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 morning tour ticks off 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 fabrics, ornaments and glittering 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 – right in time for lunch.
From mosques to markets, you’ll see some of Muscat’s best bits on this full-day tour – so don’t forget the camera. Your first photo stop will be Muttrah Fish Market, where you can watch locals haggle for the catch of the day. Next, you’ll head to Al Hazm Fort. This enormous castle sits on a rocky outcrop and is surrounded by palm trees. Time it right, and you might even get to see the noisy goat market that takes place here each week. Then, you’ll go for a look at the Nakhi Hot Springs, an hour’s drive away. After a chance to snap a selfie by the scenic springs, you’ll head to a resort in Al Nahda for a buffet lunch of traditional Omani dishes. Once you’ve had your fill, you’ll travel to your last stop on the tour, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. You’ll have a chance to snap some photos of its giant, golden dome and ivory-coloured outer walls, before heading back to the port.