travel requirements for red sea & saudi arabia cruises

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

BEFORE YOUR CRUISE

It’s every guest’s responsibility to verify the travel requirements before the cruise departure. MSC Cruises has worked with the authorities in all of the regions and countries in which the ships operate to ensure its protocol meets and exceed the required health and safety measures. The below details are subject to change.

COVID 19: MEASURES TO EMBARK 

Before booking your cruise, please check HERE if you are allowed to embark according to your country of residence. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there might be international travel restrictions depending on your cruise destination and your country of residence.

 

The below requirements are valid for current and following sailings (health and safety measures are subject to change and will adapt according to the evolution of the pandemic).


 

Please note that all Guests ages 2 and older will need to follow all of these requirements to be allowed on board:    

 

All guests 2 years or older must submit a negative RT-PCR test within 48 hours prior to embarkation. A negative 48 hours antigen test will be accepted for Saudi passport holders and residents only. 

 

  

All Guests 12 years and over have to be fully vaccinated. Guests are considered vaccinated if


Within the last 8 months and 14 or more days prior to departure they have completed a full set of vaccine shots with an approved Covid-19 vaccine including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson. A mix and match combination is also accepted. Vaccination certificates must be valid for the duration of the entire cruise. 


OR:

14 days prior to departure they have completed a Covid-19 Booster Shot and a full set of vaccine shots with an approved Covid-19 vaccine including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson. A mix and match combination is also accepted. Vaccination certificates must be valid for the duration of the entire cruise. 


Not following these requirements might result in denied boarding. 

To note:

  • Guests that recovered from Covid-19 and received only one shot of vaccine are not considered as fully vaccinated.

  • Antigen self-test is not accepted for Embarkation



The original test and vaccination certificate must be presented at the terminal (paper or electronic format) and must be in English. The COVID 19 test certificate must contain: guest’s personal data (verifiable with the other travel documents), date of the test, identification / contact details of the centre that performed the analysis, technique used and negative test result. 

OTHER TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

Before booking your cruise, please check HERE if you are allowed to embark according to your country of residence. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there might be international travel restrictions depending on your cruise destination and your country of residence.

 

A COVID-19 test or Passenger locator form (PLF) may still be necessary for national or international mobility requirement: it’s every guest’s responsibility to verify this requirement before departure. For more information, it is recommended to check your country’s competent authorities official channels.

 

 

Visas are required for the Saudi Arabia and Red Sea cruises. To obtain a valid visa each Guest must complete an online application here and pay a fee of USD 130. During the visa application process, Guests are required to provide personal details, other relevant information and use a valid passport.


  • For Guests who purchase our fly & cruise package  the cost of the VISA is already included in the package price. However, due to technical limitation of the Saudi portal, we cannot provide the Saudi Visa automatically before the cruise. Therefore we kindly ask our Guests to apply for the electronic Saudi Visa here before the cruise following the tutorial here. The cost of USD 130 per passenger will be reimbursed by MSC via a refundable onboard credit during your cruise on MSC Bellissima. Any amount not spent on board will be refunded in cash before disembarkation.


  • For guests who opt to buy a cruise only they are responsible to obtain their visa and should check with their airlines for more information. All guests from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are exempted of this requirement. 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.

    All Guests over 12 years old must register their vaccination data online at most 72 hours before arrival to Saudi Arabia.


    All guests over 12 years old must download and register in the Tawakkalna App (COVID-19 KSA), the official Saudi Contract Tracing app. Geolocalization (with data) must be kept activated all time when ashore in Saudi Arabia. Guests must download the Tawakkalna App in advance of arriving to Saudi Arabia.



To ensure peace of mind, MSC Cruises requires all guests to have a specific and mandatory Covid-19 insurance policy to embark, covering against COVID-19 related risks, i.e cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance and related expenses, as well as hospitalization. Before finalizing a reservation, it is possible to add to the cruise on this website the MSC COVID-19 Protection plan to all departures on sales from 2021-2022 Winter season onwards. A proof of the specific COVID-19 coverage insurance policy - which must be in English, Italian, German, French or Spanish - must be presented at embarkation or boarding will be denied. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EMBARKATION

HEALTH SCREENINGS & EMBARKATION CHECKLIST

As per our stringent MSC Health & Safety protocol, all guests both vaccinated and unvaccinated, will need to undergo some Health and COVID 19 screenings including a health questionnaire and a contactless temperature check, at the terminal before boarding.  

 

For a seamless embarkation process, please make sure to review our Health & safety measures in place in our terminals and to bring


  • A printed copy of the embarkation form (available in your cruise ticket)

  • A printed copy of the mandatory health questionnaire duly completed and signed within 6 hours prior to the embarkation (available in your cruise ticket)

  • The original COVID 19 test and vaccination certificate (paper or electronic format)must indicate that complete vaccination has taken place within the last 8 months. Those passengers who received the booster vaccine are exempted from the 8 months restriction.

  • A proof of COVID-19 insurance clearly showing the COVID-19 risks coverage

  • A valid identity document

We will deny boarding in case of:


  • Symptoms i.e fever (>37,5 C C / 99.5 F), cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle/body aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat and loss of taste/smell in the 14 days prior to embarkation

  • Potential exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID 19 in the 14 days prior to embarkation

  • Temporary travel restrictions based on local circumstances. For example, certain countries may deny visas or prohibit entry based on travel history or nationality

  • Failure to provide the proof of the mandatory COVID-19 insurance policy which must be in of the following languages: English, Italian, German, French or Spanish)

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GOING
ASHORE & TRAVELLING BACK HOME

GOING ASHORE & TRAVELLING BACK HOME

A COVID-19 test or Passenger locator form (PLF) may still be necessary for national or international mobility requirement: it’s every guest’s responsibility to verify this requirement before departure. For more information, it is recommended to check your country’s competent authorities official channels.

 

Guests will be able to go ashore independently according to local requirements which are continually monitored and subject to change. Guests who are travelling with unvaccinated children are also able to go ashore independently. For the best ashore experience, we recommend all guests explore destinations with the comfort, convenience, and safety of an MSC Cruises Shore Excursion, bookable pre-cruise and on board. More information in the FAQ section.  

 

 

All guests over 12 years old must download and register in the Tawakkalna App (COVID-19 KSA), the official Saudi Contract Tracing app. Geolocalization (with data) must be kept activated all time when ashore in Saudi Arabia. Guests must download the Tawakkalna App in advance of arriving to Saudi Arabia.

  

 

To allow a safe return home to our Guests in compliance with national regulations, MSC Cruises has organized the possibility for its guests to purchase and perform a RT-PCR test or an antigen test during their cruise. More information in the FAQ section.