• Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Cruises to Muscat

158 Reviews
Muscat (Photo:lkpro/Shutterstock)

About Muscat

The problem with a lot of the ports featured on a typical Arabian Gulf cruise is that they're pretty similar. Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, for example, are all shining skyscrapers and shopping malls, glittering temples to excess. But Muscat, the capital of Oman, stands for completely different values: tradition, history, restraint. Although the country is far from lagging economically, it is deeply conservative and has always placed an emphasis on careful, controlled development. So Muttrah, the old waterfront part of Muscat and the first view to greet cruise passengers, has been carefully preserved, presenting a blend of traditional architecture and rugged natural beauty that many visitors find enchanting.



Muscat couldn't be in a more beautiful setting. The old part of the town, hemmed in by terracotta-colored mountains, spans a graceful waterfront. Its corniche is flanked by a 16th-century hilltop fort at either end, remnants of the time the Portuguese occupied Oman, protecting their trade routes to the east. As well as the cruise ships, container ships and private yachts that moor there, old-fashioned wooden dhows (sailing ships) potter around the busy harbor. If your ship overnights, the sight of the mountains turning pink while the early-morning call to prayer echoes across the old rooftops is unforgettable.



Modern Muscat sprawls out behind the mountains, away from the sea, but for independent exploration, the old part of the city is easily walkable and safe; it's there that you'll find the winding alleys of the souk, or market. Beyond the city, there are tours into the mountains and wadis (dried-up riverbeds) for 4x4 rides along the coast to visit fishing villages or inland to explore some of the medieval forts.

  • More about Muscat

  • Why go to Muscat?

  • Muscat Cruise Port Facilities?

Loading...

We found you 145 cruises

Loading...
Loading...
Riviera
Riviera

10 Night
Middle East CruiseDetails

717 Reviews
Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Norwegian Dawn
Norwegian Dawn

17 Night
Africa-south AfricaDetails

2,912 Reviews
Leaving:Doha
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Jan 3, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Seven Seas Mariner
Seven Seas Mariner (Photo: Regent)

132 Night
132 Night World CruiseDetails

378 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 6, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Cruise Critic Favorite
Zuiderdam
Zuiderdam

128 Night
128-day Grand World VoyageDetails

1,011 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jan 3, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Sponsored

Azamara Cruises Best Offer Yet

  • Save 40% and receive a $300 Onboard Credit
  • Access to hard-to-reach ports larger ships can’t
  • Enriching cultural programs and local events
  • Relaxed itineraries with more late nights and overnights

Azamara Club Cruises

17 Night
Ancient Trade Routes VoyageDetails

798 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Azamara
Oct 27, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

9 Night
Asia - Middle EastDetails

2,912 Reviews
Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Dec 13, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

20 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

364 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Nov 18, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

40 Night
World CruiseDetails

364 Reviews
Leaving:Singapore
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
May 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

15 Night
Mediterranean CruiseDetails

717 Reviews
Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
May 14, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

12 Night
Asia - Middle EastDetails

2,912 Reviews
Leaving:Muscat
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Dec 22, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

18 Night
Africa CruiseDetails

309 Reviews
Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
May 16, 2025
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips
Cruise Critic Favorite

27 Night
World CruiseDetails

717 Reviews
Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
May 14, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

19 Night
Asia - Middle EastDetails

2,912 Reviews
Leaving:Istanbul
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Nov 24, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

16 Night
Africa CruiseDetails

15 Reviews
Leaving:Aqaba
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
Jan 26, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

18 Night
Ancient Trade Routes VoyageDetails

117 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Azamara
Oct 26, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Prices
  • Cruise Tips

More about Muscat

Why go to Muscat?

Pros:

The port is an easy walk from the town center, souk and the waterfront's Qasr Al Alam Palace

Cons:

Taxis are expensive and so organized tours are the economical choice for exploring outside the city

Bottom Line:

An architecturally impressive city within a picturesque cove, alongside great desert excursions

Muscat Cruise Port Facilities?

There's nothing to do at the actual cruise terminal, which is pretty rudimentary. From the shuttle drop-off at the port gates, it's an easy walk to the souks and the corniche.

Good to Know?

Oman is safe, and the people are gentle and polite. Be aware, however, that there has been some unrest in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, and you should stay away from demonstrations. Alcohol should not be consumed in public (you can get it in hotel bars and some restaurants but not in regular shops), and the penalties for drugs are severe. Oman is a conservative Muslim country, and women should dress modestly; if you want to visit the Grand Mosque, you need to cover ankles, wrists, neck, head and most of your face; there is an inspection at the entrance.

