On the western shore of Morocco, 2km south of the ill-fated city of Casbah you’ll find sun-drenched Agadir. The beautiful sprawling beach is a wonderful spot to while away a few hours in the sunshine. For something a little more active, head to Souk El Had Agadir. Souks are an integral part of Moroccan culture and many residents do their shopping here. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, the atmosphere within souks make the trip worthwhile.
Aqaba is a top destination for water sports – located on the Gulf of Aqaba, this Jordan city is one of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the world. There’s plenty on land to keep you occupied too – with internationally-renowned historical and cultural sites such as Petra, one of the world’s best-known UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Wadi Rum, the protected desert and the Archaeological Museum, which boats exhibits dating back to the Bronze Age.
Be dazzled by the modern, sparkling glass and steel architecture in the UAE, soaring into the heavens like shining sentinels of the Arabian Gulf. There are historical insights aplenty within the Dubai Museum; then there are the traditional souks (which have withstood the emergence of the uber-designer-filled malls) or a Dhow cruise, to remind us of the city’s heritage.
Abu Dhabi is the culturally rich capital of the United Arab Emirates. The city offers diverse architecture, blissful beaches and shopping aplenty (shopping is a much-favoured pastime of residents and visitors!) For those adrenaline junkies, Yas Island provides the setting for the famed Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the track hallowed ground for Formula One fans.
Muscat boasts religious heritage. The sea plays an important role in Muscat (its name means ‘safe anchorage’), sustaining the fishing industry and providing opportunities for visitors to swim from sandy beaches or dive with turtles in nearby lagoons.
Though not as well-known as Dubai or Abu Dhabi, Doha is a city on the ascent. Souq Waqif is perhaps the beating heart of Doha – a traditional market that during the day is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll. At night, though, the market really comes to life, grab a delicious meal and soak up the local culture.
There are few places on earth more diverse than South Africa. It befits its position at the southern end of the world’s most epic continent, from hippos in the Limpopo River to penguins waddling on the Cape.
As the home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it is little wonder that South Africa is a dream cruise holiday destination for many. Scale the mighty Table Mountain and look out upon the city of Cape Town below. A beautiful city with vast culture, delicious cuisine and stunning landscapes, Cape Town produces more than 250 million gallons of wine every year.
For an authentic taste of Africa embark on one of the big game safaris and witness the Big Five in all their untamed glory. Kruger National Park is one of the greatest wildlife-watching destinations and nature’s most powerful and fascinating creatures can be spotted here – elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, rhinos, buffalos, giraffes, hippos and zebras.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Africa and Middle East cruises. Travelling through the region offers countless awe-inspiring moments. If you’re craving some winter sun, the options here are endless – covering an enormous portion of the planet and providing such varied and interesting delights, there are myriad ways to take in the wonders of this special part of the world.