The ships dock a long distance from town. Use cruise provided transportation.
Saudi Arabia has launched an eVisa for cruise passengers sailing from the country or arriving at one of its ports. About 130 Euro. Cruise companies will often tell you they will take care of the visa. Often this is not the case. Just check well ahead of time!
Watch a destination video.
Absolutely no alcohol and drugs are allowed in the country and Sharia, or Islamic law is strictly enforced.
Once your ship is 12 nautical miles from the Saudi coastline, the bars open and alcohol is served in the restaurants,
If you bring medication with you, carry a doctor's prescription.
Both men and women should dress modestly covering shoulders and knees in public, avoiding tight-fitting clothing or clothes with profane language or images. And although female tourists do not need to cover their heads any longer when walking around, they do need to in places of worship.
It's just not done to walk down the street hand in hand or show any public displays of affection.
Homosexual or extra-marital sexual relations, including adultery, are illegal and can be subject to severe penalties. It's also illegal to be transgender. Transgender people travelling to Saudi Arabia are likely to face significant difficulties and risks if this is discovered by the authorities. However: MSC Cruises is determining how to approach this, but confirmed that gay cruisers are definitely not banned from entering the Kingdom and sailing.
Just in case you were thinking of linking up your iPhone with your Bluetooth speaker and playing it in a public spot, don't
Sharia law prohibits public observance of any religion other than Islam. So check your jewellery. If you are Jewish, you are allowed to visit the Kingdom, but not if you have an Israeli passport or a stamp from a visit to Israel.
Taking pictures or recording videos without permission is not permitted.
Jeddah has been a port and trading city for centuries, which is reflected in its cosmopolitan mix of inhabitants. Today, it is the major commercial center of Saudi Arabia. It also has many government offices. Jeddah is known in the kingdom for its shopping districts, restaurants and cafes. It also hosts the largest Corniche or waterfront in the Kingdom with a great bunch of hotels, beaches and resorts clustered around it.
You should also visit Jeddah Fountain which is the highest fountain in the world.
Jeddah provides a good look at the contrasts of life in a modern country where society is still organized strictly according to Islamic customs. For instance, all business activities and markets cease and are closed five times a day for prayer. Life here, however, is more liberal and cosmopolitan than most other places in this country, possibly because of its dual role as a sea port and as a destination for traveling Muslims, whose cultural sharing has impacted Jeddah.
Due to the climate, cruise organized excursions are recommended.
Often there will be a bus to the Old Town for $15 Euros return.
It pays to compare your cruise line tours here.
Mecca is not real far from there, but unless you are a muslim, you cannot go there.
At the heart of the old city, coral houses line both sides of this busy market street. A photography permit is theoretically necessary but in practice nobody seems to bat an eyelid as long as you don't stick your camera in people's faces without permission.
Shopping malls hours:
Saturday to Tuesday: From 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Wednesday & Thursday: From 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM
Currency in Saudi Arabia: Saudi riyal (SAR)
Arabic is the official language in Saudi Arabia, but English is widely understood.
Internet is available in the malls as well in cafes.
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