Cruise Saudi makes its mark at Seatrade Cruise Med

A key sponsor at the recently concluded Seatrade Cruise Med, Cruise Saudi shared its contribution to the world of
cruising through various speaking partnerships


Attendees from Cruise Saudi, a key sponsor at Seatrade Cruise Med, participated in various speaking engagements including panel discussions on the importance of millennial travellers and the changing geography of the region.

Miguel Reyna, Cruise Saudi’s Chief Development & Asset Management Officer, welcomed attendees to the State of the Mediterranean Industry Keynote on the first day of the conference where he shared an update from Cruise Saudi around its progress in driving the development of a world class, fully integrated cruise industry in Saudi.

During the Attracting Millennials to Cruise: The Next Generation, Mashhoor Baeshen, Director of Strategy & Stakeholder Management / Head of Shorex, highlighted the importance of this demographic for Cruise Saudi in particular given the size of the youth population in Saudi Arabia. He spoke about how Saudi Arabia can meet the new demands that the cruise industry is seeing from millennial travelers by offering them tailored experiences both onboard ships and at destinations.

Meanwhile, Barbara Buczek, Executive Director, Asset Management and Port Operations for Cruise Saudi, discussed how Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf Region can provide new opportunities for year-round cruising and emerge as a complementary new destination for Mediterranean cruising during a panel session on The Changing Geography of the Med: Adapting and Improvising.

Mashhoor Baeshen, Director of Strategy & Stakeholder Management for Cruise Saudi attended Attracting Millennials to Cruise: The Next Generation alongside Deborah Heather, CEO of Quality International Assessment Services (QIAS), Tarvo Topolev, CEO & Co Founder of RebelRoam and Filippos Venetopoulos, CEO of Variety Cruises.

Took part in The Changing Geography of the Med: Adapting and Improvising with Francesca Antonelli, Senior Vice President of MedCruise & Cruise Manager at MedCruise & Port Authority of Valencia, Aleksander Bienek, Vice President, Marine Operations at Star Clippers and Adam Sharp, Director, International Destination Development at Royal Caribbean Group.

Cruise Saudi is driving the development of a fully integrated and world-class cruise industry that earns a world-class reputation for quality and establishes Saudi as a cruise hub reflecting its history as a regional maritime hub. The company has equipped ports around Saudi with the infrastructure required to welcome cruise ships, including a cruise terminal located at Jeddah Islamic Port enabling passengers to embark and disembark, including cruise ports in Yanbu and Dammam.

Cruise Saudi has already operated two successful seasons welcoming more than 50,000 passengers from more than 80 nationalities to experience Saudi via cruise. Ships from five international cruise lines have come to Saudi, and six more cruise ships are already planned for the upcoming season.

Cruise Saudi aims to develop further ports around the country, opening up more destinations in Saudi to cruise tourism, and plans to welcome 1.3 million cruise passenger visits by 2035.

Cruise Saudi is operating within the broader context of Saudi’s Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy and develop new revenue-generating industries such as tourism to ensure opportunities and possibilities for current and future generations.

Cruise Saudi is committed to ensuring that the industry is set up for long-term success – one that reflects both innovation and looks to the future whilst keeping the history and heritage of the country at its heart. By bringing together industry leaders in Saudi tourism and entertainment – who bring the expertise and an understanding of Saudi culture – and global cruise industry experts, Cruise Saudi has the right mix of technical and cultural experts to bring a fresh perspective on cruising and create a truly unique experience.

Three of Saudi’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites – AlAhsa Oasis, Hegra Archaeological site in AlUla, and Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah – are accessible via cruising for the first time.

Cruise Saudi is also working with partners on ground – such as The Red Sea Development Company & Amaala, Jeddah Central Development Co., NEOM, Sharqiya Development Authority and the Royal Commission for AlUla – to activate more destinations and promote touristic activities around Saudi. 



New dates, new venue

THE world’s largest cruise trade conference, Seatrade Cruise Global, will host its 2023 conference and exhibition at the newly renovated Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center, from March 27 to 30, 2023. The four-day event is expected to attract more than 10,000 attendees.

The change of location and dates are expected to avoid potential date and venue clashes with the Formula One Grand Prix event in 2023. Seatrade Cruise Global will return to its customary April time frame in 2024 and onwards.

“We look forward to reuniting with our colleagues worldwide at Seatrade Cruise Global in March 2023 where we will continue to collaborate and explore solutions that support sustainable cruising as we sail to a better future,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association.

“Serving as a hub for US travel to the Caribbean, we’re excited to welcome our partners to the home of one of the busiest cruise ports in the world for another dynamic edition of Seatrade Cruise Global,” adds Michele Paige, President of FCCA.