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Across the Arabian Sea: Mumbai to Dubai - 2022

Mumbai • 10-night small ship cruise with Mumbai, Porbandar, Muscat, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, Doha • Dubai
  • Vantage Deluxe Travel from Mumbai to Dubai Small Ship Ocean Cruise The city of Doha seen through arches, with water fountains in the foreground
  • Across the Arabian Sea small ship cruise from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi to Doha to Dubai including Delhi Taj Mahal and Petra and Amman extensions
  • India Gate, Mumbai harbor
  • The sun sets behind the giant incense burner and dramatic rocky mountains on the shore of Muscat, Oman.
  • Optional Extension to Petra & Amman Jordan
  • All FREE Single Supplements Are Sold Out
  • All Reduced Single Supplements Are Sold Out
FREE Solo Space
Solo Friendly Supplements
Up to FREE Business Class. Save Up to $7,298 per couple, travel from just $5,899 up to free air.
Third woman sails for FREE on ALL departures.

Vantage invites you on the inaugural sailing season of the new Ocean Odyssey for a unique journey across the Indian Ocean and into the heart of Arabia. The many nations on this cruise tour (India, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates) were all influenced by Arabic and Persian culture, and are connected by their Islamic faith. Yet they all have expressed those traditions in dazzlingly different, and deeply fascinating, ways. 

Come celebrate the grandeur and pomp of India’s ancient, Mughal, and British Raj eras. Explore teeming souks like something out of the 1001 Arabian Nights. Be awed by elaborate mosques where stunning art, innovative design, and moving devotion come together. And shop, dine, and feast your eyes on the wildly successful Emirati cities whose futuristic architecture, wealth, and luxurious lifestyles boggle the mind. In all, 37 included features and Cultural Discoveries will immerse you in the culture and lifestyle of these nations, including a unique opportunity to learn from a local about the changing role of women in contemporary Oman.

In a region famous for luxury, you'll travel in style aboard the brand-new, elegant 5-star Ocean Odyssey — built for navigating varied waters with ULSTEIN X-BOW® technology. Indulge your senses with spa services, evening musical performances, and fine cuisine. Enjoy the services of an Onboard Concierge both before and after your trip who can help you organize special group dinners, reserve excursions onshore, and even help you connect with relatives onshore! Plus, the design of your small ship features just 77 cabins — including a landmark 15 solo cabins — allowing us to pull right into every port with visit on this journey and disembark without the use of tenders. That means less time waiting, and more time spend soaking up your destinations.

If you're interested in this itinerary and want to revel in even more Cultural Discoveries and immersive experiences, check out our combination cruise Across the Eastern Hemisphere: Singapore to Croatia. Explore more and save.

Dubai to Mumbai

Pre-Trip Extension

Petra & Amman, Jordan (PRE)

FROM: $1999 PER PERSON | 5 DAYS | $400 PER DAY
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DAY 1:

Fly to Dubai, UAE

Your journey begins today as you depart your gateway city and fly overnight to Dubai. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Petra & Amman, Jordan.

DAY 2:

Welcome to Dubai!

If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, upon arrival at the airport in Dubai a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to your centrally located hotel. You may arrive in the evening, so settle in, enjoy dinner on your own, and get a good night’s sleep.

DAY 3:

Embark on a panoramic tour of Dubai and visit the Burj Khalifa

After breakfast and a Welcome Briefing this morning, get to know Dubai. Until the 1970s, Dubai was a small fishing and trading port. Today, Dubai is the business capital of the UAE, a juggernaut of commerce and a city of superlatives where things are made to be the biggest, fastest, and best. You’ll get a feel for it during today’s panoramic tour.

Amazing architecture, blazing white beaches, and clear turquoise lagoons and creeks make Dubai a delight for the eyes. On today's panoramic tour, you'll see downtown, the city's marina; the Frame, a giant, picture-frame shaped structure; and some of the man-made luxury islands that float in the Persian Gulf, such as the palm tree-shaped Palm Jumeirah. Studded with elegant villas, marinas, parks, and malls, where you may stop to browse for interesting jewelry, artwork, Islamic calligraphy, and more.

After a fun and active afternoon, an evening excursion whisks you to the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in Dubai. Spiraling 2,717 feet into the air like a giant twisting needle, it is the tallest building in the world.

