Arabian Winter - Oman
Spend a relaxing week in the glorious warmth of the Arabian Seas on board the fabulous 4* MSC Splendida. Spend a day on the exclusive MSC private island of Sir Bani Yas while this 7 night cruise also visits Muscat in Oman & Khor Al Fakkan, Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The free All-Inclusive package includes unlimited spirits, liqueurs, aperitifs, cocktails, wine by the glass and beer as well as fruit juices, sodas, mineral water, espresso, cappuccino and other hot drinks! The package also includes takeaway ice cream in a cone or cup!
The Fantastica grade experience has been designed for even greater comfort and flexibility featuring cabins on the upper decks and in the most desirable areas of the ship, and priority choice of dining times.
- Return flights Dublin to Abu Dhabi
- Return transfers airport to port
- 7 nights accommodation aboard 4* MSC Splendida based on 2 adults sharing a Fantastica grade inside cabin
- Fine dining and all beverages on an All Inclusive basis
- A variety of day and evening entertainment on board
- Taxes, charges and one 20kgs check-in bag pp included
Abu Dhabi was the first Gulf State to export oil back in 1962 and, it’s fair to say, the capital of the UAE hasn’t looked back since. Abu Dhabi’s 200 islands make for a fantastic resort, full of wonderful, spotlessly clean white-sand beaches, perfect for all manner of water sports. If you want to see what lies beneath the crystal clear waters, you can go snorkelling off the splendidly named, Snoopy Island or sit on a perfect beach and admire the city from Lulu Island.
Back in town the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is simply a ‘must see’. You’ll find acres of cool marble plus the world’s largest chandelier and the world’s biggest carpet. Elsewhere there’s so much to see and do, whether at the Heritage Village, the Emirates Palace or a visit to Al Ain’s lush oasis and archaeological site. Thrill seekers will enjoy the chance to ride a stupendous roller coaster above the dunes or discover similarly amazing attractions at the one and only Ferrari World. The city offers a safe environment with tax free shopping all manner of world cuisines and, at the Intercontinental Hotels, there’s even a Yacht Club bar with 150 varieties of vodka!
An enchanting stop on this MSC Cruise to the United Arab Emirates and Oman is Sir Bani Yas island. It has nothing to do with the hyper-technological progress which you will admire on your trip to the capital, Abu Dhabi. On Sir Bani Yas, just like on the islands of Dalma and the six nearby Discovery Islands, an enormous nature reserve has been designated to species in danger of extinction, be they from the Arabic peninsula or from Africa. In particular, on Sir Bani Yas you will be able to observe rare animals inside a protected area where the great majority of the animals, including giraffes, flamingos and cheetahs to name just a few, live freely. During your cruise to Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas is therefore is an opportunity to be seized to enjoy fun excursions or safaris in the wild, or to experience some of the exciting sports on offer. And for those who choose MSC Cruises relaxation, the beaches and the facilities that this island offers, where everything aimed at sustainability, will ensure that you spend an unforgettable day of leisure.
Stepping ashore in Oman’s capital Muscat means stepping into one of the oldest cities of the Middle East. This is where incense was shipped to Greece and Rome as far back as the 2nd century.
Today it is still possible to find traces of its glorious past in the old centre where, until the latter part of the past century, the gates that separated the various quarters would be closed three hours after dawn. Muttrah, the historic centre of trade and activity of the capital that you will see during the cruise, is one of the most intriguing and well-preserved parts of the town centre.
Dedicate part of your vacation to Muscat to visit the sites, like the fish market, the Portuguese fort and, above all Muttrah’s Souq, one of cruisers’ favourite destinations. You can continue along the sea road to the old town of Muscat where, about 200 years ago, the predecessor of the current head of state, built the Al Alam (the Flag), the palace which was restored in the Seventies and has become the Sultan’s official residence. It is a beautiful example of contemporary Arab architecture situated at the centre of the part of Muscat which is still surrounded by its 17th century walls.
From a ship on the Gulf of Oman, you can see the sizeable town of Khor Fakkan (or Khawr Fakkan) sprawling round a superb bay, one of the loveliest in the United Arab Emirates. The port where your cruise ship lies at anchor is part of the booze-free and ultra-conservative Sharjah emirate, and hasn’t enjoyed the tourist boom its location would otherwise suggest.
It’s a pleasant spot for a brief cruise excursion though, with a fine seafront corniche complete with fish market, a tempting stretch of beach (although, this being Sharjah, modest beachwear is advised) and views of a popular diving spot, Sharq Island, sometimes mistranslated as the rather alarming “Shark Island”, although sharq is in fact simply the Arabic for “east”.
When you are in Khor Fakkan consider an excursion to Fujairah, which has recently enjoyed something of a minor boom, mainly on the back of economic developments in neighbouring emirates, especially Dubai. The focus of much of this is the city’s massive oil-refuelling port – the world’s third largest after Singapore and Rotterdam – at the southern end of town, which is where most of the United Arab Emirates’ oil is exported from, as its east coast location saves shipping from making a two-day dog-leg around the tip of the Arabian peninsula.
There’s usually a line of tankers several kilometres long offshore waiting for their turn at the pumps. The main sight in town is the photogenic Fujairah Fort, off Madhab Road on the northern edge of the city centre. Dating back to the sixteenth century, this is the most picture-perfect of the United Arab Emirates’s many forts, set atop a large plinth and with high, bare walls rising to a pretty cluster of towers and battlements, dramatically framed by an outcrop of the Hajar Mountains.
Stunning and sophisticated, opulent and affluent… Dubai is one of the world’s most dazzling destinations, a city-state that draws travellers for its heady mix of shopping…tempered with heritage, tradition and culture.
Dubai is truly one of the world’s most unique cities; audacious and outrageous, Dubai needs to be seen to be believed. It impresses first-time visitors with its dazzling demeanour and futuristic vision of a modern mega city.
This is your final port of call. Once you have disembarked from your cruise ship you will be transferred to the airport to get your flight back home to Dublin.
A cruise ship where technology and comfort are spectacularly combined. Futuristic, yet retaining its classic simplicity and elegance. A cruise ship that promises the ultimate cruise experience.
In the MSC AUREA Spa highly-trained staff combine the magic of Balinese massage with the most modern and exclusive treatments. Specialities include: traditional water treatments (a legacy from Roman times), saunas, Turkish bath, solarium, relaxation room, thalassotherapy, massage room and whirlpool baths. For those seeking more ‘high impact’ activities, there is an exercise room filled with the latest equipment.
MSC Splendida also features 4 swimming pools, a squash court, a Formula 1 simulator and much, much more…
- Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
- A non-refundable deposit of €250 is required at time of booking confirmation
- 2% surcharge if balance is paid by credit card.
- Payment can be made via bank transfer
- Optional Insurance €44 (conditions apply, Irish residents only)
- Onboard gratuities €8.50 per person per day not included
- These prices are guidelines only and are subject to change & availability.
- Prices will be confirmed at time of booking.
- It is your responsibility to ensure passport/visas are obtained for your destination. We recommend your passport be valid for 6 months after the date of travel.