Cruise Ships Regulation

Article 1: Definitions

The following terms and words, wherever mentioned in these Regulations, shall have the meanings assigned to each of them, unless the context otherwise requires:


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Board of Directors of the Authority:

Board of Directors of the Saudi Red Sea Authority.


Cruise Ships Regulation.


Saudi Red Sea Authority.

Geographical Scope:

The territorial sea of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea, in which navigational and maritime activities are practiced, and the part of the land

associated with the exercise of such activities, except for the military, security and other zones therein.

Cruise Ships:

A large passenger ship designed or used for the purpose of entertainment or tourism, paid costs, capable of accommodating a large number of Passengers on


Maritime Activities:

navigational activities of the marine craft that are used for tourism and recreational purposes or on which such activities are practiced within The Geographical Scope.

Cruise Ship Operator:

A legal person licensed by the Authority to practice the business of operating cruise ships within The Geographical Scope.

Maritime Tourism Agent:

A legal person licensed by the Authority to provide services to the marine craft to  practice Navigational Activities within The Geographical Scope.

Cruise Terminal:

The area used to stop or berth the cruise ship in The Geographical Scope.


The person transported by the ship other than the Master, crew members and other workers on board.

Article II (2): Purpose of the Regulation

  1. This Regulation aims to determine the terms, conditions and procedures that regulate the activity and business of cruise ships (cruises) within The Geographical Scope.
  2. It also aims to provide the necessary requirements for the operator to practice the profession within The Geographical Scope and to provide the obligations and rights of each relevant party in the operation of Cruise Ships (cruise) considering security, safety, environment, and health measures.

Article III (3): Local and International Maritime Regulations and Conventions

Marine Tour Operators must comply with all applicable laws, including the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the international obligations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under international maritime regulations and conventions including listed below:

  1. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

  2. Maritime Zones law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

  3. The Regime of maritime territorial boundaries and Internal waters and their Airspace.

  4. Environment Law and its relevant Implementing Regulations.

  5. Waste Management Law and its Implementing Regulations.

  6. International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, as amended 1974.

  7. Athens Convention on the Carriage of Passengers and Their Baggage by Sea (PAL), 1974, as amended.

  8. International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, and its amendments.

  9. The Commercial Maritime law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

  10. International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Control of Seafarers, 1978, as amended.

  11. International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage 2001.

  12. Convention on International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea, 1972.

  13. International Convention on Tonnage Measurement.1969 ،

  14. International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments,.2004

  15. International Convention on the Control of harmful anti-fouling on ships.

  16. International Convention on Load Lines 1966.

  17. 1988 Protocol relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966.

  18. International Safety Management Code (ISM) and International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS).

  19. Any other international convention relating to maritime safety and the safety of navigation and marine environment protection upon its entry into force.

Article IV (4): Licensing of the Marine Tour Operator

  1. The operator shall not conduct the activity of Marine Tour operations(cruise)unless he meets the statutory requirements in accordance with the local regulations in the Kingdom to obtain a license from the Authority.

  2. The operator must have a branch in Saudi Arabia.

  3. The operator must obtain all necessary permits for the purpose of operating Cruise Ships(cruises) in The Geographical Scope.

  4. All Cruise Ships must appoint a licensed tourist navigator before entering the Geographical Scope.

  5. The Authority shall issue, renew, or cancel the necessary licenses for the operator in The Geographical Scope in accordance with the controls set by the Authority, provided that this does not prejudice the completion of the requirements and conditions approved by other concerned authorities.

Article V (5): Obligations

  1. Obligations of the Marine Tour Operator and Maritime Tourism Agent:
    1. Conduct the activity skillfully, carefully, and diligently.

    2. Take all reasonable means to organize its affairs responsibly and effectively, considering the ability to manage risks and crowd management, including but not limited to the following:

