Monday, July 18, 2011

Cruises in Oman

Maintaining a beautiful balance between what is historic and what is modern, Oman has opened its doors to the world. With a wide range of sights to see, things to do, and places to go, this huge country has a little something for every traveler, regardless of his or her age or preferences. One of the most popular things to do in this glorious country is to embark on one of the many cruises in Oman.

By cruises, you may think of luxury high end ships that have their own pool on the top deck and a  discotheque near the lobby, but these cruises are something different altogether. In Oman cruise means being on one of the traditional fishing boats, which are known throughout the land as Dhow. Dhows are integral part of Oman being a seafaring nation. There are different types of dhows depending on their shapes and capacity. Some of the better known types of dhows are Al Ghanjah, Al Boum, the Shashah, Al Badan, the Baggarah, Sohar, the Huri, Al Sambuq, the Abubuz, and the Shu’i. Dhows can be spotted all along the coastline of Oman, and while a major Dhow building industry can only be noticed in Sur, ports like Sohar, Sur, Muscat, and Salalah have large fleets of dhows, which are used for purposes like trade, fishing, and tourism. The dhows used primarily for tourism can be seen widely in Musandam and Khasab.

The peninsula of Musandam is about 500 kilometers away from the capital city of Muscat, and takes an average of about six to seven hours by road. Another way of coming to this beautiful place is by taking a flight from Muscat, which takes 45 minutes. There are regular flights to Musandam and can be booked in advance through your tour operator. Musandam is also called the ‘Norway of the Middle East’ as the inlets are likened to Norway’s Fjords and offer an amazing bird’s eye view. The mountains here are as high as 2000 meters out of the Arabian Gulf. The patterned and textured mountains of the region create a striking view in combination with the contrast of blue waters and the marine life of Khawr Ash Shamm. This dhow ride is one not to be missed on your trip to Oman. Booking your dhow in advance is a must and the ideal months to visit are from November to March.

Cruises in Oman are perfect for a romantic getaway. Oman not only provides the ideal backdrop for love stories, but the Omani hospitality also magnifies its charm.


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