Aqaba is located off the coast of the Red Sea and is rapidly becoming a modern travel destination. If you’re looking for a port city that has a perfect mix of desert and vibrance, with easy access to major attractions, and many stretches of sandy beaches, you might consider taking your next cruise from Aqaba, or taking a cruise that includes Aqaba in its itinerary. History lovers will especially love the opportunity to indulge in Aqaba and its surrounding region’s fascinating history, which dates back to over 5,000 years ago! Another great reason to start a cruise in Aqaba is that you can easily squeeze in visits to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Sinai, all of which are just a short drive from the city center.
If you plan on spending time in the water, the best time to visit Aqaba is between April and June or September and November, as that is when its waters are the warmest.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes Aqaba. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to Aqaba. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit Aqaba:
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Aqaba, along with a brief description:
♦ Ancient City of Petra
The most significant highlight of Aqaba is its close proximity to the ancient city of Petra, which dates back to over 2,000 years ago. Today, only parts of the city remain, which you can now tour (either by yourself or with an expert guide). You’ll be able to catch a glimpse of what once was from the remaining tombs, palaces, structures and streets. This is a wonderful activity for those who love to learn about history and culture. For incredible views of the region, you can climb 800 steps up the Al-Deir Monastery and take in the unforgettable sights. Petra is open to visitors from 6 AM to 9 AM daily (subject to change).
♦ Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum is a key attraction that you don’t want to miss if you’re looking to experience Aqaba’s desert valley. This region is filled with exotic scenery (such as unique rock formations) and tons of history. For example, it was here that a surprise attack occurred on the Turks during 1917. It was also made famous by various works, such as the book “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom” and the movie “Lawrence of Arabia.” You can opt to tour this area by 4x4 jeep, camel, or by foot on the designated hiking route. All arrangements can be made via the visitor center.
♦ Archaeological Attractions
If you cannot get enough of learning about Aqaba and its fascinating history, you definitely don’t want to skip over the Aqaba Archaeological Museum. This museum is conveniently located next to Aqaba Castle, which is another historical attraction you can tour! The museum showcases an exhibit of Islamic memorabilia, including artisan crafts and local currency. Then, you can explore the city, where you can discover some authentic archaeological digs, including that of a 3rd century church and an ancient walled city.
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