Port Jeddah (officially "Jeddah Islamic Port") is a Red Sea cruise port, Saudi Arabia's largest seaport, the second-largest Arabian/Middle East port (after Dubai's Port Jebel Ali) and the world's 36th largest (by annual cargo shipping volumes). Jeddah is the cruise port to the holy for all the Muslims cities Mecca (Makkah al-Mukarramah, approx 65 km/40 mi to the east) and Medina (Al Madinah Al Munawwarah, approx 360 km/220 mi to the north).
Through the 1976-founded Jeddah Islamic Port are handled most of Saudi Arabia's imports (65%), including over half of the containerized cargoes. The seaport occupies a total area 12 km2 (4,6 mi2) and currently has 62 operational berths (deepwater quays with max-draft 16 m/53 ft) and overall quay length 11,2 km (7 mi). Port Jeddah can handle most of the world's largest container carriers (ULCVs/Ultra-Large Container Vessels with max cargo capacity 20,000 TEU-containers).
In late-January 2019 was signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between RSGT-Red Sea Gateway Terminal (subsidiary of SISCO-Saudi Industrial Services) and Mawani (Saudi Ports Authority) for the development/expansion of Port Jeddah's northern part. By this SAR 2+ billion (~USD 535 M / ~EUR 440 M) project, the port's annual TEU capacity was increased to 2,5 million TEUs.
Besides Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's other large port cities are Dammam, Yanbu, Jubail, Gizan, Ras Al-Mishab (serving Al Batin), Ras Al-Ghar, Ras Tanura (near Dammam), Dhuba and King Abdullah KAEC (newest). All seaports (9 total) are managed by Mawani (Saudi Ports Authority) and have combined annual traffic 15,000 ships, 13 million TEUs, 530+ million cargo tonnes, 214 platforms. Ship terminal operators include the companies Zamil Operations and Maintenance (King Fahad Dock/ship repairs), United National Marine Projects (passenger and ferry stations), GSCO Ltd (TEUs), MM Group (general goods, livestock, grains), Sianco & DP World Venture (TEUs), ATCO (general goods), Tasdeer (trading and export) and RSGT Ltd (TEUs).
Jeddah Waterfront (Jeddah Corniche/2017-inaugurated) is a Red Sea coastal tourism area spanning ~30 km (19 mi). Jeddah Waterfront has capacity to handle 120,000 people (3000 parking lots) and is lined up with parks, kids playgrounds, 3x large swimming beaches (fronted with crescent moon-shaped artificial islands), 25x huts, gardens, fountains, bathrooms, outdoor fitness areas, restaurants, hotels, retail shops, USB-charging stations, info kiosks, aquarium, floating marinas (yacht docks).
Jeddah City is in Saudi Arabia's Hijazi Tihama region (Makkah Province) and the country's commercial capital, with population around 4 million. Jeddah is also Saudi Arabia's second-largest city (after Riyadh / ~7,7 million) and the country's largest resort city. The city's economy is based on shipping (port), commercial fishing, seafood processing, trade, finances, tourism (including religious tourism/pilgrimage, luxury resort vacations, premium fashion brand shopping, traditional cuisine, museums, annually held international festivals - Red Sea Film Festival, Jeddah Book Fair).
Since 2014, Al-Balad (Old City) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city's largest mosque (King Saud Mosque, 1987-built) is in the Al-Sharafeyyah District and has dome height 42 m (138 ft) and minaret height 60 m (197 ft). Saudi Arabia's highest tower (National Commercial Bank-NCB Tower/1983-built) houses AlAhli Bank (country's largest) and has height 235 m (771 ft).
In late-January 2021, Saudi Arabia launched the new cruise company "Saudi Cruise" (Jeddah-homeported operations) with which was established the country's own ship travel sector generating estimated 50,000+ tourism industry jobs. Saudi Cruise is owned by Saudi Arabia's PIF (Public Investment Fund) and part of the "Vision 2030 Plan". The new brand operates Red Sea itineraries targeting mainly foreign tourists with top-luxury, culture-themed coastal voyages. All PIF-owned subsidiaries aim to contribute to Saudi Arabia's GDP (SAR 2.95 trillion in 2018, or ~USD 790 billion/~EUR 650 billion) via non-oil revenues - planned SAR 1,2 trillion (USD 320B / EUR 265B) by 2025-Q4.
In August 2020, Silversea's ultra-luxury ship Silver Spirit (rebranded as "Red Sea Spirit") was seasonally chartered for leisure voyages in Saudi Arabia. The scheduled for 2 months (first departure on August 27, 2020) itineraries visited Makna/Magna (Tabuk Province), Yanbu al-Bahr (Madinah Province), Ras al-Abyadh (Madinah) and Neom (Tabuk). The 600-passenger superyacht offered 3- and 4-day roundtrips from King Abdullah Port for domestic tourists only.
In April 2021, MSC and Cruise Saudi (fully-owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund) announced a partnership for launching Red Sea cruises in 2021-2022 winter by homeporting in Jeddah the ship MSC Magnifica.
- A framework agreement in Riyadh was signed by Pierfrancesco Vago (MSC's Executive Chairman) and Fawaz Farooqui (Cruise Saudi's Managing Director).
- MSC Magnifica was scheduled to operate 7-day Red Sea voyages (November 2021 through March 2022), that visit 3 Saudi ports - including weekly calls to Port Al-Wajh (gateway to the UNESCO site Hegra in Al-Ula).
- In addition to Magnifica's Red Sea sailings, MSC Virtuosa had scheduled an Arabian Gulf 2021 winter season (December 2021 through March 2022) with visits to the Saudi port Dammam and the Al-Ahsa Oasis.
- With the two MSC boats, Cruise Saudi expected ~170,000 tourists during the winter 2021-2022 season.
- MSC's Saudi Arabia voyages were also offered as fly-cruise deals with fares inclusive of direct flights between Europe and Jeddah via Saudia (fka Saudi Arabian Airlines). Part of the agreement, Saudia's flight schedules were modified to fit the two MSC cruise liners' homeport times (departure and arrival).
Port Jeddah cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Mecca-Medina. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|8 October, 2021|
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