Bahrain

Modern skyscrapers and ancient buildings
The atmospheric Al Fateh Mosque
The Qal’at al Bahrain

Find Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sir Bani Yas Cruises

Bahrain

The Kingdom of the Two Seas

During an MSC cruise to Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sir Bani Yas, you will also disembark in Bahrain, an island 40km long and just 15kn wide in the Persian Gulf.


This country with a thousand-year-old culture, is also called “the kingdom of the two seas”, because its waters border with those of Qatar to the south and with those of Saudi Arabia to the west. In the course of your stop in Bahrain, an excursion will take you on a discovery of its charming capital, Manama. The city, where modern skyscrapers stand side-by-side with old buildings, has strong ties to nomadic traditions: its inhabitants often head out to the desert and stay in large white tents to participate in the ancient tradition of falcon hunting. The National Museum is an excellent starting point for a visit to the capital: an opportunity to learn about the history and customs of this territory.

The Al Fateh Mosque, on the other hand, is a mystical experience. It is an immense holy building with two imposing minarets, which can host up to 7,000 faithful, built from materials brought from all over the world. For example, the thousand Indian lamps of inlaid wood, the gigantic Austrian chandelier of Swarovski crystal, and the Italian Carrara marble. A short distance from the capital, there is Qal’at al Bahrain (Bahrain Fort). Of great quality, in part due to recent reconstruction efforts, the fort in its current form is evidence of 16th century “raiding” by Portuguese sailors.

However, the hill on which it is set has been the site of several human settlements over the centuries. Finally, you cannot leave Bahrain without having bought, or at least admired, the marvelous and extremely prized pearls gathered in its sea.  

Must see places in Bahrain

Discover our excursions

6 results found

  • A VISIT TO BAHRAIN

    CITY TOUR

    BAH01

    This half-day look at some of Bahrain’s key attractions begins in Manama, the capital of this island nation, with a visit to the Al-Fateh Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest. Blending a variety of architectural styles typical of the Middle East, the huge, modern edifice boasts the largest fibreglass dome on the planet, can accommodate 7,000 worshippers at one time and also houses the National Library of Bahrain. Moving on, you can then relax on a drive through Manama, passing such modern marvels as the Bahrain National Museum, the Bahrain World Trade Centre, the Financial Harbour and the city’s glitzy shopping malls. You’ll be heading for the nearby village of Janabiyah to visit one of its camel farms, where camera-worthy moments await. The tour then continues with a look around the maze-like Manama Souq, whose plethora of items include clothes, spices, antiques, medicinal concoctions and a whole lot more. Last up is a photo stop at the amazing Bahrain World Trade Centre on your way back to your ship. Please note: guides for languages other than English are limited. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. Due to the marked differences between outside temperatures and those found in the places visited as well as the air-conditioned tour vehicles, we recommend taking a light cotton jumper or cardigan for your comfort. Conservative attire for visiting the mosque: ladies must wear tops with sleeves and long skirts and loose trousers. Guests using a wheelchair are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made. This tour operates with am and pm departures.
    • Shopping

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

  • ANCIENT & MODERN BAHRAIN

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    BAH02

    Take a day to discover some of Bahrain’s best cultural gems, from modern to ancient, on a tour that begins with a coach ride to your first stop: the Bahrain International Circuit. Having cost some US$180 million to build, the state-of-the-art racing track boasts unparalleled features that place it among the world’s best Formula 1 venues. You’ll be visiting both the VIP tower for all-round views of the circuit as well as the media centre, once the largest in the world. And, if the circuit is not being used for an event, you’ll even get to see the F1 control room – the place where key decisions are made during a race. A step back in time then follows at Bahrain Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Excavations carried out since the 1950s have revealed distinct strata belonging to various eras stretching all the way back to around 2300 B.C.. After a traditional Bahraini lunch at Manama Souq, you’ll move on to the nine exhibition halls of the Bahrain National Museum, which even features a relocated burial mound from about 2800 B.C.. Last up before you return to the ship is a visit to the Al-Fateh Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest with a capacity for more than 7,000 worshippers. Built in a variety of Middle Eastern architectural styles, the impressive building is crowned by the world’s biggest fibreglass dome. Please note: guides for languages other than English are limited. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. Due to the marked differences between outside temperatures and those found in the places visited as well as the air-conditioned tour vehicles, we recommend taking a light cotton jumper or cardigan for your comfort. Conservative attire for visiting the mosque: ladies must wear tops with sleeves and long skirts and loose trousers. Guests using a wheelchair are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Shopping

