Mon-Fri 9am to 5:30pm
Saturday 10am to 5pm

Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates/MSC Virtuosa
Cruise holidays   >   Middle East   >   Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates

MSC Virtuosa

Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates - 7 night cruise



Cruise only from €939

Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.


Description

Highlights

Gratuities

Dates and Prices

Cabins

MSC Virtuosa's namesake comes from the word virtuoso, meaning someone highly skilled in any field of activity, and so MSC Virtuosa was named to pay homage to the skill and expertise of the MSC Cruises architects and shipyard partners at Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique who designed and built this innovative class of ships. This new cruise ship is one of the two largest in MSC Cruises' fleet, along with her sister ship MSC Grandiosa, boasting an impressive array of guest features all coming together in perfect harmony to deliver the ultimate cruise holiday experience.

Cruise ID: 15047

MSC Starship Club

This futuristic venue is much more than just a bar. It's an immersive entertainment experience. Featuring Rob, the first ever humanoid robotic bartender at sea, the MSC Starship Club will transport our guests to a different world.

As you sip your cosmic cocktail and gaze out of the portholes across the space, Rob and his human colleagues will take you to an exciting journey to discover new galactic destinations.

SERVICE CHARGES / GRATUITIES

Service Charge / Gratuities are included in the cruise fare.

Tips

MSC Cruises does not recommend tipping individual members of staff.

Date Time Price * Booking
03 March 2024 08:00 €939 Call us to book
10 March 2024 08:00 €1,119 Call us to book

* Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.

Cabins on MSC Virtuosa

Bingo Balcony
1-4

More information coming soon

Facilities

  • Bath
  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Mini Bar (Additional Cost)
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Interior Bella
1-4

More information coming soon

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Mini Bar (Additional Cost)
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Balcony Bella
1-4

More information coming soon

Facilities

  • Bath
  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Mini Bar (Additional Cost)
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Bingo Inside
1-4

More information coming soon

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Mini Bar (Additional Cost)
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Ocean View Bella
1-6

More information coming soon

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Mini Bar (Additional Cost)
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

MSC Yacht Club Royal Suite
1-2

  • Surface 58 sqm, balcony 70 sqm, Deck 15
  • Balcony with private whirlpool bath and dining table
  • Separate living area and dining room
  • Walk-in wardrobes
  • Bathroom with tub and shower, vanity area with hairdryer
  • Comfortable double or single beds (on request)
  • Wifi connection included
  • Interactive TV, telephone,safe and minibar
  • ZOE - in-cabin Bluetooth speaker

Discover a world of privileges with MSC Yacht Club including:

  • 24-Hour Butler service and dedicated concierge
  • Premium Extra Drink and Premium Internet packages included
  • Complimentary Access to the Thermal Suite in the MSC Aurea SPA
  • Discounts: 20% on a dedicated Specialty Restaurant prepaid package; 40% on a dedicated SPA prepaid package and 10% on all SPA treatments on board.
  • 1 Free cruise change

The image is representative only; the size, layout and furniture may vary (within the same cabin category).

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Dining Area
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • Butler Service
  • TV
  • Media/Entertainment Station
  • Coffee Machine
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Whirlpool Bath
  • Free Wi-Fi

MSC Yacht Club Duplex Suite with Whirlpool
1-4

  • Surface 59 sqm with a balcony 23 sqm, deck 9-12, with dining table and private whirlpool bath
  • Two-deck-high cabin
  • Easy access to the Yacht Club areas

Main level:

  • Open living/dining room with sofa that converts to double bed
  • Bathroom with shower

Second level

  • Master bedroom with double bed which can be converted into two single beds (on request)
  • Two walk in wardrobes
  • Bathroom with tub
  • Wifi connection included
  • Interactive TV, telephone, safe and minibar
  • ZOE - in-cabin Bluetooth speaker

Discover a world of privileges with MSC Yacht Club including:

  • 24-Hour Butler service and dedicated concierge
  • Premium Extra Drink and Premium Internet packages included
  • Complimentary Access to the Thermal Suite in the MSC Aurea SPA
  • Discounts: 20% on a dedicated Specialty Restaurant prepaid package; 40% on a dedicated SPA prepaid package and 10% on all SPA treatments on board.
  • 1 Free cruise change

The image is representative only; the size, layout and furniture may vary (within the same cabin category).

