Discover Exclusive Offers and Special Deals on MSC Cruise Deals
Find a cruise and book cruises direct - no booking fee!
Departure Ports
Departure Ports

Cruises from Aqaba

Aqaba, Jordan Cruises

Aqaba, Jordan Cruises

Aqaba, Petra is a place that offers access to Jordan's two significant sights – the Wadi Rum Desert and the rock-hewn city. This vibrant city is where Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel meet. It was once a sleepy village with an industrial port. Now, it has turned into an upscale travel destination. It might be a rediscovered place but has a long-held intrigue. It is at the northern tip of the Red Sea and has cliffs. You can please your taste buds with traditional cuisine and intercontinental fare. The beaches are sandy with turquoise color waves. Aqaba has significant attraction points like Aqaba castle, Archaeological Museum, and some local shopping markets. Some popular places to visit nearby – are the Wadi Rum Desert, Wadi Siq, and the ancient city of Petra.

Aqaba Highlights

You can discover one of the most beautiful jewels of the Red Sea during this stop in the port of Aqaba. With its stunning seaside resorts, renowned dive sites, and renowned tourist attractions, Aqaba is Jordan's only port city and seaport. You won't miss visiting Petra, a unique historical site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, during your stay. There are also other attractions in the city, such as the ones listed below.

1. The Adventures of Underwater

The Aqaba Marine Park allows you to explore the world under the sea. Glass-bottomed boats are also an alternative to snorkeling or diving in the Red Sea. You can also visit the Aqaba Aquarium to see the region's colorful fish and coral.

2. Food and Drinks

Jordan's rich history is reflected in Aqaba's culinary scene. Despite its popularity worldwide for its freshness, Aqaba cuisine has many surprises. For example, hummus, falafel, and shawarma are classics, but Aqaba cuisine also features several unique dishes. The coffee and tea here are different compared to other parts of the world. Due to the way they are prepared, they are bitterer than their Western counterparts. A delicious, melty goat cheese fills the inside of a traditional filo pastry called kunafa. Another popular variation is filo pastry filled with spinach.  Served with olive oil, lemon, and garlic, foul is Jordan's official breakfast of mashed fava beans with olive oil, lemon, and garlic sauce. Jordanians regularly serve it as a side dish as part of every meal. It's usually served with hot flatbread.

3. Culture and History

The Ottoman Empire occupied Aqaba during the 14th century, opening the country of Jordan to international trade. Before World War I, Jordan was controlled by the Turks. After gaining independence in 1946, Jordan became an independent country. The Red Sea, Wadi Rum, and Petra make Aqaba a trendy tourist destination for Jordanians. In particular, the dabke dance, the national dance of Jordan and the surrounding regions, heavily influences Aqaba's culture. On a cruise to Jordan, listen to traditional music featuring shababa and Jordanian bagpipes, gerbah. Jordanian culture and history are deeply influenced by music. Respect and politeness are highly valued in Jordan. Aqaba is a traditional city, so dressing modestly will show the locals that you respect their culture.

Interesting Spots to Visit in Aqaba

Aqaba's coastline is incredible; it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. For the best trip to Aqaba, you should visit numerous places in the city. See which ones you should visit.

1. Wadi Rum

Jordan has a dramatic desert wilderness area of Wadi Rum in the south. There are several ways to experience Rum's attractions, including Jeep, camel, and hiking tours, as well as staying in an overnight Bedouin tent. A valley formed by sandstone and granite is known as the "Valley of the Moon." The valley is approximately 60 kilometers east of Aqaba. Among the many attractions in the area are trekking and rock climbing. The experience of camping beneath the stars is also enjoyable.

2. Red Sea – Scuba Diving

Beyond the shoreline lie calm, azure waters, serene coves, enormous numbers of fish, some of the best visibility in the world, and sheltered reefs. Divers are attracted to all of them, and the Red Sea is recognized as one of the best diving destinations in the world. On the eastern coast of Jordan, you will find the Dead Sea. It is the lowest point in the world, with a depth of 394.6 meters below sea level. The salt content of the sea results in a relatively high buoyancy, which visitors enjoy floating in. It takes three hours to reach the coast of Aqaba.

