If your cruise takes to you the Middle East you may find yourself in Muscat Oman. The port city on the Gulf of Oman which is backed by the Hajar mountains isn’t flashy like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but as the capital of Oman, it is a breath of fresh sea air. Muscat has beautiful architecture that dates centuries, a seafood lover’s paradise, and outdoor views that will make anyone speechless. You will find plenty to see and do on a day trip, possibly making you want to return for more of this port city.
If you are considering traveling to Muscat for a day, you won’t be disappointed. The first place you must visit is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. A 50-meter high gold dome with white marble flooring, Persian carpets, and chandeliers that are as large as dune buggies fill this beautiful construction. Be careful though, the way you dress is of high importance. As a male, you should wear long sleeves and pants, while women need to be covered from collarbones to below the knees and wrap your hair in a scarf. If architecture isn’t quite your thing, then perhaps dolphins will peak your interest. While taking a boat tour around the Gulf of Oman dolphins will perform pirouettes in the air and acrobatics plenty, as they hunt for tuna and sardines. Take a two-hour cruise with Ocean Blue Oman for an opportunity to view these creatures in action.
When your hunger is taking over, a seafood paradise is within reach. The star of the show is kingfish curry. There are chunks of fish simmered in a coconut broth with turmeric, ginger, and garlic. You will find hummus and flatbreads piled on your table. If that mouthwatering seafood platter wasn’t enough, there are sweets to suffice. When staying at Omani homes, guests receive cardamom-scented coffee and sticky dates. A variety of flavors to enjoy, from caramel Khalas to Farth dates. You can also search for your favorite fruits and vegetables at the Sultan Qaboos Port among the markets. Or a super sweet treat called Omani halwa, a gelatinous treat made from boiled down sugar, wheat starch, and saffron.
If you’re looking for history, look no further than the Bait Al Zubair Museum. Oman’s heritage is full of swords and daggers, just look at their flag. The museum has a large assortment of historical weaponry.Viewing pearl-embossed straight swords and blades inscribed with Koranic verses will make anyone ready to do some swashbuckling! Are you more of the outdoor type? Take a sunset stroll along the Corniche winding from Sultan Qaboos Port down Al Bahri Road. This stroll will take you past beautiful shopfronts, Al-Lawati Mosque, dhows (also known as sailing boats), Mutrah Fort, and Riyam Park. During sunset, the sea glitters with colors of magenta and orange, while visitors listen to the Islamic call to prayer.