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Dining Area
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Media/Entertainment Station
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Sofa Bed
  • Whirlpool Bath
  • Suite Benefits
  • Butler Service
  • Free Wi-Fi

MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite
1-2

  • Surface 29 sqm, balcony approx 5 sqm, deck 14-18
  • Sitting area with sofa
  • Spacious wardrobe
  • Bathroom with shower or bathtub, vanity area with hairdryer
  • Comfortable double or single beds (on request)
  • Wifi connection included
  • Interactive TV, telephone, safe and minibar
  • ZOE - in-cabin Bluetooth speaker

Discover a world of privileges with MSC Yacht Club including:

  • 24-Hour Butler service and dedicated concierge
  • Premium Extra Drink and Premium Internet packages included
  • Complimentary Access to the Thermal Suite in the MSC Aurea SPA
  • Discounts: 20% on a dedicated Specialty Restaurant prepaid package; 40% on a dedicated SPA prepaid package and 10% on all SPA treatments on board.
  • 1 Free cruise change

The image is representative only; the size, layout and furniture may vary (within the same cabin category).

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • Butler Service
  • TV
  • Media/Entertainment Station
  • Coffee Machine
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Bath
  • Free Wi-Fi

MSC Yacht Club Interior
1-2

  • Surface 17 sqm, deck 14-16
  • Spacious wardrobe
  • Bathroom with shower or bathtub, vanity area with hairdryer
  • Comfortable double or single beds (on request)
  • Wifi connection included
  • Interactive TV, telephone, safe and minibar
  • ZOE - in-cabin Bluetooth speaker

Discover a world of privileges with MSC Yacht Club including:

  • 24-Hour Butler service and dedicated concierge
  • Premium Extra Drink and Premium Internet packages included
  • Complimentary Access to the Thermal Suite in the MSC Aurea SPA
  • Discounts: 20% on a dedicated Specialty Restaurant prepaid package; 40% on a dedicated SPA prepaid package and 10% on all SPA treatments on board.
  • 1 Free cruise change

The image is representative only; the size, layout and furniture may vary (within the same cabin category).

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • Butler Service
  • TV
  • Media/Entertainment Station
  • Coffee Machine
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Bath
  • Free Wi-Fi

Grand Suite Aurea with Terrace and Whirlpool
1-4

  • Surface 39 sqm, large balcony approx 36 sqm with its own private whirlpool bath, deck 12
  • Walk-in Wardrobe. Setting Area with double sofa bed.
  • Bathroom with shower vanity area with hairdryers.
  • Double bed can be converted into two single beds (on request).
  • Interactive TV, telephone and safe.
  • Wifi connection available (for a fee).
  • Mini bar. Air conditioning.
  • Size, layout and furniture may vary from that shown (within the same cabin category).
  • ZOE - in-cabin Bluetooth speaker

The image is representative only.

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Dining Area
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Media/Entertainment Station
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Sofa Bed
  • Whirlpool Bath
  • Mini Bar (Additional Cost)

Premium Suite Aurea With Terrace and Whirlpool
1-4

  • Surface . 27 sqm, with balcony (approx 26-30 sqm) with its own private whirlpool bath, deck 9-13
  • Spacious Wardrobe.
  • Sitting Area with double sofa bed.
  • Bathroom with shower vanity area with hairdryers.
  • Double bed can be converted into two single beds (on request).
  • Interactive TV, telephone and safe.
  • Wifi connection available (for a fee).
  • Mini bar. Air conditioning.
  • ZOE - in-cabin Bluetooth speaker

Size, layout and furniture may vary from that shown (within the same cabin category).

The image is representative only.

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Whirlpool Bath
  • Room Service Available
  • Mini Bar (Additional Cost)
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Lounge Area
  • Toiletries Provided

Premium Suite Aurea
1-6

  • Surface 25 sqm, balcony approx 3-14 sqm, deck 9-14
  • Spacious wardrobe
  • Bathroom with bathtub, vanity area with hairdryer
  • Comfortable double or single beds (on request)
  • Interactive TV, telephone, Wifi connection available (for a fee), and minibar
  • Can accomodate up to 6 people
  • ZOE - in-cabin Bluetooth speaker

Size, layout and furniture may vary from that shown (within the same cabin category).