      1. Not to obstruct or restrict access to any navigational channel, navigational assistance or safe navigation of any other vessel
      2. Adhere to the speed limits applied in The Geographical Scope.
      3. Maintain a safe distance from other vessels and from anyone in the water.
      4. Allowing the competent authorities to board the ship for inspection, customs, security or environmental protection purposes.
    3. Communicate effectively with Passengers, consider their interests, and avoid conflicts of interest.
    4. It is prohibited to commit any acts contrary to public order or morals or affect the safety of society.
    5. The operator is obligated to provide a statement of the tourism programs for the Navigational Activities that will be implemented each calendar year, and these programs shall be fully confidential when shared with the Authority.
    6. Provide the Authority with the required Passenger information for the purposes of preparing and writing statistics or any other information requested by the Authority.
    7. Inform the Authority about activities and practices that lead to damage to the marine environment within The Geographical Scope.
    8. Compliance with all regulations, procedures and controls determined by the relevant authorities, especially those related to military, security and environmental zones.
    9. Ensure that all equipment use don board the ship is maintained periodically and does not have negative effects on the marine environment.
    10. Ensure that Cruise Ships do not have any negative impact on commercial shipping activities and refueling process
    11. Ensure that there is a valid comprehensive insurance for Cruise Ships that covers all obligations, including material damage to the third party.
    12. Obtain any required permits before visiting any tourist destination.
    13. Ensure that staff who will interact with Passengers are trained in hospitality services, adhere to uniforms, and have sufficient knowledge of languages to communicate with Passengers.
    14. The Maritime Tourism Agent shall be responsible for completing all licenses and permits for Cruise Ships from the Authority, without prejudice to the fulfillment of all requirements and obligations of ships and the instructions and regulations issued by the relevant authorities.
    15. Commitment to the implementation of environmental guidelines and directives issued by the relevant authorities.
    16. The Maritime Tourism Agent or operator or their representatives shall provide appropriate services to Passengers, including at a minimum:
      1. Providing an information desk inside the marinas and tourist berths in the ports designated to receive Cruise Ships (cruises).
      2. Coordination with transport companies to provide taxi boats, ferries and private buses for tourist and Passenger transport.
      3. Ensure cleanliness and periodic maintenance of service facilities equipped to receive Passengers.
      4. Coordinate with local banks to provide Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) that have currency exchange and other electronic payment methods in the waiting halls.
      5. Providing Internet services and coordinating with telecommunications companies to provide services to Passengers.
      6. Equipping waiting halls with entertainment means such as (television screens - activities - entertainment games - artistic shows - bazaar ... etc)
      7. In case of non-fulfillment of obligations, the Authority may revoke or suspend the license.
  2. Obligations and rights of Passengers:

    First: Passengers shall abide by the following:

    a) Provide a valid national ID, residence visa, passport or visa.

    b) Comply with environmental policies and regulations to protect the marine coastal ecosystem including but not limited to abide by the regulations in force and not to remove or damage the heritage or natural features of the reserves.

    c) Photographing military zones or any restricted areas should be avoided.

    d) Compliance with security and safety guidelines and marine environmental protection instructions.

    e) Act in an appropriate manner with due regard to the health ,safety ,comfort ,pleasure and well- being of all individuals residing on board the Cruise Ship.

    f) Not all Passengers under the age of 12 are allowed to disembark or board without an adult Passenger with them.

    g) Passengers must provide medical proof of fitness to travel if requested by the operator.

    h) Allowing the Marine Tour Operator , its employees or the competent authorities authorized to inspect luggage

    Second: Passengers have the right to:

    a) The operator's commitment to the provisions of the Comercial Maritime Law in Articles (250-251-252)

    b) Obtain the level of service expected from an experienced international Marine Tour Operator with skill and competence in operating cruises.

    c) Obtain the right information. 

    d) Obtain the service at the advertised price.

    e) Obtain a guarantee of quality of service, quality of experience as stated in the ticket.

    f) The Passenger's right to address his complaint through the official channels determined by the Authority

Article VI (6): Permits

  1. The Authority shall issue, renew or cancel the necessary permits to practice the Navigational Activities of Cruise Ships (cruises) within The Geographical Scope in accordance with the requirements and conditions set by the Authority, provided that this does not prejudice the completion of the requirements and conditions approved by other concerned authorities.
  2. The permit applicant must submit the following requirements:

    1. Provide the Authority with the itinerary, including but not limited to, the duration of the trip, the date, the number of locations and ports to be visited and their geographical location.
    2. Upon arrival at the port, the operator must provide the Authority with a statement clarifying the Passenger and crew information.
    3. Any technical information or other requirements deemed appropriate by the Authority.
  3. In emergency cases, Cruise Ships are allowed to enter the Geographical Scope in coordination with the relevant authorities.

