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Fabulous Dubai and Arabian Nights 2019!

ALSO - Optional Extension to Petra and the Dead Sea!

February 5 - 17, 2019

Dubai, here we come again! Our tour/cruise to Dubai and the Gulf region is one of my favorite trips. It is one of the most remarkable areas of the world, and this tour is one of the most incredible bargains of any of my tours.

Many of you have seen unbelievable photos of Dubai, showing the world's only 7-star hotel, the world's tallest building, indoor snow skiing, the magnificent Palm Island developments, amusement parks with outdoor air conditioning, the world's most innovative architecture, the Miracle Gardens with 45 million flowers, etc., but for me a big appeal of Dubai is the contrast between ultra-modern and antiquities. It's a delight to wander the little alleyways and shops of Dubai center, stopping for a cup of tea at a little Indian teahouse. Browse the spice market and guess at the contents of the barrels and vats and vessels and take a sample from a huge mound of dates or figs. The famous Gold Souk (market) is lined with shops full of gold in every form, all at duty-free prices! The Deira market offers an extraordinary range of wares from Pashmina scarves, to carpets, brass, clothes, and souvenirs. The city is divided by picturesque Deira Creek (actually an estuary) and a crossing is by means of an abra, a traditional, wooden ferry boat that motors you from one side to the other. My mother, who went to Dubai three times with me, summed it up best, "Dubai is as ancient as Abraham and as modern as tomorrow!" For this tour I'm excited to offer 3 nights in the 5-star Hyatt Regency Dubai, with all executive level rooms. That means you have access to the executive lounge with free drinks and snacks. The hotel is walking distance to the Gold Souk and one of the main shopping streets in Dubai, Naif Road. The Hotel even has an indoor ice skating rink, as well as a 50-foot swimming pool and a full-service spa. On our Costa Mediterranea cruise, the price includes all balcony cabins (although other cabins are available on request). We will spend a full day in Muscat, Oman, one of the most fascinating and ancient cities of the Gulf Region. A new port for us is the island of Sir Bani Yas, featuring the Arabian Wildlife Park, archeological sites, and pristine beaches. The cruise concludes with 2 days in Abu Dhabi, featuring the stunning Grand Mosque and more amazing architecture, before returning to Dubai.

The optional extension to Petra after the Dubai tour/cruise is becoming more and more popular. We fly to Jordan where we visit the incomparable Petra (the Rose-Red City Half as Old as Time) and the Dead Sea. It is a delightful few days and will again be offered as an option in 2019 for those interested.

2019 Itinerary and Details:


Tuesday 5: Fly from the United States overnight to Dubai

Wed 6: Arrive Dubai in the evening. Transfer to our FIVE-STAR Hyatt Regency Dubai in the heart of Dubai for the next three nights!

Thurs 7: Breakfast included at the hotel Morning tour of ancient Dubai, including the old buildings at Bastakiah, the Dubai Museum, the Gold Market, the Spice Market, and a ride on the abras (ferry boats) across Deira Creek. Lunch on your own, free time. Late afternoon we will go on a desert safari in the big sand dunes east of Dubai, followed by sunset dinner in a Bedouin Camp with camel rides, belly dancing and Arab crafts. Overnight Hyatt Regency Dubai

Friday 8: Breakfast included at the hotel We will do some exploring using the stunning new Dubai Metro. We'll start with a visit to the Dubai Mall, the world's largest mall, at the base of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. We will take the elevator to the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa for stunning views out over Dubai and of the many 'tiny' skyscrapers far below us. Continue to the Mall of the Emirates where they have indoor, downhill skiing, anyone game to try? We'll walk through the Dubai Marina district and give you a chance to do a little swimming in the Persian Gulf! Dinner on your own (although a 'light dinner' is included in our executive lounge). Overnight Hyatt Regency Dubai

