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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on a Middle Eastern Cruise

1st July 2016

Updated February 2017


Why Abu Dhabi?


The United Arab Emirates are lands of fascinating contrasts. Made up of seven distinctly different Emirates, each with their own unique traditions, it’s no wonder that this corner of the Arabian Gulf is so popular with cruisers looking for a mesmerising winter sun escape.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of them all, and is slightly more understated than its glitzy neighbour, Dubai. But with its more modest façade comes an array of Arabian traditions and customs to discover. There really is something for everyone to enjoy, and all within easy reach of the cruise port.

One of the standout attractions of the city is one of the world’s largest and most extravagant places of worship, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This mighty structure is made up of many bright white domes, visible from miles away as you approach.


abu dhabi grand prix cruise


Experience the traditional Arabian shopping culture at the many Souks across the city. Savour the local atmosphere, practice your bargaining skills, and absorb all the authentic sights and sounds of your surroundings. The city is also famed for its exciting Formula One circuit. The Grand Prix track can be found on Yas Island, where you’ll also find Ferrari World – the world’s largest indoor theme park. Here you can ride the fastest rollercoaster on the planet, and try out racing simulators, a go karting academy and much more!

If racing’s not really your thing, you can head to Yas Waterworld to cool off from the desert heat instead. This adrenaline-fuelled waterpark is home to some of the biggest water rides in the world, and the biggest children’s play area in the Middle East.

To experience the extreme landscapes that exemplify the Emirates, a 4x4 sand dunes safari is a fantastic excursion to take. Escape the bright lights of the city and take an off-road journey across the expansive desert. You could take a camel ride, try out sandboarding and enjoy a desert sunset.

Cruise to the dazzling and sunkissed port of Abu Dhabi on one of our Middle Eastern cruises, sampling the charm of ancient cities and modern meccas as you go.


My Guide to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Weekend


Iglu Cruise Head of Marketing Natalie spent an incredible weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Read about her experience below and get some top tips before you go.


abu dhabi grand prix cruise holiday


The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is more than just a car race and you really don’t have to be a motorhead to enjoy the experience. I attended my first Abu Dhabi grand prix in 2011 and I enjoyed the whole experience so much I went back in 2014. If I could, I would go back every year as it is a weekend of fast cars, world class performers and fantastic hospitality throughout the event. Here’s my guide to the Grand Prix Weekend.

Day 1

The practice race doesn’t start until the afternoon so why not spend the morning at the largest water park in the world. Yas Waterworld is situated on Yas Island so only a short distance away from the Grand Prix circuit. The park isn’t just for thrill seekers, there are also plenty of sun loungers for you to relax on. After a few hours at the waterpark it is a quick journey to the circuit. You don’t need to worry about walking in the hot sun to get to your seats at the circuit, as the track has a complementary shuttle bus running all day to take you to your seated area. Don’t forget to take your wallet as today is the perfect opportunity to stock up on your F1 merchandise at the stalls. To save some money I would recommend taking some ear plugs rather than buying them on the day. After the practice, head on over to the free concert - the concert area is very large so you can sit back on the grass and enjoy. Alcohol is served at the race and concert but make sure you take some identification with you for the concerts. Without identification they won’t give you a wrist band which allows you to buy alcohol.

Day 2

The qualifying doesn’t start until the afternoon so spend the morning visiting Ferrari World. Home to the fastest roller-coaster in the world, you can experience what it might be like to be a Scuderia Ferrari driver. You don’t need to be concerned about getting all hot and bothered before the race as the theme park is indoors and if rollercoasters are not your idea of fun, there are plenty of interesting Ferrari themed experiences to explore. Ferrari World is next to the Grand Prix circuit and you can easily fit in all the rides in half a day. I would recommend upgrading the ticket to a fast track ticket to skip the queues. After the qualifying there is another complimentary concert to enjoy.



abu dhabi grand prix


Day 3

Pack your camera and head off to the circuit a little earlier today as you will want to enjoy the build up to the race including the driver parade. However, if you get up early a trip to the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must. The race day also includes a free concert so enjoy the race and then head off to the concert to celebrate the end of a fun packed weekend and hopefully seeing your favourite driver on the podium.


