200824 cruise ship
Cruise ship. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Saudi port of Dhaba on Sunday received Silver Spirit, the first cruise ship entering to the Kingdom’s ports for refuelling and taking part in the Saudi Tourism Authority’s ‘Break Free’ summer season campaign, local media reported.

Saudi Arabian cruise ships will set sail in the Red Sea for the first time on August 27, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

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The initiative is part of the Kingdom’s efforts “to provide exceptional leisure tourism services on the Red Sea, providing a wider array of options and raising awareness of the many natural and cultural treasures that lie along the Saudi Red Sea coast,” the STA said in a previous statement.

The new campaign seeks to highlight various tourist attractions along the Red Sea coast, and the high-end ships will have on board various restaurants and entertainment options. A theater, video game area, two swimming pools, a gym, and a souvenir shop are among the entities available to those on the cruise.

With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, the Ministry of Health, tourism authority and tour operators are coordinating efforts to ensure the safety and health of travellers.

The Kingdom’s borders remain shut to tourists as a preventive measure against coronavirus, but a summer vacation campaign was launched in June for citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia offering staycation packages.

Saudi Arabia has begun to attract international tourists following its decision to issue tourist visas in September 2019, and various projects are underway to boost tourism in the Kingdom. Among these is the Red Sea project, a coastal megacity that intends to welcome its first visitors by the end of 2022.