The image is representative only.

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Vanity Area
  • Bath
  • Room Service Available
  • Mini Bar (Additional Cost)
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Safe
  • Desk

Bingo Outside
1-6

More information coming soon

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Mini Bar (Additional Cost)
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Balcony
1-4

  • Sitting area with sofa

  • Bathroom with shower or bathtub, vanity area with hairdryer
  • Comfortable double or single beds (on request)
  • Interactive TV, telephone, Wifi connection available (for a fee), safe and minibar
  • ZOE - in-cabin Bluetooth speaker

The image is representative only; the size, layout and furniture may vary (within the same cabin category).

Choose the cabin type that best suits you:
  • Deluxe Balcony Aurea, (best ship position, surface approx 17 sqm, balcony 6 sqm, deck 11-13)
  • Deluxe Balcony (surface approx 17 sqm, deck 8-14)
  • Deluxe Balcony with Partial View (surface approx 17 sqm, deck 8, 14)
  • Studio Balcony (single use, surface approx 12 sqm, deck 13-14)

Size, layout and furniture may vary from that shown (within the same cabin category)

The image is representative only

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Free Mini Bar
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Media/Entertainment Station
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Lounge Area

Ocean View
1-6

  • Surface approx. 12-25 sqm
  • Window with sea view
  • Relaxing armchair
  • Bathroom with shower, vanity area with hairdryer
  • Comfortable double or single beds (on request)
  • Interactive TV, telephone, Wifi connection available (for a fee), safe and minibar
  • Can accommodate up to 6 people
Choose the cabin type that best suits you:
  • Premium Ocean View, can accommodate up to 6 people (surface approx 25 sqm, deck 9-11)
  • Deluxe Ocean View (surface approx 16 sqm, deck 5)
  • Junior Ocean View (surface approx 12 sqm, deck 8)
  • Junior Ocean View with obstructed view (surface approx 12 sqm, Deck 8)

Size, layout and furniture may vary from that shown (within the same cabin category)

The image is representative only

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Media/Entertainment Station
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Mini Bar (Additional Cost)

Interior
1-4

  • Surface approx 12-17 sqm
  • Relaxing armchair
  • Bathroom with shower, vanity area and hairdryer
  • Comfortable double or single beds (on request)
  • Interactive TV, telephone, Wifi connection available (for a fee), safe and minibar
Choose the cabin type that best suits you:
  • Deluxe Interior (surface approx 17 sqm, deck 5-10)
  • Premium Ocean View (surface approx 12 sqm, deck 5-14)

The image is representative only; the size, layout and furniture may vary (within the same cabin category).

Facilities

  • Double or Twin Configuration
  • Vanity Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Media/Entertainment Station
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Lounge Area
  • Mini Bar (Additional Cost)

View Itinerary By Date



Day 1 Doha, Qatar

Doha (population 700,000) is the capital of the State of Qatar, an emirate occupying the small Qatar Peninsula bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and otherwise surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Qatar was ruled by many different powers through the centuries, in fact historians have traced human habitation dating back 5000 years. From its earliest history, Qatar was a very important trade route connecting Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Among its occupiers were the Portuguese, the Ottomans and finally the British during the turbulent years of the 20th century. Qatar gained independence in 1971, and with resources from oil exportation, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad made improvements in social programmes including education, health and housing. In 1995, his son, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani assumed the throne and brought with him a modern and progressive approach that quickly transformed the country. Doha, home to 80 percent of the country's population, was founded under the name of Al-Bida in 1850. It became the capital of the British protectorate of Qatar in 1916. When the nation gained its independence, Doha remained the capital. During the early 20th century, much of Qatar's economy depended on fishing and pearling. But after the introduction of Japanese cultured pearls, Doha and the whole region suffered a decline. Only when oil was discovered, prosperity returned following World War II. Today, the country produces over 800,000 barrels of oil daily. Doha is situated halfway down the east coast of the peninsula. It is an intriguing mixture of old and new, with ultra modern architecture next to traditional souqs and historic forts. It boasts a university and the Qatar National Museum (currently closed for renovation), which opened 1975 in what was originally the ruler's palace. As the country's cultural and commercial centre, Doha enjoys excellent communications with the outside world through its modern seaport, airport and telephone links. The Al Jazeera Arabic satellite television news channel began broadcasting in 1996 with its headquarters in Doha. While Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken. Please Note: Conservative dress is required when going ashore. As a rule, women should not wear miniskirts, shorts or sleeveless tops and men should always wear a shirt in public. Please do not photograph people without their permission, especially women.You may not take pictures of government buildings, embassies or anything military in nature, including airports.

