MSC Cruises has expanded the seven-night itinerary to include Cairo in Egypt and there are now three embarkation ports for passengers to choose from: Sokhna Port and Safaga in Egypt, and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
The ship also calls at Aqaba for Petra, Jordan and Yanbu in Saudi Arabia as part of the program.
Extended stay, cruise flight
A 13-hour extended stay in Sokhna Port allows trips to the Great Pyramid of Giza while as part of the line’s “Fly&Cruise” program a nine-night travel package has been introduced which includes a pre-stay of two nights in Cairo before the seven- night sailing.
The highlights of the route are:
There are five shore excursions from Sokhna port for Cairo, allowing passengers to view the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Citadel of Saladin, mosques, madrasas, hammams, bazaars and fountains belonging to the “city of a thousand minarets”.
Hurghada and Luxor
From Safaga there are 13 shore excursions covering Hurghada and Luxor. The port town of Safaga is just down the coast from the first, known for its beach life; passengers can travel to the latter for visits to temples of Luxor and Karnak, as well as the Valley of the Kings also in ancient Luxor.
The ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site from Petra, Jordan – hewn from solid rock by the Nabataean Arabs over 2,000 years ago – accessible as part of the eight possible excursions from the port of Aqaba.
In contrast, Saudi Arabia’s second largest city blends antiquity with modernity, allowing passengers to see centuries of local traditions, especially on the ‘City of Culture and History’ excursion. .
From the port, passengers can venture to Hegra, the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, unveiling over 100 monuments. The ancient city of AlUla is located in a desert setting in the Hijaz Mountains where pilgrims, travelers and permanent settlers have gathered over the centuries. Surrounded by an ancient oasis, the old town of AlUla is dominated by a citadel dating from the 10th century and has some 900 brick houses, 400 shops and a maze of alleys and squares.
There are three shore excursions to choose from departing from the port of Jeddah.
A kaleidoscope of fish, marine flora and the sunken wreck of the British ship Iona can be seen when snorkeling at Iona Coral Reef from Yanbu, which is often considered the diving capital of Saudi Arabia due to its impressive reef systems. Or guests can head to Baridi Island Getaway for fun, sun and relaxation.