Salalah cruises

Salalah, the capital of the Dhofar region in Oman, is unique in many ways. The most obvious reason is the khareef, but more on that later. Salalah is primarily a vibrant and colourful place that is full of character.

Salalah is the largest city in the Sultunate of Oman, and also the birthplace of the Sultan – Qaboos bin Said. Besides the unique atmosphere that the khareef provides, there is much more to see in this port region on your Salalah cruise. 

Things to do on your Salalah cruise

As well as its lush green pastures, Salalah is renowned for its stunning collection of beaches, which feel almost Caribbean with their coconut trees and relaxed vibe. Try Al Mughsail Beach, a quiet and wild-feeling stretch of sand, full of caves and blowholes.

For a taste of Salalah’s history, head to the Museum of the Frankinscence Land. This ancient set of ruins actually belong to the trading port of Zafar, and from here frankinscence was shipped to India, in return for spices. The on-site museum documents the history of the port as well as the area’s settlement since 2000 BC. It not only demonstrates the maritime strength of Oman, but also the modern rejuvenation of Salalah as a commercial and leisure port. 186 miles of walkways and beautiful lights at night ensure this is an unforgettable visit.

During your Salalah cruise, make sure you visit one of the many markets and bazaars if possible. Al-Husn Souq is one of the best, and where the local Dhofari people come to shop. Take your pick from cotton headdresses, jewellery and heady incense.

Another famous feature of Salalah is its plantations. Papayas, coconuts and small bananas all grow here and are an important part of both Salalah’s past and its future. You can walk along the plantation roads, which are just over a mile from the centre of the main town. There are plenty of fruit stands selling refreshments if you get tired.

If you find yourself peckish in Salalah, there are plenty of places to pick up some traditional Omani cuisine. It is also worth keeping in mind that special dishes are cooked for two main religious festivals: Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha. 

Discovering the khareef on your Salalah cruise

Khareef is a colloquial term used for the period of time between June and September when an unusual weather phenomenon occurs in Salalah: a monsoon, caused by surface wind, rages on and causes the landscape to explode into lush green vegetation. Salalah depends on the khareef each year for its water supply, and an annual festival is held to celebrate it, which attracts tourists and locals alike every single year.

The water from the monsoon transforms the landscape into a verdant and subtropical wonderland, the likes of which cannot be seen anywhere else in Oman. It also makes the ground incredibly fertile, and is the reason why this region is able to grow a wide range of fruit and vegetables such as coconuts and bananas.

Important information

The city has a large expatriate community of people from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The majority of the population in Salalah is Muslim, and Arabic is the official language spoken here.

Apart from the khareef, the climate here is fairly stable and consistently hot.

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.

  • Leisurely Salalah Views

    Become acquainted with some of the sights of Salalah on this leisurely option, including tea at the Salalah Rotana Resort.

    Leisurely Salalah Views

    Sit back and relax on board your coach as a leisurely drive introduces you to some of the sights of Salalah.

    A photograph stop will be made outside the stunning Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, before continuing to the luxurious Salalah Rotana Resort.

    Upon arrival at the resort, you’ll be shown to the Arabesque terrace for your delicious refreshments. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee accompanied by a variety of savoury and sweet treats, whilst marvelling at the pleasant views.

    Afterwards, your scenic drive continues, pausing to capture photographs at the Ain Razat Springs and the Al Husan Palace, before returning to the pier.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 45 minutes of walking on this tour, however guests can opt to remain on the coach at the photograph stops if they prefer. Guests are not permitted to visit other areas of the Salalah Rotana Resort. Please note the refreshments will be served buffet style. There is limited availability on this tour, therefore booking early is recommended.

    Tour code

    SLL_008

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Introduction to Salalah

    Explore the city of Salalah, visit the small museum and enjoy some bartering in the Souks.

    Introduction to Salalah

    Passing Mughsail Beach, you will view white sands that stretch for almost two miles, creating a beautiful beach marked by high cliffs at both ends. Visit Manreef Caves, a striking cave face overlooking the sea, where, tide dependent, you may be lucky enough to see the spectacular blowholes, for which the beach is well known.

    From the comfort of your coach, enjoy the interesting sights of this remarkable city. See the Al Husn Palace, personal residence of the Sultan of Oman where there will be a stop for photographs. Drive through coconut, banana and papaya plantations, before visiting the Al Balid Museum, which presents a comprehensive picture of the customs and historical aspects of this region.

    On the way to the Frankincense Souk, you will see typical Dhofari houses with caravan windows and doors. In the Frankincense Souk you may stroll amongst the stalls heaped with frankincense, myrrh, incense and bottles of fragrant perfume oils as well as other Omani gifts.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves some walking over rough ground and steps. Children under six years old are not permitted in the Al Balid Museum, and photography is prohibited.

