Saturday 18 September 2010

Costa unveils unique journeys throughout the Emirates

This Summer, explore the exotic sights and sounds of the Emirates with Costa Cruises. Costa Deliziosa and Costa Luminosa will be journeying throughout the stunning destinations of United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain.  

As two of Costa's newest and most luxurious ships, the experiences onboard Deliziosa and Luminosa will be just as memorable as the guided day trips offered to passengers at each destination. Travelling between December 2010 and March 2011, excursion highlights include: 

Mystical Muscat

Leave the port of Mina Qaboos and drive to the Grand Mosque. Drive along the Corniche to visit Muttrah

Souk to find a mix of new buildings amidst dazzling eighteenth-century merchants' houses. In the old town of Muscat, admire Fort Mirani completed in 1587, and Fort Jalali which has been transformed into a museum of Omani heritage and culture for visiting heads of state and royalty.  

Take a jeep trip to Wadi Bani Khalid, driving through picturesque mountain villages. The road winds down to the wadi alongside a large shallow pool fringed with vegetation. Enjoy a picnic lunch then drive towards the great Omani desert known as Wahiba Sands. Experienced drivers will take guests across the sand to experience the thrill of dune driving.  

Fujairah and its traditions

Admire the stunning landscape along the east coast of Fujairah and Khor Fakkan, situated on the shores of the Gulf of Oman, with beautiful unspoilt beaches and rugged mountains. Fujairah Museum showcases the local archaeological artefacts, and a unique collection of Fujairah's coins used before the UAE was formed in 1971. 

Experience all the local produce of the Fujairah fish, fruit and vegetable market. A short drive along the coastal road leads to Al Badiya, the oldest mosque in the UAE. Two Portuguese watch towers overlook both the mosque and the oasis of Al Badiya Village dating back to 1498.  

Abu Dhabi city tour

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is situated on a small peninsula surrounded by a cluster of islands. It was founded in 1761 and was named after a breed of gazelle by a sheikh of the Bani Yas tribe. This tour offers an ideal introduction to the city.  

Visit Abu Dhabi Cultural Centre, the Heritage Village and the Presidential Palace. Drive along the spectacular Corniche and through the city of Abu Dhabi - popularly referred to as the "Manhattan of Arabia" for its profusion of ultramodern glass skyscrapers, gleaming white mosques and elegant high-rise apartments - to the edge of the breakwater for a superb view of the city's magnificent skyline. 

Bahrain - arts and crafts in Coranic culture

The tour starts at the Grand Mosque, which is the largest on the Island and can accommodate 7,000 worshippers, then continues to the Bait Al Quran, a museum with old Qurans, manuscripts and a collection of antique artefacts.  

The tour will then head to the Bahrain Handicrafts Centre, where many craftsmen from various villages in

Bahrain showcase their trade for guests to buy. Drive to the causeway that links the islands of Bahrain to mainland Saudi Arabia for refreshments, before returning to the port.  

Wonders of Dubai and the Atlantis hotel

The tour begins at the Burj Al Arab, a great example of Dubai's excellence in seven star hotels and services. Next, visit the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai's version of an 8th World Wonder, reaching Atlantis the Palm. This impressive hotel has 1539 guest rooms and suites in the Royal Towers. 

Atlantis truly comes alive within the passageways and tunnels of the Lost Chambers. The tour travels to "Souk Al Bahar" the Sailor Market, a viewing point for the World's Tallest Tower, Burj Dubai. This Souk offers a variety of merchandise from Arabic perfumes and hand-crafted carpets to cameras and other tech gadgets. 

At the Atlantis Hotel, all those over the age of four can get up close and personal with playful dolphins. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, the public can play and interact with these majestic creatures. The fun continues at the adjacent aquatic park "Aqua Venture", where water slides and swimming pools will keep the whole family entertained. 

4 x 4 dune dinner safari

Get to know the desert in just a few hours, experiencing the thrill of the undulating sand dunes in the comfort of 4-Wheel Drive vehicles. Arriving at a camp decorated in authentic Arabian style, relax in the peaceful silence of the desert, surrounded by majestic sand dunes. Enjoy a sumptuous Arabian-style barbecue with a variety of succulent meats and fresh salads, and then relax with a hookah (shisha) as an exotic belly dancer performs under the star-studded sky.  

Take a camel ride or ski across the desert sand, and on a clear day admire the sunset from the camp. This will be an evening to remember. 

Dubai by hydroplane

'Seawings' is an aerial sightseeing sensation providing a once in a lifetime journey along Dubai's dramatic and ever changing coastal skyline. Travelling at 1,500 feet, there is a stunning view of Dubai's most iconic landmarks.  

The nine-seat Cessna 208 Amphibian Caravan provides great views from each seat, with an exhilarating water take off and landing, and a comfortable air-conditioned cabin. The journey provides views of Jebel Ali Palm, Jebel Ali Port, Dubai Marina, the world famous Palm Jumeirah, the seven star Burj Al Arab Hotel, Jumeirah, Burj Dubai, the historic Dubai Creek, Port Rashid and The World. 

Excursion prices start from $55 AUD per adult – for further details visit 

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