Cruising The Middle East

At The Muttrah Souq

Muscat, Super Exotic But Comfortable For Westerners

The Top 10 destinations for historical interest, lovely landscapes, super shopping, spectacular cities and village life experiences.

The Middle East may not be on the top of everyone’s list of cruise destinations, and for those who want to loll about and sip drinks on a sandy beach, the Middle East would be a poor choice. It may have sand, and it’s certainly got plenty of sun, but this is not the place for Western-style sunbathing.

Rather, the region is a culturally rich destination that amply rewards those savvy travelers who do make the trip. Chockablock with historic sites, the Middle East, of course, is home to the geographic starting points for Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and over the centuries, the Middle East has provided a stage for some of history’s most dramatic and significant moments.

For these and other reasons, Holy Land cruises, as Middle Eastern itineraries are known, deserves the consideration of any experienced traveler who hasn’t sampled this region of vast deserts and fertile river valleys.

The luxury cruise lines frequently incorporate the Middle East into their world cruise itineraries, transiting the Suez Canal to connect the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, and some lines, such as Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, will make a series of roundtrip cruises that include the Eastern Mediterranean ports in Turkey and Greece. Beyond that, though, there is not an abundance of cruise ship capacity to the Middle East.

Of special note, Tony Walsh, who contributed information to Avid Cruiser’s Middle East profiles, will be lecturing on the Noble Caledonia between Salalah and Dubai in the spring of 2011. For more info, click here.

To help you choose the best itinerary for your trip, we present here our list of Top Ten Attractions for Middle East Cruising.

  1. Aqaba, Jordan
  2. Cairo, Egypt
  3. Dubai, UAE
  4. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  5. Muscat, Oman
  6. Tunis, Tunisia
  7. Jerusalem, Israel
  8. Sana’a, Yemen
  9. Ephesus, Turkey
  10. Bahrain
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