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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

Expedia.comExpedia.com

Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2020 travel sale: up to 50% off vacation bookings

Terms and exclusions apply, see site for details

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Deal ends

Expedia.comExpedia.com

Save up to 25% on select Bahamian, Caribbean and Baja cruises with Disney

T&Cs apply.

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PricelinePriceline

Disney Cruise Line deals starting from $213/night to Caribbean and other destinations

T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.comExpedia.com

Disney cruises from $657 per person to the Caribbean

T&Cs apply.

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CruiseDirectCruiseDirect

Carnival cruises starting from just $55/night to the Bahamas and other destinations

T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.comExpedia.com

Carnival cruises to the Caribbean starting from $179 per person

T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.comExpedia.com

Save up to 83% off Carnival cruises to the Caribbean

Caribbean cruises from 4-7 nights from $179 per person. T&Cs apply.

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PricelinePriceline

Up to $1,000 to spend on board with Norwegian Cruise Line

Just book your next cruise vacation with Priceline Cruises and get up to $1,000 to use as a liquor, dining, and spa credit, along with other purchases made on the ship! T&Cs apply.

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CruiseDirectCruiseDirect

Last minute cruise deals from $33/night

Cruises from 3 to 15+ nights available from multiple lines. Get great deals on prime ships, routes, and rooms for bookings from a week or more out.

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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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