After, we’ll have a dinner at the Souk Al Bahar, an elegant waterfront marketplace with 22 restaurants, dozens of shops, and the Dubai Fountain, a larger replica of what you'd see at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Certainly an evening to remember!

Included Features:

  • Half-day panoramic tour of Dubai
  • Evening excursion to Burj Khalifa observation deck

Included meals:

Breakfast & dinner

DAY 4:

Explore Dubai's culture and embark the Ocean Odyssey

The cultural discoveries will come in waves this morning as you visit the Dubai Museum and the surrounding historic district of Al Bastakiya before crossing Dubai Creek on an abra, a traditional wooden boat used as a water taxi, to visit the Gold and Spice Souks.

You’ll have time to enjoy lunch on your own before you transfer to the port where we’ll embark the Ocean Odyssey!

Included Features:

  • Half-day cultural city tour of Dubai

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit the Dubai Museum
  • Shop the Gold and Spice Souks

Included meals:

Breakfast & dinner

DAY 5:

Discover Qatar, the richest nation on Earth

One look at the skyline of Doha, Qatar’s capital, and you may wonder if you’ve arrived on another planet. There are buildings shaped like spires, ones that lean apart precariously, ones that look like fluttering lace or rising horseshoes, and the famous QIPCO Tower, which resembles a steel tornado. You’ll see the highlights of this striking city on this morning’s tour.

Start at the Pearl Qatar & Marina, a stunning man-made island of luxury homes, parks, and marinas. It resembles a string of pearls and has two perfectly circular bays that embrace two pearl-like islets. The Oyster & Pearl Fountain commemorates the traditional Qatari pearling industry that sustained the nation before the discovery of oil. You’ll have time to take a few photos when we stop along the corniche near the Museum of Islamic Art. Designed by I. M. Pei, it is a stunning modern take on the ancient Islamic fortress based on striking geometric designs, and is set on its own man-made island.

Visit the popular Souq Waqif, a 100-year-old marketplace where you can buy anything from spices to scimitars, baubles to bridal gowns. You’ll also take a short guided walk through a section of the souk that is devoted entirely to falcons. Here, enthusiasts come to buy birds and accessories for them.

Return to the ship and enjoy a late lunch on board, with the afternoon free for further exploration on your own. You’ll return to the ship this evening for dinner as we set off for Abu Dhabi. Keep an eye out for a postcard-perfect view of the evening sun outlining Doha’s futuristic skyline.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Doha city tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit the 100-year-old Souq Waqif
  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 6:

Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s cultural mecca

Enjoy breakfast on board as the Ocean Odyssey arrives into Abu Dhabi. Head up to the multilevel lounge with your complimentary binoculars and your camera! Witness the beauty of cruising at its finest as the city unfolds along the coast.

Opening its own branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim were just the capstones to the already solid foundation of art and culture that the Emirate nation of Abu Dhabi has built, and you'll discover this capital city more on a half-day city tour. First on today’s agenda is the majestic Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, or the Grand Mosque, featuring its trademark bulbous domes. The mosque is said to “unite the world” because it purposefully incorporates materials and design motifs from scores of countries. The prayer hall boasts 96 marble columns inlaid with mother of pearl. There is a qibla wall where the 99 names of God are written in elegant Kufic calligraphy, whose swirls and arabesques are highlighted by fiber optic lighting. As you behold these jaw-dropping wonders, it’s easy to see why the mosque is considered one of the most important modern architectural treasures in the Arabic world.

Next you’ll learn about another foundation of Emirati life, and that is falconry. These royal birds are still revered for their grace and hunting prowess. You’ll visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, a unique avian veterinary center that treats about 6,000 of these prized raptors every year. You’ll learn about the falcon’s importance in Emirate culture, as well as the other veterinary programs offered here, including a shelter for the rare Saluki breed of dogs.

Return to the ship for lunch, followed by an afternoon at leisure to relax or explore Abu Dhabi as you like. If you remain on the ship for dinner this evening, you’ll enjoy a relaxing evening with onboard entertainment.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Abu Dhabi city tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
  • Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
  • Evening onboard entertainment
  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 7:

Explore traditional Emirates life

The modern glitter of Abu Dhabi notwithstanding, there is a concerted effort being made here to preserve traditional culture, as you’ll see on this morning’s tour.

