RED SEA & Saudi Arabia Cruises



Our brand-new Saudi Arabia and Red Sea seasonal itinerary promises to be the very best way to discover this fascinating part of the Middle East. Guests will find the MSC Cruises’ world-class entertainment, fine international dining, award-winning family programs and a rich offer of excursions to discover the authentic beauties. It will be also enriched with extra features to welcome and accommodate local guests in respect of local culture and values. 


What will be the travel requirements to reach Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, the embarkation port?

Guests sailing on MSC Splendida departing from Jeddah, will be required to have a valid visa (see next question) and comply with certain covid related requirements. Click here to see all the Health and Safety requirements. MSC Cruises health and safety measures are subject to change and will adapt according to the evolution of the pandemic.


How will MSC Splendida guests obtain travel visas for Saudi Arabia?

All the information related to Visas & Travel Requirements for Saudi Arabia can be found here. It is the sole responsibility of the Guest to identify and obtain all required travel documents for the entire cruise vacation and have them available when necessary.


The Port of Sokhna serves as the gateway to Cairo. Please, note that as a commercial port, local regulations prohibit cruise guests from walking independently within the port premises. As no taxis are available within the port area, you will only be able to disembark if you purchase a shore excursion. MSC Cruises offers a wide range of excursions from Sokhna that will take you to Cairo and other exciting destinations in the area. You can book your excursions on our website to secure a seat in your favorite tour while saving up to 20%. In case you choose to book an excursion with a third-party operator, we kindly ask you to ensure that they have obtained the necessary permit from local authorities to access the port. Without this permit, they will not be able to enter the port premises.


- Food on board

What type of food will be served?

From elegant main restaurants with new international and local menus every day to an informal buffet restaurant, MSC Bellissima offers as well the world’s finest cuisine with our specialty restaurants: from authentic teppanyaki and Japanese delicacies, to French cuisine, Spanish Tapas, and to succulent American-style steaks. Since the guest profile for MSC Bellissima’s sailings will be about 50% international guests and 50% from Saudi Arabia, MSC Cruises will provide a large variety of food options, including many local flavored options and halal food proteins will be served in all dining outlets.

- Beverages

With MSC Bellissima's itinerary set to call three ports in Saudi Arabia, will you serve alcohol onboard?

Yes, alcohol will be available for our guests onboard MSC Bellissima during her winter season in the Red Sea as it has similarly on our cruise ships that have in the past operated in the Gulf and will do so also in winter 2021/22. In respect to Saudi Law, alcoholic drinks will not be served during the stays in Saudi Arabian ports. Our long list of non-alcoholic drinks will be enriched to offer even tastier drinking choices when the ship stays in Saudi Arabian ports.

- Onboard Languages

Which languages will be spoken on board MSC Bellissima on her Red Sea itinerary? 

The guest profile for MSC Bellissima’s sailings will be about 50% international guests and 50% from Saudi Arabia. As onboard all our ships, public announcements and printed materials on board MSC Bellissima will be available in our regular six international languages (English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese). In addition and in order to also address the best service and experience to our local guests, Arabic will also be used for public announcements and we will have a number of Arabic-speaking staff on board all of MSC Bellissima’s sailings throughout the season.  

- Dress Code

Is there a specific dress code for guests onboard the ship or when relaxing by the pool?
We have a dress code for all of our cruises - not just the one proposed for Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea - and all of our guests are asked to dress appropriately as they would in their normal day-to-day lives. The same applies when guests are relaxing by the pool.

- Mixed venues and women-only venues

Will you make some venues available exclusively for women? 

Both mixed venues and women-only venues will be available within the ship’s public areas such as in the MSC Aurea Spa in order to accommodate our international and local guests in respect of their culture and practices. 


Where is the list of shore excursions for these Red Sea cruises?

A spectacular shore excursions program is already available and bookable on our channels. New and exciting updates are being added all the time so please check back till the end of October.

Is there a specific dress code for shore excursions in Saudi Arabia?

All our guests – male and female – are kindly requested to respect local customs and traditions in Saudi Arabia. Local customs in Saudi Arabia require men and women to dress modestly, with their shoulders and knees covered in public areas. They should avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing or clothes with profane language or images. It is also advised to avoid showing a display of affection when in public.


Will there be restrictions during the excursions to destinations in Saudi Arabia?

Guests will discover Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea thanks to organized MSC Shore Excursions, which are conducted with the highest standards of health and safety. While the modest dress code applies while onshore in Saudi Arabia, it is especially important in and around religious buildings and monuments, where women will also be asked to cover their hair. It is forbidden to photograph Saudi residents without their permission. It is also advised to avoid showing a display of affection when in public.