Take a Cruise Through Oman’s Glorious Past and Gliterring Future

The middle east is one of the most fascinating holiday destinations in the world, and certain countries within it, like Oman, are particularly appealing for several reasons. As of this year, Elixir cruises is operating a small boutique cruise to Oman called the Treasures of Oman-a very fitting name, considering how rich and authentic the culture is. Arab culture is truly alive in Oman, and seemingly away from the conspicuous wealth display associated with its glitzier cousins. Starting in January and running through March, this cruise takes you to some of Oman’s best-kept secrets and doing so in a small boutique vessel with far fewer travellers, and some neat amenities, too. Read on and find out what’s on the itinerary as we break down each stop.


The cruise starts in Muscat. And it is here that you’ll be able to marvel at the extraordinary Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque-a remarkable feat of architectural and artistic mastery that showcases Arab art and heritage wonderfully. If you want more of that, head to the Al-Alam Palace and its opulent gold and blue adornments. Similarly, the Royal Opera House right next is not to be missed. If you want more visual eye candy, visit Al-Lawati Mosque, as well. While more activities and stuff to do exist in Muscat, those are best experienced at the tail end of the cruise, when the Treasures of Oman docks back there.


Sohar is the next destination on the itinerary. Ruled by Persians and Portuguese, it was once ancient Sumer’s trading partner, and at one point it was the ancient capital of Oman and one of the most important trading centres in the ancient world. It is also one of the oldest cities in the country, and the birthplace of the mythical Sinbad the Sailor. Head to the beach, and lie under the date palms, or explore the oasis town of Al Buraimi as well as the Oasis of Al Ain.


The next stop is the fishing village of Kumzar-reachable by boat only. This is one of Oman’s most alluring places, yet inaccessible to outsiders as of 2010. This village has been around for 700 years and even boasts its dialect-courtesy of its isolated geography and a strong desire to remain under the radar. Swim with the dolphins, snorkel and scuba dive. While you may not be able to walk it, seeing Kumzar and its craggy fjords is magic.


Oman’s treasures should be revealing themselves by now, with Khasab the next stop on the cruise giving you a glimpse of what Kumzari locals live for a portion of the year after wrapping up their fishing expeditions. The capital of Musandam province, Khasab is a postcard-perfect town with a lively Souq with an occasionally chaotic atmosphere of sounds and smells. Head to the Portuguese-built fort, go on a 4×4 excursion or visit Telegraph and Seebi islands.


Day 5 of this Oman cruise is the Musandam Peninsula. Often referred to as ‘Norwegian Arabia’, on account of its scenic beauty. The fjords are what stick out, with the craggy coastline giving way to majestic mountains, islands and a wild character. This is without doubt one of the main attractions on this cruise through the natural extravagance of Oman.

Al Suwaic

Following that the next day is Al Suwaic. Check out (one of) the ancient capital of Oman, and some of its peripheral towns and villages, like Al Am, Al Awabi and Nakhal, where a wide array of palaces, forts and geological oddities fans out before you. One of the most impressive and beautiful beach destinations awaits you in the Daymaniyat Islands Nature Reserve, often hailed as the Middle eastern Maldives.


Day 7 gets you back in Muscat, where you’ll have the whole day to immerse yourself in the polyphony of sounds and smells of the Souqs, and maybe try your luck at haggling for that neat rug you spotted. Try some of the tastiest seafood in the Gulf area and walk it off with a stroll along the waterfront promenade, with views to the Gulf of Oman. On the other hand, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not head to the desert west of Muscat, which is the longest uninterrupted sand desert on earth.

Take a Cruise Through Oman’s Glorious Past and Gliterring Future

A cruise to Oman presents you with the opportunity to discover one of the Arab world’s most beguiling destinations. It is pure, wild and off the beaten track, still, so make the pilgrimage before the pilgrims start descending in masse.

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