The Top of the Emirates

An Arabic fjord  

Portuguese legacies

Find Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sir Bani Yas Cruises


Arabian Norway

Khasab, is also known as the Top of the Emirates, a play of words to define its position – it’s the most “northern” city in the Emirates – and the appeal of this Oman port located in the northernmost exclave of the Sultanate. Sailing on an MSC cruise to Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sir Bani Yas you will notice that Khasab guards the Ormuz strait that separates the Arabian Sea from the Indian Ocean.

Here the cruise proceeds into the Musandam, the longest and most famous fjord of these coasts, with its long inlets dug out of the limestone, that open towards the hinterland through cliffs rising vertically from the clear blue waters, populated by dolphins and a vast varied marine life, which is why it is known as the “Norway of Arabia”.

One of the most fascinating ways to explore these lands is aboard a dhow, typical boats used in the Arab peninsula, nowadays also propelled by a motor, if not rigged with one or more Latin sails. During your visit to Oman, you can choose an excursion to Telegraph Island, the historic island in which, in the middle of the 19th century, the British built an intermediate station of the telegraph that connected Bombay to Bharain.

Khasab is a town founded by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 17th century in the best possible natural port of the area and offers many interesting excursions. One of the most appealing is the Khasab Fortress

Now farther from the sea, it has maintained its original charm and… some typical boats of the region which, just as in the military buildings, are decorated in the traditional style of the Musandam peninsula.

Or you can visit the town of Bukha with its two beautiful forts built in the Portuguese period: Fort Bukha, perfectly preserved with its uninterrupted crown of rounded merlons and Fort Al Qala, with its fairfaced stone walls.

Must see places in Khasab

Discover our excursions

3 results found


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

        Difficulty Level

      • Duration
        3 h


      Explore Khasab and its surrounding areas from the comfort of an air-conditioned coach or microbus. The tour begins with a visit to the picturesque Fort Khasab, built in the 17th century by the Portuguese in an attempt to control maritime trade in the Strait of Hormuz. The fort was erected to prevent attacks from the sea. Teak wood from India was used for its construction and the roof was fashioned from a mix of palm leaves and clay. Within its low, crenellated walls, the fort contains a large central tower which is thought to pre-date the fort itself. The structure you see today is the result of extensive restoration work carried out in the late 20th century. The fort’s location offers excellent views and photo opportunities. Leaving the keep, the tour continues along the coastal road for about an hour to Bukha, which borders the Emirate of Ras al Khaima. On the way, enjoy the spectacular scenery along this ruggedly beautiful coastal route and hone your camera skills at various photo stops. Overlooking the sea and with a backdrop of mountains, the Fort at Bukha is the final stop of the tour and affords more breathtaking views from its gorgeous setting. 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. As this tour involves long periods of walking on uneven ground, it is unsuitable for guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair.

      • No guide available

      • Limited seats

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

        Difficulty Level

      • Duration
        4 h


      This tour will take you through some of Oman’s most stunning landscapes – and all from the exhilarating comfort of a modern four-wheel drive vehicle. Get ready for a breathtaking trip to Jebel Harim, which literally translates as the “Mountain of Women”. At a height of 2,097 m, it is the tallest peak on the Musandam Peninsula. The trip to Jebel Harim will take you past incredible vistas, including terraced mountain villages, lush acacia forests and seasonal watercourses, the so-called wadis, which are typical of the region. After about an hour’s drive, a stop will be made at the Bedouin village of Sayah, which is located at an elevation of 914 m and surrounded by palm groves. It counts as one of the most picturesque villages on the Musandam Peninsula. After a stop to enjoy the idyllic setting and take photographs, the tour continues to Jebel Harim. There will be time to admire the grand panorama from the mountain’s summit. On return from Jebel Harim, drive towards Khawr Najid, stop at the crest for a magnificent view of Khawr Najid overlooking to Indian Ocean side. Please note: the driver will provide basic information in English. As this tour involves travelling over rough and bumpy terrain, it is unsuitable for guests with neck/back problems, for pregnant women and for guests using a wheelchair.

      • No guide available

      • Possibility of swimming

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

        Difficulty Level

      • Duration
        4 h


      Discover the beauty of the fjord-like waters of Musandam – also known as the “Norway of Arabia” – plus pretty fishing villages and Telegraph Island on this relaxing cruise aboard an engine-powered dhow, a traditional Arabian vessel made of wood. As the dhow makes its way through these beautifully calm, turquoise waters surrounded by pure white cliffs, you can take a refreshing dip when the boast anchors in the vicinity of Telegraph Island. And if you are lucky, a friendly dolphin may even stop by to keep you company. And if not, there are always the breathtaking views of mountains rising in the distance to keep you entertained. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.

    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.


    Atmospheres of a thousand and one nights
    Atmospheres of a thousand and one nights

    Nestled between the sea, the desert and the imposing mountains, descendent of a thousand year old culture, the Sultanate of Oman will make your heart leap.

    The great expanse of sand, the Wahiba Sands, is the first tourist attraction, an unmissable stop on your cruise to Oman and the Emirates. 

    Along the road from Nizwa to Sur, we venture into the desert following the sandy tracks which weave their way through copper coloured sand dunes and unforgettable scenery. 

    Those looking for a real adventure during their trip to Oman can try a two wadi excursion, canyons which the periodic torrents carve out of this land and then leave the riverbeds dry. 

    We reach the Wadi Bani Awf on a 4x4 track which crosses the Hajar mountains, touching some of the highest peaks and vertiginous gorges along thrilling paths. Instead, those who love trekking will like Wadi Shab

    The vestiges of Oman's bellicose past can be seen in its many forts. One of the most unique is Nizwa's, with its enormous round tower in the centre. It has a diameter of 45 metres and was built in the 17th century by the Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya’rubi to protect the city. 

    Jabrin Fort on the other hand is one of Oman's most impressive and best preserved forts. The sand-like building dates back to the 16th century and rises up from the desert in the middle of a palm grove, just five kilometres from Bahla.