Sunset Boat Trip, Muscat, Oman
If you are visiting Muscat I would totally recommend you do a sunset boat trip. With Muscat being so closely linked to the sea through its trading port it's a good way to get a feel for this part of it plus the mountainous, rocky scenery looks lovely from a boat, particularly as the sun sets behind it.
We booked our boat trip, on a traditional wooden dhow, through our hotel and were picked up from there late afternoon and taken to the marina area to meet it. We took our cruise on a Friday evening and as Oman's, like many Middle Eastern countries, weekend is Friday Saturday the marina was super busy, both with tourists like us and also what looked to be groups of expats having obviously made the most of a day out at sea on a boat.
Our dhow had two levels to it, most of us made our way to the open top deck which was partially covered and had minimal seating. Not having a seat wasn't a problem though as to get good views standing was definitely the best option and in the end I don't think anyone was actually left sitting. There was also a lower completely enclosed deck which a few of those on our cruise did opt for. We left well before sunset so were able to get some good pre, post and actual sunset views. Whilst it wasn't a guided tour the crew looked after us very well and did point out a few points of interest along the way. There was also free flow soft drinks or water for us to help ourselves too as well as a variety of different snacks that were brought around at various times, which included dates, sweets, nuts, Omani coffee etc.
The cruise followed the coast and so in part also the route of the walk we'd previously done, it was good though to get an alternate view of this from the sea. I mentioned briefly in my post about our walk the graffiti that could be seen on the rocks near to the naval dock and close to one of the many Portuguese forts we saw. If you look at the two photos below you'll see that this can be seen a lot more clearly from the sea. The graffiti that has been carved into the rock was left behind by the sailors from the many ships and submarines who've passed through the port over the years. Some of it is more readable than others, much of it obviously the name of their ship, but you have to admire their determination to do it given the rocks they had to climb.
As the cruise followed some of the coastal route that we'd walked previously it gave us the opportunity to spot from the water some of the landmarks we'd previously seen. This included the incense burner, the many Portuguese watchtowers and forts and finally the Sultan's palace, what a lovely view from there out to sea. The cruise lasted about two hours and was a round trip dropping us off again at the busy marina where we'd started from.
With the stunning mountain backdrop overlooking Muscat and its coastline the boat trip offers you some fantastic scenery. I love taking boat trips and we've done a few over the course of our travels, both at sunset and other times of the day. What's your favourite way to see a place?