Day 2 Bahrain, Bahrain

Day 3  Cruising

Day 4 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Just a few decades ago, Abu Dhabi, the island capital of the United Arab Emirates, was a small fishing village with houses made of mud-brick and palm fronds. Today, as a result of revenue from oil, Abu Dhabi is one of the world's richest cities, with wide, tree-lined okulevards, lush green parks, gushing fountains and imposing skyscrapers. Somewhat of a dichotomy, Abu Dhabi is a combination of ultra-modern sophistication and Arab mystique, with friendly and hospitable people offering a warm welcome to visitors. Abu Dhabi's history originated in the 18th century, when, according to legend, a group of tribesmen pursuing a gazelle came upon a freshwater well which they named Abu Dhabi, or "Father of the Gazelle". In the 19th century, the first fort was built over this well by a sheikh of the Al-Nahyan dynasty. The fort's name is Al Husn Palace, also known as Old or White Fort, and it is one of the few buildings in Abu Dhabi that is more than 25 years old. Its whitewashed walls are eye-catching amid the backdrop of today's skyscrapers. Presently, it is home to the Cultural Foundation and serves as a documents centre. Abu Dhabi had little significance until the discovery of vast oil reserves in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the years following, the city's economy and infrastructure developed rapidly and changed Abu Dhabi beyond recognition.

Day 5 Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates

Day 6 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai sits on a golden sandy coastline in the Arabian Gulf, where the warm azure waves of the sea meet the desert. A high-rise oasis, this city is a pleasure-dome surrounded by dunes; one of the most fashionable on the planet thanks to its ability to satisfy the needs of legions of demanding vacationers. Dubai is about having fun—and it's one big adult playground.Nature plays her part here, with year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches, dramatic arid landscapes, and warm waters, but it's the man-made attractions that make Dubai so alluring. You can launch yourself into high-adrenaline desert adventures, diving and water sports, and some of the world's best golf courses. The 5-, 6-, and 7-star hotels offer the ultimate in luxury, and the party scene is hot. Shopping malls are the biggest in the world and are packed full of high-class merchandise. And with hundreds of restaurants with cuisine from around the world, you can munch your way from Mexico to Malaysia.Dubai is an Arab country with a long history as a trading port. Traces of its traditional life, customs, and architecture can still be seen and explored, but today and tomorrow are much more important than yesterday. Almost every building in this metropolis is less than 20 years old and the most dramatic developments—groundbreaking megaprojects—have just been completed or are still under construction.The city is certainly unique. Islam is its anchor, but it has opened its doors to the rest of the world and has invited them in to work, rest, and play, which creates a truly international atmosphere. Unashamedly modern and materialistic, life here takes place at breakneck speed. The landscape is stark, the confidence is sky high, the can-do spirit is palpable, and the bling is in your face. Dubai produces strong reactions in people, but one thing is certain—love it or loathe it—you will not forget it. It is without a doubt, one of the world's true must-see destinations.Shisha: Smoke Without Fire. Emirati men love socializing, but as they don't drink alcohol they get together over coffee and shisha instead of a drink at the bar after work. The shisha, or hookah, is a smoking device, usually made of glass, that filters smoke through water before it reaches the smoker's mouth. Shisha tobaccos are aromatic and are often mixed with apple, cinnamon, or cherry, so their taste isn't as strong as other tobaccos. Smoking shisha is said to induce relaxation—but you'll have to decide if it's for you!

