-FAQ-
Saudi Arabia & RED SEA Cruises - Winter 2022/2023

GENERAL INFORMATION

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.

PRECRUISE INFORMATION

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 such as mandatory vaccination for all Guests above 12 years old and mandatory RT-PCR test done within 72 hours before embarkation. In addition, all guests over 12 years old must download and register in the official Saudi Tawakkalna App (COVID-19 KSA). In addition to this, local Health Authorities questionnaire will need to be submitted upon arrival and required for all guests over 2 years old. Detailed information for all our Winter cruises including Saudi Arabia and Red Sea cruises are available on MSC Cruises website.

 

How will MSC Bellissima guests obtain travel visas for Saudi Arabia, as well as for Egypt and Jordan?

It is guests’ responsibility to get the VISA to enter Saudi Arabia. To obtain a valid visa, each Guests embarking from Jeddah must register and create the Visa application on the website www.visa.visitsaudi.com while each guest embarking from Safaga must register and create the Visa application on the website https://enjazit.com.sa/Account/Register.

All guests from countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council countries will not require visas. Guests’ passports need to have a minimum of 6 months validity at the time of travel


All guests from countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council countries will not require visas. 

Visa to visit Jordan on one of our shore excursions will be included in the guest’s holiday package, whether it be fly & cruise or cruise only. Guests’ passports need to have a minimum of 6 months validity at the time of travel.

 

Will there be additional travel and covid related requirements during the cruise? 

MSC Cruises is offering a safe and stress-free holiday option thanks to stringent MSC Cruises Health & Safety Protocol. Specific measures for Winter cruises in Saudi Arabia and Red Sea will be applied and available soon on MSC Cruises website. MSC Cruises is continuously assessing developments in response to the COVID-19 and will adapt the health and safety measures.

ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

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 Splendida offers as well the world’s finest cuisine with our speciality restaurants: from authentic teppanyaki and Japanese delicacies, to succulent American-style steaks and more. Since the guest profile for MSC Splendida’s sailings will be about 50 per cent international guests and 50 per cent from Saudi Arabia, MSC Cruises will provide a large variety of food options, including many local flavoured options and halal food will be served in all dining outlets.

- Beverage

With MSC Splendida itinerary set to call three ports in Saudi Arabia, will you serve alcohol on board?

Yes, alcohol will be available for our guests on board MSC Splendida during her winter season in the Red Sea as it is 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 the 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 more tastier drinking choices when the ship stays in Saudi Arabian ports.

- 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 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.

SHORE EXCURSIONS

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

A spectacular shore excursions program both for Saudi Arabia and Jordan is already available and bookable on our channels. Independent excursions are allowed, according to local port requirements.

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 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 on shore 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 display of affection when in public.  

 

Which are the safety requirements to go ashore in Aqaba, Jordan?

All guests going ashore in Aqaba must take a Covid test on board. 
For those going ashore with an MSC excursion, the price of the excursion always includes the price of the test which is mandatory to go ashore and will performed on board MSC Bellissima.

ADDITIONAL ONBOARD PRODUCT FEATURES

- 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 Splendida offers as well the world’s finest cuisine with our speciality restaurants: from authentic teppanyaki and Japanese delicacies and succulent American-style steaks.

- Onboard Languages

Which languages will be spoken onboard MSC Splendida on her Red Sea itinerary?

The guest profile for MSC Splendida’s sailings will be about 50 per cent international guests and 50 per cent from Saudi Arabia. As onboard all our ships, public announcements and printed materials onboard MSC Splendida 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 Splendida’s sailings throughout the season. 



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- 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.