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Cruises to Aqaba (Petra)

Aqaba (Photo:Boris-B/Shutterstock)

About Aqaba (Petra)

Once a sleepy village with an industrial port, Aqaba is quickly turning into an upscale travel destination. The city of 90,000 was declared a Special Economic Zone in 2000, and while downtown still has a slightly dusty character -- you will see women in traditional veils and the occasional camel -- development and modernization are happening at a fast pace. The city now has a big modern mall and an intercontinental hotel opened on Aqaba's long and sandy North Beach strip, with more hotels currently under construction.

Aqaba may be on the precipice of rediscovery, but the city itself has long held intrigue. Located at the northern tip of the Red Sea and blessed with location, location, location, Aqaba was a prime port even in ancient times; its history dates back some 5,500 years.

It's history that makes Aqaba a much-anticipated stop on any Middle East cruise itinerary. The region's major attraction, Petra, is a 2,200-year-old city carved out of the surrounding cliffs. Despite its age, it was recently voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The other key site is Wadi Rum, an extraordinary desert and mountain region made famous by T.E. Lawrence, who helped plan the Arab Revolt among the area's red rocks. The "Lawrence of Arabia" movie was also partly filmed here.

The one- to two-hour drives to Petra and Wadi Rum will take you past looming mountains and dusty expanses of desert -- the country is 85 percent desert, after all -- yet in Aqaba proper, it's all about the sea. In addition to its beaches, the city is blessed with clear waters and is a world-acclaimed destination for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts with some 30 dive sites -- one even created by a sunken Lebanese freighter. Many of the sites are located in Aqaba Marine Park, created as a joint venture with Israel to preserve this important marine environment.

Aqaba is very close to becoming an Arab version of Miami Beach -- the climate is similar (hot in summer and warm in winter), the tourists are coming and celebrities are moving in (Jordan's King Abdullah II has a vacation palace in Aqaba). And it's got the same international vibe -- from the center of town, the borders of Israel, Egypt's Sinai and Saudi Arabia are all within a half-hour drive -- on a very clear day you can catch glimpses of them all.


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  • 22 Night
    Cruise to Aqaba (Petra)

    Leaving:
    Dubai
    Visiting:
    Abu Dhabi, Aqaba ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    22 Night Cruise to Aqaba (Petra) Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Dubai
    • Day 2
      Abu Dhabi
    • Day 3
      Abu Dhabi
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 11
      Safaga
    • Day 12
      Safaga
    • Day 13
      Suez Canal
    • Day 14
      Suez Canal
    • Day 15
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 16
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 17
      Limassol
    • Day 18
      Rhodes
    • Day 19
      Kusadasi
    • Day 20
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 21
      Cruising
    • Day 22
      Naples
    • Day 23
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Dawn - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Tons of dining, bars and activities keep everyone entertained; refurb is modern, not tacky

    Cons

    Less-than-perfect ship has confusing layout and occasional maintenance issues

    Bottom Line

    Enthusiastic crowd has a fun time onboard, despite upcharges and an older ship

    Reviews

    Norwegian Dawn Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Norwegian Dawn is a ship you love despite its flaws. Built in 2002 as the third ship in the Nor...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Nancy62262
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    First time I couldn't wait to get off the ship! Horrible!
    Read More
    slavetoabunny
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Nothing Short of Outstanding!!!!
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 15 Night
    Cruise to Aqaba (Petra)

    Leaving:
    Athens
    Visiting:
    Haifa, Cairo ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    15 Night Cruise to Aqaba (Petra) Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 4
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 4
      Cairo (Port Said)
    • Day 5
      Cairo (Port Said)
    • Day 5
      Suez Canal
    • Day 6
      Safaga
    • Day 7
      Safaga
    • Day 8
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Muscat
    • Day 15
      Abu Dhabi
    • Day 16
      Dubai
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Spirit - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Lively ship that's been continually updated and refreshed.

    Cons

    Activities on smaller ship more limited than on line's larger vessels.