Day 7 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai sits on a golden sandy coastline in the Arabian Gulf, where the warm azure waves of the sea meet the desert. A high-rise oasis, this city is a pleasure-dome surrounded by dunes; one of the most fashionable on the planet thanks to its ability to satisfy the needs of legions of demanding vacationers. Dubai is about having fun—and it's one big adult playground.Nature plays her part here, with year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches, dramatic arid landscapes, and warm waters, but it's the man-made attractions that make Dubai so alluring. You can launch yourself into high-adrenaline desert adventures, diving and water sports, and some of the world's best golf courses. The 5-, 6-, and 7-star hotels offer the ultimate in luxury, and the party scene is hot. Shopping malls are the biggest in the world and are packed full of high-class merchandise. And with hundreds of restaurants with cuisine from around the world, you can munch your way from Mexico to Malaysia.Dubai is an Arab country with a long history as a trading port. Traces of its traditional life, customs, and architecture can still be seen and explored, but today and tomorrow are much more important than yesterday. Almost every building in this metropolis is less than 20 years old and the most dramatic developments—groundbreaking megaprojects—have just been completed or are still under construction.The city is certainly unique. Islam is its anchor, but it has opened its doors to the rest of the world and has invited them in to work, rest, and play, which creates a truly international atmosphere. Unashamedly modern and materialistic, life here takes place at breakneck speed. The landscape is stark, the confidence is sky high, the can-do spirit is palpable, and the bling is in your face. Dubai produces strong reactions in people, but one thing is certain—love it or loathe it—you will not forget it. It is without a doubt, one of the world's true must-see destinations.Shisha: Smoke Without Fire. Emirati men love socializing, but as they don't drink alcohol they get together over coffee and shisha instead of a drink at the bar after work. The shisha, or hookah, is a smoking device, usually made of glass, that filters smoke through water before it reaches the smoker's mouth. Shisha tobaccos are aromatic and are often mixed with apple, cinnamon, or cherry, so their taste isn't as strong as other tobaccos. Smoking shisha is said to induce relaxation—but you'll have to decide if it's for you!

Day 8 Doha, Qatar

Doha (population 700,000) is the capital of the State of Qatar, an emirate occupying the small Qatar Peninsula bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and otherwise surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Qatar was ruled by many different powers through the centuries, in fact historians have traced human habitation dating back 5000 years. From its earliest history, Qatar was a very important trade route connecting Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Among its occupiers were the Portuguese, the Ottomans and finally the British during the turbulent years of the 20th century. Qatar gained independence in 1971, and with resources from oil exportation, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad made improvements in social programmes including education, health and housing. In 1995, his son, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani assumed the throne and brought with him a modern and progressive approach that quickly transformed the country. Doha, home to 80 percent of the country's population, was founded under the name of Al-Bida in 1850. It became the capital of the British protectorate of Qatar in 1916. When the nation gained its independence, Doha remained the capital. During the early 20th century, much of Qatar's economy depended on fishing and pearling. But after the introduction of Japanese cultured pearls, Doha and the whole region suffered a decline. Only when oil was discovered, prosperity returned following World War II. Today, the country produces over 800,000 barrels of oil daily. Doha is situated halfway down the east coast of the peninsula. It is an intriguing mixture of old and new, with ultra modern architecture next to traditional souqs and historic forts. It boasts a university and the Qatar National Museum (currently closed for renovation), which opened 1975 in what was originally the ruler's palace. As the country's cultural and commercial centre, Doha enjoys excellent communications with the outside world through its modern seaport, airport and telephone links. The Al Jazeera Arabic satellite television news channel began broadcasting in 1996 with its headquarters in Doha. While Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken. Please Note: Conservative dress is required when going ashore. As a rule, women should not wear miniskirts, shorts or sleeveless tops and men should always wear a shirt in public. Please do not photograph people without their permission, especially women.You may not take pictures of government buildings, embassies or anything military in nature, including airports.

