Middle East Cruise News

Queen Mary 2 to sail to Singapore, Sydney and Hong Kong from Dubai in 2023

Cunard Line have announced a three-part, 38-night cruise from Dubai to Sydney aboard Queen Mary 2 for 2023.

While the full itinerary is 38 nights, it’s also bookable as a shorter 12-night Dubai to Singapore cruise, or as a 21-night voyage from Dubai to Hong Kong.

The 12-night Dubai to Singapore leg of the voyage is unusual among the various cruises of this nature from Dubai for the number of sea days it has, with just three ports of call between Dubai and Singapore.

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queen mary 2

Cunard’s planned deployment of Queen Mary 2 to sail from Dubai comes after it was forced to cancel a previously scheduled voyage from the city aboard Queen Elizabeth in 2022, due to travel complications created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Queen Elizabeth was meant to cruise via Dubai on her way to a season in Asia, but those plans were scrapped in favour of a range of cruises in North America instead.

In 2023, however, Dubai will get Queen Mary 2, the flagship of the fleet, and the last remaining operational ocean liner in the world.

While other cruise lines sailing the Dubai to Singapore route, notably Regent Seven Seas on November 21st, feature itineraries packed with ports along the way, Cunard takes a more ocean liner-esque approach, with a port-lean itinerary offering lots of sea days.

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balmoral suite aboard queen mary 2

Queen Mary 2 will call at just three ports between Dubai and Singapore (Muscat in Oman, Colombo in Sri Lanka and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia).

After departing Dubai, the ship will spend two nights and a day at sea cruising for the Omani capital, arriving in the early morning of the third day of the cruise.

The Sultanate of Oman’s beautiful main palace is one of the key landmarks of this city wedged between the Arabian Sea and the Hajar Mountains, but there’s plenty of history to be explored as well.

mutrah fort muscat

mutrah fort was constructed in muscat during the portuguese occupation

Muscat has long enjoyed a history as a continental crossroads – its ancient capital enticing visitors from all corners of the world. Traditional sugar-white houses and yellowed forts stretch from the Arabian Sea to the foothills of Western Hajar.

At the Royal Opera House, you’ll find a contemporary art and music centre surrounded by landscaped gardens, while Mutrah Corniche offers harbour views and as the city’s oldest area, is home to Muscat’s ancient Mutrah Souk. The National Museum holds exhibits honouring the Sultanate’s long history, and a cruise on a traditional wooden dhow offers the chance to appreciate Muscat from the sea.

After departing Mustcat, Queen Mary 2 spends five nights at sea cruising the Indian Ocean for Colombo, the bustling port capital of the island nation of Sri Lanka.

“Situated at the crossroads of the great spice routes, Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo has long been a gateway between East and West,” says Cunard. “Innumerable spices, textiles and treasures have passed through the city, bringing great diversity and resulting in colourful bazaars, vibrant temples and colonial buildings.”

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colombo, sri lanka

The city is home to excellent museums, fine restaurants and a plethora of markets. In terms of landmarks, the candy-striped Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque and Buddhist Gangaramaya Temple are among Colombo’s most celebrated buildings, while Colombo National Museum tells the story of the country’s history, and The Dutch Museum occupies former Governor Thomas Van Rhee’s official residence. Wolvendaal Church, built between 1749 and 1757, is among Colombo’s most important Dutch Colonial buildings.

Then it’s another five nights and six days at sea as Queen Mary 2 makes for Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, home to the famous Petronas Towers. Malaysia’s dynamic capital is a melting pot of skyscrapers, Islamic architecture and British Colonial buildings.

“Bukit Bintang district pulses with lively markets and street food vendors. Peruse over 7000 historic artefacts at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, set within the tropical grounds of Perdana Botanical Garden, or marvel at the intricacy of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple,” says Cunard. “Beyond the city you’ll find the legendary Batu Caves, the most visited Hindu shrine outside of India.”

From the Malaysia capital, Queen Mary 2 cruises overnight to Singapore, where the voyage ends on February 14th, after spending the night alongside in port.

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singapore

Among the one of the world’s busiest ports and prosperous cities, Singapore is full of culture, history and excitement.

“Do not miss Cavenagh Bridge, the city’s oldest bridge, constructed in 1869,” says Cunard. “Take a look at the grand Fullerton Hotel, once the General Post Office building. Along the front of the river are a number of traditional shop houses in which today restaurants and bars are located. You cannot leave Singapore without tasting its famous chilli crab or sipping on a Singapore sling, and this is the best area to do so.”

There’s also the Marina Bay area, dominated by the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, offering the best view of the Central Business District, further enhanced by a nightly fountain and light show along the river itself. The Gardens by the Bay are located behind the hotel, offering a respite from the busyness of the city.

Chinatown and Little India are testament to Singapore’s diversity with authentic eateries and temples. In Chinatown, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is the star of the show, while in Little India, the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is the district’s oldest and busiest.

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