Cruises in CasablancaEdit This
Anyone planning to reach Casablanca by sea may be surprised to find that this city is not as easy to reach via ocean cruise liner as one might expect. Although the city is famous to generations of film-lovers, it is nevertheless the business center of Morocco. This is not to say it should take a second seat as a port-of-call. Rather, it is a fascinating gateway to the romantic, historic, and heady sights and sounds of Morocco, and as such, is included in the itinerary of several major cruise lines.
Cruising to Casablanca will involve first traveling to one of several major international cities to board a ship. Travelers must choose their most suitable point to embark and final port-of-call. Most likely, the length of the cruise will be an important consideration. Pre and post-cruise travel must be arranged separately
Princess Cruises offers the most cruises with stops in Casablanca. If you have the time and have always wanted to take a grand sea adventure, you will certainly be tempted by their 31-night “West Africa Adventure Dover-Capetown” that includes a Day 8 stop in Casablanca from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. This 2009 cruise departs from England and makes its final port-of-call in Capetown, Africa.
Princess Cruises also offers shore excursions for Casablanca. These must be reserved 120 days in advance of departure dates, but are well worth the price.
The “City of Casablanca” and “Scenes of Casablanca” tours each include a narrated drive and a city walking tour. The prices are $49 and $44 USD Adult, with Children 12 and under reduced rates. You will visit the Central Market, the Habous Quarter, the Mahakma Law Courts, the Hassan II Mosque, and the Moorish fountain and gardens of the Mohammed V Square.
Princess Shore Excusrions
“The Best of Casablanca and Rabat” is the most extensive shore excursion offered by Princess Cruises, priced at $119 Adult, with Children 12 and under reduced rates. In Casablanca, you will visit the Royal Palace, shop in an olive souk, see a belly-dancing performance during a traditional lunch, and compare modern office buildings of Casablanca with busy souks of New Medina. There is an extra drive to the city of Rabat, with motorcoach views of the local countryside, exploration of the ancient ruins of Roman Chellah, a tour of the Archeological Museum, strolling through the Kasbah, seeing members of the Royal Guard sentries at the King Mohammed V Mausoleum, and the adjacent 144-foot-high minaret Hassan Tower.
Looking for a shorter cruise? Costa Cruises may be a good fit. Costa Cruises-Costa Europa offers an 11-night cruise including a Day 4 stop in Casablanca from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM. This cruise departs from and returns to Savona, Italy.
Pullmantur-Zenith offers the 7-night “Pearl of the Atlantic” that departs from and returns to Lisbon, with a Day 5 stop at Casablanca from 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
Holland America Line
Holland America Line offers its fabulous “Path of the Seafarers”. This 32-day voyage on the Ms Rotterdam departs from Piraeus, Greece, on October 17, 2009. It docks at Casablanca on its 3rd day of travel. Sample shore excursions include “Magical Marrakesh” or “The Imperial City of Rabat”. The tour to Rabat allows views of Casablanca and to the north on the 1½ -hour journey. The tour to Marrakesh includes the Koutoubia Minaret.
Ports of call for this Holland America voyage include Greece, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Malta, Sicily, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Canary Islands, The Bahamas, and several others. The final port is Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A.
Freighter cruises may be an option that most travelers have not yet considered, but there can be charming pluses such as friendly travel mates and longer port times.
The South America Line features weekly departures year-round, leaving from Tilbury, U.K., arriving at Casablanca on Day 10, leaving for Senegal on Day 13, traveling to Argentina and returning to the U.K on Day 54. The passenger load is 12. The two-day stay in Casablanca is a definite advantage for those who wish to make a deeper exploration into the surrounding Morocco countryside via land treks.
Those who have spent a lifetime at sea, or enjoy really flexing their “sea legs” will feel right at home. The passenger cabins on freighters are comfortable. Prices vary dependent upon the line and itinerary chosen. The pace of travel is slower than that of a regular cruise line, but the freighters visit ports-of-call in out-of-the-way places. Find more information at www.freightercruises.com if this mode of travel beckons to you.
Finally, remember that most cruises stopping at Casablanca stop there for only a 12-hour day. Plan your day there around the things that most interest you, and then enjoy your day in legendary Casablanca.
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Some private tours are cheaper if you arrange them yourself, either by contacting a tour operator ahead of time.
A private-guide who comes highly recommended can offer a very satisfying experience, you can set your own agenda and often see a lot more than you would with a ship's shore excursion.
On the other hand, if what you want to see or do is quite a distance from the pier in Spain or Moroccan ports of call, you might want to more..
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