Jordan, Oman & Abu Dhabi

Immerse yourself in the fascinating diversity and authentic highlights of Arabia on this unforgettable exploration of one of the world’s most incredible regions. After meeting the ship in Aqaba – your gateway to the ‘Lost City’ of Petra – you’ll sail to Oman for chances to experience unique Bedouin culture, marvel at striking palaces and forts, and venture into breathtaking fjords; visit Doha for stunning skylines and bustling souks; and discover a mix of modern and historic architectural wonders in vibrant Abu Dhabi. 

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This stunning 14-night cruise takes you from Aqaba on the Jordan Red Sea coast to Oman calling at Salalah, Muscat and Khasab before visiting Doha in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Office use: D1820

DESTINATION Jordan, Oman, Qatar, UAE
FROM Dublin
DATE 20 September 2018
DURATION 14 Nights
PRICE Was €1,869 now just €1,439pp

From ancient cities, spectacular palaces and historic forts to breathtaking fjords, rolling sand dunes and bustling souks, you’ll immerse yourself in the fascinating diversity and authentic highlights of Arabia to the full on this epic exploration aboard Boudicca.

This unforgettable fortnight begins in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, from where you can tour to the awe-inspiring ‘Lost City’ of Petra. Be sure to have your camera to hand to capture the ancient sandstone tombs, gates, archways and stunning temples of one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. You’ll then have time to relax and settle into life on board the ship as you navigate the Red Sea and the Arabian Peninsula’s southernmost point en route to Oman. A day in Salalah – the first of three Omani ports on this incredible itinerary – will provide a colourful welcome to this eye-catching country. Show less Beautiful beaches, the impressive Sultan Qaboos Palace, and the energetic Al-Husn Souk – packed with stalls selling local wares such as real frankincense resin – are among the many highlights to discover in Oman’s second city.

A wealth of unique sights and authentic experiences will await your discovery during an overnight stay in Muscat, where you can unearth the very essence of Omani culture. You could take in the glorious Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, bustling Mutrah Souk and striking Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace within the capital; tour to the rolling dunes of Wahiba Sands for a taste of traditional Bedouin life; or head for the imposing forts and arches of ancient Nizwa. From the man-made marvels of Muscat it’s on to Khasab for a chance to witness some of Arabia’s most spectacular natural scenery on an unmissable Dhow boat tour into the Musandam Fjords, before Boudicca continues onwards to Qatar. Doha is famed for its soaring skyline, though the Qatari capital’s atmospheric Souq Waqif is an undoubted highlight. Recently reincarnated to exhibit a 19th century feel, there aren’t many better places in the city for delving into Arabian culture. Speaking of undoubted highlights, a full day in Abu Dhabi will round your holiday off in style. Explore the Emirates’ capital to capture the mix of magnificent modern skyscrapers and historic forts; visit the striking Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque; or perhaps simply indulge in some retail therapy at the high-end shopping malls.

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Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 1-2: Aqaba, Jordan: Overnight Depart Late Night

Arrive in Aqaba following your flight from Dublin and transfer to the port to board the 4* Fred. Olsen Boudicca. The ship will stay in port overnight and depart into the Red Sea late on Day 2.

Inhabited since 4000BC, Aqaba is the Jordanian port city on the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba, and gateway to the world-famous stone-city of Petra. The Lost City of Petra is the impressive archaeological site carved from the sandstone hills more than 2,000 years ago, and is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Its breath-taking tombs and ruins remained hidden to the world until their rediscovery in 1812 by a Swiss explorer.

The seaport of Aqaba has been strategically important for traders for centuries. The Crusaders built a fortress here, which was rebuilt by the Mamlukes in the 16th century, and it remains one of the town’s most important landmarks. The Aqaba Archaeological Museum houses Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid artefacts, an unearthed treasures from the ancient city of Aila, are also within its walls.

The small town of Aqaba itself has a relaxed vibe, and is a regular stopover for visitors heading to the diving and snorkelling clubs of the Yamanieh coral reef.

Day 3-7: At Sea:

Day 8: Salalah, OmanArrive Early AM Depart Late PM

Capital of Oman’s southern region, Salalah, known as the ‘perfume city of Arabia’, is famous for its trade in frankincense, banana plantations, Arabian Sea beaches and waters teeming with sea life. An annual monsoon, The Khareef, transforms the desert terrain into a lush, green landscape and the seasonal waterfalls it creates is a magical sight.

The city’s must-see sights include the eye-catching Sultan Qaboos Palace and the Al-Husn Souk, which is a large outdoor market with dozens of shops and stalls selling gold and silver products, incense, perfumes and frankincense resin. The Frankincense Land Museum, part of the Al Balid Archaeological Site, recounts the city’s maritime history and its role in the spice trade.

There is another market – the Haffa Souk, in the old city. This is the place to buy local hand-made wood and leather products as well as more frankincense resin.

Day 9: At Sea:

Day 10-11: Muscat, Oman: Arrive Early PM Overnight Depart Early PM

Muscat, Oman’s port capital, offers plenty of history, an air of tradition, and a distinctly exotic location, all crammed between the mountains, the sea – laden with fauna-rich lagoons – and the desert.

With history dating back to ancient times, Muscat mixes modern architecture and fashionable shopping malls with souks, Royal Palaces and landmarks like its 16th century Portuguese forts, Al Jalali and Mirani that keep watch over the harbour.

The ornate marble-clad Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, with its 50m dome, can accommodate 20,000 people. This most modern of Islamic buildings is also home to the world’s second largest hand-woven carpet, which took four years to thread and is made from various vibrant vegetable dyes.

The opening of the Royal Opera House in 2011, and the splendid National Museum which opened six years later, offer additional culture highlights that give the city a personality all of its own.