Article VII (7): Environment

  1. The Regulator shall follow the applicable law, including the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the international obligations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the International Maritime Regulations and Conventions including those listed in Article (3) of this Regulation.
  2. Take all necessary measures to protect the environment, marine life, biodiversity, fauna and flora in locations where Cruise Ship Maritime Activities take place within The Geographical Scope.
  3. Cruise Ships must anchor in the designated anchorage areas or authorized by the competent authorities.
  4. Cruise Ships shall be prohibited from dumping, discharging or disposing of any pollutants resulting from ballast waters, cargo residues, waste, liquid components and the dissolution of impurities anti-fouling, without prejudice to the provisions in the relevant international conventions to which the Kingdom is a party.
  5. Cruise Ships must be environmentally friendly by adhering to, but not limited to, the following:

    a) Cruise Ships must abide by the ballast water management plan, in accordance with the Ballast Water Management convention ratified by the Kingdom and the relevant regulations.

    b) Commitment to the wastewater management plan, and not discharging it in The Geographical Scope.

    c) Take all necessary measures to protect the environment and marine wildlife in the locations where the Navigational Activities of Cruise Ships are conducted within The Geographical Scope.

    d) Local and international guidelines ,directive sand instructions for environmental protection issued by the relevant authorities must be adhered to.

    e) It is prohibited to carryout any actor activity that causes director in direct damage get the environment and marine wildlife in The Geographical Scope as a result of the dumping of waste or all types of oils.

    f) Comply with any related controls issued regarding the protection of the environment and marine wildlife from noise pollution and air pollution.

    g) The operator or the Cruise Ship must dispose of waste, water discharge ,and oil at the port reception facility only.
  6. The operator must ensure that the following documents are available on the Cruise Ships:

    a) Biofouling Management Plan.

    b) Ship board sewage management plan.

    c) Waste management plan.

    d) Energy Efficiency Management Plan.

    e) Ballast water management plan.


Article VIII (8): Security and Safety

1. The operator shall follow the applicable law, including the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the international obligations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the regulations and conventions of international maritime treaties including those listed in Article (3) of this Regulation.

2. Cruise Ships are required to have emergency procedures in place to deal with any potential safety issues or crises. These procedures should include instructions to Passengers on how to evacuate the ship in case of emergency, as well as procedures for dealing with medical emergencies, fires and other potential hazards.

3. Passengers and their luggage must be screened before boarding the ship to ensure that no unauthorized items or personnel are taken on board. This includes the examination of weapons, drugs and other prohibited and dangerous substances.

4. Cruise Ships should have surveillance systems in place to monitor the ship and detect any potential threats to safety or security. This includes CCTV cameras, motion sensors, and other surveillance technologies.

5. Access to the different parts of the ship shall be limited to authorized personnel only. This includes Passenger cabins, crew accommodation and other sensitive areas.

6. Cruise Ships should have appropriate safety equipment, including lifeboats, life rafts, life jackets and other emergency equipment. This equipment must be regularly maintained and inspected to ensure that it is in good working condition.

7. Cruise Ships should have medical facilities on board to provide emergency medical care to Passengers and crew. These facilities must be staffed by trained medical staff and equipped with appropriate medical equipment and supplies.

8. Cruise Ships should provide Passengers with information on safety and security procedures, including emergency evacuation procedures, before the ship sets sail. This information should also be available in a transcript in Passenger cabins.

9. Take all reasonable means to operate Cruise Ships responsibly and effectively, considering risk management and crowd management.

10. Cruise Ships should have security personnel on board to monitor the ship and ensure the safety and security of Passengers and crew members. These individuals must be trained in security procedures and must have the authority to take appropriate action in the event of an emergency or security threat.

11. All crew members must be trained in safety and security procedures, including emergency response, firefighting and first aid. This training should be ongoing and updated regularly to ensure crew members are prepared to deal with any situation that may arise.

12. Passengers must be trained in the emergency and evacuation plan before leaving the port.

13. Emergency boarding shall be given priority for persons with disabilities, taking into account the appropriate means of safety and security for persons with disabilities.

Article IX(9): General Provisions

  1. The Authority shall issue the necessary rules and procedures to implement the provisions of this Regulation.
  2. The Authority shall issue a regulation of the necessary controls and procedures for persons with disabilities.
  3. All those to whom the provisions of this Regulation apply shall be bound by what the Authority issues in implementation there of.

Article X (10): Adoption and Amendment of the Regulations

This Regulation shall be issued by a resolution of the Board of Directors of the Authority, and any amendments thereto, whether by deletion, addition or cancellation shall be approved.

Article XI (11): Publication and Validity of the Regulations

This Regulation shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall enter into force 90 days after the date of its publication