Driving along the Corniche past the theme parks of Yas Island, you’ll come to the Emirates Heritage Village, a re-creation of an oasis town where locals demonstrate traditional crafts like tannery, pottery, glass-blowing and swordsmithing. You’ll see a barasti house, which captures the breeze via strategically placed palm fronds; goat hair tents; and a section where camels are traded. There is also a campfire area and workshops where traditional craftsmen demonstrate their skills.

Before leaving Abu Dhabi you’ll get a last, terrific look at it from the 74th-floor Observation Deck of the Etihad Towers. These five sleek, curved skyscrapers preside over Abu Dhabi with sweeping views of the islands and Arabian Gulf. The rest of your day is free for you to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps you’ll go for a stroll in the Umm al Emarat Park, a manicured botanical garden with its own mini petting zoo. Shop for designer duds at the Marina Mall. Or take high tea at the massive Emirati Palace, a luxury hotel that is one of the city’s most important architectural landmarks.

You’ll return for dinner on board and a good night's sleep as you look forward to tomorrow's explorations.

Included Feature:

  • Panoramic Abu Dhabi city tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Tour the Emirates Heritage Village
  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 8:

Discover the tiny Emirate nation of Fujairah

Add another notch to your travel belt when you step ashore to explore a destination that most travelers have never even heard of. Fujairah is one of the seven United Arab Emirates, and the only one whose pretty coastline, called the Shamaliyah, does not lie on the Persian Gulf. Within its bounds lies the town of Kalba, an exclave of another emirate, Sharjah. You’ll explore both on today’s included Fujairah Past and Present tour.

Disembarking in Fujairah, you’ll travel beyond the city to serene Kalba, and see Beit Al Sheikh Sayeed, a beautifully restored, 19th-century heritage house that is filled with traditional Islamic collectibles. The building nestles on a beach and features barjeel wind towers and a lovely central courtyard. Continuing south you’ll reach Khor Kalba. Set in a beautiful tidal estuary, it is Arabia’s oldest and largest mangrove swamp and home to a variety of rare and migratory birds.

Returning to the city, you’ll step back in time at Fujairah Heritage Village. Surrounded by a wall and watchtowers, the site carefully recreates 16th-century Arabian village life and features models of traditional homes, antique household items, and tools. Next is the Fujairah Museum, home to a magnificent collection of period weapons, traditional costumes and artifacts excavated from sites around the eastern coast. You’ll make a photo stop at the renovated Old Fort of Fujairah, which boasts lovely views of the village below and surrounding date plantations.

Later, you’ll set sail for Muscat, Oman. Leaving Fujairah, you’ll circle Oman’s mountain-flanked Musandam Peninsula, with glorious views of Jebel al-Harim or “Mountain of Women,” its highest peak.

Another onboard lecture will offer more context into your discoveries into the United Arab Emirates

Included Feature:

  • Fujairah Past & Present tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Demonstration of local traditions at Fujairah Heritage Village
  • Lecture about the United Arab Emirates

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 9:

Begin your Oman exploration with a tour of Muscat

This morning, you're welcomed to the nation of Oman, and its capital, Muscat, which has been an important port since the 1st century AD. Its history melds the influences of the Indigenous Omani tribes as well as the Abassids, Portuguese, Ottomans, and Persians who once ruled Oman. Unlike the UAE capitals, which are all about glamour on a grand scale, Muscat is a gracious, whitewashed city wedged between the mountains and the sea, with few high rises. In fact, the Sultan Qaboos (Oman’s head since 1970) has forbidden the construction of anything over seven stories so as not to obscure the views. But that doesn’t mean Muscat lacks for impact, as you’ll see during today’s explorations.

Our first stop is the Bait Al Zubair Museum, a heritage and cultural center displaying what is regarded as the finest private collection of Omani artefacts. The museum houses one of the largest heritage and art collections in the country, and serves as a window into Oman’s rich heritage and culture. Since it's opening, the museum has expanded into a cultural complex that continues to evolve and is recognized as an Omani heritage learning and research resource by international museums and art galleries.

We'll continue on to a photo stop at Muscat's Parliament Building. Designed to be the city’s newest iconic landmark and a fitting seat for the national government, this is home to both houses of the Majlis ash Shura - Oman’s parliament - as well as the state council. The low-rise Omani-style architecture, set against the reds and browns of Muscat’s mountains, makes for an impressive sight and compelling photo op.

