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World’s first ever alcohol-free cruise has strict list of banned items

World’s first ever alcohol-free cruise has strict list of banned items

There are a few surprising omissions on the list

Cruises are known for being boozy, activity-filled affairs with people capitalising on their all-expenses paid trip at sea.

However, it looks like the world's first alcohol-free cruise ship has landed, and with it comes a list of strict rules to abide by on your travels.

The vessel will be run by Aroya Cruises, a cruise line owned by the state of Saudi Arabia, with its maiden voyage set to take place in December 2024.

It will set off from its home port in the Red Sea, Jeddah, to the Jordanian city of Aqaba, then two ports in Egypt - Sharm el Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula and Ain Sokhna, south of Suez.

As lavish and exciting as photos of the ship are though, there is a huge catch to being onboard.

In their 'Prohibited Item's Policy', Aroya state that passengers must comply with its comprehensive list of banned 'dangerous good, articles and substances'.

For example, those booking a voyage on Saudi Arabia's first cruise ship have been warned not to bring scissors, CDs or 'magazines that violate public decency' on the vessel - essentially, leave the R-rated stuff at home.

But that's just the start of it.

Alcohol is prohibited onboard the vessel. (Aroya)
Alcohol is prohibited onboard the vessel. (Aroya)

Also included in the list are 'any substances that may affect mental health or similar items'.

Before you try to find a loophole though, it is stated that this includes 'alcoholic beverages of all types', with the Saudi cruise ship thought to be the first cruise line where alcohol consumption is prohibited.

Depending on who you ask, however, that might be a smart move.

Not to worry though when it comes to facilities on board, as Aroya is set to have an 'exclusive' VIP bar and lounge where you can drink all the orange juice and coffee your heart desires.

Drinking alcohol in Saudi waters is already banned, The Independent reports, as MSC Cruises said: “On respect to the Saudi law, alcohol will not be served during the calls in Saudi Arabian ports.

"Alcohol will be available to our guests when the ship sails in international waters.”

But a pint is also just one of many items that are not allowed onboard the Aroya ship, as passengers are reminded to check the 'Prohibited Items Policy' to avoid any headache later on.

To the shock of no-one, guns, ammunition and swords are banned, as well as soldering irons, tear gas and paint thinner - the last three will be a blow to many, I know.

Unfortunately, no paint thinner is allowed onboard. (Aroya)
Unfortunately, no paint thinner is allowed onboard. (Aroya)

At the bottom of the rules, it is stated that: “Any additional items that may impact safety procedures, cause panic, or disrupt public decency,' which includes:

  • Axes
  • Handcuffs
  • Compact discs (CDs)
  • Magazines that violate public decency.

Natural ivory, drones, fishing nets and 'sticks of all kinds and similar items, except those used for sanitary purposes' are all banned too.

Open razor blades joins scissors on the list as a prohibited sharp object, while devices that 'contain non-removable batteries' aren't allowed either - could mobile phones, tablets and laptops fall into the category? I guess we'll find out soon.

Though Brits will be more than welcome onboard, the company have clearly stated that the experience is catered to Saudi and Gulf state nationals 'all-year round'.

“Aroya Cruises aims to provide exceptional all-year-round experiences tailored to Saudi and GCC nationals and residents,” the company write on their website.

There is a silver lining though, as passengers will be able to get their alcohol fix in both Egypt and Jordan during ports of call.

Featured Image Credit: Aroya

Topics: Travel, Saudi Arabia, Cruise Ship, Alcohol