5 Favorite cruises to Dubai in 2021 | finder.com

Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

Best Dubai cruise lines

5 amazing adventures to the most glamorous city in the UAE.

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

On a cruise to Dubai you can see the world’s tallest building, shop at some of the fanciest stores in the world, stroll the bustling markets of Old Town and explore spectacular sand dunes on camel back.

MSC Cruises has lots of options to choose from, and we like that most of its itineraries cost less than $100 a night. Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises also have affordable cruises to Dubai, while Crystal Cruises has luxury voyages on small ships that dock at boutique ports.

Ports with cruises to Dubai

Most cruises to Dubai start in other ports around the Middle East. But there are plenty of longer itineraries that start in Europe, South Asia and even Australia. So before booking your cruise to Dubai, decide how many days you want to be gone and which region you want to see.

Here’s where cruises to Dubai typically begin:

  • Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Athens, Greece
  • Bahrain, Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Cairo, Egypt
  • Doha, Qatar
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Khasab, Oman
  • Khor Fakkan, UAE
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Mumbai, India
  • Muscat, Oman
  • Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Princess is the only cruise line we’ve seen with cruises to Dubai from the US, but keep in mind that these are world cruises that last a minimum of 111 days, leaving from Fort Lauderdale or Los Angeles.

Traveling during COVID-19
The CDC continues to advise caution when traveling within or outside the US, though it no longer requires self-quarantine or a COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated travelers as of April 2021. It recommends that you delay travel if you are not fully vaccinated to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading the virus.

When traveling, follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public, social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed with, have symptoms of or are waiting for COVID-19 test results — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not attend gatherings or travel for 14 days.

Our favorite cruises to Dubai

Cruise lineCruiseItineraryPriceBook
MSC CruisesDubai, Abu Dhabi & Qatar — 7 nights
  • Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Sir Bani Yas Is, UAE
  • Muscat, Oman
  • Dubai, UAE
  • Abu Dhabi, UAE
From $389 per personBook now
CostaTransoceanic from Barcelona — 23 days
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Marseilles, France
  • Savona, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
  • Naples, Italy
  • Catania (Sicily), Italy
  • Athens, Greece
  • Haifa, Israel
  • Aqaba, Jordan
  • Salalah, Oman
  • Muscat, Oman
  • Dubai, UAE
From $2,689 per personBook now
Princess CruisesSydney to Dubai — 22-day world cruise segment
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Komodo Island, Indonesia
  • Singapore
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Muscat, Oman
  • Dubai, UAE
From $3,219 per personBook now
Norwegian Cruise LineAthens to Dubai: Egypt, Jordan, Israel & Oman — 18 days
  • Athens, Greece
  • Haifa, Israel
  • Ashdod, Israel
  • Port Said, Egypt
  • Suez Canal, Egypt
  • Safaga, Egypt
  • Aqaba, Jordan
  • Salalah, Oman
  • Muscat, Oman
  • Khasab, Oman
  • Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Dubai, UAE
From $1,854 per personBook now
Crystal CruisesGrand Journey: Southeast Asia, India & The UAE
  • Singapore
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Penang, Malaysia
  • Phuket, Thailand
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Goa, India
  • Mumbai, India
  • Muscat, Oman
  • Dubai, UAE
From $4,939 per personBook now

Best cruise lines sailing to Dubai

  • Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises both come up on the first page of Google when you search for “cruises to Dubai” but these cruise lines don’t actually offer itineraries that include Dubai as a port stop.

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

Best for seeing Africa or the Mediterranean Sea: Norwegian

Norwegian has cruises to Dubai that kick off in Greece or South Africa, depending on whether you want to see countries like Turkey and Israel or Mauritius and Seychelles. Since it's an American cruise line, the onboard atmosphere may be more familiar than the Italian Costa or MSC Cruises.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for extended adventures: Princess

If you absolutely love the idea of being on a cruise for longer than a month at a time, book one segment of a world cruise — or an entire world cruise — with Princess. Not only will you see Dubai, you'll get to explore some of the furthest corners of our world, from tiny Italian islands to the pyramids of Egypt.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):

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.

Where do cruises dock in Dubai?

Cruises arriving into Dubai will dock at Port Rashid, which is around a 20-minute drive from the city center. It’s considered to be one of the most luxurious ports in the world, so it’s worth doing some window shopping before you jump in a taxi to town.

Top deals

Expedia.comExpedia.com

Disney cruises from $705 per person to the Caribbean

T&Cs apply.

Last verified

PricelinePriceline

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

T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Expedia.comExpedia.com

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

T&Cs apply.

Last verified

CruiseDirectCruiseDirect

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

T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Expedia.comExpedia.com

Carnival cruises to the Caribbean starting from $179 per person

T&Cs apply.

Last verified

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.

Last verified

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.

Last verified

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.

Last verified

Avoya TravelAvoya Travel

Sandals resort exclusive deals - up to 65% off sitewide + free credit

T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Avoya TravelAvoya Travel

Up to 65% off and free cancellations

T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

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.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site