Getting Around?

As previously mentioned, the old part of the city by the waterfront is quite walkable.



Taxis line up at the gates of the port, but before you take one, agree on the price and make sure the driver understands where you're going. A one-way transfer can easily morph into an expensive "city tour."



If you want to explore farther afield, a cruise line tour or a private driver and guide are your best bets. Renting a car is not practical for a day, as you're likely to get lost either in the city or the mountains. Many people on our cruise booked private guides and drivers, some of them in groups they'd formed on the Cruise Critic message boards. Everybody agreed that these tours were extremely worthwhile. The mountain and desert safaris are expensive compared to coach tours, regardless of how you book, as you're paying for a jeep with only five or six seats, each vehicle with its own driver and guide. A privately booked jeep for two would be costly, but if you can assemble a group of six, an independent tour would undercut what the cruise lines charge.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the Omani rial. (See oanda.com or xe.com for the latest conversion rates.) There are ATM's in a few of the banks and shops along the corniche and in most petrol stations (which double up as loo stops on coach tours, so there will be a chance to get money). In the souk, traders will accept U.S. dollars and euros, but you'll get change in rial and are likely to lose on the exchange rate.

Language?

Arabic is the official language, but tour guides speak good English. Do not expect shopkeepers to understand you; sign language works perfectly well when haggling in the souk. Many people living and working in Oman are not native Omanis, so you will encounter Indians, Pakistanis and Emiratis in your travels there.

Where You're Docked?

The pier faces the old town, with wonderful views of the mountains and their ancient forts. You're not allowed to walk through the port, as it's an industrial area, so free shuttles are provided to the gates.


Muscat Cruise Reviews
We chose the hop on, hop off bus and were glad we did. Muscat is beautiful, safe and clean and we walked throughout the main port area and enjoyed a pleasant day shopping and sightseeing.Read More
User Avatar
kirkandmimi
Beautiful as well, but the first place we actively saw construction going on! Don’t know how UAE haS done as much in 20 years as they have! We could take a few lessons….tallest building in the world in Abu Dhabi, 4 yRead More
User Avatar
catahoochie
Interesting placeRead More
User Avatar
evertonian12
Muscat, Oman - Was Port 4 A pleasant port with an interesting fish market and several souks. The Grand Mosque is the third largest mosque in the world and the complex is mostly open to non-Muslim visitors. The SwaRead More
User Avatar
Sussex Duo

Related Cruises

Cruises to Newport

Cruises to Newport

250 Reviews
Cruises to Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

Cruises to Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

223 Reviews
Cruises to Riga

Cruises to Riga

85 Reviews
Cruises to Santiago (Valparaiso)

Cruises to Santiago (Valparaiso)

123 Reviews
Cruises to Berlin

Cruises to Berlin

230 Reviews
Cruises to Punta Arenas

Cruises to Punta Arenas

184 Reviews
Cruises to Adelaide

Cruises to Adelaide

99 Reviews
Cruises to Falmouth

Cruises to Falmouth

1,552 Reviews
Cruises to Honfleur

Cruises to Honfleur

58 Reviews
Cruises to Koh Samui

Cruises to Koh Samui

126 Reviews
Cruises to Perth (Fremantle)

Cruises to Perth (Fremantle)

101 Reviews
Cruises to Saint-Malo

Cruises to Saint-Malo

14 Reviews
Cruises to Walvis Bay

Cruises to Walvis Bay

6 Reviews
Cruises to Bimini

Cruises to Bimini

205 Reviews
Cruises to Punta del Este

Cruises to Punta del Este

50 Reviews
Cruises to Salerno

Cruises to Salerno

57 Reviews
Cruises to Townsville

Cruises to Townsville

Cruises to Cinque Terre

Cruises to Cinque Terre

348 Reviews
Cruises to Skagen

Cruises to Skagen

95 Reviews
Cruises to Argostoli (Kefalonia)

Cruises to Argostoli (Kefalonia)

139 Reviews
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.
About UsCruise DestinationsFirst Time CruisersFind A Cruise

Share your feedback

International Sites

© 1995—2023, The Independent Traveler, Inc.

  • Privacy and Cookies Statement

  • Terms of Use

  • Site Map

  • Cookie Consent