If you want to escape the heat and busyness of Muscat, why not enjoy a boat excursion off the coast ? Dolphin watching, snorkeling, diving, watching sunset or simply enjoying the coastline, there is a lot of choice. Discover the video and photos of the two cruises I experienced.
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VIDEO - Muscat Boat Tours
Let's start with a short video showing you my experience with the morning dolphin and snorkeling tour and my afternoon sunset tour. Don't miss the moment when I swam with a turtle!
Discover more images from Oman on my post - Oman in Videos
INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Muscat Boat Tours
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Marina Al Rowdha and Boat
The marina is very busy in the morning there is a huge company pushing groups onto boats. I was quite happy to have chosen a smaller one.
This is the boat I took for the tour. We can but our bags inside the front benches for protection against water. They take a cooler with water and juice.
Looking for dolphins
For the first part of the tour, we sailed into the ocean searching for dolphins. Normally they see it all the times but we were not lucky. It happens, after all, they are wild animals.
Rocky Hills of the Bandar Khayran Reserve
Then we sailed inside the Bandar Khayran Reserve (around 23°31'19.1"N 58°43'30.9"E). The lagoon is between rocky dray hills with sand orange colors. According to the short introduction by Lonely Planet the colors become even more interesting late afternoon.
Snorkeling in the Bandar Khayran Reserve
This is where we stopped the boat to snorkel. As you can see in the photos below there were many colorful fishes in those corals. I really enjoyed it as the area is almost enclosed, the water was quiet and swimming was easy.
Snorkeling with a turtle
I was crossing my fingers to spot a turtle and I did! So I followed it. They can swim really fast and I had a hard time keeping up with it. But it was amazing. I had a similar encounter in Petite Terre island in Guadeloupe but did not have a GoPro at the time so no picture. This time I filmed while swimming but the water was not as clear.
Godin to fast letting it go. Quite a contrast with how slow they are on sand. I had time to observe them at the Raz Al Jinz Turtle Reserve.
Tunnel near Al Waha
Once we were done with snorkeling, Captain Salim sprayed us with clean water before getting back onboard and we sailed to the cover near the Shangri-La’s Bandar Al Jissah Resort. I can't find any name for this tunnel but I read on one article it was man made. Not sure.
All I know it that it was a busy spot with Kayats, yachts, speedboats and more. Despite that I enjoyed the scenery.
We then sailed back towards the Marina and near Qantab, we admired a natural arch. The coastline around Oman is really stunning. I love the color contrasts.
Forts of Muscat from the boat
For the sunset tour, we went towards the North. This way we were able to see the Forts and Al Alam Palace Muscat. It completed nicely the views I had from land the day before.
And after sunset, when we came back towards the marina, we sailed by them again but they were illuminated. Hard to take a good picture on a moving boat but you get the idea:
Sunset cruise from Muscat
Sunset over the hills of Muscat was nice even though there were no clouds to create a dramatic effect (it is the Middle East after all...).
In the photo below you can see the giant Incense burner located in Riyam. You can see it with daylight on my post about Hiking in Muscat.
We also spotted fishermen:
The sun finally set:
And we sailed back as the town turn on their lights!
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Don't you find the turtle very elegant underwater?