Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oman Cruises – Fun With Nature


Muscat, capital of the Sultanate of Oman is an ancient port city. It is located on one arm of the Arabian Sea, known as the Gulf of Oman. Oman in itself is a unique blend of ancient Arabian Islamic influence and modern civilization.  It is surrounded by mountains on one side and an enormous coastline on the other. The interiors have a dramatic landscape with endless deserts and rolling plains. Besides being an important harbour and the landing point for many Oman cruises, Muscat is also the largest city in the country.

Speaking of cruises, the Dhow Cruise in the Straits of Hormuz in Oman was featured in the ‘Top 10 Sailing Cruises’ in the world list published by National Geographic. This cruise takes a traveller into the Musandam Peninsula at the northernmost edge of Oman where it runs into the Straits of Hormuz that guard the entrance of the Persian Gulf. As one takes a trip across this amazing coast in a traditional narrow wooden boat, called a dhow, they can also enjoy swimming and diving into the waters which are teeming with rich aquatic life. All through the cruise, mountains rise right out of the sea and create inlets for the water. The area is dotted by small secluded villages which are accessible only through boats.

As the image which most people have is that of a desert nation. When they finally visit Oman cruises tend to take them by surprise. In fact the Musandam Peninsula itself is also famous for a very different kind cruise. This cruise is taken through a Kayak or a rowing boat. As one paddles or rows through the Fjord Khor Sham, the natural beauty is almost overwhelming. In fact it happens quite often that travellers express the desire to stay there forever. Two seater kayaks or row boats are perfect for couples who wish to spend a romantic day together, away from the world, in secluded bays and coves of these spectacular Fjords. An amazing aspect of the cruise is the active sea life below, including dolphins and the chirping of beautiful birds above. However it is advised that travellers should have some experience in kayaking or rowing trips, since they are usually not accompanied by any guides. The price for such cruises differs at different times of the year and is high during the Eid, Christmas, New Year and Easter holidays.

While you are in Musandam, it would not be a bad idea to engage yourself in a little sport fishing. Fishing is one of the oldest sports in history and it never goes out of style. Trip coordinators provide the tourists with fishing lines and other necessary equipment and accessories. Once you are ready then comes the most exciting part, travelling to the fishing destination. This is because tourists are taken to the fishing areas in nifty little speed boats. Once there, one can enjoy fishing all day long and then return the same way. Full day fishing trips last around six hours, though you can opt for a shorter trip of four hours.

No list of Oman cruises would be complete without mention of the dhow cruise to Khor Sham. Khor Sham is a majestic fjord surrounded by tall mountains and pristine white sandy beaches. The azure waters take the dhow and passengers to remote locations, the tranquillity of which is matched by only a few other places on earth. What make the cruise truly perfect are the playful dolphins which greet travellers at the entrance to the fjord. During the course of the day, the cruise will halt at specific locations to let the passengers enjoy swimming and snorkelling with the hundreds of varieties of colourful fish.

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