Middle East cruises explore some of the most fascinating cities and ports in the world and offer a wealth of heritage and history combined with natural beauty and some incredible contemporary attractions. Few regions can match the sheer variety and rich culture of the ports you’ll visit on cruises to the Middle East. The term Middle East can refer to a large region that starts in the Eastern Mediterranean and ends with the United Arab Emirates and Oman. There are a wealth of cruises to these destinations, some sticking to a particular area of the Middle East and others offering much wider itineraries, crossing the Suez Canal to link Europe and Asia.
Some cruises to the Middle East visit Aqaba in Jordan. Travellers to Aqaba can travel to Petra, the fabled lost city that features truly majestic stone-carved buildings and landmarks. Explore tombs and theatres during your visit, with the treasury and amphitheatre carved out of the mountain itself.
The United Arab Emirates, and in particular the popular port of Dubai, is something completely different from many of the other regions in the Middle East and cruises to Emirates ports are growing in both popularity and frequency. What sets the Emirates apart is the development of modern wonders, with some of the most advanced architecture in the world creating an atmosphere of pure opulence. The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is just one such example and makes for a stunning excursion. However beyond the limits of the contemporary developments you’ll still find the charms of the Middle East, with markets and camel safaris proving equally as popular with cruise travellers visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai as part of their itinerary.
Finally in the Middle East, near the UAE is Oman, a true jewel of Arabian life with the thriving port city of Muscat drawing a number of cruise lines. Ornate buildings and sparkling waters are the vision of Arabian life in reality, with bustling souks selling all kinds of traditional wares including jewellery, hand crafts and more unusual items such as daggers, that you may not be used to seeing in other markets around the world. If you want to know more about any of these destinations you can read further on our specific pages for each area, or simply browse the available deals to see more of the Middle East cruises we currently have available. Once you’ve seen one you like, or if you’ve any questions, our expert Cruise Concierge team are on-hand to help you book your dream holiday to the Middle East.
Another option is a cruise to Israel with the port of Haifa serving as the gateway to Nazareth and Galilee and Ashdod a base for exploring Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Both ports offer access to some of the most prominent historical landmarks in Christian history, which are captivating whether you’re a follower of the religion or are simply interested in learning more.
The whole area around Egypt offers some of the most fascinating historical destinations the entire world has to offer. Of course some of the most famous are based around Cairo, with the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx still standing tall and welcoming thousands of visitors each year. Some smaller ships may stop at ports further south, where you’ll see less famous and therefore less travelled ruins and landmarks from Ancient Egypt that reveal much of the time for a truly astounding excursion.
Many cruises to the Middle East are based around Turkey and the Black Sea. Turkey is often included as part of longer Eastern Mediterranean voyages but smaller itineraries show off more of the unique, smaller ports where ancient history and a fascinating blend of Asian and European cultures wait to be discovered. Around the Black Sea, ports in Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine showcase ornate palaces, unique museums and a number of religious structures. Ports such as Constanta and Yalta are home to intriguing history, with many modern attractions such as luxury spas complementing the more educational attractions.
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