Day 1 Doha, Qatar

Doha (population 700,000) is the capital of the State of Qatar, an emirate occupying the small Qatar Peninsula bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and otherwise surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Qatar was ruled by many different powers through the centuries, in fact historians have traced human habitation dating back 5000 years. From its earliest history, Qatar was a very important trade route connecting Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Among its occupiers were the Portuguese, the Ottomans and finally the British during the turbulent years of the 20th century. Qatar gained independence in 1971, and with resources from oil exportation, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad made improvements in social programmes including education, health and housing. In 1995, his son, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani assumed the throne and brought with him a modern and progressive approach that quickly transformed the country. Doha, home to 80 percent of the country's population, was founded under the name of Al-Bida in 1850. It became the capital of the British protectorate of Qatar in 1916. When the nation gained its independence, Doha remained the capital. During the early 20th century, much of Qatar's economy depended on fishing and pearling. But after the introduction of Japanese cultured pearls, Doha and the whole region suffered a decline. Only when oil was discovered, prosperity returned following World War II. Today, the country produces over 800,000 barrels of oil daily. Doha is situated halfway down the east coast of the peninsula. It is an intriguing mixture of old and new, with ultra modern architecture next to traditional souqs and historic forts. It boasts a university and the Qatar National Museum (currently closed for renovation), which opened 1975 in what was originally the ruler's palace. As the country's cultural and commercial centre, Doha enjoys excellent communications with the outside world through its modern seaport, airport and telephone links. The Al Jazeera Arabic satellite television news channel began broadcasting in 1996 with its headquarters in Doha. While Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken. Please Note: Conservative dress is required when going ashore. As a rule, women should not wear miniskirts, shorts or sleeveless tops and men should always wear a shirt in public. Please do not photograph people without their permission, especially women.You may not take pictures of government buildings, embassies or anything military in nature, including airports.

Day 2 Bahrain, Bahrain

Day 3  Cruising

Day 4 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Just a few decades ago, Abu Dhabi, the island capital of the United Arab Emirates, was a small fishing village with houses made of mud-brick and palm fronds. Today, as a result of revenue from oil, Abu Dhabi is one of the world's richest cities, with wide, tree-lined okulevards, lush green parks, gushing fountains and imposing skyscrapers. Somewhat of a dichotomy, Abu Dhabi is a combination of ultra-modern sophistication and Arab mystique, with friendly and hospitable people offering a warm welcome to visitors. Abu Dhabi's history originated in the 18th century, when, according to legend, a group of tribesmen pursuing a gazelle came upon a freshwater well which they named Abu Dhabi, or "Father of the Gazelle". In the 19th century, the first fort was built over this well by a sheikh of the Al-Nahyan dynasty. The fort's name is Al Husn Palace, also known as Old or White Fort, and it is one of the few buildings in Abu Dhabi that is more than 25 years old. Its whitewashed walls are eye-catching amid the backdrop of today's skyscrapers. Presently, it is home to the Cultural Foundation and serves as a documents centre. Abu Dhabi had little significance until the discovery of vast oil reserves in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the years following, the city's economy and infrastructure developed rapidly and changed Abu Dhabi beyond recognition.

Day 5 Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates

Day 6 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai sits on a golden sandy coastline in the Arabian Gulf, where the warm azure waves of the sea meet the desert. A high-rise oasis, this city is a pleasure-dome surrounded by dunes; one of the most fashionable on the planet thanks to its ability to satisfy the needs of legions of demanding vacationers. Dubai is about having fun—and it's one big adult playground.Nature plays her part here, with year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches, dramatic arid landscapes, and warm waters, but it's the man-made attractions that make Dubai so alluring. You can launch yourself into high-adrenaline desert adventures, diving and water sports, and some of the world's best golf courses. The 5-, 6-, and 7-star hotels offer the ultimate in luxury, and the party scene is hot. Shopping malls are the biggest in the world and are packed full of high-class merchandise. And with hundreds of restaurants with cuisine from around the world, you can munch your way from Mexico to Malaysia.Dubai is an Arab country with a long history as a trading port. Traces of its traditional life, customs, and architecture can still be seen and explored, but today and tomorrow are much more important than yesterday. Almost every building in this metropolis is less than 20 years old and the most dramatic developments—groundbreaking megaprojects—have just been completed or are still under construction.The city is certainly unique. Islam is its anchor, but it has opened its doors to the rest of the world and has invited them in to work, rest, and play, which creates a truly international atmosphere. Unashamedly modern and materialistic, life here takes place at breakneck speed. The landscape is stark, the confidence is sky high, the can-do spirit is palpable, and the bling is in your face. Dubai produces strong reactions in people, but one thing is certain—love it or loathe it—you will not forget it. It is without a doubt, one of the world's true must-see destinations.Shisha: Smoke Without Fire. Emirati men love socializing, but as they don't drink alcohol they get together over coffee and shisha instead of a drink at the bar after work. The shisha, or hookah, is a smoking device, usually made of glass, that filters smoke through water before it reaches the smoker's mouth. Shisha tobaccos are aromatic and are often mixed with apple, cinnamon, or cherry, so their taste isn't as strong as other tobaccos. Smoking shisha is said to induce relaxation—but you'll have to decide if it's for you!

