RIYADH: Cruise Saudi, a wholly-owned venture of the Public Investment Fund, has unveiled a strategic partnership with the leisure services platform, Columbia blue, for the development of its much-anticipated premium cruise line, AROYA Cruises.
In a significant move, Cruise Saudi has selected Columbia blue, one of the leading players in the ship management industry, as its designated ship manager for AROYA Cruises.
The platform specializes in cruise and expedition passenger vessel management and boasts a large portfolio featuring some of the globe’s most distinguished brands.
Under this partnership, Columbia blue will be responsible for AROYA Cruises’ hotel management operations, covering critical areas such as guest relations, housekeeping, crew management and food and beverage. Additionally, the platform will take charge of deck and engine management, ensuring the vessel’s smooth operation and passenger safety.
Talking about the collaboration, Cruise Saudi’s CEO, Lars Clasen, emphasized the significance of this partnership in delivering a unique voyage for AROYA Cruises passengers.
“Columbia blue is a leader in the ship management industry and an instrumental organization for AROYA Cruises to work with. This strategic partnership is crucial in ensuring that AROYA Cruises passengers have the best possible experience on-board,” he said.
The partnership aligns with Cruise Saudi’s vision to offer a unique Arabian cruise experience.
Columbia blue’s CEO, Norman Schmiedl, expressed pride in contributing to crafting an authentically Arabian experience for AROYA Cruises guests.
He added: “We are extremely proud to be helping AROYA Cruises deliver a remarkably Arabian experience to their guests. We are deploying all of our 40 years of experience in cruise ship management to deliver safe, efficient and sustainable standards to AROYA Cruises.”
Announced in June 2023, AROYA Cruises is set to be the Kingdom’s upscale maritime venture, designed to cater to the preferences of Saudi nationals, expatriates, and regional visitors.
The partnership with Columbia blue underscores Cruise Saudi’s broader mission to generate 50,000 employment opportunities within Saudi Arabia and welcome an estimated 1.3 million cruise passengers annually by the year 2035.
Earlier this week, Cruise Saudi and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu inked a memorandum of understanding to unlock the tourism potential of the Kingdom's unexplored southern region.
This strategic partnership aims to position the southern region as a captivating destination for tourists, fostering growth in tourism and contributing to the region’s economic advancement.