Set on the western headland of Muscat’s Muttrah district, Muscat cruise terminal—officially called Sultan of Qaboos Port—is one of the Middle East’s most scenic ports. As your ship arrives, you’ll enjoy stellar views of Muttrah’s mountain-backed corniche before disembarking just one mile (1.6 kilometers) from its souks and attractions.
Most shore excursions that depart from the port showcase Oman’s capital, which encompasses Muttrah and Muscat Old Town. Itineraries typically include the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the Opera House, and the flamboyant Al Alam ceremonial palace—excursions usually give you time to explore Muttrah Corniche and Muttrah Souk.
Some tours focus on Oman’s mountain towns and wadis (river gorges). Opt for a chauffeured 4WD to see Nizwa Fort and the pottery town of Bahla; go dune bashing in the Wahiba Sands; explore the Al Hajar Mountains; or discover Wadi Shab’s rock pools. Other options include sailing along Muscat’s coast on a wooden dhow; taking a dolphin-watching trip; or cruising to Dimaniyat Island to swim and snorkel in its lagoons.
Things to Know Before You Go
- At Sultan Qaboos Mosque, women must cover their legs, arms, shoulders, and head.
- Bring sunscreen: Oman is hot all year long and blazing in summer.
- Oman’s wadis, mountain areas, and old towns are tricky for wheelchair-users to navigate.
How to Get to Muscat from Muscat Cruise Port
Walking around Sultan Qaboos Port is prohibited, so ships provide free shuttles to the port gate where taxis and tour vehicles sometimes wait. The shuttles then continue to Muttrah Corniche—home to shops, restaurants, and Muttrah Souk—where you can explore on foot or charter a cab. Hop-on hop-off and public buses run from the corniche to Old Muscat and downtown Muscat.
Oman’s national language is Arabic, but most Omanis in the tourist areas also speak English. The national currency is the Omani rial, but many high-end stores, cabs, and souk vendors accept US dollars or Euros—though you can expect rials as change. Major credit and debit cards are accepted at bigger shops and hotels, and ATMs can be found along Muttrah Corniche. Oman’s taxis are unmetered but follow government-set rates so ensure that you agree a price before traveling.