Jordan is one of the most fascinating destinations in the Middle East, offering attractions that are manifold and unequalled. The country is not blessed with rich oil supplies; its treasures lie in the beauty of the land and a unique combination of antiquities, natural environment and traditions. The rose-red City of Petra and the captivating desert of Wadi Rum draw scores of visitors to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan each year.
Aqaba is Jordan's only port and of tremendous importance to the country's economy. Countless trucks ply the route between Aqaba and the capital Amman, a journey of some 220 miles. With stark mountains rising in the background, Aqaba enjoys an attractive setting. For cruise vessels, the port provides the gateway for excursions to famed Petra and the spectacular desert and mountain region of Wadi Rum. Aqaba itself offers a string of shops, hotels and restaurants. Some recent archaeological discoveries in the center of town are thought to be the remains of the oldest church in the world, dating from the late 3rd century. Aqaba is also popular with diving enthusiasts who appreciate the great variety of marine life that abounds in the waters of the Red Sea.
Petra, the area's major attraction, lies 90 miles from the port. The remains of this once magnificent city date to the 3rd century BC when Nabataeans carved elaborate buildings out of solid rock. Abandoned and forgotten for centuries, the rose-red City of Petra was rediscovered in the 1800s. Excavations did not get underway until a hundred years later; the central section was unearthed after 1958. Today the site is recognized as one of the most spectacular attractions in the Middle East - a must-see for any visitor to this area.
Please Note: For your convenience, shore excursions offered for this port of call are available to reserve in advance at www.silversea.com, as well as offered for purchase on board, unless otherwise noted in the description.
The ship is scheduled to dock at the Port of Aqaba. It is approximately 3 miles to the town center. Taxis are usually available at the port exit. We recommend establishing the fare with the driver before leaving the port.
Look for Bedouin rugs and tapestries created by local women. Brass and copper ware are also popular. Small bottles of colored sand from Petra with intricate patterns make nice souvenirs. Ladies may want to get some of the Dead Sea beauty products. The local currency is the dinar.
Meals start traditionally with meze, or appetizers, followed by the main course, which may consist of roasted lamb or fresh seafood. Several small restaurants near the harbor offer tasty meals.
Special Interest Options
Aqaba is known as a popular location for diving and snorkeling. The reefs in this area benefit from a constant supply of nutrient-rich water, which create one of the world's most diverse marine environments. Diving centers can be found a short drive from town. Guests wishing to make diving arrangements should contact the Tour Office on board.
Private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be requested through the Tour Office on board.