Exploring the Historic Civilizations of the Pink Sea and the Persian Gulf: Wonders of Arabia


Windstar’s Wonders of Arabia cruise is a step again by means of the traditional civilizations of Greece, Egypt, Jordan, and Oman, bringing friends to elements of the world—and the world’s historical past—that few have the chance to expertise. 

This distinctive voyage begins in historic Greece, the cradle of Western civilization, and after passing by means of the Suez Canal, take within the spectacular rose-colored metropolis cliffs of Petra. From there, benefit from the magnificence of historic Egypt’s temples and tombs, and go to the Omani fjords and houses of sultans, earlier than ending the unique journey in Dubai, the fashionable crown jewel of the Emirates. Additionally, you will have loads of sea days in between ports to get pleasure from all of the facilities that Windstar’s Star Legend has to supply.

Athens, Greece

The Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Typically thought of the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, Athens is among the world’s oldest cities—relationship again 3,400 years—and the capital of Greece. With that previous comes an incredible quantity of historical past to see and expertise, from bucket listing points of interest to world-renowned museums and world-class buying.

Arrive early to absorb the historic websites. The Acropolis options the stays of its many historic and architectural wonders, together with the Parthenon, the statues of the caryatids of the Erechtheion, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus theater, and the Temple of Athena Nike. You’ll want to go to the up to date Acropolis Museum to see one among Athen’s most dear collections of historic Greek artwork if you are there. 

Different must-see websites embody the Temple of Poseidon and the cable automobile as much as Lycabettus Hill, plus the charming squares and bustling cafés of The Plaka.

Transiting the Suez Canal

El Ferdan Bridge in the Suez Canal in Egypt

Spend the day enjoyable in any of Windstar’s public areas, just like the Yacht Membership, the Star Bar, or the pool deck—or just within the consolation of your suite balcony—as you transit this 120-mile miracle connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Pink Sea. With Asia on one aspect and Africa on the opposite, the day-long transit options two bridges, a large energy line crossing, and the city of Ismailia, Egypt, with its minareted mosque. You’ll have loads of time to benefit from the spa, health heart, leisure, library, and scrumptious meals aboard your floating resort.

Hurghada, Egypt

Hurghada Egypt

A traditional Pink Sea resort city alongside Egypt’s shoreline, Hurghada is understood for its underwater world, with spectacular snorkeling and scuba diving, together with a bevy of watersports, together with windsurfing, kitesurfing and boating. There are additionally many pretty public seashores for sunbathing and swimming.

For one thing a bit extra unique, the close by desert options 4×4 safari outings with loads of indigenous wildlife, in addition to visits to Bedouin communities to expertise their traditions, cultures, and camel rides.

You may as well dwell just like the native Egyptians with a go to to one among Hurghada’s industrial districts. Dahar is taken into account the Outdated City space, with a number of mosques and a conventional bazaar. Sakala is Hurghada’s metropolis heart and options fashionable eating places and outlets, as does El Mamsha, a 2.5-mile pedestrian avenue with lots of the metropolis’s latest inns, eating places and outlets. 

Aqaba, Jordan (Petra)

Petra Jordan at night

Aqaba is Jordan’s solely coastal metropolis, that includes seaside resorts, white sand seashores, and sturdy coral reefs, making it top-of-the-line scuba diving spots on the planet. However Aqaba is probably greatest often called the gateway to Petra.

Positioned two hours to the north, Petra is acknowledged as one of the well-known archaeological websites on the planet. Inhabited by the Nabataeans as early as 7,000 BC, Petra turned a significant incense buying and selling route for frankincense, myrrh, and spices. 

The Nabataeans have been expert stone carvers who constructed Petra proper into the aspect of the crimson sandstone cliffs, therefore the nickname, “The Rose Metropolis.” At this time, guests arrive at Petra by means of the Siq, a slim gorge that winds its approach for three-quarters of a mile earlier than arriving at The Treasury. Different websites to not be missed inside the remnants of this historic metropolis are the Monastery, The Excessive Place of Sacrifice, and the Royal Tombs.