Day 7 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai sits on a golden sandy coastline in the Arabian Gulf, where the warm azure waves of the sea meet the desert. A high-rise oasis, this city is a pleasure-dome surrounded by dunes; one of the most fashionable on the planet thanks to its ability to satisfy the needs of legions of demanding vacationers. Dubai is about having fun—and it's one big adult playground.Nature plays her part here, with year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches, dramatic arid landscapes, and warm waters, but it's the man-made attractions that make Dubai so alluring. You can launch yourself into high-adrenaline desert adventures, diving and water sports, and some of the world's best golf courses. The 5-, 6-, and 7-star hotels offer the ultimate in luxury, and the party scene is hot. Shopping malls are the biggest in the world and are packed full of high-class merchandise. And with hundreds of restaurants with cuisine from around the world, you can munch your way from Mexico to Malaysia.Dubai is an Arab country with a long history as a trading port. Traces of its traditional life, customs, and architecture can still be seen and explored, but today and tomorrow are much more important than yesterday. Almost every building in this metropolis is less than 20 years old and the most dramatic developments—groundbreaking megaprojects—have just been completed or are still under construction.The city is certainly unique. Islam is its anchor, but it has opened its doors to the rest of the world and has invited them in to work, rest, and play, which creates a truly international atmosphere. Unashamedly modern and materialistic, life here takes place at breakneck speed. The landscape is stark, the confidence is sky high, the can-do spirit is palpable, and the bling is in your face. Dubai produces strong reactions in people, but one thing is certain—love it or loathe it—you will not forget it. It is without a doubt, one of the world's true must-see destinations.Shisha: Smoke Without Fire. Emirati men love socializing, but as they don't drink alcohol they get together over coffee and shisha instead of a drink at the bar after work. The shisha, or hookah, is a smoking device, usually made of glass, that filters smoke through water before it reaches the smoker's mouth. Shisha tobaccos are aromatic and are often mixed with apple, cinnamon, or cherry, so their taste isn't as strong as other tobaccos. Smoking shisha is said to induce relaxation—but you'll have to decide if it's for you!

Day 8 Doha, Qatar

Doha (population 700,000) is the capital of the State of Qatar, an emirate occupying the small Qatar Peninsula bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and otherwise surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Qatar was ruled by many different powers through the centuries, in fact historians have traced human habitation dating back 5000 years. From its earliest history, Qatar was a very important trade route connecting Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Among its occupiers were the Portuguese, the Ottomans and finally the British during the turbulent years of the 20th century. Qatar gained independence in 1971, and with resources from oil exportation, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad made improvements in social programmes including education, health and housing. In 1995, his son, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani assumed the throne and brought with him a modern and progressive approach that quickly transformed the country. Doha, home to 80 percent of the country's population, was founded under the name of Al-Bida in 1850. It became the capital of the British protectorate of Qatar in 1916. When the nation gained its independence, Doha remained the capital. During the early 20th century, much of Qatar's economy depended on fishing and pearling. But after the introduction of Japanese cultured pearls, Doha and the whole region suffered a decline. Only when oil was discovered, prosperity returned following World War II. Today, the country produces over 800,000 barrels of oil daily. Doha is situated halfway down the east coast of the peninsula. It is an intriguing mixture of old and new, with ultra modern architecture next to traditional souqs and historic forts. It boasts a university and the Qatar National Museum (currently closed for renovation), which opened 1975 in what was originally the ruler's palace. As the country's cultural and commercial centre, Doha enjoys excellent communications with the outside world through its modern seaport, airport and telephone links. The Al Jazeera Arabic satellite television news channel began broadcasting in 1996 with its headquarters in Doha. While Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken. Please Note: Conservative dress is required when going ashore. As a rule, women should not wear miniskirts, shorts or sleeveless tops and men should always wear a shirt in public. Please do not photograph people without their permission, especially women.You may not take pictures of government buildings, embassies or anything military in nature, including airports.

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