Cheap Cruise Shore Excursions in Casablanca (On Your Own)
Casablanca is a port city and commercial hub in western Morocco, fronting the Atlantic Ocean. Named "White House" by a group of Spanish and Portuguese sailors who marveled at the white houses facing the ocean in the Anfa district, today Casablanca is a bustling city of boulevards and modern infrastructure. The city's French colonial legacy is seen in its downtown Mauresque architecture, a blend of Moorish style and European art deco. Standing partly over the water, the enormous Hassan II Mosque, completed in 1993, has a 210 meter minaret topped with lasers directed toward Mecca. Casablanca is the best Moorish representation of the modern nation. This is where money is being made, where young Moroccans come to seek their fortunes and where business and the creative industries prosper. The city's beautiful Mauresque buildings, which meld French-colonial design and traditional Moroccan style, are best admired in the downtown area. Visitors who spend time there, in the Quartier Habous and in the beachside suburb of Ain Diab, are sure to get into the local swing of things and realize that this old pirate lair is looking towards the future, embracing the European-flavored urban sophistication that has underpinned life here for the past century. With so much to see, do, and taste, Casablanca is a great place to experience, and there are several options for exciting shore excursions to help you make the most of your time here.
When your cruise ship docks in Casablanca, hop aboard a climate-controlled vehicle and set off to begin your private, full-day shore excursion. On arrival in Marrakech, after roughly three hours on the road, you'll meet your guide and begin your walking tour. The rose-tinted city of Marrakech is a heady mixture of cultural influences, Arabic, European and African, and has been Morocco's epicenter of trade and culture for centuries. Wander along enchanting alleyways sheathed by towering pink walls and inviting palaces. Then make your first stop at the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque, where you'll gain insight into Islam and learn about the mosque's role in past and present society. Continue to a centuries-old fortress, Bahia Palace, which is considered one of the finest examples of Moroccan architecture in the city. Head inside with your guide to explore its lavish suites and intricately decorated hallways. After, head to Saadian Tombs, where Saadian Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour ed-Dahbi and his family are buried. Break for lunch at your own expense roughly halfway through the tour at a local restaurant of your choice. Then, enjoy an independent visit to Djemaa el Fna square, where acrobats, musicians, fire-eaters and snake charmers have practiced their trades for centuries. Your tour then concludes with a drop-off back at the cruise port in Casablanca.
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When your cruise ship docks in Casablanca, enjoy a shore excursion to see the best sights of nearby Rabat - Morocco's ancient capital. Meet your private guide at Casablanca's port and hop aboard your air-conditioned vehicle for the 1-hour journey north along the coast to Rabat. On arrival, begin with a tour through the city. Take in top attractions such as the esplanade of the Royal Palace, the official residence of the King of Morocco, and Chellah, an abandoned fortress dating back to the 12th century. Sit down to lunch at your leisure, at your own expense, at one of the city's traditional restaurants or in a cafe on the marina, then continue on to the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. Widely considered a masterpiece of modern Alaouite dynasty architecture, the mausoleum houses the tombs of the Moroccan king Mohammed V and his son. Continue on to the historic Hassan Tower, a Rabat landmark of red sandstone nestled among the ruins of a 12th-century mosque. Head to the Bou Regreg River and stop to visit the Kasbah of the Udayas, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed Islamic fortress built during the reign of the Almohads. Spend time admiring the kasbah's impressive gardens, then hop back in your vehicle and relax on the coastal drive back to port in Casablanca, where your tour will come to an end.
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When your cruise ship docks in Casablanca, meet your guide at the port and hop aboard your air-conditioned vehicle for the 1-hour drive to El Jadida. On arrival, follow your guide on a tour of El Jadida's ancient walled city, known as the medina. Built on the Atlantic coast by Portuguese colonialists in the 16th century, El Jadida is today a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town famous for its fortified ramparts and impressive sea defenses. As you explore the medina, admire wrought-iron balconies and houses constructed in the traditional Portuguese style. Stroll through sleepy back streets to ancient squares where mosques and churches stand side by side, and gaze out over the traditional fishing boats bobbing on the waves in the harbor. Discover the Portuguese Cistern, a vaulted cavern originally built as a military arsenal. Gaze down inside the cistern, where a single shaft of light bounces off the water and illuminates the ancient stone arches and columns below. After lunch, at your own expense, at one of the seafood cafes in El Jadida, hop back into your vehicle for the scenic 20-minute journey to the fortified village of Azemmour. Pause at the entrance to the village and admire beautiful views over the banks of the Oum Er-Rbia River. In Azemmour, enjoy a walking tour through the pretty, white-washed Old Town and soak up the atmosphere in this ancient corner of Morocco. Admire the city walls decorated by many of the talented artists who call Azemmour home, and visit the 16th-century synagogue, a symbol of the age-old coexistence between Arabs, Jews, and Morocco's native Berbers. When it's time to leave Azemmour behind, hop back in your vehicle and relax on the drive back to port in Casablanca, where your tour will come to an end.
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You will be picked up from the port in Casablanca. Your first stop is at Casablanca's most famous attraction, Hassan II Mosque for a 45-minute guided tour. Afterwards, take off to the Kingdom's capital, Rabat. Depending on time limits, the tour can include Rabat's major attractions, Hassan Tower, a 12th Century mosque, and Mausoleum of Mohammed V and his son Hassan II - former king and father of the current king. Then see the 12th Century Kasbah Oudaya, a departure point for armies leaving to conquest Spain in the 18th century and a gathering place for pirates. Visit Chellah, an ancient complex of both Roman and medieval ruins. Stroll at the medina of Rabat for a taste of local daily lifestyle. If you wish, the tour can also include Museum Mohammad VI of Modern and Contemporary Art. Return to the Casablanca port upon completion of your tour. Transportation is provided in an air-conditioned van. Private guide accompanies customers throughout the day-trip.
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