from just £1,299 per person.

About Muscat

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.


Shore excursions in Muscat

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.

Afternoon Tea at Al Bustan Palace

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 3¾ hours

Enjoy afternoon tea at the prestigious Al Bustan Palace Hotel followed by a panoramic drive of Muscat.

Begin your tour with a photo stop at Al Alam Palace, the ceremonial palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos of Oman.

Situated on a private beach with acres of lush gardens, the luxurious 5 Star Al Bustan Palace Hotel is the perfect setting for afternoon tea.

Furnishings in the hotel artistically combine local traditions and art deco, creating a unique blend of Arab culture and art. As you enter the luxury hotel, you’ll notice how the intricately handcrafted wall covers and original carvings have been maintained, earning them the reputation as the “jewel of the Sultanate.”

Your afternoon tea is served in the beautiful lobby area which features a 3 metre high dome.

During your journey back to the ship photo stops will be made at the Grand Mosque and the Royal Opera House.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and requires minimal walking. The afternoon tea usually consists of finger sandwiches, French pastries and scones, or similar. Passengers are not permitted to visit other areas of the Al Bustan Hotel. There is limited availability on this tour, therefore booking early is recommended. The dress code is smart casual and men must wear long trousers.

Dolphin Watching

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 2½ hours

Enjoy the thrill of a speedboat ride and the chance to spot dolphins.

Embark your speedboat at a local marina and head out to sea in search of dolphins in their natural habitat; these lively, intelligent and fascinating creatures can be spotted swimming in the warm waters off the coast.

Experience the excitement of the sea air and wind rushing past as you give chase on the speedboat to catch sightings of dolphins; then feel the adrenaline as you get closer, charged with sensation you are about to see these mammals out in the wild as nature intended.

Although sightings are not guaranteed, the experienced boatmen are in constant contact with each other and will notify other boatmen of sightings – so there is a good chance of encountering the dolphins at close hand. Many species of dolphin are spotted in the area, including common dolphins, spinner dolphins and bottlenose dolphins; if you are very lucky you may even see sperm and hump back whales.

Mineral water and soft drinks will be available during your boat ride.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by minibus and speedboat. There are several steps and a walk of approximately 900 feet through the floating marina to board the boats. This tour is not suitable for those with injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride. Pregnant women and children may not participate. The boats have awnings for shade. Sightings of dolphins or whales cannot be guaranteed. Space is limited, therefore early booking is recommended.

Glories of Muscat

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 7¼ hours

Discover the architectural wonders and heritage of Muscat on this comprehensive full day tour.

During a visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, you can admire the hand-made Persian carpet in the main prayer hall that took 4 years to complete by 600 weavers. Next, you’ll continue to the smaller Grand Al Ameen Mosque, most noticeable by its dome. Its main prayer hall and the ladies prayer hall have impressive chandeliers with 24-carat gold plating and Swarovski crystals.

Its then time to head to the contemporary National Museum that showcases the Omani heritage and brings its history to life. Afterwards, you’ll take a short walk from the museum to view the Al Alam Palace, the official royal residence, which is an architectural marvel. A short drive to a local restaurant will follow, where a delicious traditional buffet lunch, accompanied by water and a soft drink, will be served.

To round off your tour, a visit will be made to the Royal Opera House. A short guided tour will allow you to admire the architecture and the beautifully designed and ornate interior of the auditorium.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Order of itinerary may vary. This tour involves around 2½ hours of leisurely walking over varying terrain including steps. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. In accordance with local customs, whilst visiting the mosques, women must wear modest clothing that covers the body and avoid bright white or extreme colours. Arms and legs must be covered to wrists and ankles and a scarf must cover the head, including all hair. Gentlemen must wear full length trousers and modest clothing befitting the sanctity of the Mosque. Shoes must be removed. Tattoos must be hidden. Passengers are requested not to take photos of the local people without prior permission.

Glories of Muscat

Hotel Resort Getaway

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 5 hours

A chance to get away to the Intercontinental Hotel to soak up the sun and relax.

Sun, sea and sand await you at the Intercontinental Hotel Muscat, where you can relax and unwind. Upon arrival, you’ll be offered a welcome drink, before enjoying around 4 hours at your leisure.

Take to a sun bed around the hotel pool, or perhaps stroll through the hotel garden to the public beach, where you can relax on the warm sand.

At the end of your stay, you’ll meet at the designated time and place for the return drive to the port.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Walking is at the discretion of the passenger. There are 10 steps to negotiate at the entrance to the hotel and passengers must be able to negotiate steps in and around the hotel and on to and off the coach. This tour is un-guided however a local representative will accompany the tour. Please remember to wear your swimwear and take a towel and sunscreen. Passengers are requested not to take photos of the local people without prior permission. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that may offer watersports. These are provided by parties unconnected to P&O Cruises. Sun beds are not included on the beach.

Jabreen Fort and Nizwa Souk

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 8 hours

Discover the beautifully restored architecture of Jabreen Fort and explore the bustling souk in Oman’s old capital of Nizwa.

Sit back and take in the scenery as you drive north towards the Ad Dakhiliyah region. The area is home to Nizwa which is one of Oman’s largest cities, and the historic Jabreen Fort

. Built in the 17th century, Jabreen Fort is said to be one of the finest of its kind, with its magnificent plasterwork, carved doors and painted wooden beams. During a visit, your guide will provide a fascinating insight into times gone by and how the forts occupants lived. You can also admire the intricate design and architecture and capture the lovely views from atop.

Next, you’ll drive to Nizwa to become immersed in the bustling atmosphere of the Nizwa Souk. The souq complex is brimming at the rim with local traders offering everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, and traditional silver and Bedouin jewellery.

During your tour a delicious buffet lunch, accompanied with water and a soft drink, will be served at a local hotel.

To round off your tour upon your return to Muscat, if time permits, a short photo stop will be at the impressive Grand Mosque.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey to the Ad Dakhiliyah region is approximately 2-2½ hours each way. There is around 1¾ hours of walking required on this tour, some of which is over uneven, rough surfaces. There are also some steps and inclines to negotiate. In accordance with local customs, please wear clothing that covers the shoulders and knees. Passengers are requested not to take photographs of the local people without prior permission.

Jabreen Fort and Nizwa Souk

A selection of cruises to Muscat

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