Day 1: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
A shore excursion on your MSC Emirates and Oman cruise can be the opportunity to discover Bur Dubai, at the heart of the metropolis of Dubai, on the south side of the breezy Creek. It’s the oldest part of Dubai and it offers a fascinating insight into the city’s traditional roots. This is where you’ll find many of the place’s most interesting Arabian heritage houses, clustered in the beautiful old Iranian quarter of Bastakiya and the waterfront Shindagha district, as well as the excellent Dubai Museum and the atmospheric Textile Souk.
MSC Dubai, Abu Dhabi & India also offer excursions to the bustling district of Deira: the centre of Dubai’s traditional commercial activity, much of it still conducted in the area’s vibrant array of old-fashioned souks, including the famous gold and spice markets. A few kilometres south of the old city centre, modern Dubai begins in spectacular style with Sheikh Zayed Road, home to a neck-cricking array of skyscrapers including the glittering Emirates Towers. Even these, however, are outshone by the massive Downtown Dubai development at
the southern end of the strip, centred on the stupendous new Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, flanked by further record-breaking attractions including the gargantuan Dubai Mall and spectacular Dubai Fountain. West of the Sheikh Zayed Road, the sprawling beachside suburb of Jumeirah is the traditional address-of-choice for Dubai’s European expats, its endless swathes of walled villas dotted with half a dozen shopping malls and a smattering of low-key sights. At the southern end of Jumeirah, there are more iconic sights in the sleepy suburb of Umm Suqeim, including the wave-shaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the extraordinary mock-Arabian Madinat Jumeirah complex and the unforgettable Burj al Arab hotel.
Day 2: Khasab, Oman
Khasab, is also known as the Top of the Emirates, a play of words to define its position – it’s the most “northern” city in the Emirates – and the appeal of this Oman port located in the northernmost exclave of the Sultanate. Sailing on an MSC cruise to Dubai, Abu Dhabi & India you will notice that Khasab guards the Ormuz strait that separates the Arabian Sea from the Indian Ocean. Khasab is a town founded by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 17th century in the best possible natural port of the area and offers many interesting excursions. One of the most appealing is the Khasab Fortress. Now farther from the sea, it has maintained its original charm and… some typical boats of the region which, just as in the military buildings, are decorated in the traditional style of the Musandam peninsula. Or you can visit the town of Bukha with its two beautiful forts built in the Portuguese period: Fort Bukha, perfectly preserved with its uninterrupted crown of rounded merlons and Fort Al Qala, with its fairfaced stone walls.
Day 3: Muscat, Oman
In the historic center of Muscat, remnants of its illustrious past still linger. Until the latter part of the previous century, gates would close three hours after dawn, separating the various quarters. Muttrah, the capital's historic trading hub, awaits exploration during your cruise, benefiting from its proximity to the expansive port, where your MSC ship, named after sovereign Qabus, awaits. While in Muscat, make the most of your time by visiting notable sites like the fish market, the Portuguese fort, and the beloved Muttrah Souq, a favorite stop for cruisers. Continue your journey along the coastal road to Muscat's old town, home to the Al Alam (the Flag) palace, built by a predecessor of the current head of state about 200 years ago. This splendid example of contemporary Arab architecture sits at the heart of Muscat, still enclosed by its 17th-century walls.
Day 4: Arabian Gulf
Cruising at sea.
Day 5: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates’ capital, Abu Dhabi, where your MSC cruise ship awaits your return, offers an intriguing contrast to its freewheeling neighbour Dubai, a little over an hour’s drive down the coast. Leading attractions on your Dubai, Abu Dhabi & India cruises to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates include the extravagant Emirates Palace hotel and the even more spectacular Sheikh Zayed Mosque, while the various attractions of Yas Island, home to the vast Ferrari World theme park, lie just down the road. The blockbuster attraction at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island is a dream excursion for any F1 fans. The “world’s biggest indoor theme park”, it offers a wide range of Ferrari-themed rides and displays which will appeal both to kids and grown-ups, including the chance to drive an F1 simulator or to ride the Formula Rossa roller coaster (the world’s fastest) or to experience race-day acceleration in the G Force “tower of speed” – as well as numerous gentler family-oriented rides.
Day 6: Sir Bani Yas Is, United Arab Emirates
It has nothing to do with the hyper-technological progress which you will admire on your trip to the capital, Abu Dhabi. The MSC Beach Experience on Sir Bani Yas means relax. It includes a delicious barbecue lunch of succulent burgers and other grilled delights, fresh salads and vegetables, pastries and fruit. And you can enjoy cocktails, ice-cold beers and soft drinks from the island’s six bars. Entertainment options range from beach tennis and volleyball to paddle boarding and snorkelling, not forgetting gym and dance activities and fun beach parties. Meanwhile, the inflatable water park and kids’ play area will keep children happy all day. Without leaving the beach, you can pamper yourself with a revitalising massage or beauty treatment provided by our expert MSC Aurea Spa personnel. And if you’ve booked an island tour–or decide to join one at the last minute–you’ll find our Excursion Office right there on the beach too.
Day 7: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Explore your ship or step off on a shore excursion. Disembark on Day 8.