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      7 h

  • Bahrain Cultural Tour

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    BAH03

    Bahrain Cultural Tour
    • Shopping

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4:30 h

  • FUN & RELAX AT THE BEACH

    SEA & SUN

    BAH06

    Situated just off Muharraq island are a set of man-made islets called the Amwaj Islands, a highly successful exercise in land reclamation and home to the five-start ART Rotana Hotel, your destination on this nearly all-day tour. You’ll be welcomed on arrival, taken to the sun loungers and served a glass of fresh orange juice. Then you can choose what to do: soak up the sun, cool off in the pool, take to the crystal-clear waters of the sea or simply enjoy the lovely stretch of private beach, a tranquil seafront oasis that offers spectacular views of the Gulf beyond. You’ll also be free to take advantage of the hotel’s five-star amenities during your stay, all of which adds up to a stress-busting day of fun in the sun in the most luxurious surroundings. The unhurried tone of the tour then continues on the return coach ride to the port and your ship. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • Drink included

    • Lunch or dinner included

    • No guide available

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      6:30 h

  • BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT & EXTREME RIDE IN 4X4

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    BAH05

    If you feel the need for speed and if motorsports are your passion, this high-octane tour is certain to hit the spot at the fabulous Bahrain International Circuit – in a 4x4 vehicle on an exciting rally course through the Sakhir desert. But first you can enjoy drive-by views of Manama as you pass the Al-Fateh Grand Mosque, the Bahrain National Museum, Bahrain World Trade Centre and the Financial Harbour. Taking the Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Highway, you’ll then head for the state-of-the-art Bahrain International Circuit, one of the world’s finest. An investment of US$180 million went into building the track, whose features are globally unsurpassed. Once you’ve got comfy in a Land Rover, you’ll set off on the breathtaking ride – expertly chauffeured by an experienced rally driver. The highly demanding course is made up of no less than 23 natural and man-made obstacles, which include humps, bumps, gravel tracks, rocks and watercourses, all of which will test your driver’s skill to the max. The return ride to your ship then brings the tour to a relaxing close. Please note: guides for languages other than English are limited. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. Due to the marked differences between outside temperatures and those found in the places visited as well as the air-conditioned tour vehicles, we recommend taking a light cotton jumper or cardigan for your comfort. This tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair. Different departure times are offered for this tour; participants will be split into groups of 32. Each jeep can accommodate only 3 or 4 guests. Children are not allowed to participate in this tour.
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

  • HIGH TEA AT RITZ CARLTON HOTEL

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    BAH07

    Prepare to spend a few hours savouring the lush elegance of one of Manama’s premiere hotels, the fabulous Ritz Carlton. A short coach ride will first take you the renowned establishment, after which you’ll get comfortable in the lovely Ritz Gourmet Lounge. While you relax in the luxurious setting of fine velvet upholstery and regal decorations, you’ll get to indulge in a typically British pastime: afternoon tea. Look forward to a delicious selection of dainty sandwiches, miniature French gateaux and freshly baked scones with mixed berries and clotted cream, all served alongside tea or coffee to your liking. You’ll also be free to explore the Ritz Carlton’s beautiful grounds on your own before you move on to your next location: Manama Souq. This ancient bazaar is just the place to browse for a souvenir as you meander through the tangle of lanes and alleyways, each of which is lined with stalls selling everything from clothes and spices to antiques and traditional medicines. The tour then draws to a close with your return to the ship. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • No guide available

    • Shopping

    • Snack included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
 
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

Kingdom of Bahrain

The island of pearls
The island of pearls

A cruise to Bahrain represents a unique opportunity to visit a large island on the Persian Gulf set between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.


Like that of its neighbours, the territory of Bahrain is prevalently desert, especially in the south, while the north is where you find the major urban settlements, amongst which is also the capital of the kingdom, Manama. In contrast with the ancient walls of the old fort protected by UNESCO, the Qal’at al-Bahrain, that once protected the southern coast of Bahrain, now known as Manama, a dozen kilometres further east, has the most modern skyscrapers. The prosperity enjoyed by the country thanks to its oil revenue has led to a grand real estate development: just consider the Bahrain World Trade Center for example, with its twin towers rising 240 metres tall, and three wind powers integrated in the building.

Amongst the attractions offered by a cruise to Bahrain are the Formula 1 race track, that has been hosting one of the most exciting races in the world championship since 2004; the Al Areen Wildlife Park, a short distance from the race track, where one can admire examples of the indigenous fauna of the Middle East; the residential project of Durrat Al Bahrain, currently being developed and consisting of fifteen artificial islands (of these a huge one shaped like a crescent moon, six forming an atoll, five in the shape of a petal) located in the south-eastern end of the country.