Port Sultan Qaboos (for Muscat) Cruises, Oman
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
You’ll tour some of Oman’s highlights on this trip, including an enormous mosque, a bustling souk, and Muscat old town. The first stop is the Grand Mosque. Outside, it’s completely white, but on the inside, it’s filled with intricate murals and big crystal chandeliers. A single Persian carpet covers the 4,000-square-metre floor, making it one of the largest ever made. Next, you’ll have an hour’s haggling time at the Muttrah Souk. This indoor marketplace is the oldest in Muscat and its stalls are packed with colourful jewellery, pottery and spices. After you’ve picked up some souvenirs, you’ll head off to the Bait Al Zubair Museum for an insight into Omani heritage, before a tour of Muscat old town. Two enormous forts and the Al Alam Palace dominate the skyline here. The latter is the official residence of His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos.
This full day trip ticks off a sea cruise, a busy market, a beautiful mosque, a museum and a palace. The tour starts with a quick stop for a photo at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, a huge sandstone building topped with a 50-foot dome. In fact, it’s one of the largest mosques ever constructed. Next, it’s onto the rainbow-coloured Muttrah Souk, which is packed with stalls selling textiles, ornaments and jewellery. There’ll be time to do a little shopping before you head to the Bait Zubair Museum for an insight into Omani heritage. Last up for the morning is a chance to snap a couple of photos of the gold and blue Al Alam Palace, the ceremonial home of Sultan Qaboos of Oman. Then it’s time to head back to the ship and grab some lunch onboard. Fully refreshed, you’ll go on to spend the afternoon on a dhow boat cruise. Climb aboard at the Marina Bandar, before being whisked off along the pretty coastline.
Dolphins are regular visitors to Oman’s shores so you’re in with a great chance of spotting them during this boat trip. As you cruise along the rocky coastline, your guide will help you to look for pods of spinner, bottlenose and common dolphins as they ride the waves. If you’re lucky, you might even see a humpback or a false killer whale as they come up for air.