Saudi Arabian residents will soon be able to enjoy luxury leisure cruises on the Red Sea for the first time.
The cruises have been launched as part of the Saudi Tourism Authority’s Break Free campaign, which aims to highlight the kingdom’s cultural gems and promote domestic tourism.
There will be a choice of several itineraries along Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast, with passengers promised a wide variety of onboard leisure, dining and entertainment options.
The cruise operator is yet to be announced, but the STA confirmed it had invited top cruise companies to operate the new programmes.
The authority has partnered with the Ministry of Health, tour operators and other parties to put strict safety measures in place.
The first cruise ship is expected to sail from Jeddah to the northern province of Saudi Arabia on Monday, August 10.
The Break Free campaign, which is running until the end of September, covers 10 destinations around Saudi Arabia with a particular emphasis on the Red Sea coast.
On June 22, the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) also unveiled a new domestic tourism campaign called Saudi Summer, which will run until September 30 and promote attractions in 10 locations across the country.
“Tourism recovery typically begins locally,” said Yasser Telmsani, a representative of the Sun Travel Agency. “Travellers tend to first venture out closer to home and visit their local sights, stay local for a weekend getaway or travel domestically before a robust demand for international travel returns.”
The cosmopolitan coastal city of Jeddah and the country’s capital Riyadh are among the 10 popular domestic destinations for travellers in the kingdom that will be highlighted, along with Baha, Tabuk, Dammam, Khobar, Umluj and Ahsa.