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Sharm El Sheikh Egypt

On the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula alongside the Pink Sea, Sharm El Sheikh’s sandy seashores, calm crystal-blue water, and spectacular coral reefs make it top-of-the-line snorkeling and diving spots on the planet. Ras Mohammad Nationwide Park, which is predominantly underwater, is residence to greater than 220 species of coral.

One other distinctive attraction is the journey up the winding roads of Mount Sinai to St. Catherine’s Monastery. This Greek Orthodox monastery is positioned on the spot the place God is alleged to have appeared to Moses within the type of a burning bush, and it’s the oldest constantly inhabited Christian monastery on the planet. 

For metropolis folks, well-liked websites embody the Al Mustafa Mosque, which is the largest mosque within the metropolis and the Coptic Orthodox Church, thought of one of many ten most stunning church buildings on the planet. You’ll want to cease by Outdated Market, which has loads of outlets promoting jewellery, pottery, Bedouin slippers and leather-based, in addition to cafés providing native fare.

Safaga, Egypt (Luxor)

Luxor Egypt

A port metropolis alongside Egypt’s Pink Sea, Safaga serves because the gateway to Luxor, a contemporary Egyptian metropolis and the location of the traditional metropolis of Thebes.  Thought of one of many world’s best open-air museums, Luxor covers greater than 160 sq. miles and options among the world’s most majestic temples, ruins, and artifacts. Thankfully, Windstar presents a two-day tour to this land of the pharaohs.

For a crash course in Egyptian historical past, begin your journey on the Luxor Museum. Then head to the Temple of Luxor and Temple of Karnak (thought of to be the biggest sanctuary on the planet, which took 2,000 years to construct), all on the japanese aspect of the Nile. Take a conventional felucca throughout the Nile to the West Financial institution to discover the beautiful structure and panorama of Hatshepsut Temple, the honeycomb of tombs on the Valley of the Kings—together with King Tutankhamun, and the tomb of Queen Nefertari and different notable queens and princesses on the Valley of the Queens.

Salalah, Oman

Salalah Oman

After 5 enjoyable days at sea aboard your Windstar floating resort, arrive in “The Backyard Metropolis” of Salalah. 

Historical past buffs and avid archaeologists will marvel on the ruins of the Queen of Sheba Palace, together with Al Baleed, the traditional buying and selling heart of frankincense and a UNESCO World Heritage Web site. Head to the Bay of Khor Rori and Sumhuram, the citadel of an historic metropolis and the epicenter of Salalah’s once-flourishing incense commerce, and cease by Al Husn Souq for souvenirs of frankincense, myrrh, incense, perfumes, and oils. Wander inside the large Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque or drive the grounds of the magnificent Al Hosn Palace, the non-public residence of His Majesty, the Sultan of Oman.

Mughsail Seashore is one other high attraction, with two miles of unspoiled seashores and cliffs, together with spectacular blowholes. These sea geysers shoot water out of the rock openings, reaching heights of practically 50 toes.

Khasab, Oman

Khasab Oman

Positioned on the tip of the Musandam Peninsula, Khasab is commonly thought of the Norway of Arabia, due to its white limestone cliffs and spectacular fjords. Stand up shut and private with the slim channels and luxurious surroundings by cruising on a conventional Omani dhow, a one or two-lateen masted crusing vessel. Chances are you’ll even encounter dolphins. 

Expertise the historical past of Khasab by means of the stone turrets and towers on the seventeenth century Khasab Fort, or benefit from the beautiful views with a visit as much as Jebel Harim. At 6,260 toes, that is the very best peak of the Musandam Peninsula, and after taking in views of terraced mountain villages and luxurious forests on the best way up, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas from the summit. 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai United Arab Emirates

Plan to remain for an additional day or two on this thrilling capital metropolis, probably the most populous of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. With towering fashionable skyscrapers, ultra-luxe buying, and wealthy Arab tradition, there may be lots to see and do earlier than heading residence. 

Don’t miss the statement tower at Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest constructing, for superb views of the town and past. You possibly can choose up your ultimate souvenirs with a go to to Dubai Mall, the second largest mall on the planet with greater than 1,300 shops, or take a look at the jewellery on the Gold Souk. Discover the artwork galleries, cafés, and tea homes of Bastakiya Quarter, the town’s historic district, and take within the smells and colours on the Spice Souk, which is among the hottest conventional markets in Dubai.

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