    Bottom Line

    Excellent value for the high quality of food, service and itineraries

    Reviews

    Norwegian Spirit Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.0
    Dining4.5
    Service5.0
    Value4.5

    The 2,016-passenger Norwegian Spirit debuted in 1998 so you won't find a rock climbing wall, bo...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    mertziek
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    First Spirit Cruise after drydock - BIG MISTAKE!
    Read More
    SkyeFlyer
    Sail Date Mar 2020
    Great Spirit Service Team and Renovation Despite Unfortunate Pandemic Impact
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 18 Night
    Cruise to Aqaba (Petra)

    Leaving:
    Dubai
    Visiting:
    Abu Dhabi, Fujairah ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    18 Night Cruise to Aqaba (Petra) Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Dubai
    • Day 2
      Abu Dhabi
    • Day 3
      Fujairah
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Salalah
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 11
      Safaga
    • Day 12
      Safaga
    • Day 13
      Suez Canal
    • Day 14
      Suez Canal
    • Day 15
      Jerusalem (Ashdod)
    • Day 16
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 17
      Limassol
    • Day 18
      Rhodes
    • Day 19
      Athens (Piraeus)
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Jade - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Venues are spread evenly throughout the ship, limiting congestion

    Cons

    Standard cabins are a bit on the small side

    Bottom Line

    Recent refurbishments have the ship looking and feeling like new

    Reviews

    Norwegian Jade Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    Launched in 2006, Norwegian Jade isn't Norwegian Cruise Line's newest vessel, but via the

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    margaretandy67
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Superb size of ship and excellent staff; Singapore Phuket Malaysia
    Read More
    Ron4850
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Asia Norwegian Jade 6th February 2020
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 164 Night
    Cruise to Aqaba (Petra)

    Leaving:
    Los Angeles
    Visiting:
    Kauai, Honolulu ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Oceania Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    164 Night Cruise to Aqaba (Petra) Route (Oceania Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Los Angeles
    • Day 2
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 3
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 4
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 5
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 6
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 7
      Kauai
    • Day 8
      Honolulu
    • Day 9
      Hilo
    • Day 10
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 11
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 12
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 13
      Pacific Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 14
      Nuku Hiva
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 17
      Bora Bora
    • Day 18
      Bora Bora
    • Day 19
      Cruising
    • Day 20
      Cruising
    • Day 21
      Pago Pago
    • Day 22
      Cruising
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Suva
    • Day 25
      Cruising
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Paihia
    • Day 28
      Auckland
    • Day 29
      Cruising
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Brisbane
    • Day 35
      Cruising (Coral Sea)
    • Day 36
      Whitsundays (Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island)
    • Day 37
      Cairns
    • Day 38
      Cairns
    • Day 39
      Cruising (Coral Sea)
    • Day 40
      Thursday Island
    • Day 41
      Cruising (Arafura Sea)
    • Day 42
      Darwin
    • Day 43
      Cruising (Timor Sea)
    • Day 44
      Komodo Island
    • Day 45
      Bali
    • Day 46
      Bali
    • Day 47
      Cruising (Java Sea)
    • Day 48
      Cruising (Java Sea)
    • Day 49
      South China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 50
      Kota Kinabalu
    • Day 51
      South China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 52
      Manila
    • Day 53
      South China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 54
      Kao-Hsiung
    • Day 55
      Taipei (Keelung)
    • Day 56
      Ryukyu Island
    • Day 57
      Okinawa
    • Day 58
      East China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 59
      Hong Kong
    • Day 60
      Hong Kong
    • Day 61
      South China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 62
      Hue
    • Day 63
      South China Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 64
      Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
    • Day 65
      Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
    • Day 66
      Cruising
    • Day 67
      Sihanoukville
    • Day 68
      Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
    • Day 69
      Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
    • Day 70
      Koh Samui
    • Day 71
      Cruising
    • Day 72
      Singapore
    • Day 73
      Singapore
    • Day 74
      Kelang (Kuala Lumpur)
    • Day 75
      Penang
    • Day 76
      Phuket
    • Day 77
      Cruising
    • Day 78
      Yangon (Rangoon)
    • Day 79
      Yangon (Rangoon)
    • Day 80
      Yangon (Rangoon)
    • Day 81
      Bay of Bengal
    • Day 82
      Bay of Bengal
    • Day 83
      Cruising
    • Day 84
      Kochi
    • Day 85
      Mangalore
    • Day 86
      Goa
    • Day 87
      Mumbai (Bombay)
    • Day 88
      Mumbai (Bombay)
    • Day 89
      Cruising
    • Day 90
      Cruising
    • Day 91
      Dubai
    • Day 92
      Dubai
    • Day 93
      Fujairah
    • Day 94
      Muscat
    • Day 95
      Cruising
    • Day 96
      Salalah
    • Day 97
      Cruising
    • Day 98
      Red Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 99
      Red Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 100
      Red Sea (Cruising)
    • Day 101
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 102
      Safaga
    • Day 103
      Safaga
    • Day 104
      Suez Canal
    • Day 105
      Suez Canal
    • Day 106
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 107
      Haifa (Tel Aviv)
    • Day 108
      Alanya
    • Day 109
      Rhodes
    • Day 110
      Santorini
    • Day 111
      Kusadasi
    • Day 112
      Lesbos
    • Day 113
      Istanbul
    • Day 114
      Istanbul
    • Day 115
      Istanbul
    • Day 116
      Kavala
    • Day 117
      Mykonos
    • Day 118
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 119
      Cruising
    • Day 120
      Dubrovnik
    • Day 121
      Venice
    • Day 122
      Venice
    • Day 123
      Cruising
    • Day 124
      Taormina (Messina)
    • Day 125
      Sorrento
    • Day 126
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    • Day 127
      Florence (Livorno)
    • Day 128
      Saint-Tropez
    • Day 129
      Barcelona
    • Day 130
      Alicante
    • Day 131
      Almeria
    • Day 132
      Gibraltar
    • Day 133
      Seville
    • Day 134
      Seville
    • Day 135
      Lisbon
    • Day 136
      Lisbon
    • Day 137
      Porto (Leixoes)
    • Day 138
      La Coruna
    • Day 139
      Bilbao
    • Day 140
      Bordeaux
    • Day 141
      Bordeaux
    • Day 142
      Cruising
    • Day 143
      Saint-Malo
    • Day 144
      Southampton
    • Day 145
      Cruising
    • Day 146
      Dublin
    • Day 147
      Belfast
    • Day 148
      Lerwick (Shetland Islands)
    • Day 149
      Torshavn
    • Day 150
      Cruising
    • Day 151
      Akureyri
    • Day 152
      Isafjord
    • Day 153
      Reykjavik
    • Day 154
      Cruising
    • Day 155
      Prince Christian Sound
    • Day 156
      Nuuk
    • Day 157
      Paamiut
    • Day 158
      Qaqortoq
    • Day 159
      Cruising (Labrador Sea)
    • Day 160
      Cruising
    • Day 161
      Sydney (Nova Scotia)
    • Day 162
      Halifax
    • Day 163
      Bar Harbor
    • Day 164
      Boston
    • Day 165
      Atlantic Ocean (Cruising)
    • Day 166
      New York (Manhattan)
    Ship Details

