The warm blue seas of the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf? All are wonderful places for a luxury cruise. Sunshine and blue skies are virtually guaranteed whenever you book a Dubai cruise which takes you across the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea to the United Arab Emirates. What is also guaranteed on a Dubai cruise package is wall to wall luxury on Karnika, the first Indian cruise ship to offer the chance to enjoy a relaxing time, a break from everyday life to recharge the batteries.
Dubai holiday packages have been available for some time as this city has become synonymous with tourism yet this alternative to reach the UAE on a Dubai cruise tour allows tourists to get a different perspective of the whole region. You will be entering a region with a different culture but a region that has some ancient links with India.
Janesh Cruises are using Karnika to introduce passengers to the experience of seeing a range of places in the Middle East with itineraries that allow for excursions on shore. None of the destinations resemble the bustle of Mumbai from where Karnika sets sail into the Indian Ocean. Take a look at those destinations and where they have been included in itineraries currently being offered:
Dubai may not have the oil resources of some of its Middle East neighbours, but it has established itself as a major commercial and tourist location instead, developing world class shopping, major entertainment facilities, luxury hotels and championship golf courses. It made best use of what oil reserves it had to take another path to prominence. The result is that it has become the largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is found on the south east coast of the Persian Gulf, one of seven emirates within the UAE.
Along the way, the government has undertaken major projects such as land reclamation to increase the land surface of Dubai, thereby creating new areas for residential development. Dubai makes an excellent base for Karnika at times of the year, and a starting point for its cruises into the Persian Gulf.
You will marvel at the modern architecture of Dubai with the ultimate in luxury, Burj Al Arab, designed in the shape of the sail of a dhow. Dubai’s Aquarium is extremely impressive while a safari into the surrounding desert may not reveal much wildlife, but the experience is nevertheless thrilling.
Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates of the UAE and the capital city of the same name is the second largest within the UAE. The City sits on an island in the Persian Gulf with the remainder of the emirate on the mainland. There are a huge number of islands in the Gulf as you approach Abu Dhabi incidentally.
Abu Dhabi has developed quickly thanks to its oil wealth and is seen as the centre of the UAE in administrative and governmental terms. The UAE has an economy of $400 billion with Abu Dhabi accounting for two-thirds of that.
Shopping is a major attraction in Abu Dhabi which has also developed stunning theme parks and golf courses which attract a significant number of visitors, as well as professionals for its European Tour event annually.
The safari into Abu Dhabi’s sands can be done on the back of a camel; sand stretches as far as the eye can see although your time is insufficient to go too far.
Bahrain is one of the smallest countries in Asia, a prosperous island with a trading past and a flourishing present. Over half of its 1.25 million inhabitants are non-nationals. The island is found off the north east coast of Saudi Arabia towards the Qatar Peninsula.
Bahrain has a longer history than most of the neighbouring region. It was the home of the
ancient Dilmun Civilisation and more recently for its pearls which were highly prized in the 19th Century; regarded as the best in the world.
Bahrain was a protectorate of the United Kingdom until becoming independent almost half a century ago. Its capital is Manama where you will find local marketplaces selling those pearls, but also exotic spices and carpets still made by hand in the traditional way. In contrast to the local markets, you will see 21st Century skyscrapers and luxury yachts that regularly sail these waters.
Muscat, the capital of Oman, also has a proud trading history dating back to the 1st Century. As you arrive at the city, you will be struck by the uniform white of all the buildings, demanded by royal degree. Muscat has a natural harbour which helped develop its trade links across the Indian Ocean.
The revenue from oil has transformed a fairly poor place into what you will see today. It is very much a modern Arab city with cafes, mosques and plenty of colour. Fishing is still important and the fish market within Muscat’s souq is a delight, even though you are unlikely to be a customer when you wander around before returning back to Karnika.
Take a quick look at the National Museum to learn more of the history of Oman, and the Ghalya Museum of Modern Art which offers a visual image of bygone days in Muscat. Among the impressive buildings to enjoy are the Sultan’s Palace and the Grand Mosque. The desert safari and dolphin watching are popular with visitors to Muscat.
Sir Bani Yas Island
The natural island of Sir Bani Yas is 170 kilometres south west of Abu Dhabi. It covers about 170 square kilometres making it the largest natural island in the UAE. Its major attraction is the wildlife reserve covering over half of the land. It was established 40 years ago and over time has become home to significant flora and fauna. Bird species have flourished and those taking a safari are certain to see plenty for their cameras.
Khasab in Oman is somewhat different than other places you will see in the Middle East. It is frequently referred to as the “Norway of Arabia” because you will find a significant number of fjord-like inlets and deserted terrain likened to moonscapes.
Khasab itself is fairly busy with a souq where you will hear a number of different languages including the local one, Kumzari, a mix of Arabic, Farsi, Hindi as well as English and Portuguese. Its harbour comes alive when a cruise ship arrives but otherwise the fishing boats and dhows move lazily around casting nets or checking the lobster pots.
Entertainment and Facilities on Board
You will have plenty to occupy yourself while you are cruising. Karnika has a range of bars and restaurants as well as leisure and spa facilities there for you to relax and be pampered, or to exercise if you are feeling energetic. The evening’s entertainment includes live music and dance performances, magic shows and a casino. No one evening needs to be the same if you are seeking variety although you are more than welcome to return a second time to any of the performances or venues.
Dubai Cruise Options
Currently, there are Dubai holiday packages heading out from Mumbai into the Middle East and between the months of June and September.
You can select a Dubai cruise package for just a few days heading out from Dubai and visiting Abu Dhabi and Bahrain before returning to Dubai on the fourth day. The alternative during those same months is to go instead to Muscat and Khasab before returning to Dubai.
If you select a Dubai cruise tour that heads all the way back to Dubai, one of your choices is to see Muscat as well as Abu Dhabi and Bahrain with the holiday lasting seven nights and eight days. Alternatively, if you wish to see Muscat and Khasab on your way to Mumbai from Dubai, this is a six night and seven day luxury cruise.
Why Should You Cruise to the Middle East?
The old cliché that ‘’travel broadens the mind’’ is as relevant today as it has always been. Understanding different cultures is central to maintaining cooperation between countries. Karnika is a ‘’vehicle’’ that can open up new countries to everyone who wants a luxury holiday with Mumbai being the regular port of departure.
Oil has brought prosperity to large proportions of it. You will see a very modern society wherever you go in the destinations that Karnika will take you to see. Society is still fairly conservative yet the influx of tourists in general, warmly welcomed by all the cities and states, is evidence that the UAE, Bahrain and Oman each understand the importance of the outside world.
At this stage, Karnika is offering short breaks full of new experiences and new destinations. It is wall to wall luxury all the way with good weather, clear blue skies and fine cuisine every day. It makes sense to look into cruising a little more deeply and travelling across the Indian Ocean and the Arabia Sea is something you are unlikely ever to forget.