Princess Cruises will sail its annual Dubai World Cruise leg on June 26th, 2023, with a 30-night itinerary from Dubai to Dover as part of its longer 107-night 2023 World Cruise from Auckland.
While the full World Cruise sails roundtrip from Auckland in New Zealand, it can also be booked in shorter legs, such as the 51-night Auckland to Dover cruise, or the 30-night voyage from Dubai to Dover.
Prices for the Dubai cruise start at $6,058 per person sharing an inside cabin. The voyage includes 16 port calls, the vast majority of them in the Mediterranean and Europe, with Aqaba in Jordan being the only Middle Eastern destination apart from Dubai itself.
For cruise passengers that like long stretches of sea days, that means that after departing Dubai, Coral Princess will spend a full week at sea without any port calls, before arriving in Aqaba, the gateway to Petra.
After so long at sea, the charms of Aqaba itself will be a welcome respite, while inland across the desolate beauty of Wadi Rum, the ruins of Petra await.
Aqaba’s history dates back to 4,000 BCE. It was once a key Roman port and offers year-round sun, watersports and coral reefs teeming with marine life.
There’s also a 13th-century castle fortress, archaeological museum and mosque and in the city guests can enjoy a traditional lamb dish with yogurt and rice accompanied by mint tea or sweet Turkish coffee.
An hour long bus ride away is magnificent Petra, an ancient city carved out of stone, and one of the World’s Seven Wonders.
After departing Aqaba, Coral Princess spends two days transiting the 120-mile Suez Canal, a waterway dug through the desert to connected the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean.
This is a canal teeming with history and geopolitical significance. Napoleon Bonaparte began the project in 1798, but it wasn’t until the French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps got involved in 1858 that progress was seen. Eleven years later the canal was opened, and 13 years after that, in 1882, the British captured it from Egypt.
Egypt then regained control during its revolution of 1952. In 1956, the British, allied with the French and Israelis, tried to take the canal back. The Arab-Israeli Six Day War of 1967 closed the canal until 1973, when another war and intense international negotiations led to its return to Egyptian control.
Coral Princess then heads for Mykonos, Greece, a popular tourist destination and nightlife hub since the 1960s. Mykonos town features boutiques, restaurants, and traditional taverns and cafés, while the island’s famed windmills are found just south of the waterfront.
Nearby there is also the island of Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and his twin sister Artemis in classical mythology. Shore excursions will take guests strolling among the island’s vast ruins, which include three temples consecrated to the Sun God and the famed Lions Walk.
Coral Princess then makes three port calls in Italy (at Salerno, Civitavecchia and Portoferraio. Salerno was made a Roman colony in 197 BCE and as a result offers guided walks through the amazing cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as hikes to the top of Mount Vesuvius.
Civitavecchia is the gateway to Rome, a principle port call on the cruise, with 22 shore excursions on offer, taking passengers to see the iconic St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and other famous landmarks such as the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, and of course the ancient Forum.
Civitavecchia is always overshone by the ancient capital of the Western World, but it has much to offer in its own right for returning cruisers. It has served as Rome’s seaport since the 13th century and has a long and venerable history. The emperor Trajan built a pleasure villa near the modern city, while Bernini and Michelangelo designed the harbour fortifications.
Portoferraio follows this double-act and is distinct for its more laid-back charm. It offers crystal clear aquamarine waters and pristine white-sand beaches, as well as scenic woodlands, desert plains and mountainous regions, with an old port and modern seafront with cafes and shops.
The port sits on the island of Elba, which is synonymous with Napoleon, who lived on the island for ten months in 1814 after the fall of Paris.
Coral Princess then sails for Marseille, France, the gateway to Provence and the countryside around Arles and Avignon, immortalised in the canvases of Van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso. The city also offers tours of the infamous Chateau d’If, the rocky prison from which Alexandre Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo escaped.
There are two port calls in Spain (Barcelona and Malaga), followed by a visit to Tangier, Morocco, before Coral Princess heads through the Strait of Gibraltar for the Atlantic Coast of Portugal, calling in Lisbon.
Tangier was founded by Carthaginians in the 5th century BCE and has seen great powers and would-be conquerors come and go, it has been a cultural capital for European and American painters, poets and writers since the 19th century, with its evocative narrow streets and souqs of the old city.
From Lisbon, Coral Princess sails across the infamous Bay of Biscay for the Western Approaches, calling in Holyhead, Wales, which is approached along a coastline of towering sea cliffs, providing a clue as to why this was the last refuge of the Welsh princes who resisted English conquest and dominion.
Coral Princess then undertakes a tour of the northern British Isles, visiting Belfast, Glasgow and Cork before sailing across to Dover and its iconic white cliffs, where the cruise ends on July 16th, 2023.