    Insignia - Oceania Cruises

    Pros

    ** Excellent food and attentive service accompany an intimate and mature atmosphere onboard

    Cons

    ** Activities are few, which can prove either relaxing or slightly dull

    Bottom Line

    ** Insignia is a small, quiet and comfortable ship oriented toward adults

    Reviews

    Insignia Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining5.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    On Oceania's Insignia, size matters. At 684 passengers, the ship is large enough to have most of t...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Overthewaves
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Pleasant escape from Winter, along Pacific coast of Central & South America
    Read More
    stoshb
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Small ship is the way to go
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 15 Night
    Cruise to Aqaba (Petra)

    Leaving:
    Miami
    Visiting:
    Cartagena, Panama Canal ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Norwegian Cruise Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    15 Night Cruise to Aqaba (Petra) Route (Norwegian Cruise Line)
    • Day 1
      Miami
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Day 5
      Panama Canal
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
    • Day 8
      San Juan del Sur
    • Day 9
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 10
      Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)
    • Day 11
      Huatulco
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Puerto Vallarta
    • Day 14
      Cabo San Lucas
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      San Diego
    Ship Details

    Norwegian Jewel - Norwegian Cruise Line

    Pros

    Attractively refurbished ship with lots of dining and entertainment options

    Cons

    Water slide was removed in the 2018 makeover

    Bottom Line

    Choose this Jewel-class flagship if you like a vessel that's comfy and fun.

    Reviews

    Norwegian Jewel Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.0
    Dining4.0
    Service3.0
    Value4.0

    More than 14 years old, Norwegian Jewel has regained its luster with an extensive refurbis...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    stjohnbeachlover
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    A cruise I will always remember!
    Read More
    MileHighBill
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Great NZ cruise
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services