Muscat, Oman - Middle East Cruises

In this low-rise gem, wedged between Arabian Gulf and scenic mountains, your first impression will be of the Sultanate of Oman’s beautiful main palace. Three forts – Mutrah, Jalali and Mirani – stand guard at the entrance of Muscat. Once ashore witness lavish palaces, Zawawi Mosque, its pink marble crowned by a gilded dome, and Muttrah Souq, a jumble of crafts and clothing perfumed with spices and frankincense.

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Excursions

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

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

    Afternoon Tea at Al Bustan Palace

    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 Five 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 three metre high dome.

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


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

    Tour code

    MCT_012

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3¾ hours

  • Nakhl & Hot Springs

    This wonderful excursion encompasses spectacular views, tranquil hot springs and a relaxing buffet luncheon at a resort.

    Nakhl & Hot Springs

    Heading for Nakhl, drive along Oman’s expressway and along the scenic coastal road. On the way, a stop will be made at the tranquil and picturesque Thowarah Hot Springs, charmingly set near a lush oasis framed by the majestic mountains.

    Perched on a 200-foot-high hilltop, Nakhl Fort has commanding and spectacular views of the entire oasis and date plantation surrounding it. This pre-Islamic fortress used to be the stronghold of the Bhani Kharous tribe during the medieval era. Visit the ladies sitting room and the wali’s barzas and majli’s (the ruler’s court and tent where he met his citizens). You will also have an opportunity to visit the old prison and split-level terraces and courtyards as you gain a unique insight into times gone by.

    Enjoy a delicious buffet luncheon at a resort hotel before the journey back to Muscat.

    Complete your tour with a photo stop at the exquisite Grand Mosque before returning to the ship.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves walking over rough and inclined ground with some steps. The journey to Nakhl is approximately 1½ hours each way. In accordance with local customs, please wear clothing that covers the shoulders and knees. Guests are requested not to take photographs of the local people without prior permission. Bathing in the springs is not included in the tour.

    Tour code

    MCT_003

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    7 hours

  • Mystical Dhow Cruise

    Relax and watch the world go by on a traditional dhow cruise.

    Mystical Dhow Cruise

    Do something out of the ordinary with a unique opportunity to experience cruising on a traditional dhow through the glorious scenery of Muscat.

    These amazing crafts were used to sail the sea routes between Oman, India and Iran. Oman’s connection with the sea stretches back many centuries when Omani sailors, using mast and sail, pioneered sea routes to the cities of the ancient world. Favourable factors were Oman's position at the crossroads of shipping routes which linked the Arabian Gulf to India, the Red Sea and East Africa and their knowledge of shipbuilding.

    Board your traditional wooden dhow and cruise along the Muscat coastline taking in the fantastic sights at leisure and with plenty of time to capture that special photograph opportunity that other modes of transport do not offer.

    Take in the scenery of rugged mountains and cliffs as you are served dates, Kawah (Arabic coffee) and assorted soft drinks on this memorable excursion.


    This excursion will operate by coach and dhow. There are five to ten steps to negotiate when boarding the dhows, as well as a walk of approximately 984 feet through the floating marina walkway. The dhows have a covered inside area and an open viewing area. Guests are requested not to take photographs of the local people without prior permission. Space on this excursion is limited, therefore early booking is recommended. This excursion is subject to weather conditions and as there is limited shaded area on board the dhows, a hat and sunscreen are recommended.

    Tour code

    MCT_006

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    2½ hours

  • Muscat Beach Break

    A chance to get away to the beautiful Oman Dive Centre Beach to swim, soak up the sun and relax.

    Muscat Beach Break

    Sun, sea and sand await at the Oman Dive Centre Beach, unwind on the beach or take a refreshing dip, during three hours at the beach.

    A refreshment of a soft drink will be offered to you during your stay and a local escort will be present during the excursion.

    Sun beds are available at the beach and there are toilet facilities in the dive centre. Umbrellas are not available, however there are canopies on the beach that provide some shade.


    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Please remember to wear your swimwear and take a towel and sunscreen. The canopies on the beach that provide shade are limited. Guests are requested not to take photographs 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 Cunard.

    Tour code

    MCT_008

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Dolphin Watching

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

    Dolphin Watching

    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.


    ACTIVITY EXCURSIONS
    You and all those in your party should be aware that, in undertaking activity excursions, you will be involved in a degree of physical exertion and/or activity such as hiking, biking, snorkelling, kayaking, diving etc. By booking the excursion you confirm that you and all those in your party are in good physical and mental condition, with no history of conditions such as seizures, dizziness, fainting, heart condition, respiratory problems or back/neck problems (by way of example only). You should also ensure that no one in your party is taking medicine that carries a warning about impairment of physical or mental abilities. If you are pregnant this type of excursion may not be appropriate for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well enough to take part in the activities booked and you are reminded to take care for your own safety. Because of the risks associated with activity excursions, you may be asked by the excursion provider to sign a document which may affect or limit the excursion provider’s liability. Comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    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

    Tour code

    MCT_007

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    2½ hours

  • Nizwa Fort & Souk

    Experience Nizwa, the historical capital of Oman, and visit its pre-Islamic fortress

    Nizwa Fort & Souk

    A scenic drive will take you through the Hajar Mountains en route to Nizwa, one of the largest cities in Oman and the capital of the interior region. Nizwa has a wealth of cultural and ancient landmarks; the most prominent is Nizwa Fort built over a period of 12 years.

    Located in the city centre, your visit will allow you the opportunity to explore and learn of its interesting history. The Fort is surrounded by ancient traditional souks where locals trade and where you can see fabulous collections of gold and silver in the various shops.

    Nizwa is a sight to behold being set in an oasis enclosed by a series of mountains, including Al Jabal Al Akhdar, the famous green mountain.

    A delicious buffet luncheon will be served at a local hotel accompanied with water or a soft drink.

    Upon your return to Muscat, round off your tour with a photo stop at the impressive Grand Mosque.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey to Nizwa is approximately 2½ hours each way. There is approximately 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. Guests are requested not to take photographs of the local people without prior permission.

    Tour code

    MCT_002

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    8 hours

  • Muscat Impressions

    An introduction to Oman's capital with its mix of medieval, traditional and modern architecture.

    Muscat Impressions

    A wonderful opportunity to get to know the highlights of this diverse and unusual capital with its amazing combination of traditional customs and new developments.

    Your tour begins with a visit to the stunning Grand Mosque, the main Mosque in the sultanate of Oman, and an outstanding piece of Islamic architecture. The Mosque covers an area of over one million square feet and can accommodate up to 20,000 worshippers at a time.

    Afterwards, drive into the capital for a photograph stop in front of the Sultan's Palace, flanked by the Portuguese forts, Jalali and Mirani.

    Continue to the magnificent Bait Al Zubair Museum, which showcases the history of the country and its people. During your visit you’ll see various displays of interesting artefacts such as traditional costumes, jewellery, handicrafts and weapons.

    Round off your tour with an authentic shopping experience at the Muttrah Souk. Browse the different the stalls filled with traditional Omani items such as Dallah (bronze coffee pots), exotic spices and frankincense.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately one hour of walking on this tour, over mainly paved areas. In accordance with local customs, whilst visiting the Grand Mosque, women must wear modest clothing that covers the body. 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. Guests are requested not to take photographs of the local people without prior permission.

    Tour code

    MCT_001

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    5 hours

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Queen Mary 2

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Queen Victoria

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