Sat 9: Breakfast included at the hotel Since we don't board the ship until evening, we will enjoy a free morning to spend more time in the Gold Souk or explore fascinating Naif Road. In the afternoon we will enjoy a tour of Modern Dubai with its exotic architecture and outrageous space-age projects. We'll start with a visit to the lovely Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, then drive out onto the Jumeirah Palm Islands and make a stop at the Atlantis Hotel, the Dubai Marina, the Medinat Souk, and much more. Late afternoon Lunch/Dinner will be an elegant High Tea included at the famous 7-star hotel, the Burj al Arab. This will surely be a highlight of your tour! After High Tea we will continue on to Dubai Port where we will board our ship for the next 7 nights, the Costa Mediterranea. The Costa Mediterranea will be overnight in the Port of Dubai.

Sunday 10: Enjoy a free morning exploring the ship or head back into the city. 2:00 p.m. Costa Mediterranea sails for Muscat, Oman. Afternoon at Sea Overnight on board Costa Mediterranea

Monday 11: Muscat, Oman. Arrive 9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. A half-day tour of this ancient city is included in the tour package. We will visit the mosque, the ancient souk (market), and the Sultan's Palace. In the afternoon you have time to go back to the ancient Souk for more great bargains! Costa Mediterranea sails at 1:00 a.m. (Tuesday)

Tuesday 12: Day at Sea. Relax on the ship or take part in the many activities aboard.

Wed 13: Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE. 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. A half-day tour is included which will include the Arabian Wildlife Park, where giraffes, cheetahs and gazelles roam wild - a bit of Africa in our Middle East tour! In the afternoon you are free to explore more of the island. Costa Mediterranea sails at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday 14: Abu Dhabi, UAE. Arrive 8:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. A half-day tour of Abu Dhabi, Capital of the United Arab Emirates is included, featuring the Grand Mosque, one of the most stunning architectural wonders of the world. We will visit the city center as well as the Heritage Village, Yas Island, and Ferrari World. Costa Mediterranea will be in the port of Abu Dhabi overnight.

Friday 15: Abu Dhabi, UAE. The ship will be in Abu Dhabi for a second full day. This will give you time to explore more on your own or book a tour through the ship's shore excursion office. There is also a free shuttle to take you to the mall for more shopping. Costa Mediterranea sails at 11:59 p.m.

Sat 16: Dubai, UAE. Arrive 8:00 a.m. This morning we will have an included tour to the neighboring Emirate of Sharjah and also a visit to the Miracle Garden, which boasts more than 45 million flowers! Check out of your cabin by 3:00 p.m. but we can stay on board until 8:00 p.m. when we leave for the airport.

Optional Extension to Jordan for Petra and the Dead Sea

Sunday 17: Early morning flights to Amman, Jordan. Arrival in Amman. Three-hour drive to Wadi Musa, home to Petra. Overnight in Wadi Musa.

Monday 18: An extraordinary experience awaits you with our full day in Petra, the 'Rose-red City, Half as Old as Time'!! The buildings, carved out of the red sandstone canyon, mark the achievement of an impressive civilization, the Nabataeans, dating back to 312 BC! Entrance is by means of a narrow passage, called the Siq, where the red rock walls tower ever high. The first glimpse of the Treasury will remain blazed in your memory forever. For the ambitious, a hike 900 steps up to the Monastery will reward you with great vistas. Overnight in Wadi Musa.

Tuesday 19: We will change scenery completely today as we drive through the badlands and then drop down to 1400 feet below sea level to the incomparable Dead Sea. By early afternoon we will arrive at the beautiful Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea and head for the water. You must try the Dead Sea Mud Bath and float in the salty water. Yes, you really can read a newspaper while floating on your back. The hotel also boasts swimming pools and hot tubs, as well as a full-service spa. Overnight at the Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea (Jordan)

Wed 20: Relax and enjoy the resort all morning, until we depart early afternoon. We will make our way back up into the highlands and make a stop at the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash. We will also do some touring of Jordan's capital city, Amman, and have dinner, before heading to the airport for late-night flights back to the US.

Details Subject to Change!