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from just £849 per person.

About Sir Bani Yas

Step off your ship and onto an island oasis. Although it's actually the crest of a salt dome created millions of years ago, Sir Bani Yas has been transformed over the past four decades. Half of the 34 square-mile surface area is now covered by the Arabian Wildlife Park, a nature reserve home to lush vegetation and 13,000 animals indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula.

Choose from dozens of outdoor adventures. Nature and wildlife safaris tour the beautiful landscape and take you up close to animals which are endangered in the region but protected here, such as the Arabian oryx and mountain gazelle, as well as predators including the Sudan cheetah. Watersports include guided kayaking through the mangrove forest, plus snorkeling and scuba diving experiences. For explorers, there are challenging (and easy!) mountain biking routes, or if you'd rather let someone else do the hard work, a culture and history tour reveals the intriguing heritage of Sir Bani Yas.

 

Shore excursions in Sir Bani Yas

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Archaeological Find and Island Surrounds

Activity low

Duration: 1½ hours

Visit the excavation site of a 7th century Nestorian Christian monastery and take in the surrounds of the island.

Sir Bani Yas Island has uncovered many archaeological sites over the years which have provided a fascinating insight into the island’s past. One site in particular, the foundations of a small Nestorian Christian Monastery.

Your driver/guide will meet you at the tour dispatch area, and you’ll set off to visit the Monastery, the only Christian site in the United Arab Emirates. Discovered in the 1990s and opened to visitors in 2010, it is believed to have been founded in the late 16th century A.D. As you view the excavation ruins, your driver/guide will unfold the history that surrounds the site and its important significance.

Afterwards, sit back and enjoy a short scenic island drive, before returning to the pier.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by minibus and on foot. This tour involves limited walking, but guests must be able to negotiate steps on to and off of the minibus. There are some uneven gravel surfaces at the Nestorian Christian monastery site, and some walking and standing will be required to derive full enjoyment. The excavation stands under a covered shelter to protect the environment. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. There are no toilets available during the tour, but facilities are available at the cruise pier beach on your return. Guests will be required to sign a waiver for this tour.

Island Wildlife Drive

Activity low

Duration: 1 hour

A wonderful opportunity to discover the wildlife reserve of Sir Bani Yas Island.

Sir Bani Yas Island was established as a nature reserve in 1971 by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates. His visionary ‘Greening of the Desert’ initiative banned hunting and established breeding programmes to protect Arabia’s endangered wildlife. Over time, a variety of animals have been introduced to the island, including, giraffes, gazelles and hyenas, many of which roam freely. Those such as cheetahs have enclosures that still allow freedom of movement in a natural environment.

Your driver/guide will meet you at the tour dispatch area where you’ll board your transportation and head to the wildlife park. You’ll enjoy a 40-minute guided drive through the park on the lookout for a variety of animals which include cheetahs, giraffes, blackbuck and gazelle. Your driver/guide will give an insight into the history and vital conservation work of the reserve while you relax and enjoy the island’s flora and fauna in their natural habitat.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by land cruiser. Guests will be required to walk from the tender point to the transportation area. A degree of agility is required when boarding the 4 wheel drive. Guests are not permitted to get out of the vehicle or walk inside the reserve during photo stops. The ride may be bumpy at times, and those affected by this should not participate. Each vehicle seats six. There are no toilets available during the tour, but facilities are available at the cruise pier beach on your return. Wildlife sightings are likely but cannot be guaranteed.Guests will be required to sign a waiver for this tour.

 

A selection of cruises to Sir Bani Yas

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