What to Expect
- This trip is moderately paced.
- Your 14-day expedition cruise includes 10 nights aboard the 5-star Ocean Odyssey; plus Deluxe hotel stays for 2 nights in Mumbai and 2 nights in Dubai at the beginning and end of your trip. (The 16 days includes the day you depart from home and your overnight flight, plus the day you depart for home.)
- In addition to your arrival and departure cities, you'll visit 7 ports of call in four different countries.
- There are two days at sea when you have ample time to relax and enjoy the amenities on board your luxury expedition vessel.
- We often cruise overnight but some scenic sailing will be conducted during daylight hours.
The Emirates, Oman and Qatar boast outstanding accommodations, well-managed tourist facilities, and enviable high-tech infrastructure. Plus, we will be staying at hotels where you will enjoy world-class luxury and service, so you can expect very high standards of comfort for every step of your journey. However, in spite of the modern sophistication (and downright conspicuous consumption), these are still very conservative, religious societies whose cultural norms are different than ours, and they are ruled by absolute monarchies that strictly enforce the laws. Your Adventure Leader will advise you of the proper protocol wherever you go, but here are some things to consider in advance:
Modest dress is expected of all women and men, and even though you may see foreigners wearing shorts or revealing clothing (especially in the cities), local people may consider this disrespectful and will appreciate your discretion. Bare arms or shoulders are not advised in public places, and ladies should bring a head scarf to wear inside mosques. Long skirts, slacks, or capris that cover your knees are advised for women; men should avoid shorts or tank tops, too. Public displays of affection are frowned upon. Non-Muslims are not permitted to enter certain mosques, and there may be some sites that restrict access by gender.
Because these are Islamic nations, there are strong prohibitions against the use of alcohol. It is absolutely forbidden for locals, and only permitted for foreigners in certain locations. You can purchase alcoholic beverages at restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that are affiliated with international hotels, but not at most smaller local establishments. Bars may require you to show identification at the door, so keep your passport handy when frequenting them. Most of our included dinners will be at venues that do serve wine, beer, and spirits. As a visitor, you may not bring alcohol into the country (it will be confiscated at the airport). If you respect these social norms during your stay, you will be treated as an honored guest by people who are enormously generous, polite, and proud to share their heritage.
You should be in relatively good health to fully enjoy this tour.
TERRAIN & TRANSPORTATION:
- This journey does not entail walking for great distances but you will be on your feet for an hour or two at a time.
- Most city sightseeing takes place on air-conditioned coaches with guides.
- There are several walking tours through historic centers, villages, and traditional souks where uneven steps and cobblestones should be expected.
- This cruise tour is not suitable for those who have difficulty walking or require wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Please refer to Vantage's wheelchair and handicapped traveler policy.
- Your ship is your main means of transportation between destinations.
- All land transportation is conducted on board deluxe, air-conditioned motorcoaches.
- There is an included city tour in Dubai during which you will ride aboard a local abra water taxi.
- In Porbandar you’ll travel from the pier into the city onboard a three-wheeled, tuk-tuk taxi.
- In India the climate is tropical and there is very little variation in temperatures, with high humidity. Expect average daily highs of between 81°–91°F.
- On the Arabian Peninsula, depending on the time of year you can expect daytime average high temperatures to run between 70°–100°F. Evenings are always cooler and often quite pleasant since there is no humidity. You will be visiting desert locales where the weather is hot and dry, with little or no rainfall.
- The sun is very strong in all our destinations, especially in Arabia. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun hats are musts.
- Stay cool by wearing lightweight fabrics (such as cotton or linen).
- For protection from the sun, do as the locals do and cover up by wearing longer pants or skirts, and shirts with sleeves.
- For India you should bring a rain jacket or umbrella.
- The desert (and the sea) can occasionally be windy. A windbreaker, sweater, or light jacket is recommended.