2019 HAL World Cruise
Thursday, April 4, 2019
According to the HAL Port Guide, “Its position on the Arabian Sea close to the Straits of Hormuz has made Muscat a pivotal trading and military strategic point going back thousands of years.” Muscat sits on a beautiful cove ringed by volcanic mountains and guarded by two ancient Portuguese forts. Traders settled here; tribes battled for control of the sheltered harbor; Persians invaded; and it was the Portuguese who finally took control and retained their influence for over a century. However, since the 18th century the Al Bu Sa’id dynasty has ruled as a sultanate. The current Sultan, Qaboos bin Said, seized power from his father in 1970 (sending him to the Dorchester Hotel in London!). Since then, the economy has remained stable based on trade, petroleum; port operations and tourism.
The pier is located in a subdivision called Muttrah (the original old town) with a large souq. We rode a port shuttle into town and were dropped off outside the souq. From there, taxis can be hired by the hour for customized private tours or the HOHO departs on a frequent schedule. We have been here often. So perhaps you’d like to check out the post from March 2017.
This visit, we stayed near the souq, shopped for exotic bargains, and had an afternoon libation before returning to the ship.
Our next port is Aqaba, Jordan.