Middle East cruises have much to offer today’s traveller. From the extraordinary natural beauty of Oman and striking modern architecture of Dubai, to Egypt’s Valley of the Kings and Jordan’s ‘Rose-Red’ city, Petra, Middle East cruises are full of treasures. This region is a land cloaked in mystery and intrigue. Here, more than any other place in the world, it’s possible to walk in the footsteps of the ancients and gaze upon the remarkable architecture built to appease gods and celebrate Kings and Sultans. What better way to explore than in the luxury of our Dubai cruises, Egypt cruises and Suez Canal cruises?
However it’s not just history that makes the shores explored from our Dubai cruises, Egypt cruises and Suez Canal cruises perfect as a cruise destination. The waters of the Red Sea are famed the world over as a diver’s delight. There is the choice of shopping in air-conditioned complexes or among spice scented bazaars and souks. Then, of course, there are the beaches and parks offering serene places to simply relax.
Arriving at Egypts Red Sea cruise port Safaga is an understated start to a day, which will forever live in your memory. For this quiet and otherwise unremarkable port town is your entry into upper Egypt and the very heart of the countrys existence - the Nile.
This great river will also take you to some of Egypt’s most fascinating antiquities. You can explore the lavish tombs, temples and palaces of the pharaohs in the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, Karnak and Luxor (once Ancient Thebes).
The huge and magnificent Karnak Temple complex is awe-inspiring. The rich detail in the wall paintings of the tombs depicts the unworldly lives of the Pharaohs and will take your breath away. The spectacular sound and light show at the Karnak Temple is rightly legendary, however, it is held at night and only available to passengers who opt for the overland tours.
Safaga is also close to the Egyptian beach resort of Hurghada and the clear waters along this coastline are rated among the worlds best sites for diving.View typical shore excursions for this port
|Sharm El SheikhShow more||Egypt|
About Sharm El Sheikh
A fast-developing Egyptian beach resort, Sharm el Sheikh has become a popular Red Sea cruise call, too. On the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula where the Gulf of Aqaba meets the Straits of Tiran, the sheltered waters are simply crystal clear and just asking to be swum, snorkelled or dived in from the pristine, sandy beaches. There are a variety of glass-bottomed and other boat trips on offer, too.
Even better for snorkellers and divers is the Marine National Park, the first in the Red Sea, at nearby Ras Mohammed. Here there are coral reefs and gardens which attract just the most beautiful exotic fish. Other visitors will want to visit St Catherines Monastery in the foothills of Mount Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Founded in the 6th Century, it is the oldest Christian monastery in the world.View typical shore excursions for this port
Lying at the Red Sea end of the Suez Canal, the busy Egyptian port of Suez can also be your starting point for exciting trips to Cairo and the Pyramids at Giza.
If your ship goes through the Canal, be out on deck throughout the transit, as it is one of the world’s most fascinating maritime experiences, creating the bizarre impression that you are sailing right through the dry heart of the desert.
The present, 101-mile-long Canal took 15 years to build, was completed in 1869 and shaved a mere 7,000 miles off the journey from England to India. It is the second to cross the Isthmus of Suez – the first was constructed in the 5th century BC and was in use until the 8th century.
Even if your ship is just calling at Suez, it is well worth strolling along the Corniche to watch the huge ships lined up to transit the Canal on their way to the other side of the world.View typical shore excursions for this port
The Jordanian town of Aqaba nestles at the top of the Gulf of Aqaba which leads off the Red Sea. Boasting some excellent sandy beaches and one of the worlds best-preserved coral reefs, this is a popular resort with divers. But the main attraction of this area is the magnificent fortress city of Petra, buried by sand for more than 2,000 years until it was discovered in the desert near Aqaba in the 19th century and excavated in the 1950s.
Originally built by Bedouin, the ‘rose red’ city of Petra is a genuine wonder of the world. Make a dramatic entrance by walking through the Siq (gorge) up to the imposing Treasury with its exquisite facade. Further on are temples, tombs and a huge theatre. Elsewhere, visit Wadi Rum, a vast silent landscape of sandstone mountains, desert and ancient bedrocks.
View typical shore excursions for this port
The Sultanate of Oman’s capital, Muscat, has a magical feel. It is a combination of stunning deserts, mountains and beaches with all the comforts of a bustling, modern metropolis. It’s also the meeting point of Asian, African and Arabic civilizations and this unique blend of cultures makes Oman a special place to visit and explore.
The old port area, which is enclosed by gated walls, is where you will find the Sultan’s Main Palace, a fascinating place to wander around. Two well-preserved 16th-century Portuguese forts, Al Jalali and Mirani, guard the entrance to Muscat, and the city walls contain the original beautifully carved gates.
Muscat has many points of interest, so whether you want to explore natural freshwater pools, parks and nature reserves, shop in one of the many excellent souks, or relax on unspoilt, soft sandy beaches, this city has something for everyone.View typical shore excursions for this port
A real city of contrasts, Salalah combines the charms of contemporary resort life with older Arabic influences to dramatic effect. From its ancient ruins and abundance of frankincense to its stunning beaches and soaring mountainous landscape, there is a wealth of attractions and traditions to explore.
Many famous and fabled historic figures are reputed to have resided in the city. Visit the resting place of the biblical prophet, Job, or peruse the once palace of the Queen of Sheba. Salalah’s antiquity can be enjoyed further by a stroll through the lost city of Samhuran or crumbling remains of Al Blaid, which date as far back as the 12th century.
The natural beauty that surrounds the city is a pleasant surprise. For its desert location it is blessed with a temperate climate, which allows its lush green countryside to flourish. See the springs of Ain Sahnot or Ain Rzat, follow one of its many mountain streams or admire the impressive heights of the Jabal al Qar.View typical shore excursions for this port
|DubaiShow more||United Arab Emirates|
Known as the ‘Pearl of the Arabian Gulf’, Dubai is one of the seven emirates that comprises the United Arab Emirates. With a mix of traditional architecture and glittering modern buildings, Dubai is a place of fascinating contrasts that can best be described as the ‘Middle East meets Hong Kong with a little Las Vegas thrown in for style’. It is also the home of sand, sea and sun.
As you sail into the formidable city of Dubai, you can’t help but to gaze up in wonder at the magnificent Burj Al Arab Hotel. Designed to resemble a billowing sail, it stands at a height of 321 metres and dominates the Dubai coastline.
Visit Dubai’s waterfront and take a boat trip up Dubai creek, admire the beautiful architecture of the Grand Mosque, boasting the city’s tallest minaret, or barter for souvenirs in the many souks around the city. Don’t miss the Spice Souk and the glittering Gold Souq – crammed full of exquisite jewellery and at prices lower than anywhere else in the world. From designer clothes and custom-made sari’s, to perfumes and spices you can get anything you desire.
With guaranteed sunshine the multitude of water sports is spectacular, but your might like to try sand-skiing, 4-wheel drive desert safaris or camel riding. Or for something a little more relaxing enjoy a moonlit Bedouin barbeque, deep in the heart of the desert.
The nearby emirate of Sharjah, with its captivating architecture and spectacular souks, was selected by UNESCO as the cultural capital of the Middle East.View typical shore excursions for this port