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Best Dubai cruise lines

Discover a different side to the Middle East when you cruise to the UAE in 2020.

Updated

Aerial View Of Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

While high-end shopping trips, luxury hotel stays and a visit to the world’s tallest tower should all be top of your to-do list, a cruise to Dubai gives you the chance to check out the Old Town, filled with bustling markets and affordable street eats, or the spectacular sand dunes to explore on camelback.

Best Dubai cruises

From quick city breaks to longer voyages, Dubai is accessible via cruise no matter how much time you have.

Best for longer trips: MSC

Besides its shorter cruise trips around the Middle East, combine your visit to Dubai with stop-offs in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and even Japan. Be prepared to set aside about a month for one of these longer voyages.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for budget cruises: Costa

A trip with Costa gives you the chance to visit Dubai without the high price tags for a hotel. Rates start from as little as $499 per person for a week-long trip with stops in Muscat, Doha and Abu Dhabi before anchoring up in Port Rashid, Dubai.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for extravagance: Crystal Ocean Cruises

With no more than 60 guests on board and an average of 1.5 staff to guest ratio, cruising on the Crystal Esprit is nothing short than a five-star experience. Spacious suites, daily wellness activities, and dining experiences to rival Michelin starred restaurants have all been seamlessly intertwined with a well-paced cruising schedule.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked the best cruises

Different people cruise for different reasons, and we get that. That’s why we’ve focused our shortlist on different types of trips and travelers.

To make sure cruises are good value overall, we look at itineraries, cabin facilities and dining options available, and compared these to the price points on offer. We made sure to use our own first-hand experiences and compare these to the opinions of trusted travel websites, unbiased reviews, and blogs to bring you the most honest information.

When is the best time to go to Dubai?

Summer days in Dubai can reach upwards of 105°F, which is why most cruise companies offer trips between November and March. During this time, temperatures are much more manageable, so you can avoid the nearest air-conditioned mall. Instead, days are spent exploring the streets of the Old Town and riding a dune buggy.

The city gets especially crowded throughout January which is also the month of the Shopping Festival. Locals and foreigners flock to Dubai at this time to get their hands on discounts of up to 75%. If quieter streets are more your thing, try planning your trip in the shoulder months of November and March.

What are the must-do cruise excursions in Dubai?

There’s a lot more to Dubai than just high-end shopping and the world’s tallest building. Here are some of the city’s top sights that you can easily fit into a day or two of sightseeing.

  • Dubai Museum. Housed in Dubai’s oldest building, spend a couple of hours here to learn all about the evolution of this world-class city.
  • Dune Bashing. Head out of the city to the stunning sand dunes where, dune bashing — a thrilling drive through the sand in an SUV — has become increasingly popular.
  • Camel Ride. For something a little more relaxed, travel over the golden sand dunes on your very own camel.
  • Dubai Mall. Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, the world’s largest and most luxurious mall is a must-visit while in the city.
  • Al Fahidi District. Wander the streets of old Dubai where you’ll find delicious, and surprisingly cheap, street eats and traditional cafes housed in sandstone buildings.

Top deals on cruises

Avoya Travel Avoya Travel

Royal Caribbean sale: buy 1 get 1 60% off cruise fares, up to $150 free onboard credit and kids sail free

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Sandals Resorts Sandals Resorts

Endless summer sale - book your vacation and take advantage of 1 free night and up to 65% off rack rates

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Orbitz Orbitz

Vacation with freedom and flexibility - free cancellation hotels

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CheapTickets CheapTickets

Car sale - take up to 20% off when you book with Avis or budget

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Travelocity Travelocity

Up to 20% off Avis and budget car sale

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Orbitz Orbitz

Up to 20% off your rental car when you book with avis or budget

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CheapTickets CheapTickets

Save an extra 16% on select hotels

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Bottom line

Once considered to be an exclusive stopover destination for long haul flights, Dubai has become a must-visit port for any cruise ship sailing through the Arabian Sea. The best part? It doesn’t have to be expensive. Check out these deals on a cruise to Dubai.

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