Our second photo stop will be at the Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel standing proudly as one of the sultanate's landmarks. Set amid an emerald green oasis overlooked by the Al Hajar Mountains with the Gulf of Oman beckoning from the edge of its beachfront, this luxury resort is a destination all its own. From here we'll head to the Al Alam Palace.

Also known as the Sultan's Palace and used as a ceremonial palace by Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Al Alam Palace was built over the site of the former British embassy and is one of six residences of the sultan. Built under the watch of Imam Sultan bin Ahmed, the 7th grandfather of Sultan Qaboos, the palace has a 200-year history. The existing palace, which has a facade of gold and blue, was rebuilt as a royal residence in 1972.

Our next stop will be the Al Jalali Fort, or Ash Sharqiya Fort, located at the Old Muscat harbor. Built in the 1580s by the Portuguese in the 1580s on the site of an earlier Omani fortress, it was designed to protect the harbor after Muscat had been twice attacked by Ottoman forces.

We'll round out our day of discoveries with a visit to the Mutrah Souq, a traditional market selling Omani and Indian antiques and artisanal wares, alongside textiles and hardware. You'll have time to browse the stalls and shop for unique souvenirs and gifts before heading back to the ship for a late lunch.

But your cultural experiences don’t end there! After lunch, special guests come on board to engulf you in the culture of Oman. If you're wondering what it’s like to live here, you’ll hear about it firsthand from an Omani woman who will share her perspective on family life, native customs, and the changing role of women in contemporary Oman. Then, enjoy local Omani musicians and dancers who will come on board to provide some captivating folkloric entertainment.

The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure with dinner on board tonight.

Included Features:

  • Half-day Muscat tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Lecture by an Omani woman about life in contemporary Oman
  • Evening onboard entertainment: Omani folk music and dance

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 10:

Continue your explorations of Muscat today

Following breakfast on board this morning, you’ll head out for another day of discovery in Muscat.

Your first stop: The Grand Mosque, a spectacular modern jewel of a gift that the Sultan Qaboos gave the nation to mark the 30th year of his reign. You'll tour Oman’s national mosque, which was completed in 2001, and explore its many marvels, including the giant prayer hall which can hold 6,500 worshippers (and is illuminated by the world’s largest chandelier). The stunning carpet on the main floor covers 46,750 square feet, weighs 21 tons, and boasts 28 colors in varying shades. Between the main prayer hall, additional chambers, and outdoor plazas, the Grand Mosque can hold some 20,000 worshippers.

We then ride west of Muscat to investigate some of Oman’s rural traditions, beginning in the fishermen’s village of Barkha. Set on the Arabian Sea along a broad, park-lined corniche, Barkha is a traditional fishing village where Omanis come to enjoy the wide beach promenade, and some of the freshest fish in the Arab world. You’ll see where Omanis get their seafood at the Barkha Fish Market, set right on the ocean so fishermen can unload the daily catch right on the ground. Locals come to purchase red mullet crabs, squid, skate, swordfish, and more, often foregoing bags and just grabbing their fish by the tail and carting it off in their hands!

Then it’s off to the Bait Al Ghasham Museum. This well-preserved residence often hosted royalty throughout its two-hundred-year history and provides an interesting insight into domestic life in Oman.

From here you’ll loop back southward to visit Nakhal village with its pre-Islamic Nakhal Fort, chiseled into a sheer rock. Nakhal Fort boasts imposing watchtowers and battlements, as well as the living quarters of the ruling wali, including many antique furnishings.

We’ll make a photo stop at the Royal Opera House, the leading arts and culture organization in the Sultanate of Oman. The Royal Opera House reflects unique contemporary Omani architecture and consists of a concert theatre, auditorium, landscaped gardens, cultural retail market, luxury restaurants and an art center for musical, theatrical, and operatic productions.

We’ll continue our tour with a visit to the Said bin Tamur Mosque. Built in 1999 in memory of the father of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, it is built in the unique style of Ottoman Mosques and is one of the most significant mosques built in Oman in recent times.

Our final tour stop will be the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque due to it’s striking cerulean-hued dome. Opened in 2008, this is a major landmark and the final resting place of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.

Following a full morning of activity, you’ll return to the ship for lunch. The remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure with dinner on board tonight.

