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

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The Kingdom of the Two Seas

During an MSC cruise to Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Qatar, you will also disembark in Bahrain, an island 40km long and just 15kn wide in the 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

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    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 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.