Luxury Middle East cruises
From markets and souks to empty sands and endless beaches, there’s a mass of experiences to enjoy on a luxury Middle East cruise as you combine contemporary cities with architectural treasures.
Many luxury Middle East cruises begin in Europe and pass through Africa where Egypt's Suez Canal links the Mediterranean to the Red Sea via the Gulf of Suez.
When to go:
Due to scorching hot summers, most cruises to the Middle East are in the spring and autumn months, when temperatures are more appropriate for exploring the sites here.
Spiritual and educational tours of holy lands and ancient civilisations from Jerusalem to Petra can be mixed with indulgent beach-and-shopping visits to Dubai, or off-road adventures in the deserts of Oman, while many travellers choose to begin or end their cruise with a Red Sea beach holiday beside the magnificent reefs of Sharm el-Sheik.
Traditional cultures, bustling bazaars, aromatic flavours, inspiring desert scenery and many of man's greatest engineering marvels are all compelling reasons for a Middle East cruise. And that's before you consider the near endless layers of history. Just imagine whose footsteps you might be following as you stroll around Muscat in Oman or explore the rock-hewn city of Petra in Jordan.
Year-round warm waters and stunning coral reefs have made the Red Sea beaches around Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt hugely popular spots for diving and snorkelling. Subtropical Salalah, another port in Oman, boasts more exquisite beaches, while greener fingers are bound to be impressed by Haifa's city gardens - the city in Israel is one of the most picturesque in the whole Middle East.