Included Features:

  • Full-day Muscat tour

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 11:

Cruising the Arabian Sea

Another relaxing day at sea gives you plenty of time to enjoy the ship’s luxurious amenities and onboard enrichment activities. Or indulge yourself with a soothing facial at the spa. Maybe you’ll meet friends for a barbecue lunch, or relax in you room and watch a movie.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 12:

Tour coastal Porbandar, birthplace of Gandhi

Enjoy breakfast and a morning at leisure as the ship docks in the coastal town of Porbandar in Gujarat state.

On a half-day city tour, you'll travel as the locals do aboard a small, three-wheeled tuk-tuk taxi. You’ll ride from the pier gate into town, passing local residences and perhaps spotting some of the endemic and migratory birds that are prolific here.

Visit the birthplace of Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi, and gain insights into the simple lifestyle of this coastal heritage town, once a thriving Mughal port. You will stop to see the only temple in India dedicated to Sudama, the childhood friend of Lord Krishna. Pilgrims walk the temple’s giant maze to be absolved of sins. Next, your tuk tuk proceeds to Kirti Mandir, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. It stands 79 feet high, one foot for each year of Gandhi’s life, and its design includes homages to six religions. Next door you’ll tour the home where Gandhi was born in 1869, and later lived with his wife. The adjoining building houses a prayer hall, a Gandhian library and an excellent museum. After a visit to the lively local market, where you can pick up the brightly colored textiles the region is famous for, continue to Bharat Mandir Hall. Admire the lovely gardens, huge marble map of India and colorful pillars decorated with bas reliefs of Hindu heroes.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Porbandar tour with a visit to the home of Gandhi

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Porbandar city tour with tuk-tuk ride
  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 13:

Cruising the Arabian Sea

Enjoy a full day to relax on board. Perhaps you’ll join a morning yoga class or read on the sun deck. Later you can join friends for cocktails in the multilevel observation deck, or take a snooze while lounging on deck. There are dozens of books you may borrow from our library, gifts to be purchased in our boutique, and fine art to admire in the gallery. Later in the day you will enjoy a port talk and a delectable dinner on board — our curated culinary program is sure to be yet another highlight of your Vantage journey.

In preparation for tomorrow’s call at Mumbai, an expert lecturer will provide a fascinating look at the life of Mahatma Gandhi and his impact on 20th-century Indian and world politics.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 14:

Discover Mumbai on a day of sightseeing

Today you'll disembark the Ocean Odyssey as your journey winds down in Mumbai. Then, get ready to head out on a city tour of Mumbai. Once known as Bombay, it is the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of India, not to mention its wealthiest city. You’ll see the best of it today as we ride along the famous Marine Drive. Arcing along the Arabian Sea, this highway (nicknamed “the Queen’s Necklace”) is dotted with historic architecture and its Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll get a sense of everyday Mumbai life as you pass Girgaum Chowpatty beach and the Dhobi Ghats, a 140-year-old, open-air facility where tons of laundry are washed in stone basins. Things get greener as you approach the exclusive Malabar Hill neighborhood, where you will see the terraced Hanging Gardens.

You’ll also visit the Gandhi Museum, where you’ll learn about the life and death of the man Indians call “Mahatma,” meaning great soul. Lunch will be at a local restaurant, and afterward you’ll have the rest of the evening at leisure with dinner on your own.

Included Features:

  • Mumbai city tour
  • Visit the Gandhi Museum

Included meals:

Breakfast  & lunch

DAY 15:

Hooray for Bollywood! Go inside Mumbai's thriving film industry

After breakfast, get ready to go behind the scenes at a Bollywood film studio! The world’s largest film industry is right here in Mumbai, where dozens of studios collectively known as “Bollywood” churn out about 2,000 Hindi films a year! These are often elaborate musical affairs, replete with colorful costumes, large dance numbers, and of course, high-powered box office stars! You’ll visit one the studios and see the various sets and behind-the-scenes activities that result in entertainment for the world.

After your tour you’ll enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, then enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, convene with your travelers for a bittersweet Farewell Dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day tour of Mumbai Bollywood culture

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 16:

Return home

After breakfast you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Or, if you’re joining our post-trip extension, you’ll stay on for two more nights!

Included meals:


Post-Trip Extension

Delhi & the Taj Mahal (POST)

FROM: $1699 PER PERSON | 6 DAYS | $283 PER DAY

Please note: Ocean-cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.

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CALL 1-800-322-6677

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