Muscat 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.

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.

  • Seeb Souk & Omani Home Experience

    Explore the Souk in the coastal town of Seeb, combined with spending some time with a local Omani family.

    Seeb Souk & Omani Home Experience

    The coastal fishing town of Seeb is situated northwest of Muscat and is a hub of activity. The towns natural corniche is aligned with colourful fishing boats and the market and souk area are bustling with local traders. As you wander through the souk, immerse yourself in the atmosphere and browse the many stalls offering a variety of wares. You’ll find herbs and spices aplenty; enjoy the aromas that are apparent throughout the souk. Afterwards, you’ll take a walk along the Seeb corniche area, a modern touch to the natural beach area that comprises of marble paving and planted palm trees.

    Next, you’ll drive to a local Omani family home, where a very warm welcome awaits, as you are greeted by family members in traditional dress. Upon arrival, enjoy refreshments from deep Omani and East African (Zanzibar) culture, and engage in conversation to discover facts about everyday life. During your visit a delicious traditional home cooked luncheon will be served.

    After your unique and fulfilling cultural experience, it will soon be time to bid farewell to the family for the return drive to the port.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Places are very limited on this tour and early booking is advised. Please dress modestly and in accordance with the local culture. Ladies should have shoulders and knees covered and gentlemen should wear long trousers. This tour involves around 1 hour of walking over relatively flat ground. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    MCT_016

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Glories of Muscat

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

    Glories of Muscat

    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 luncheon, 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.

    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. Guests are requested not to take photos of the local people without prior permission.

    Tour code

    MCT_015

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    7¼ hours

  • Jabreen Fort & Nizwa Souk

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

    Jabreen Fort & Nizwa Souk

    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 luncheon, 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.

    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. Guests are requested not to take photographs of the local people without prior permission.

    Tour code

    MCT_014

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    8 hours

  • Hotel Resort Getaway

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

    Hotel Resort Getaway

    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 four 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.



    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. Walking is at the discretion of the guest. There are ten steps to negotiate at the entrance to the hotel and guests 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. 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. Sunbeds are not included on the beach. Please remember local currency for purchases.

    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

  • Nakhl Fort & Hot Springs

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

    Nakhl Fort & 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

  • Muscat Introduction

    Discover the architectural and cultural highlights of the Omani capital.

    Muscat Introduction

    Your tour begins with a visit to the Muttrah Souk, a labyrinth of colourful stalls selling everything from gold jewellery to frankincense and myrrh. Enjoy an authentic shopping experience before continuing to the magnificent Bait Al Zubair, a museum of Omani heritage showcasing traditional costumes, jewellery, handicrafts and weapons.

    To follow, enjoy a drive with photo stops along the way taking in the city highlights. Admire the Al Alam Palace, one of Sultan Qaboos’ six royal residences, its blue and gold pillars a striking contrast to the 16th century Al Jalali and Al Mirani forts either side.

    Continue to the Royal Opera House, to view Oman’s premier venue for musical arts and culture, and then it’s on to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, a stunning example of modern Islamic architecture. Absorb the beauty of the Mosque’s exterior, before the return drive to the port.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately one hour of walking on this tour, over mainly paved areas. Guests are asked not to take photos of local people without permission. It is advisable to wear modest clothing.

    Tour code

    MCT_019

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 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

  • 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 and 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. The dress code is smart casual and men must wear long trousers.

    Tour code

    MCT_012

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3¾ hours

  • Nakhal Fort & Bait Al Ghasham Museum

    Visit the pre-Islamic Nakhl Fort and the fascinating Bait Al Ghasham Museum, and enjoy a hotel resort buffet luncheon.

    Nakhal Fort & Bait Al Ghasham Museum

    Sit back and enjoy the surrounding scenery as you take a drive along Oman’s expressway towards Nakhl Fort. The pre-Islamic fort is amongst one of the most important and prominent historic monuments in Oman. As you explore the grounds, you’ll see the old prison, the split-level terraces and courtyards. Due the location of the fort, perched 200 foot high on a hilltop, the surrounding views are impressive.

    Next, you’ll drive to the Bait Al Ghasham Museum, situated in the town of Afi. The building dates back to the reign of Sayyid Said bin Sultan Al Busaidi and is over 200 years old. It has been in the hands of several owners and was once a royal holiday home, until it was brought and restored into the museum it is today. You’ll find fascinating archaeological exhibits that will take you back to days gone by, and as you wander through the museum, you can admire the architecture of each of the rooms.

    Afterwards, it’s time to drive to a local hotel resort to enjoy a delicious buffet luncheon, accompanied by water and a soft drink, before the return drive to Muscat.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves walking over rough and inclined ground with some steps. Flat, Comfortable shoes are recommended. 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.

    Tour code

    MCT_018

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    7 hours