of the Aman Resorts and Hotels brand. This joint venture reflects a growing trend across the luxury hospitality sector in which brands previously based exclusively on land are extending into water-based tourism. Estimated to be ready for cruising by 2027, Aman at Sea will offer guests an unrivalled holistic resort experience in a private setting. With amenities such as an Aman-style spa with Japanese garden, Michelin-quality restaurants and helicopter landing pad, this cruise line will open Cruise Saudi product to the ultra-luxury markets.

With the ambitious aim to welcome 1.3 million cruise passengers to Saudi by 2035, Cruise Saudi continues to develop new cruise ports and terminals, expand on the existing compelling Shorex offering, and empower the local Saudi communities to drive economic growth and human capital development, supporting the country’s wider tourism agenda which aims to welcome 100 million visitors to Saudi annually.