Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
Middle East and Africa Cruises

Middle East and Africa Cruises

Create unforgettable memories whilst cruising the Middle East and Africa, a truly diverse region, including the continent of Africa and United Arab Emirates.

Bursting with history, culture, dazzling cities, wondrous wildlife and stunning desert landscapes; these tremendous cruises to South Africa, Dubai, the Nile or the Red Sea are awe-inspiring experiences.

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020 / 2021

About Middle East and Africa Cruises

Our Africa cruises journey to many incredible destinations including Botswana with its spectacular National Parks and the world-class city of Cape Town in South Africa as well as Tanzania in the East and The Gambia in the West. Each adventure is different yet just as fantastic as the last with opportunities to discover gorgeous coastlines, vast National Parks and waterways lined with small traditional villages.

Africa Safari Cruises

Africa Safari holidays allow you to get up close to a variety of magnificent wildlife in their natural habitat. Most of our safari holidays include a 4-night cruise along the Chobe River and game drives in some of Africa’s most beautiful national parks, including the Kruger and Serengeti, home to a variety of wildlife. With an exciting range of excursions and numerous game drives, these safari cruise holidays are a superb way of seeing the vast diversity of southern Africa.

Nile and the Red Sea

For the experience of a lifetime, sail down the magical Nile and marvel at the famous pyramids, along with an abundance of tombs and temples. Cruise between Luxor and Aswan, where little seems to have changed since the time of the pharaohs, and experience the wonders of Ancient Egypt. Nile cruises are the best way to discover the greatest and oldest of all the ancient civilizations.

Few destinations can match the Red Sea for its exotic promise of history, mystery and spectacular natural beauty. A Red Sea cruise give you the opportunity to admire amazing marine wildlife, lively resorts and ancient history as you explore the fascinating Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt and Petra in Jordan.

Dubai and the Middle East

Our Dubai cruises explore the extraordinary city of Dubai which features glittering attractions including the iconic Burj Al Arab Hotel, the Palm with Atlantis Hotel and the world’s tallest building; Burj Khalifa. The Dubai Creek area preserves its traditional charm with narrow streets and classic dhows plying their trade. Cruise to historic Muscat in Oman, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the Emirates and Fujayrah, the perfect base for desert adventures. Oman is a more traditional city, with sights including Rustaq Fort and the majestic Sultan's Palace.

Petra, Jordan View zebras on cruise safari in Africa Sharm-el-Sheikh Dubai Burj Al Arab Hotel

Middle East and Africa Cruises Highlights

Abu Dhabi

Cruises visiting the capital of the United Arab Emirates usually arrive at Mina Zayed Port, where there are buses to the city three miles away. The beach-side Corniche leads to a new Wakeboarding park offering free lessons and to Heritage Village, a glimpse of traditional life. In Al Bateen Shipyard, visitors can learn the techniques of dhow building. The chief sight in Abu Dhabi is Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a huge white building with 80 domes which accommodates 40,000 people. Trips may be offered to the oasis city of Al Ain, its fort and camel market.

Abu Dhabi (UAE)

Adabiyah

Adabiyah is an Egyptian port, situated south of Suez and north of the resort of El Sokhna. There is no town attached to the port, which is used as a base for tours to Cairo, the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.

Aqaba

Aqaba is Jordan's main port and the country's only town on the Red Sea, reached through the Gulf of Aqaba which is just 24km wide. Aqaba was conquered by Lawrence of Arabia in a dawn raid from across the Wadi Rum desert. Nowadays visitors come to Aqaba for its clear waters, amazing coral and countless exotic fish, and to visit the spectacular rocky city of Petra. Carved from solid rose-red stone, the ancient fortress city of Petra is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Aqaba (Jordan)

Ashdod

The busy commercial port of Ashdod is a gateway to Tel Aviv in the north, and to the Holy Land cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Tel Aviv's collection of over 4000 Bauhaus buildings has earned it a World Heritage listing. Traditional Tel Aviv can be experienced in the Kerem, or Vineyard District which has shady gardens, spice shops and a large market. Visits to Jerusalem may include the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Dome of the Rock and perhaps a journey through the Judean Hills to Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity.

Aswan

Aswan is the home of the Nubian people. The monumental Aswan High Dam is a marvel of modern engineering and created Lake Nasser, one of the world’s largest man-made lakes. Discover the beautiful Osiris temple complex of Philae which was moved to the island of Agilika to save it from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. Visit the stone quarries to see the enormous Unfinished Obelisk, commissioned by Queen Hatshepsut, which would have been the largest obelisk ever attempted if it had been completed.

Cairo

Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and its chief port. Although a Middle-eastern city, it has a Mediterranean atmosphere. It was the site of the lighthouse of Pharos, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which is now the site of Qaitbey Fort. Alexandria is also famous for its library and the Kom el Shokafa Catacombs, large burial grounds three floors deep.

Cairo (Alexandria, Egypt)

Cairo

Port Said at the head of the Suez Canal is the main gateway for Cairo, a busy and chaotic city of mosques, palaces, bazaars and shops. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities has over 100,000 relics, including objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun. The market of Khan Al-Khalili, the revolving restaurant in the Cairo Tower and the Mosque of Sultan Hassan are among the city sights, the main highlight being the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx on the edge of the city.