    Tour code

    SLL_003

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Salalah by 4x4

    Enjoy a different way of sightseeing during a jeep tour, encompassing the sites of Salalah.

    Salalah by 4x4

    By 4x4 vehicles travel to the east of Salalah to the old town of 'Taqah' before heading on to the ancient ruins of the palace of the legendary Queen of Sheba (Khor Rohri), believed to have been the centre for the shipping of frankincense.

    Continue the drive into the spectacular ‘Wadi Darbat' and take a relaxing stroll along the Wadi bed which is home to herds of camels, goats, cattle and donkeys. This is an area of great beauty with lakes and lush green vegetation creating a natural paradise.

    Your next stop is at the Ain Hamran, a spectacular location in which age-old trees and shrubs have become nesting places for several species of birds throughout the year. Proceed to the Natural Springs at Ain Razat to enjoy the breathtaking views of the cave face and landscape by the springs, where a variety of bird species and plants can be found.


    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 4x4 vehicle and on foot. It is not suitable for those with injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride. Pregnant women and children under the age of eight may not participate. There will be one driver/guide for the whole group who will drive the first jeep and provide information to the other passengers during each stop, the drivers of the other jeeps may have limited English. The majority of the tour is conducted via regular roads, with few off road parts.

    Tour code

    SLL_006

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Salalah Contrasts

    An ideal introduction to Salalah and the surrounding Dhofar region; this tour offers an array of images and experiences.

    Salalah Contrasts

    Your tour begins with a visit to the Frankincense Souk, where you’ll have the opportunity to purchase perfumes, curios and souvenirs.

    Continue to the ancient ruins of the Palace of the legendary Queen of Sheba (Khor Rouri), believed to have been the hub and harbour for the shipping of frankincense for export to the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.

    Afterwards, enjoy a visit to Taqah Castle. This 19th century castle is nestled in the heart of a coastal Dhofari town, famed for its pottery, silverwork and other artisan industries. It should come as no surprise that Taqah Castle has an artistry of its own and the castle's numerous shuttered windows are particularly distinctive with latticed wooden screens and keyhole-shaped arches.

    Round off your tour with a visit of Ain Razat Springs, a natural underground spring amidst the tranquil lush mountains.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves walking over rough and inclined ground with some steps.

    Tour code

    SLL_001

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Scenic Salalah & Beach

    Escape to the Crowne Plaza Beach Resort to enjoy the sun, sea and sand or simply relax by the pool.

    Scenic Salalah & Beach

    A scenic drive takes you through the city of Salalah, pausing for photograph stops at Sultan Qaboos Mosque and Al Husn Palace.

    Continue through banana and papaya plantations before arriving at the Salalah Crowne Plaza Beach Resort to enjoy the facilities and beach. You will be served a refreshing welcome drink on arrival before heading off to the beach. Enjoy the white sandy beach and relax with the sound of the breaking waves. Sun beds and umbrellas will be available on the beach.

    After enjoying the beach, relax by the hotel's swimming pool or have a refreshing swim. For those who wish to have some exercise, the gym or volleyball facilities are available to use.


    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. Sun beds and umbrellas are limited and are not guaranteed for all Guests. Please remember to take swimwear, a towel and sunscreen. The beach area is not sheltered and therefore can be quite exposed to the wind; please exercise caution when bathing in windy conditions. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that offer watersports, these are provided by parties unconnected to Cunard.

    Tour code

    SLL_007

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Job's Tomb & Sights

    Discover the legendary Job’s Tomb and the Frankincense Museum, and view the unspoilt Mughsail Beach.

    Job's Tomb & Sights

    Your tour begins with a visit to Job's Tomb where legend has it that the remains of the Moslem and Old Testament prophet, Job, were found. This is a sacred place of pilgrimage for Muslims, Christians and Jews. You will be able to take photographs and admire panoramic views of the striking mountains and the Salalah Plains.

    Continue onto the Al Balid Museum, also known as the ‘Land of the Frankincense Museum’ for an insight into the customs and historical aspects of the region.

    Passing Mughsail Beach, view white sands that stretch for almost two miles, creating a beautiful beach marked by high cliffs at both ends. Visit Manreef Caves, a striking cave face overlooking the sea, where, tide dependent, you may be lucky enough to see the spectacular blowholes, for which the beach is well known.

    This excursion will operate by coach or minibus and on foot. Depending on visitor numbers, traffic restrictions may be in place and this tour may operate by minibus. Ladies must cover their head with a scarf when visiting Job’s Tomb and all guests must remove their shoes inside. Children under the age of six may not participate due to age limits at the Al Balid Museum. Photography is prohibited at the museum. This tour involves walking over rough and inclined ground with some steps.

    Tour code

    SLL_002

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    4½ hours