The Kingdom of the Two Seas
During an MSC cruise to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman, you will also disembark in Bahrain, an island 40km long and just 15kn wide in the Persian Gulf.
This country with a thousand-year-old culture, is also called “the kingdom of the two seas”, because its waters border with those of Qatar to the south and with those of Saudi Arabia to the west. In the course of your stop in Bahrain, an excursion will take you on a discovery of its charming capital, Manama. The city, where modern skyscrapers stand side-by-side with old buildings, has strong ties to nomadic traditions: its inhabitants often head out to the desert and stay in large white tents to participate in the ancient tradition of falcon hunting. The National Museum is an excellent starting point for a visit to the capital: an opportunity to learn about the history and customs of this territory.
The Al Fateh Mosque, on the other hand, is a mystical experience. It is an immense holy building with two imposing minarets, which can host up to 7,000 faithful, built from materials brought from all over the world. For example, the thousand Indian lamps of inlaid wood, the gigantic Austrian chandelier of Swarovski crystal, and the Italian Carrara marble. A short distance from the capital, there is Qal’at al Bahrain (Bahrain Fort). Of great quality, in part due to recent reconstruction efforts, the fort in its current form is evidence of 16th century “raiding” by Portuguese sailors.
However, the hill on which it is set has been the site of several human settlements over the centuries. Finally, you cannot leave Bahrain without having bought, or at least admired, the marvelous and extremely prized pearls gathered in its sea.