Jeddah, a historic city in Saudi Arabia.(photo via Saudi Tourism Authority)
The Red Sea, famed for its scuba diving opportunities with shipwrecks and incredible coral reef systems, is quickly gaining traction as a unique cruise destination, with internationally recognized MSC Cruises as the biggest cruise line offering itineraries departing from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The cruises range from a three-night scenic cruise from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Yanbu Al Bahr and ends in Sokhna Port, Egypt to a grand 22-night Arabian Gulf tour from Doha, Qatar to Barcelona, Spain, visiting in Jeddah, as well as several other destinations in Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Italy and more.
The port city of Jeddah is one of the major cities in Saudi Arabia, offering a wealth of activities to enjoy before one even steps foot onboard their cruise ship. Whether a traveler is departing from the city on a cruise or stopping there for only a day, there’s something for everyone.
History lovers will love wandering through the UNESCO-designated Old Jeddah or Al-Balad, where intricately carved wooden balconies, or Rawashins, hang over streets that have survived centuries of daily life. Here, travelers will discover the scenes that inspired poets and writers for centuries and take home some of their most scenic photographs.
There are also several traditional markets, or souqs, available to visit throughout the day and the night in Old Jeddah, as well as several lavish historic houses that are now museums for travelers to experience how the wealthiest of Jeddah’s elite once lived.
Shipwrecks and vibrant coral reefs abound in the Red Sea off Saudi Arabia. (photo via Saudi Tourism Authority)
The itineraries that sail from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia typically also visit Yanbu Al Bahr as well, an ancient port city dating back to 500 BC that was once an important stop along the spice route from Asia to Europe.
There, travelers can explore the historic old town, try the culinary legacy of the city’s connection with the sea, stroll through the newly restored Souq Al Lail, the night market, and, of course, enjoy some incredible scuba diving opportunities.
Travelers interested in history and culture can also enjoy visiting the historic home-turned-museum of T.E. Lawrence, author of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom and inspiration for the classic film, Lawrence of Arabia.
Cruising in Saudi Arabia offers travelers the opportunity to discover the country’s unique coastline and ocean activities, while also offering opportunities to discover neighboring countries, too.
For more information, please visit Saudi Tourism Authority’s official website.