Journey to Arabia 2
St Lawrence Minor Basilica, Karkala, Mangalore, India
Gateway of India, Mumbai Harbour, Mumbai, India.
Sir Bani Yas (Abu Dhabi), Dubai and Emirates
Grand Mosque of Muscat, Oman
Get ready for your Journey to Arabia 2 adventure, touring the Arabian Sea and the best sights in the Middle East – make sure you pack your camera!
* The order of the itinerary may differ depending on your chosen departure date and airport.
Day 1 – Cochin, Kerala
You begin your Journey to Arabia 2 on India's southwest coast, in Cochin. It takes 45 minutes to travel from Cochin Airport to Cochin Port. Transfers are included with Marella cruises, so you'll have everything covered and will be on your ship in no time.
Cochin Port is in the Lake of Kochi on Willingdon Island, so the easiest way to travel to Kochi City is by ferry or across the bridge by tuktuk. This place is renowned for its seafood and fish curry, so try to sneak some in before you set sail. Try also to see the Mattancherry Palace, Fort Kochi Beach, and the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, which is home to many exotic brahminy kites and redshanks birds.
Day 2 – Mangalore, India
Time in port: 08:00–17:00
Think long sandy beaches and plenty of palms along the banks of the Gurupura River as you cruise into Mangalore. In the region's streets, you’ll find temples and cathedrals that are well worth exploring. If time allows, head to Panambur Beach to soak up some rays, or take a boat trip around the local area.
Day 3 – Mormugao, Goa
Time in port: 08:00–18:00
On this next stage of your Journey to Arabia 2 itinerary, you'll be dropped right in the heart of the Goa. Within an hour’s drive, there's the state capital of Panjim, the UNESCO-listed city of Old Goa.
There's also plenty of white-sand beaches if you'd rather just soak in some rays. Wandering around Old Goa, you have easy access to some great street eats like Goan fish curry. And, as Goa was a Portuguese colony for 400 years, there's lots of European-style architecture to admire.
Day 4 – Mumbai, India
Time in port: 09:00–19:00
Nicknamed the Gateway to India, this melting pot of cultures, food and architecture is home to the famous Hanging Garden and World Trade Centre. Take a picture of the Rajabai Clock Tower, modelled after London’s Big Ben, before heading to Fashion Street to pick up a bargain from street vendors selling clothing and accessories. Do also wander the stalls in Bhuleshwar Market to pick up everything from jewellery to food.
Day 5-6 – At Sea
It's time to kick back, relax and enjoy all the facilities on board Marella Discovery. She boasts 11 decks, seven restaurants, seven bars and two pools. Stay entertained with a casino, the Broadway Show Lounge and outdoor cinema, and enjoy dining options such as surf and turf, sushi and mezze salads.
Day 7–9 – Port Rashid (for Dubai), Dubai and Emirates
Arrive in port: 06:00 (Day 7)
Depart from port: 18:00 (Day 9)
On your next stop, you'll dock in Port Rashid where you can head for the bright lights of Dubai and the home of the super-rich. Marvel at the man-made Palm Jumeirah. Take a trip to the top of the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, and enjoy the views from its observation deck, before wandering through Dubai's souks and gold markets.
Day 10 – Port Zayed (for Abu Dhabi), Dubai and Emirates
Time in port: 06:00–18:00
It's time to anchor in Port Zayed and hop in a taxi to explore Abu Dhabi, the more laid-back capital of the UAE. You'll see plenty of Islamic landmarks as well as impressive modern structures. If you're exploring on foot, head for the Corniche, a long promenade with cafés, restaurants and a Blue Flag beach.
Day 11 – Sir Bani Yas (Abu Dhabi), Dubai and Emirates
Time in port: 08:00–17:00
In Sir Bani Yas, you are greeted by white-sand beaches, a former-palace-turned-hotel and a wildlife reserve. This small island sits 175km west of the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi. A wildlife park covers almost half of the island, where Arabian oryx, gazelles and ostriches roam free. Enjoy spotting sea turtles, angelfish and tropical fish on a snorkel around the island, and you'll even be able to spot the odd flamingo, too. If time allows, hire a kayak and explore the island's shallows.
Day 12 – Manama, Bahrain
Time in port: 08:00–16:00
Manama is on the tip of the island of Bahrain, just off the coast of Saudi Arabia. There’s lots of culture to enjoy on this stage of your Journey to Arabia 2 itinerary. In the Adliya district, pop-up galleries and art-house cinemas are a common sight, and the Grand Mosque, boasting the world's largest fibreglass dome roof, is a must-see.
Day 13 – Khasab, Oman
Time in port: 08:00–17:00
It's time to visit Khasab, known as The Norway of Arabia thanks to its fjords. Khasab was founded by the Portuguese, and you'll find plenty of architecture mixing Arabic and Portuguese influences. Pay a visit to Khasab Castle, the city’s medieval Portuguese stronghold, which gives great views from its towers. Its walls are also home to museums filled with historical pieces.
Day 14–15 – Port Sultan Qaboos (for Muscat), Oman
Arrive in port: 06:00 (Day 14)
Just a 20-minutes drive from Port Sultan, the ancient walled city of Muscat is in a pristine bay surrounded by vast mountains. Visit Muscat's Grand Mosque, which is completely white, outside, but on the inside, is filled with intricate murals and crystal chandeliers. As you walk around Muscat old town, try your haggling skills out at a local souk, where you can buy things like jewellery, spices and rugs.
After your two-week adventure, you'll come back from your holiday feeling refreshed and with lots of memories and stories to share. Take a look at some more Asia cruises to get your next travel fix.