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Middle East Cruises

Grand Mosque Sheikh Zayed (Photo: Panuvat Ueachananon/Shutterstock)

About Middle East Cruises

The Middle East's exotic aura attracts history buffs and adventure seekers looking to expand their cultural horizons. Egypt's pyramids and Jordan's lost city of Petra are must-see landmarks, while souks (markets), breathtaking mosques and desert safaris also make for great exploring. Arabian Gulf cruises to the United Arab Emirates and Oman provide a look at the modern-day Middle East, with the world's biggest buildings and malls.

A message from Cruise Critic: During this unprecedented time throughout the world and across the cruise industry, it is important to note that article information might be impacted by cruise line hiatuses and port closures due to COVID-19. For the latest information, please visit our regularly updated article on cruise port closures.

  • What is the best time to cruise to the Middle East?

  • Which cruise lines go to the Middle East?

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Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony

9 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

316 Reviews
Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony

17 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony

9 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Eilat
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony

7 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Abu Dhabi
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Opera

7 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

292 Reviews
Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Opera

19 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Abu Dhabi
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Opera

20 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Opera

6 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Abu Dhabi
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Opera

18 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Virtuosa

7 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

18 Reviews
Leaving:Doha
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Virtuosa

6 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC World Europa

20 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Doha
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC World Europa

3 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Abu Dhabi
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC World Europa

18 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC World Europa

21 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC World Europa

15 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Abu Dhabi
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC World Europa

20 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC World Europa

19 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Doha
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Virtuosa

9 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Dubai
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Virtuosa

19 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Genoa
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Virtuosa

20 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Marseille
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Esprit

8 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Aqaba
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Esprit

8 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Aqaba
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Crystal Symphony

15 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Abu Dhabi
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Virtuosa

17 Night
Cruise to Middle EastDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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What is the best time to cruise to the Middle East?

The Middle East cruise season is relatively short -- it runs from December through March. For those looking to save a bit of money, repositioning cruises before the start -- and at the very end -- of the season could be a good option.

Which cruise lines go to the Middle East?

Luxury cruise lines like Crystal, Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises are the major players when it comes Middle East cruises, but some mainstream lines including Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Princess, Celebrity, MSC and Costa all offer seasonal sailings as well as Middle East stops on world cruises and repositioning cruises. For more: Middle East Cruise Tips.

What are some things to do in the Middle East?

There are a huge number of historical and religious sights to explore throughout the Middle East including the pyramids in Egypt and the monastery of St. Catherine in Sharm al Sheik. Shop in massive malls in Dubai and traditional souks practically everywhere, dive and snorkel in ports like Aqaba and Salalah, and crash through sand dunes on dune buggies in Oman. Of course, a visit to any of the many ornate mosques throughout the region is a powerful experience for many.

Do you need a passport to take a cruise to the Middle East?

Yes, passports are required for Middle East cruises.

What should I pack for a cruise to the Middle East?

The Middle East is hot, so lightweight, breathable clothing and sun protection are essential. It's best to avoid revealing garments since modesty is important in the local culture. Additionally, women should be sure to pack a shawl or cardigan to wear when entering mosques.

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