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from just £1,299 per person.

About Manama

It might be one of the smallest countries in Asia, but Bahrain is packed with things to do. If you're keen to learn about the island nation's past, a visit to the Bahrain National Museum in the capital Manama is essential. Its intriguing exhibits are housed in an equally fascinating postmodern building, which seems to draw the water of the Persian Gulf right up to its windows. For other architectural and cultural wonders, head to the grand Al Fateh Mosque, Beit Al Quran, or any of the country's well preserved forts.

If you love to shop you'll be pleased to hear that Bahrain is home to plenty of gleaming malls, but for a more unique experience stroll around the bustling alleyways of Manama Souq, entered via the historic Bab Al Bahrain building. You'll find everything from clothing and electronics to spices and a separate gold souk. While you're there, duck into a restaurant to sample a local delicacy such as Machboos - a delicious dish of chicken, mutton or fish with fragrant rice.

 

Shore excursions in Manama

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Arabian Culture, Cuisine and Belly Dance

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 5½ hours

A delightful mix of culture, sights and Arabian tastes in the old capital of Muharraq.

Muharraq is Bahrain’s 3rd largest city and served as the capital until 1932. Today the old quarter is known for its winding narrow alleyways and traditional Bahraini houses that take you a step back in time.

A visit to the Muharraq Souk provides the opportunity to immerse yourself into everyday life, whilst browsing the traditional local shops. You’ll then take a drive to visit the old ruler’s house, the Shaik Isa Bin Ali House, and gain a glimpse into royal life in 19th century. From here, you’ll walk to a local village bakery to sample tasty traditional Arabic kaboos and cheese.

Next, you’ll drive to a local hotel to enjoy a delicious Arabian mezze. Upon arrival, a refreshing soft drink will be offered, and as you take your seats listen to the soft sounds of a Bahraini Auod player. A feast of typical Arabic Mezze dishes will be served accompanied by a glass of red or white wine, and a display of belly dancing will entertain you! Afterwards, it’s time to take a breath and relax on the return drive to the port.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves walking over relatively flat ground, including steps. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Arabian Culture, Cuisine and Belly Dance

Bahrain International Circuit

Activity medium

Duration: 4¼ hours

Visit the Bahrain International Circuit, a must for all racing enthusiasts!

Said to be the one of the best racing tracks in the world, the Bahrain International Circuit is a perfect example of traditional design. The 180 million dollar facility was designed by the German architect Herman Tilke, the same architect who designed the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, and it has 6 tracks, including a test oval and a drag strip. The construction was a national objective initiated by the Crown Prince, Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Your guided tour of the circuit will include a visit to the imposing Sakhir Tower, the Race Control Tower, the Media Centre, the Welcome Centre and a walk through the grandstand. As you take in the surroundings and venues, you’ll gain a fascinating insight into the famous circuit and get a real feel for the calendar of events that take place on race day!

As your tour draws to an end, you’ll re-board the coach for the return drive to the port.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The drive to the International Bahrain Circuit is around 1 hour each way. The tour of the circuit will last around 2¼ hours, which is over relatively flat ground and requires some lift access. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Bahrain International Circuit

Bahraini Food Trail and Cooking Class

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 5¾ hours

Embark on a food trail of Bahrain and enjoy a cooking class and delicious Bahraini lunch.

At the Manama Souk, located in the heart of the capital, your tour will commence with a walk through the labyrinth of alleyways. As you stroll along, enjoy the atmosphere and view the many stores that sell an array of goods, including many aromatic spices.

Next, you’ll take a drive to the local fish market, a major source of employment and income for Bahrain in the pre-oil era, and an industry that continues to be strong today. Here, you can experience the hustle and bustle of everyday life at the market, before walking to the fruit and vegetable market. Bahrain has richly producing gardens, which is a rarity in the region, and an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables are grown.

Re-boarding your coach, the highlight of your tour is a visit to the old city of Muharraq and to a local restaurant for a Bahraini cooking class. Once the country’s capital, Muharraq still has much of the charm of an old world Arab city. You’ll learn to cook traditional Bahraini cuisine, and a delicious lunch will be served, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample the dishes.

Relax on the return drive to the port, with your new found taste for Bahraini cuisine.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Please wear flat, closed toe shoes as the fish market can be wet under foot. The fish market is a working market and as such passengers will experience strong smells and raw fish parts. This tour involves around 1 hour of walking over relatively flat terrain.

Bahraini Food Trail and Cooking Class

Highlights of Bahrain

Activity medium

Duration: 4¾ hours

Discover the highlights of Bahrain and gain an insight into its culture and heritage.

The Al Fateh Mosque is the largest place of worship in Bahrain and is located in the capital city of Manama. The architecture reflects several Middle Eastern styles and is crowned by the world’s largest fibreglass dome. During a visit, admire both its exterior and interior, which can accommodate over 7,000 worshippers.

From the Mosque, you’ll drive to the Bahrain National Museum, situated on the intersection of the Sheikh Hamad Manama Muharraq causeway and King Faisal Highway. Built in 1988, the museum takes you through the ages and show-cases exhibits that include life in the Dilmun era, the 19th and 20th centuries and pearl diving and community life scenes.

Next, you’ll head to the Al Jasra Handicrafts Centre, which was set up by the local tourism department to promote various Bahranian crafts. At the centre, each craft is allocated a shop front and includes palm weaving, pottery and woodwork which you can browse and perhaps purchase a souvenir.

To round off your tour, you’ll drive to the old quarter in Muharraq and take a step back in time. A visit will be made to the Shaik Bin Ali House, where you’ll gain an insight into royal life in the 19th century. You can also admire the wind towers that were the old method of air-conditioning, before the days of electricity.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The Al Fateh Mosque is closed on Fridays, Holy Day, and public holidays and therefore an interior visit will not be possible. Passengers are required to dress modestly for the visit to the mosque; shoulders must be covered and long skirts or trousers to be worn for ladies, and long trousers for men. Shorts are not permitted. Abhaya is provided for ladies at the mosque; however it is advisable to take a head scarf. Passengers will be required to remove their shoes whilst inside the mosque. Order of sights may vary. The Muharraq traditional house visit may vary. This tour involves around 1 hour of walking over relatively flat ground. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Highlights of Bahrain

International Circuit and Land Rover Experience

Activity medium

Duration: 3¾ hours

Visit the Bahrain International Circuit, combined with an off-road Land Rover adventure ride!

'The Land Rover Experience' has arrived at the Bahrain International Circuit, the first in the Middle East! At the Land Rover Centre, situated within the International Circuit, you’ll meet your expert driver and step aboard a top of the range Land Rover all-terrain vehicle. The off-road course covers 3.5 kilometres and is a combination of man-made and natural terrain including sand, rock, slide slopes and water landscapes. Hold on tight as you take to the course, and allow your driver to show you the state of the art capabilities of the Land Rover. The Bahrain International Circuit is said to be one of the best racing tracks in the world. Discover why on a guided tour of the circuit. View the imposing Sakhir Tower, the Race Control Tower, the Media Centre, the Welcome Centre and a walk through the grandstand. Rounding off your experience, you’ll re-join the coach for the drive back to the port.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach, land rover and on foot. Pregnant women and children may not participate. This tour is not suitable for those with injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride. The drive to the International Bahrain Circuit is around 1 hour each way. This tour has a strict maximum of 16 and early booking is essential. Groups will be split into 2, one group will visit the circuit first whilst the other undertakes the Land Rover experience, and vice versa. Each all-terrain Land Rover accommodates 4 passengers. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Participants will be required to sign a waiver.

International Circuit and Land Rover Experience
 

A selection of cruises to Manama

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