Over the last decade or so, there is no denying the spectacular growth of winter cruising in the waters around the United Arab Emirates. Each year, it seems that more cruise lines are sending some of their principal ships to ply these waters, usually from November through until March or April.

If this is something that is on your radar, there might be a few pointers in this blog for you to consider.

Firstly, the area presents a welcome, far less crowded alternative to winter cruising hot spots such as the Canaries, and even the Caribbean. Though the market is getting bigger, it has nowhere near the same volume of ships and peoples as the Caribbean in particular does.

From the UK, most flights tend to be with Emirates; an airline that-by and large- has achieved something of a stellar reputation over the years. No changing at hub airports en route. And, with a flying time of around eight hours on average between the UK and the main embarkation port of Dubai, these flights are not as time consuming as the long haul runs out to Miami or Fort Lauderdale. And you won’t have anything like the same knock on effects from jet lag, either.

Bear in mind that most of the ships operating in the region are the mega ships of companies such as Costa, MSC and Royal Caribbean. They will typically carry several different nationalities, so if what you’re expecting is a typical, dyed in the wool, English style cruise experience- well, you’re not going to get it. Announcements-all of them- will be made in every single language. Needless to say, this can drive some people mad after a while. It all depends on your personal tolerance levels in the end.

Even if you’re not really enamoured of the idea of touring around the places en route, the wonderful winter temperatures will still make for what should be a pretty exhilarating adventure, with a sun tan all but guaranteed. And, of course the huge, modern ships now feature so many diversions, amenities and dining options that you could just stay on board for the entire week, and still have the time of your life.

Not that I am advocating such an approach; but it is a delightfully different option if all you want is to be pampered and entertained, while still savouring some warm winter sunshine, in an environment that lets you make the most of an entirely different pace of life.

A sweet option, if only for a little while. However you take your UAE cruise, just enjoy it.

Perhaps it's time to set course for somewhere slightly different this coming winter.....

Perhaps it’s time to set course for somewhere slightly different this coming winter…..

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