Cruise Saudi has announced a refurbishment plan for its luxury Aroya Cruise line, which will include a 98% upgrade of the passenger facilities ahead of its launch.

The company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the state-backed Public Investment Fund, has partnered with the UK-based refurbishment company, MJM Marine and Italy’s DE Wave Group, a global contractor for cruise liner and yacht interior outfitting.

MJM Marine has bagged the contract for upgrading the existing cabins and suites aboard an AROYA Cruise ship, while also providing a range of services that will include refurbishing the food and beverage outlets, the shopping arcade, and the recreation venues on the liner, the kingdom’s state news agency reported.

DE Wave will outfit the upper deck areas, including new luxury suites, public facilities, and catering and hospitality facilities.

Cruise Saudi unveiled the AROYA brand in June 2023, several months following its acquisition of the World Dream cruise ship, once owned by collapsed Asia-based cruise ship operator Genting Hong Kong. While Cruise Saudi has not confirmed the value, several media reports citing Singapore court documents have revealed the World Dream cruise ship was sold for $330 million at an auction; the ship was later renamed the Manara.

Cruise Saudi has not confirmed whether it is the Manara that would be undergoing the refurbishment.

The company has earlier announced its plans to develop Saudi Arabia’s cruise sector by attracting more lines targeting 1.3 million cruise passengers to experience the kingdom via sea by 2035.

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)