3. Ayla Aqaba

Ayla is an archaeological site in Aqaba, where the ruins of the first Islamic city outside the Arabian Peninsula are found. In 1989, excavations of the area were completed. Archeologists have found fortified stone walls as tall as 3 meters and measuring 165 meters. Islamic settlement structures called Msir were used to build the ancient enclosed city. Two main streets ran through the center, dividing the complex into four sections surrounded by 24 towers. Recent excavations revealed the remains of a mosque added to the city plan after 748. It is believed that the city was established in 636 AD. During Ottoman rule, it served primarily as a pilgrimage station and commercial and fishing center.

4. Aqaba Marine Park

Jordan has one marine park, Aqaba Marine Park, located on the Gulf of Aqaba. It is a popular diving location. More than 127 coral reefs and 450 species of fish can be found here, including the Japanese Garden, one of 19 diving sites. Glass-bottom boat rides, snorkeling, and sailing are other activities available. In addition to the beach, there are small shopping centers and seafood stalls.

5. Aqaba Fortress

Mamluk Castle, formerly the Fortress of Aqaba, played a significant role in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. There is relatively minor damage to the Fortress. You can explore the entire two-story structure, including the stables, the prison, and the execution room. One of the best-preserved features is the main gate. For centuries, Aqaba Fort was primarily used as an inn for pilgrims traveling between Mecca and Medina until it became a military stronghold in the 19th century. It was fortified in the 16th century and initially built in the 14th century. Taxis are available to take you to the castle in the heart of downtown Aqaba.

When to Visit Aqaba?

When the air temperature is 30-40C, and the water temperature is warmest and clearest, September/October is the ideal time to visit. It is still not nearly as crowded as Egypt, so if you are unhappy with crowds, Aqaba is a great alternative to the usual resort towns on the Red Sea.

Frequently Asked Questions about Aqaba

The tourist attractions in Aqaba are Mamluk castle, scuba diving in red sea, Aqaba archaeological museum, souk by the sea, Aqaba marine park, Sharif Hussein Bin Ali Mosque, Glass Bottom Boat tour, Day trip to Wadi Rum, visit the ruins of Ayla, Aqaba Bird Observatory, snorkeling at Japanese Garden, Ai-Hafayer Park, Aqaba Church, Aqaba South Beach, Ai-Ghandour Beach, Aqaba Aquarium, visit the high flag, and Turkish bath or Hammam.

The famous historical places to visit in Aqaba are Humayma – Roman Fort, Ink Flag, DC-4, rock inscriptions, lawrence’s house, mushroom rock, Aqaba fort, Sharif Hussein bin Ali, Ayla city, the Late Roman Church, Tell Maquss, and Tal Hujayrat Al Ghuzlan.

Aqaba has been inhabited since 1500 BC. The Edomites, who built its first port, transformed Aqaba into a major trading hub. A strong sense of history and culture still permeates the city today. The cultural and historical heritage of Aqaba will not leave any traveler indifferent. You will learn a great deal from the variety of tours and excursions in Aqaba in 2023, and you will realize that this is a gem of world culture that belongs to the city. Your time in Aqaba will be well spent visiting museums, scientific and natural centers, and historical places. This city offers fascinating excursions that introduce you to its main values and beliefs through visits to sacred sites. During your tour of Aqaba, you will visit iconic cultural sites that are part of the city's national heritage and are "calling cards." You will learn about the local cuisine's secrets and the locals' daily life with the help of guides.

Best things to do in Aqaba are dive around the coral reefs of the red sea, visit Aqaba Fortress, Mamluk Castle, Al-Ghandour Beach, Al-Hafayer, day trip to Wadi Rum, Sharif al-Hussein bin Ali Mosque, enjoy exquisite seafood, drive across the border to Saudi Arabia, journey through ruins of ancient city Ayla, stroll around the Aqaba Bird Observatory, explore the waters in a glass-bottomed boat, and visit Taba in Egypt.

The shoulder months of September to November are the best time to go to Aqaba and the Red Sea. Also, March to May is definitely a good time when temperatures are not scorching and the desert looks beautiful with the flower carpet and hills are colorful.
Cruise Inquiry