Experience the incredible Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Celebrity Cruises.

Browse all of our F1 Grand Prix Cruise & Stay packages, including Monaco, Barcelona, Singapore, Barcelona, and Japan Grand Prix's. 

To find out more about combining your cruise holiday with the F1 racing schedule, click here to sign up for our F1 Grand Prix brochure.

Top 6 Cruises for sports fans

2nd February 2016

Updated May 2018

These days the main highlight of a cruise holiday is usually the ports of call visited. With pioneering technology, cruise ships can sail further and reach far beyond expectations to drop passengers off in exciting destinations worldwide.

The breadth of destinations available, plus more overnights being introduced on many cruises, mean that popular events can often be incorporated into cruise itineraries.

Great news for sports fans! A number of world famous sporting events can be experienced alongside superb sailings, making for the cruise holiday of a lifetime. Check out our top 5 cruises for sports fans below and treat yourself or the sporting supporter in your life.

Grand Prix Cruises

Thrill seekers and motorsports fanatics will love the buzzing atmosphere of the live Formula One Grand Prix. Hosted in several desirable destinations, the always exhilarating atmosphere sees excited spectators feed off the high level energy of the event. This theatre on wheels simply must be experienced on location, and can easily be combined with a captivating cruise plus stays. Find out more about the Monaco Grand Prix.



FIFA World Cup Cruises

Football fans can get their fix with a cruise to the 21st FIFA World Cup. The 2018 major sporting event will see Moscow stir as supporters from 32 contributing nations make their way to witness the games. Russia’s capital city is one of the most fascinating in the world, and makes for a popular stop on many cruise holidays. Get the best of the event and the destination with a cruise. See our Azamara themed cruises for more information.

Cycling on your Cruise

Keen cyclers can combine their hobby with a European River Cruise, with AmaWaterways. Among their extensive list of possible onboard activities and excursions, ships are equipped with a fleet of bicycles available for guests to use – either as part of a guided group tour, or even to explore new cities by themselves. Biking along the Danube is a particular favourite due to the picturesque scenery and predominantly flat, wide cycle path.

Or, for an original and exciting thrill experience, try the SkyRide on Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista. This open-air attraction allows guests to cycle up to 25mph while elevated above the deck, offering incredible views of the surrounding sea.


Golf Cruises

Spanning enticing destinations, golf cruises combine the excitement of visiting somewhere new with some incredible golfing opportunities. Cruise the Seine and play on the 2018 Ryder Cup course, gain some advice from PGA’s Frank Adamowicz on Amadeus River Cruise’s Danube trip, or witness world class golf legends at the 2018 British Open Golf Championship.



Hiking on your Holiday

In addition to the walking city tours provided on many cruise holidays, there are some trips during which passengers can push themselves on a more adventurous ramble. Depending on the destination and type of cruise you are taking, independent hiking is often possible. Alternatively, for those who would prefer there are a number of holidays which include guided hikes. Why not discover ancient Polynesian sculptures on a hike across Malden Island, or take on a trek in the Flam Valley in Norway.

Sports Onboard

When you’ve exhausted all options and think you’ve seen and done it all in the sporting event cruise world, choose a cruise that brings the sport to you. With bigger ships being built each year, onboard activities have never been better. Sports fans, adrenaline junkies and the like can enjoy surf simulators, sky diving (on a ship), adventurous ropes courses, aqua parks, state of the art gymnasiums, basketball courts and more. Check out Royal Caribbean for high energy and test your mettle with Norwegian Cruise Line’s extensive ropes course.



Many cruise ships now also feature large TV's screening re-runs or even live sports events in their traditional style pubs or bars. Check out O'Sheehan's onboard Norewgian Escape or P&O Cruises with their dedicated sports channel.

Azamara Cruise to the Monaco GP

19th May 2010

Amazara Cruise to the F1 Monaco Grand Prix 2012 [More]

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