Following a highly successful inaugural season in the region, MSC Cruises has confirmed that MSC Bellissima will extend her deployment in Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea for the winter 2021/2022 season.
MSC Bellissima and the itineraries in Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea have proven very popular since she first commenced sailing there this July out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Her continued deployment in the region will further enrich the cruise experience for guests looking for the ultimate winter getaway. MSC Bellissima will replace MSC Magnifica, which was previously scheduled to serve in the region this winter.
This itinerary for winter 21/22 is brand new for MSC Cruises and is the first of its kind, offering international and local guests unique opportunities to discover Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan by cruise ship – visiting culturally-rich destinations and unspoiled beaches and giving guests the chance to immerse themselves in the incredible history and tradition of the region.
From 30 October 2021 MSC Bellissima will offer 7-night cruises from Jeddah, calling at the ports of Ras Al Abyad, Yanbu, AlWajh in Saudi Arabia and then Safaga for Luxor in Egypt and Aqaba for Petra in Jordan.
MSC Bellissima is one of the newest ships in the MSC Cruises fleet, first launched in 2019, and offers guests a rich and varied onboard experience with innovative and modern facilities including:
- The MSC Yacht Club with luxurious accommodations spanning three decks, private facilities and butler service round-the-clock
- 12 dining venues and more than 20 lounges so that guests will be spoiled for choice including the French specialty restaurant L’Atelier Bistrot, popular American style steakhouse the Butcher’s Cut as well as Kaito Teppanyaki and Kaito Sushi bar.
- Acclaimed pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury’s Chocolate & Café is dedicated entirely to unique and elegant chocolate creations and desserts and a delight for anyone with a sweet tooth.
- An award-winning family offering with kids’ activities and services from partners LEGO and Chicco with a dedicated family deck area
- Two stunning entertainment venues – the London Theatre and the Carousel Lounge offering original theatre productions and live entertainment
- An 80-metre-long LED Sky Screen encompassing a stunning 96-metre-long Mediterranean-style promenade, designed as the social hub of the ship lined with shops, bars and restaurants
- Comfortable and innovative accommodations to meet every need demonstrating the way that MSC Cruises puts the guest at the heart of its designs and ship building and with 10 different types of cabin to choose from, there really is something for everyone.
- JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA – Homeporting in this vibrant city that blends history and modernity, guests will have their pick of sites to visit. AlBalad, the old town of Jeddah and a cultural melting-pot, dates back to the 7th century, boasts beautiful buildings and an ancient souk and is one of UNESCO World Heritage sites Saudi Arabia has to offer. Jeddah is also known for its waterfront and modern shopping malls, offering entertainment and recreational activities to its visitors.
- RAS AL ABYAD, SAUDI ARABIA – known as “the White Coast” due to the stunning pristine white beaches. Guests can spend the day relaxing and unwinding taking in the stunning seascapes.
- AQABA FOR PETRA, JORDAN – This city rests on the Red Sea coast and is a haven for divers and history buffs alike. From snorkelling in the Aqaba Marine Park to Mamluk Castle and the Aqaba Archaeological Museum, this destination has something to satiate everyone’s interests. Aqaba’s close proximity to Petra offers guests a chance to travel to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, inhabited since as early 7,000 BC, and discover the rare and unique rock-cut architecture.
- YANBU, SAUDI ARABIA – This major port provides the perfect final stop on this 7-night cruise. The old town of Yanbu, located within walking-distance from the port, dates back 2,500 years, and offers one of the oldest souks, where traders used to come from places far and wide to sell their goods. The city is known as “the diving capital of Saudi Arabia”, and has become an increasingly attractive tourist destination due to its spectacular white sandy shores and lively coral reefs, offering opportunities for snorkelling and water activities in the pristine Saudi Red Sea.
- AL WAJH, SAUDI ARABIA – Framed by turquoise seas and 100 km of immaculate beaches on either side, the coastal city of AlWajh once served as one of the region’s central shipping ports. Its abandoned AlBalad old town features ancient Hejazi architecture made from Red Sea coral. It now serves as a coastal gateway to AlUla, home to Hegra (Al-Hijr Archaeological Site) one of Saudi Arabia’s cultural masterpieces and its first UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features more than 110 tombs carved from giant rock formations as well as ancient sites that date back to the 1st millennium BC.
At the end of March 2022, MSC Bellissima will leave the region and reposition to Japan for her planned cruises out of Yokohama from 21 April.