Golden Cities and Sands 2
Sir Bani Yas (Abu Dhabi), Dubai and Emirates
Grand Mosque of Muscat, Oman
The Treasury, Aquaba, Petra
Atmospheric, ancient cities that are just waiting for you to discover their secrets is the flavour of the Golden Cities and Sands 2 itinerary. Asia cruises feature a modern metropolis or two, and there’s plenty on offer with this unforgettable itinerary.
* The order of the itinerary may differ depending on your chosen departure date and airport.
Days 1-2 – Port Rashid (for Dubai), Dubai and Emirates
Arrive in port: 23:59 (Day 1)
Depart: 18:00 (Day 2)
Your exciting journey begins at Port Rashid, with onward travel to Dubai recommended. It’s a 25-minute drive from the port, so you’ll be scaling the Burj Khalifa in no time. You can stroll around the shops at Dubai Mall, but it’s not all modern architecture. There are historic sights to see and traditional souks, or markets, to explore.
Day 3 – Port Zayed (for Abu Dhabi), Dubai and Emirates
Time in port: 06:00-18:00
Port Zayed offers easy access to the bustling city of Abu Dhabi, with the journey taking 15 minutes by car. It’s a real mix of the east and west, with contemporary Islamic buildings, such as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, sharing the city with soaring skyscrapers. Stroll along The Corniche, a promenade by the beach, it's got a variety of cafés to stop and have a drink or bite to eat.
Day 4 – Sir Bani Yas (Abu Dhabi), Dubai and Emirates
Time in port: 08:00-17:00
Sir Bani Yas Island is the closest place to paradise on the Golden Cities and Sands 2 itinerary. The Arabian Wildlife Park covers almost half of this small island. It's home to cheetahs, gazelles, giraffes and Arabian oryz, all of which roam freely. There are also idyllic sandy beaches where you can relax before heading back to the ship.
Day 5 – Manama, Bahrain
Time in port: 08:00-16:00
There’s a whole day of sightseeing to be enjoyed in Manama, so get your walking shoes and camera ready. Look up in awe at the massive skyscrapers that dominate the skyline of the city, with the Bahrain World Trade Centre being a must-see.
The Al Fateh Grand Mosque is another, as it’s one of the biggest mosques in the world. It also has the world record for the largest fibreglass dome. Bahrain National Museum is a great place to go to learn more about the city’s history.
Day 6 – Khasab, Oman
Time in port: 08:00-17:00
Khasab in Oman is the next fascinating port you’ll arrive into, with the city centre being just a 10-minute drive away. Surrounding Khasab are fjord-like khors (ravines), with the 17th-century fort situated close to sea level. You can take a traditional dhow boat trip from the harbour to reach the calm waters beyond, which are known to be home to pods of dolphins. Then head back to the city to visit the medieval castle on the seafront.
Days 7-8 – Port Sultan Qaboos (for Muscat), Oman
Arrive in port: 06:00 (Day 7)
Depart: 10:30 (Day 8)
Once your ship arrives into Port Sultan Qaboos on Day 7, you'll have time to travel the 20 minutes to the ancient city of Muscat. This is an old town, and souk markets, ruins, mosques and forts are just some of Muscat’s highlights.
The most stunning sight is The Grand Mosque, which is a marvel of modern Islamic architecture. There are a couple of museums, with the Bait Al Zubair Museum being particularly interesting.
Day 9 – At sea
Your ship for the Golden Cities and Sands 2 adventure is Marella Discovery. Day 9 is spent at sea, so make the most of the downtime and explore the ship’s facilities. Everyone is catered for, with plenty of outdoor activities and a kids' club to keep little ones entertained. Why not challenge yourself on the rock climbing wall or indoor gym?
Day 10 – Salalah, Oman
Time in port: 07:00-14:00
Salalah is a sub-tropical city, full of authentic atmosphere, souks and idyllic stretches of soft sand. Couples will find Salalah particularly enchanting, as there’s a sense of romance everywhere you go.
Days 11-13 – At sea
There are seven restaurants available on board Marella Discovery, meaning there’s something for everyone. Options include pan-Asian cuisine at Kora La and hot stone experiences at Surf & Turf Steakhouse! Of course you can just pop to Marella Discovery’s main eatery,47° for no extra charge and indulge in a multi course meal of your choice.
Once you’ve eaten, enjoy some evening entertainment at the Broadway Show Lounge or Movies by Moonlight, an innovative open-air cinema experience.
Days 14-15 – Aqaba (for Petra), Jordan
Arrive in port: 06:00
Aqaba is the final destination on the Golden Cities and Sands 2 itinerary and is where your journey comes to an incredible end.
You have a full day here before your flight home so make sure to visit the city of Petra, an archaeological site like no other.