Cairo (Egypt)

Dubai

Cruise ships arrive in Dubai's well-designed and equipped cruise terminal, which has a Business Centre providing free internet access, and a taxi rank. Dubai's dramatic skyline now includes the world's highest skyscraper, the 2717-foot Burj Khalifa. Popular visits in Dubai are its numerous shopping malls, gold and spice souks, the narrow streets of Al-Bastakia and the Creek's cargo-laden dhows, Jumeirah Mosque and 4 x 4 safaris in the desert dunes.

Dubai (UAE)

Edfu

Edfu was a prosperous city in ancient Egypt. The atmospheric Temple of Horus (also known as the Temple of Edfu) is dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god, and is considered to be the best-preserved cult temple in Egypt, thanks to the desert sand which covered it after paganism was banned.

Edfu (Egypt)

Eilat

This popular resort is Israel's only Red Sea port, situated on the Gulf of Aqaba. It offers good beaches, nightlife, desert landscapes and scuba diving above pristine coral reefs. Eilat is a VAT free port and the stores in Mall Hayam sells goods at competitive prices. Timna Valley Park has interesting sandstone formations, including King Solomon's Pillars, and at their base is the excavated Shrine of Hathor, a 14BC Egyptian Temple.

Eilat (Israel)

Fujairah

Al Fujayrah is the most mountainous of the seven Arab Emirates, and benefits from the cooling air of the Gulf of Oman. The main sights in and around the city are the Heritage Village which includes the mud brick Fujairah Fortress and the segregated swimming spas of Ain Al Madhab Gardens, and the 15th-century Al Bidyah Mosque, the oldest in the UAE. Bull Butting contests are a popular tradition in Al Fujayrah and take place every Friday.

Fujairah (UAE)

Haifa

Haifa is one of Israel's prettiest cities, crowned by Mount Carmel. There are several interesting sights, including the lush gardens of the Carmel Nature Reserve, the cave of the Prophet Elijah and the former German Colony, established in 1868 as an agricultural community and now one of Haifa's most picturesque areas. Wadi Nisnas is a network of narrow alleys, restaurants, old stone houses and Turkish haanim which is occupied by Jews and Arabs.

Haifa (Israel)

Karnak

The magnificent Temple of Karnak is a vast complex which took 2,000 years to complete and was considered one of the most sacred sites in Egypt. Buried under sand for a thousand years, the site consists of three main temples and several outer temples. Stroll amongst the gigantic columns, vast halls and broad avenues lined with stone sphinxes to truly experience what life was like in ancient Egypt.

Karnak (Egypt)

Kom Ombo

The double temple at Kom Ombo is unusually dedicated to two gods – Horus the falcon-headed god and Sobek the crocodile god. Sacred crocodiles were kept within the temple and several mummified remains can be seen in the Crocodile Museum.

Luxor Temple

Perhaps the most beautiful stone temple is Luxor Temple, one of the best-preserved ancient monuments. The temple was constructed by the pharaoh Amenhotep III and Tutankhamen, then developed by Ramesses II and Alexander the Great. The temple was the focus of the important religious Opet Festival, when the cult statues of Amun, Mut and Khonsu travelled from the temple complex of Karnak along the Avenue of the Sphinxes to Luxor.

Luxor Temple (Egypt)

Mumbai (India)

This is the largest port in Western India, noted for its financial centre and Bollywood, the world's largest film production centre. Mumbai's most famous symbols are the Gateway to India, a grand arch, and the nearby Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. British influences can be seen in the stained glass and sculptures of Victoria Rail Terminus, a World Heritage Site. Mumbai is a pleasantly chaotic city packed full of bazaars, roadside stalls, traffic and some of India's best restaurants.

Mumbai

Muscat

The old harbour of Muscat is flanked by the twin forts of Al-Jalali and Al-Mirani, and beside the port is the elaborate Al-Alam Palace and gardens, the home of Sultan Qaboos. Muscat's wealth was built on the trading of mother of pearl, frankincense and fish, which can all be bought in the city's souks. The main sight in Muscat is the magnificent Grand Mosque, completed in 2001. Its spacious interior is lined with marble and hung with crystal chandeliers. Tours by 4x4 into the desert wadis may be offered.

Muscat (Oman)

Port Said

Port Said sits at the Mediterranean entrance to the Suez Canal on the north coast of Egypt and is the starting point for excursions to Cairo, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.

Safaga

Safaga attracts tourists from all over the world to its wide bay with splendid turquoise waters and long beaches. It is a favourite Red Sea resort for windsurfers - the World Championships were held here in 1993 - and for scuba diving experts and enthusiasts, with an incredible variety of underwater life. Safaga is the starting point for excursions to the famed Egyptian ruins of the Temple of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings where Egyptian rulers were buried.

Salalah

Salalah has a temperate climate and lush vegetation and is well-known for its frankincense trees, which are used to extract rubber resign for incense products. There are the ruins of a palace in Salalah which is said to have belonged to the Queen of Sheba, and on the peak of Ittin are the remains of the tomb of the prophet Job.

Salalah (Oman)

Sharm-el-Sheikh

This lively beach resort on the Sinai Peninsula has therapeutic thermal springs, palm-fringed beaches and a wide variety of shops. The island of Tiran is a popular visit for diving and snorkelling. A day's excursion from here is St Catherine's Monastery. the walled enclave in the shadow of Mount Sinai, built on the site of the burning bush which appeared to Moses.

Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt)

Suez Canal

Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal took 10 years to build, and after several extensions is now 120 miles long, running at sea level for its entire length with no locks. It runs between Port Said in the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Suez in the Red Sea, and allows shipping to avoid the long journey around Africa and the Cape, connecting Europe to the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

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