A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT 

Trace the northern coast of the Arabian Peninsula on an eight-day cruise, discovering world-class cities and ancient cultures, desert islands and dramatic fjords from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Doha and Oman.

Starting at: $5,820 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Dubai skyline  Al Bidyah Fort in Fujairah  Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque  Louvre Abu Dhabi  Sir Bani Yas  View of Dubai  Souq Waqif in Doha  Doha skyline  Sultan Qaboos Mosque in Muscat

Cruising the Arabian Coast

From Dubai to Muscat Aboard the 184-guest Le Bougainville

9 days from $5,820

A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT 

Trace the northern coast of the Arabian Peninsula on an eight-day cruise, discovering world-class cities and ancient cultures, desert islands and dramatic fjords from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Doha and Oman.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Experience some of the most architecturally exciting cities in the world as you trace the coast of the Arabian Peninsula from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Doha and Oman. Venture back in time in bustling souks and sand-swept fortresses, get acquainted with vibrant cultures, and encounter creativity and innovation amid stunning desert landscapes.

The Smithsonian Journeys / PONANTExperience: Each cruise will be accompanied by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts. An excursion or activity is included in each port of call. You may have a choice of excursions in many ports, so that you can delve more deeply into subjects that interest you.

Highlights Include

  • Architecture and Design: Delve into an enthralling concoction of futuristic design and Arabian tradition. Ascend Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and experience Masdar City, a fascinating experiment in sustainable urban design in the heart of Abu Dhabi. In Doha, Qatar, visit museums and other buildings built by some of the world’s foremost architects.
  • Dubai: Meander through the aromatic spice souk and the glittering gold souk, and visit the Dubai Museum, housed within a historic fort. Then explore Emirati culture at the Sheikh Mohammed Center of Cultural Understanding, and sit down to a Bedouin-style lunch.
  • United Arab Emirates: In cosmopolitan Abu Dhabi, trace the evolution of world art the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and stroll beneath archways and marble domes in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Explore the wildlife reserve of Sir Bani Yas island by 4x4. Later, visit the 16th-century fort and museum of Fujairah, and see a mud-and-stone mosque in the Al Bithna oasis.
  • Qatar: Visit the exquisite Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, designed by IM Pei. Learn about Qatari history and heritage at the new National Museum, and delve into the colorful bustle of Souk Waqif, built on the site of an ancient marketplace.
  • Oman: From Khasab, Oman, sail a traditional dhow into the fjords of the Musandam Peninsula, and end your voyage in the enchanting capital of Muscat.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Dubai, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E)

Arrive in Dubai and settle into your ship. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (D)

Day 2 — Dubai

Set out on a guided tour of this exciting, boundary-pushing city. Discover its more traditional heart as you meander amid aromatic sacks of cardamom, incense, and saffron at the spice souk. Then immerse yourself in the gold souk, where every stall glitters with gold jewelry and precious stones. Zip forward into the future at the the iconic Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, reaching more than a half-mile into the air. At the Dubai Museum, housed within a historic fort that is one of the oldest buildings in the city, trace the evolution of Dubai from a center of the pearl trade to a thriving international city. Then delve deeper into Emirati culture at the Sheikh Mohammed Center of Cultural Understanding, and sit down to a Bedouin-style lunch. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Sir Bani Yas

Step ashore on Sir Bani Yas, a desert island that is home to one of the region’s largest wildlife reserves. Set off in 4x4s on safari with local naturalists to observe some of the 17,000 creatures that inhabit the island’s Arabian Wildlife Park. You may see oryx, giraffes, hyenas, cheetahs, and more. This evening, follow the coast to the tiny country of Qatar, poised on a peninsula that juts into the Persian Gulf. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Doha, Qatar

Dynamic Doha, the capital of Qatar, is a burgeoning center of culture and style, with striking highrises at its center and traditional souks threaded amid its streets. Visit the exquisite exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art, which was designed by IM Pei. Learn about Qatari history and cultural heritage at the new National Museum, designed by Jean Nouvel to resemble a desert rose. Then delve into the colorful bustle of Souk Waqif, built on the site of an ancient marketplace. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Abu Dhabi

Sail along the coast to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. In the afternoon, arrive in Abu Dhabi and visit the sumptuous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a stunning sight with its 82 marble domes and more than a thousand columns inlaid with gemstones. Then meander through Masdar City, a planned city that showcases clean-tech solutions and sustainable urban design. (B,L,D) 

Day 6 — Abu Dhabi / At Sea

In the morning, visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a joint effort between France and the U.A.E opened in 2017. Browse a riveting exhibition of art from all over the world, grouped so that the viewer can see what Arabian or Chinese artists were creating at the time of Michelangelo or Picasso. The building itself is a work of art, designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winner Jean Nouvel on an island in a lagoon. Also visit Qasr Al Watan, the Presidential Palade and cultural center.

Enjoy the afternoon and evening at sea and take advantage of the ship’s superb amenities as we cross the Persian Gulf toward the Strait of Hormuz. Opt for a treatment in the spa, read a book on the sundeck, or visit the upper deck to take in the views. Our Smithsonian Journeys Experts will present lectures on the region. (B,L,D) 

Day 7 — Khasab, Oman

Oman’s remote Musandam Peninsula is a place of deep fjords, craggy peaks, with fishing villages perched on the shore. Arrive in the lively town of Khasab, and set out to explore the peninsula in a traditional sailing dhow. Glide into narrow fjords, on the lookout for dolphins, and take in views of the spectacularly rugged coast. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

The commercial hub of Fujairah is home to a trove of important historic sites. Visit Fujairah Fort, the oldest and largest castle in all of the Emirates, and learn about its colorful history. Examine archaeological finds in museum, and head to the oasis of Al Bithna to see its mud and stone mosque. Gather for a festive farewell reception and dinner on board this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Depart from Muscat, Oman

After breakfast, disembark in Muscat. Enjoy a morning tour visiting Sultan Qaboos Mosque, National Museum of the Sultanate and the Royal Opera House, as well as lunch. End at a hotel where dayrooms will be provided for an afternoon at leisure until dinner and evening transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B,L,D)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)