Day 12: Khasab, Oman: Arrive Early AM Depart Late PM

The small, yet energetic Omani city of Khasab is a melting pot of sights, from charming old souks and historic castles, to bustling modern markets and a lively harbour. It’s also the gateway to the stunning waterways and islands of the Musandam fjords – The Norway of Arabia. From Khasab Harbour, traditional Dhow boats enter these stunning fjords that form part of the Strait of Hormuz, and offer rugged coastal views and dolphin sightings. Past mountain villages lies Jabal Hareem Peak – Musandam’s highest point – which is known for its marine fossils.

There are plenty of highlights to discover in the capital of the Musandam peninsula. The Portuguese-built, stone-turreted Khasab Fort was the former home of the Wali of Khasab and is now a museum with model boats, handicrafts and archaeological finds. Within the heart of the city, two very distinct areas – the Old and New Souk Areas – demand discovery.

The Old Souk is where you’ll find traditional markets resounding to a mix of languages such as Kumzari. The New Souk has a more modern feel. LuLu Market is the largest supermarket in Musandam and enjoys all the hustle and bustle of Arabian life. Given piracy has been a tradition in these parts for well over 200 years, a visit to the harbour to see Iranian traders come and go with semi-illicit goods in their jet boats is well worth a look.

Day 13: Doha, Qatar: Arrive Early AM  Depart Late PM

Doha, capital of the peninsular Arabian Gulf country, Qatar, is a rapidly-developing, modern city that oozes style and confidence. The striking and constantly changing skyline of Doha underlines the significant investment Qatar has made in creating a number of landmark cultural icons. The recently reimagined Souq Waqif, a traditional market, which offers many traditional goods and a heady atmospheric vibe is a true experience.

On its man-made island, the beauty of the spectacular I.M. Pei–designed Museum of Islamic Art is a must see for any visitor. Doha also makes full use of its smart waterfront promenade, Al Corniche, aided by the fact the bay was constructed using landfill to create the alluring crescent.

Strolling around The Pearl Qatar, a high-end, luxury neighbourhood, or exploring Katara Cultural Village located in West Bay Area with its Roman-style public auditorium, museums, galleries and libraries are two popular pastimes.

Day 14-15: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Arrive Early AM Overnight

Your cruise reaches your last point of call, Abu Dhabi, where you enjoy an overnight stay in port.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, has a stunning mix of modern skyscrapers, traditional souks and long white sandy beaches.  [ReadMoreMob]

Located off the mainland on an island in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, Abu Dhabi was an ancient trading port – a settlement dating back to the Bronze Age – before its transformation into a breath-taking modern city of oil. Engaging with Gulf culture, and understanding the history of this extraordinary region, can be done by strolling its museums, exhibitions, and sampling the local cuisine. Emirati heritage is not all in a glass box, however, and it can be experienced via the atmospheric shisha cafes, the traditional dhow harbour, the beauty of the photogenic Corniche beach, and the bold haggling in its markets.

Abu Dhabi is a city of extremes: the world’s largest hand-loomed carpet, the fastest rollercoaster, the highest high tea, the tower with the greatest lean, the largest cluster of cultural buildings of the 21st century. As one of the wealthiest cities on the planet, Abu Dhabi is well-versed in showing off its magnificence. [ReadMoreDesk]

In amongst all this opulence, there are many pointers to the city’s past. The 200-year-old sandstone Al Maqtaa Fort, the Qasr Al Hosn Palace and the fabulous Grand Mosque – the third largest in the world, with over a 1,000 columns and 80 marble domes.

After your overnight stay, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Dublin.

14 Nights accommodation aboard the 4* Boudicca, operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Line. (See ship info tab for more information on Boudicca)

4* Fred Olsen – Boudicca

Named after the British warrior Queen, Boudicca has built up a loyal following of guests who appreciate a sense of class and timeless elegance not seen or experienced on modern ‘megaships’. On board, in keeping with the Fred. Olsen fleet, the emphasis is on providing an intimate and more traditional cruise experience, ensuring guests disembark after their relaxing and rewarding holiday as friends, not just customers.

Up to 880 guests can cruise aboard Boudicca, which, thanks to an extensive refurbishment of the ship’s suites, bedrooms, restaurants, lounges and facilities, will continue to show you the world in comfort and style for many years to come. As you explore the globe you can indulge yourself with delicious dinners in the Four Seasons, Tintagel or the Heligan Room restaurants; take a dip in one of the three heated pools; watch a show in the Neptune Lounge; simply relax on the Sun Deck; enjoy al fresco dining at The Grill; and much more, without ever feeling overcrowded. Cruising alongside hundreds, not thousands of like-minded travellers also ensures that staff on board Boudicca can provide Fred. Olsen’s renowned personal, attentive service, catering to your every want and need.

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Dates & Prices

20 September 2018 Was €1,869
now €1,439
Inside Book Now
20 September 2018 Was €2,969
now €1,679
Oceanview Book Now
20 September 2018 Was €2,969
now €1,679
Single Inside Book Now

Special Offer!
Save up to 45%

Price Inclusions

  • Flight from Dublin to Aqaba, Jordan (indirect)
  • Return transfer from airport to port
  • 14 nights accommodation aboard Fred Olsen 4* Boudicca based on 2 sharing an inside cabin
  • Fine dining on a full board basis
  • All on board entertainment
  • Flight from Abu Dhabi to Dublin
  • Taxes & 20kg check-in bag pp plus hand luggage

Booking remarks

  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Full payment due at time of booking
  • Optional Insurance available (call for details)
  • Drinks packages available to prebook – only €18 per person per night
  • Gratuities not included
  • These prices are guidelines only and are subject to change and availability. Pricing will be confirmed at time of booking.
  • Office use: D1820