Welcome to CruiseBooking.com, your ultimate source for planning an extraordinary Arabian Gulf cruise holiday. The Arabian Gulf has been a captivating region since ancient times. A stuff of legends, it appears exotic in the imagination of most Western travelers (the flying carpets, Genies, remember Aladdin's tales?). Yet it is a remarkable combination of rich cultural heritage with the post-modern architectural extravagance of the 21st century. It is a wealthy region bordered by many Arab nations. With many cultural, historical, and religious sites, the Arab Gulf region also hosts amazing, sunbaked beaches with clear, alluring waters attracting many tourists to take an interest in a booming tourism sector.
When starting your Arabian Gulf cruises, you have several departure ports. Each port offers unique charm and attractions, allowing you to customize your cruise experience according to your preferences.
Major Departure Ports in Gulf Region:
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Dubai is a coastal city. Home to various shipping ports, they are responsible for maintaining the status the city has created in the past years as a thriving and dynamic economic metropolitan. They are also used as a means of transport for cruise ship travelers. Dubai has three significant seaports: Jebel Ali Port, Mina Rashid Port, and Al Hamriya Port, all managed by Dubai Ports World (DP World). Dubai is a premier departure point for Arabian Gulf cruises, offering a perfect blend of luxury, culture, and adventure. Dubai's cheap multi-entry visa system has been active since 2016. It has allowed travelers to land at Dubai Airport and embark on cruise vessels for cruising to Abu Dhabi and other Gulf ports.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: As the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi provides a captivating Zayed port for your Arabian Gulf cruise. Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal was launched in 2015 and docks many cruise liners. Located strategically, it allows easy access to Abu Dhabi and can harbor three cruise ships and 5000 people at a time.
Muscat, Oman: Muscat is a charming port city that blends old-world charm and natural beauty. The major cruise port in Muscat is the Sultan Qaboos Port. However, one must be mindful of the minimal facilities in this cruise port. Explore the majestic Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, wander through the vibrant Mutrah Souq, or take a boat tour to witness the breathtaking fjords and secluded beaches of the Omani coastline if you have the money.
Doha, Qatar: Doha is a rapidly growing city with a multi-million dollar cruise terminal that opened during the FIFA world cup, offering a unique departure point for your Arabian Gulf cruise. With this grand terminal, the Qataris expect more than 200,00 visitors alone in the 2023/24 season. MSC Cruises has a major deal with the port authorities in this excellent cruise port, with the MSC World Europa Cruise Ship making its presence felt. Of course, you can immerse yourself in the city's modern architecture, visit the acclaimed Museum of Islamic Art, or wander through the vibrant Souq Waqif, sampling traditional Qatari cuisine and experiencing local customs as did the tourists during FIFA 22.
India is an extensive and populous country located in South Asia. The country has several ports as departure points for cruises to arabian gulf. The most popular ports are Mumbai, Cochin, and Goa. These ports are located along the Arabian Sea and are popular stops on many Arabian Gulf cruise itineraries. Mumbai International Cruise Terminal is particularly suited for departure as it has many cruise port amenities and is situated at Ballard Pier, 10-15 minutes away from prominent sightseeing places like the iconic Mumbai Taj hotel, the Museum, the elite Nariman Point, and Arabian sea-hugging Marine driveway.
Jordan is a country located in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The most crucial port is Aqaba on the Red Sea, the other side of the Arabian Peninsula. The port is home to several cruise liners, majorly belonging to MSC Cruises. But ensure you have a proper departure plan since the port has limited facilities. Aqaba is also a gateway to the Rock-cut city of Petra nearby, and you can explore it if it is part of your travel plan.
During your Arabian Gulf cruise, you'll have the opportunity to explore several captivating ports of call. Each port offers distinct attractions and experiences, with different wafts of souks' smells, allowing you to immerse yourself in the region's rich cultural heritage and natural wonders. Some of the major cruise ports in the Arabian Gulf include:
As an island nation in the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain boasts a rich history and cultural heritage. Explore the ancient Qal'at al-Bahrain (also called Bahrain Fort) overlooking the Gulf Sea since the time of the Dilmun Civilization, visit the mesmerizing Al-Fateh Mosque, or dive into the crystal-clear waters to discover a Bahraini pearl! Who knows! The country also has several ports as departure points for cruises to the Arabian Gulf. The most popular port is Mina Salman, located in the capital city of Manama. The port is home to several cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises. Check out their travel plans for a great Gulf experience.
Situated on the Musandam Peninsula, Khasab is known for its breathtaking fjords and rugged mountains. You can take a dhow cruise through the stunning Khor Sham fjord, go dolphin-watching or immerse yourself in the local fishing village of Kumzar. Khasab is rightly called the 'Norway of Arabia' for this reason. Likewise, you can also go on a 4-hour Harim mountain tour by booking an SUV and clicking scenic pictures.
Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates:
Words are not enough to describe this stunning island. It has been developed since the 70s as a perfect oasis for nature lovers. Cultivated with passion, this island hosts wildlife safaris, pristine beaches, and a fantastic eco-diverse marine life you can explore with snorkeling and diving. There's also the oldest Nestorian church in the Arabian Peninsula, restored by the cultural ministry for tourism and pilgrimage purposes.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates:
Who does not have Dubai on their lips whenever someone hears the word 'Arab Modernity'? RMS Queen Elizabeth-2 Cunard Ocean Liner'll greet you converted into a floating hotel. After which, you can experience the iconic Burj Khalifa, indulge in world-class shopping at the Dubai Mall (careful, you might lose yourself there!), or explore the historic neighborhoods of Bastakiya. Dubai offers a fusion of modernity and tradition, ensuring a memorable stop on your Arabian Gulf cruise. You can also take advantage of Royal Caribbean Cruise's "Cruise Arabia and Africa" tour package lasting a full week of shopping and spa treatment experiences.
For the best experience of Arab beaches in the Gulf region, Kite Beach is the place for families to relax under the summer sun and enjoy water sports available locally. You can book the luxurious Burj Al Arab or any nearby hotel to get a scenic view of this magnificent beach.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:
When you arrive in Abu Dhabi, explore the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It will leave you awestruck with the adornments and luxurious ornamentations imported from Germany, India, and other countries. For stay purposes, you can book the opulent Emirates Palace 5-star hotel to get an idea of what Arab hospitality is like. But if it is too pricey, there are free tours for outsiders to certain places. Later, you can take a leisurely evening stroll along the Corniche, admiring the stunning skyline and pristine beaches of Abu Dhabi.
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Whether you seek a family cruise or an adult-only retreat, you can compare cruises from more than 20 cruise lines. Book cheap and last-minute cruise deals on Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruises, and other top cruises you will find worth booking. Check out our exciting cruise itineraries to book a cruise, including cruises to Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Khasab, and Muscat.