Often visited as part of a world cruise via the Indian Ocean through to the Suez Canal and on to the Mediterranean, a cruise to the Middle East offers traditional cuisine and architecture in its iconic markets and mosques with modern shopping malls and 21st-century man-made marvels such as the Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa. Although hazy by definition, the Middle East is an oasis of possibilities- take a camel ride in the desert, explore the ancient city and pyramids of Giza, make a pilgrimage to Mecca or go shopping in luxurious Dubai. Just like the rolling dunes, the options are endless!
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Choose a fabulous cruise to the Middle East for a vibrant Arabian adventure encompassing tradition, culture and history. Exciting trips ashore are available, highlighting this truly diverse blend of rich cultures, grand architecture and dramatic coastlines of the Middle East, from Oman and its expanses of desert, magnificent beaches and impressive mountain ranges to the United Arab Emirates and its mix of western influence with eastern customs. Meanwhile, Egypt, lining one side of the beautiful Red Sea, is a true Alladin's cave of treasures just waiting to be discovered.
With its mild weather and almost guaranteed sunny days, Middle East cruises run from December through to March. Read our blog A Guide to Packing for Different Climates to find out what to bring with you on your Middle East cruise.
From the ancient pyramids of Egypt to the impressive modern wonders of Dubai or breathtaking natural deserts to holy quests in Israel, the Middle East is a mesmerising collection of countries that together will make a dream cruise you are sure to never forget.
Cruises to the Middle East can either form part of a glamorous world cruise, luxury cruises in Asia or simply as a stand alone voyage flying from the UK to your point of embarkation. For something even more special, why not extend one of these magnificent cruises with a stay in Dubai, affording you more of an opportunity to enjoy the expansive shopping malls at Duty Free prices or just kick back, relax and soak up some sun on the beautiful sun-drenched shoreline. Meanwhile, cruises from Abu Dhabi take you into a mystical Middle Eastern world opening up opportunities to uncover new destinations, cultures and cuisine.
A cruise is a great way to see the best holiday destinations in the Middle East. Designed to give you a greater understanding of the culture and local way of life, make sure you take full advantage of all the shore excursions on offer from your lavish cruise ship. A full list enriching programme of events will be available for you onboard, providing you with safe, convenient opportunities of visiting the glittering destinations as part of your exciting itinerary. You can then take your time to relax and carefully select those that most appeal.
Bahrain is a real mixture of traditional Arabia mixed with a more cosmopolitan feel. King Fahad's Causeway is an absolute must see - a wonder of modern engineering linking Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, 25km over the water! Be sure to visit the Grand Mosque, the National Museum and the Portuguese Fort.
Sail into the port of Aqaba and step ashore to explore this truly romantic land with its incredible history. Discover Jordan’s stunning palaces, majestic temples and the awe-inspiring Petra treasury. The Wadi Rum Desert is also worthy of a visit to explore a remarkable archaeological site that will transport you hundreds of years back in time.
The United Arab Emirates, made up of seven Sheikhdoms, is a shimmering mixture of mountains, beaches, deserts, oasis, camel racing and Bedouin markets. Two of the jewels in her crown include Dubai and Abu Dhabi.Take a shore excursion to swim with the dolphins at the Atlantis hotel in Dubai, take a traditional dhow dinner cruise or even take a helicopter tour over this amazing city. Learn the art of hunting with falcons in Abu Dhabi or even tee off for a round of golf with breathtaking panoramic views. Enjoy the unspoilt beaches in Fujairah or take an exhilarating 4x4 tour into the desert and along the wadi.
People are drawn from all over the world to see the treasures of Egypt. Some come for the relaxing beaches and the incredible sub aqua world, others come for the enigmas of the pyramids and the sphinxes. Take a shore excursion into Egypt to ride through the desert on a camel, to visit a traditional Bedouin settlement or to plunge into the bright colourful depths of the Red Sea on an exciting submarine safari. Visit the fascinating temples of Hathor at Dendera and the Temple of Osiris at Abydos, and admire their elaborate original drawings, or simply just enjoy a few hours relaxing on the beach at Hurghada. Discover our range of cruises to Egypt here.
If you are in search of striking desert landscapes dotted with refreshing tropical oasis juxtaposed with vibrant busy markets and ancient fortifications, then Oman is definitely worthy of your attention. Step ashore to see the wonders of magical Muscat; the Nizwa and Jabrin forts dating back to 1668, the Grand Mosque, the Muttrah Souk and the Bait al Zubair museum, all brimming with the nation's rich history. Visit the tomb of the prophet Ayoub in the beautiful city of Salalah or discover its pristine natural surroundings on an exciting 4x4 jeep trip.