MSC World Europa Gets Grand Welcome

Credits; Arif Kasri/Unsplash

The Saudi Red Sea Authority (January 11) joined hands with the kingdom’s ports authority Mawani and Cruise Saudi to welcome MSC World Europa, the first cruise ship to enter Dammam’s King Abdulaziz Port, on its inaugural visit to the Saudi port, says an article published on Zawya.

Regulatory arrangements’ efforts

Carrying around 5,000 passengers, the ship’s arrival marks a historic moment for Cruise Saudi, Mawani, the Eastern Province and the country; as it opens Saudi Arabia’s coastline on the Arabian Gulf to cruising for the first time.

Rich coastal tourism

Saudi Red Sea Authority facilitated regulatory arrangements’ efforts to ensure the arrival of MSC World Europa, as the regulator that enables the private sector to practice marine and maritime activities in collaboration with Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mawani, Saudi Tourism Authority and Saudi Cruise to resolve all challenges to attract investment and highlight the rich coastal tourism in Saudi Arabia.

Current cruising season

Throughout Cruise Saudi’s current cruising season, the ship will make weekly calls at King Abdulaziz Port on its seven-day cruise round trip, which itineraries also include the ports of Doha – where it homeported during November and December last year hosting football fans – Dubai and Abu Dhabi, said the Saudi Red Sea Authority in its statement.

Working in conjunction

These visits are in line with Cruise Saudi’s efforts of developing world-class port’s infrastructure to welcome global cruise ships and passengers to explore the country’s diverse offering – by working in conjunction with Mawani.

Led to milestone

The occasion was celebrated with the traditional Plaque & Key Exchange Ceremony on board MSC World Europa, attended by representatives of Cruise Saudi, Mawani, and the key authorities whose efforts and cooperation led to this milestone, including, Saudi Red Sea Authority, and Zakat, Tax & Customs Authority, as well as the ship officials, including Captain of the vessel Marco Massa.

Cruise Saudi has previously welcomed four MSC cruise ships – including MSC Splendida, MSC Orchestra, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Bellissima – to Jeddah Islamic Port and Yanbu Commercial Port to sail the Red Sea.

Uniqueness of the occasion 

Not only does the arrival of MSC World Europa mark the first time a cruise ship arriving at Saudi Arabia’s coastline on the Arabian Gulf, but the uniqueness of the occasion in that it is the first time passengers disembark at Dammam’s King Abdulaziz Port, stated the Saudi Red Sea Authority in its statement.

Key commercial port

Till this moment, the port was exclusively the country’s key commercial port, through which cargo from all over the world reached Saudi Arabia’s Eastern and Central provinces, it added.

High-quality infrastructure

Cruise Saudi CEO Lars Clasen said: “As we welcome the first cruise ship and first group of passengers to King Abdulaziz Port, we open a new and important gateway connecting Saudi Arabia to the rest of the world – via the Arabian Gulf. Cruise Saudi was established to develop and create the cruise industry in the country and welcome tourists to explore the unique and rich Saudi history, heritage, culture and offering. And this moment marks another step toward our goal of establishing Saudi Arabia as a premier regional and global cruising destination. By leveraging the temperate climate, high-quality infrastructure and easy access to both the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf, we provide global cruise lines the opportunity to operate year-round cruising – which is not possible in many other major cruise destinations – and position the region as a promising player in the global industry.”

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Source: Zawya