MSC Fantasia Cruise Ship
When traveling to Morocco by cruise ship make sure to take advantage of your time at port by considering exploration of the region through a Casablanca shore excursion. Casablanca has much to offer for cruise critics who want to take a day off from their journey at sea. The best Casablanca shore excursions are those that offer cruise lovers a fun-filled day in and around Casablanca with a private English speaking driver and guide . Cruise ships that originate from the USA or Europe tend to give their passengers a full-day in Casablanca. Some cruise ships that dock in Casablanca stay overnight while other cruise ships that come to Morocco dock in Tangier or Agadir. Cruise ships such as the Fantasia and Queen Elizabeth often make Morocco as part of their stops and often give cruise passengers a full day in Casablanca to explore.
Some Casablanca shore excursions worth considering are a Casablanca one-day tour, a Rabat one-day excursion, or an El Jadida one-day excursion. If time allows and the cruise ship you are arriving on from Casablanca is docking overnight at the Casablanca Port then it is good idea to consider a Marrakech overnight excursion as an option. A Marrakech one-day tour with an overnight option is a great adventure from Casablanca.
Casablanca Shore Excursions are the perfect opportunity to begin ones exploration of Morocco. The Best Casablanca Shore excursions are:
Casablanca Shore Excursion: Full Day Tour – The Highlights of Casablanca
Casablanca is Morocco’s largest city and a world-renowned center for trade. A Casablanca excursion or one-day tour begins with a visit of the Hassan II Mosque which sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the leading architectural splendors of Morocco and the largest mosque in the world. Next visit the central market, a massive kaleidoscope of colors and home to hundreds of stalls brimming with locally grown flowers, spices, vegetables, meats and all kinds of seafood as well as handicrafts. Continue to the New Medina of Casablanca and the Habous Quarter with its attractive Islamic architecture. Enjoy lunch at one of the international restaurants by Casa’s port, the Corniche or Rick’s Cafe- a famous Piano Bar run by an American and named after the Movie “Casblanca.”Take time to photograph the impressive facade of the Royal Palace and cross the quarter on foot and its colorful Olive Market. Drive through the residential quarter of Anfa, where your guide will point out the residence in which a memorable and historical meeting was held during the Second World War, in 1943. This is the world’s largest religious monument after Mecca and its minaret is the tallest. Continue your coastal drive to Sidi Abderrahman, built on an island-like rock. Last stop will be the Cathedral free time at Mohamed V’s square for more photo opportunities or some shopping.
Optional: Casablanca Jewish Full Day Tour
Visit Temple Beth-El, the Jewish Synagogue in Casablanca. Beth-El, is considered the center piece of a once vibrant Jewish community. Its stained glass windows and other artistic elements, is what attracts tourists to this synagogue.
Visit the Jewish Museum in Casablanca.Next visit the old Jewish Mellah of Casablanca. The Jewish Mellah of Casablanca is young by Moroccan standards, not much more than a century old. It assaults the senses in the evening, with a sea of women in brightly colored djellabas carrying and selling fruit and vegetables throughout the cramped, narrow streets. While Jews no longer live in the mellah, kosher butchers are found in the old market, next to other butchers selling horse meat. The Jewish cemetery in the mellah is open and quiet, with well-kept white stone markers in French, Hebrew and Spanish. Once a year, Casablancans celebrate a hiloula, or prayer festival, at the tomb of the Jewish saint, Eliahou.
The 4,500 Casablancas Jews live outside the mellah in the European city, where they worship in over 30 synagogues, eat in kosher restaurants, entertain themselves in community centers, and attend Jewish schools and social service centers. Beth El is the largest synagogue and an important community center, seating 500 persons.
Rabat Shore Excursion: Full Day Tour – Imperial City of Rabat
Begin your day with an approximately 1 1/2-hours drive to the diplomatic capital of Morocco, Rabat, rich in historical monuments and history. Option to stop en route to see the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. Arriving at the Mechouar Quarter, you’ll admire the magnificent exterior of the Royal Palace. Continue to the archaeological Phoenician site of Kasbah of Chellah. Drive through the winding road overlooking the Bou Regreg River to the Hassan Tower & Mohamed V Mausoleum for an inside visit. The Hassan Tower is one of the prestigious architectural heritages of the Almohad dynasty. Enjoy lunch at El Borj Eddar, a seaside restaurant with views of Rabat or local Moroccan fare. Then continue on foot to the ancient medina and its colorful souks to arrive at the Kasbah of Oudaya. Tea and Pastries at Cafe Maure and then enjoy Oudaya with its white and blue houses that appear freshly painted. Visit the Andalusian Gardens of Kasbah Oudaya then return to Casablanca. Last stop if you did not visit the Hassan II Mosque in the morning is an opportunity to take photos of the Mosque and seaside Ain Diab
El Jadida Shore Excursion: A full day tour El Jadida’s Portuguese Ramparts, Old Medina and Azemmour (Option to Extend Trip to Oualidia)
El Jadida and Azemmour are seaside towns and their charm is innate from their Medinas and the warmth of the seaside community. El Jadida’s narrow streets, beautiful buildings and gates combine a mixture of Portuguese, Arab, Andalusian and Berber architectural styles. A Full-day tour of El Jadida begins with a drive from the pier to Azemmour via the charming coastal road. Stop at the entrance of Azemmour for a panoramic view of this white-washed town on the banks of the Oum Rabiaa River. Next, drive to one of the town’s main gates Sidi Makhfi. Enjoy a walk by foot through the Kasbah to reach a large square overlooking the river. Near the old square lies a synagogue which is witness to the coexistence of Moroccans and Jews living together. After the visit of El Jadida, head for the Portuguese town of Mazagan, now referred to as El Jadida to enjoy a Moroccan-style lunch of fresh fish paella with sea views. In the afternoon, visit the Portuguese cistern built by the ofiginal Portuguese settlers to serve as a water reservoir in the event of a prolonged siege. Enjoy a guided tour through the old Medina and stop for a panoramic view of the port and the Atlantic Ocean. On your return to Casablanca, stop at the Hassan II Mosque for photos.
Marrakech Overnight Shore Excursion: Magical 2 Days/ 1 Night in Marrakech or Full Day Marrakech Excursion From Casablanca
DAY 1: Depart Casablanca for a three-hour drive to Marrakech. Along the way, your guide will tell you about the history and culture of this captivating “red hamra” city as you pass villages and small towns. The city of Marrakech unfolds at the foot of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. You will travel along boulevards lined with orange and jacaranda trees before checking in at charming Moroccan Riad or Hotel. Enjoy lunch at your Riad in front of tiled fountains and gardens or at your hotel surrounding the pool. Begin your exploration of Marrakech with site seeing of it’s Majestic Majorelle Garden along with monuments and museums of great architectural splendor. Visit the 12th-century minaret of Koutoubia, the tallest and most famous landmark in Marrakech, and the Saadian tombs, where the Royal family of the Saadian dynasty is buried and the Bahia Palace. Walk through the ancient Medina with its colorful souks before arriving at the famous Djemaa el Fna square filled with fortune-tellers, magicians,monkeys as they mingle with Acrobats, snake charmers and popular singers. Djemaa El Fna is undoubtedly, the most exuberant marketplace in the world.
Enjoy free time and then return to your Riad or Hotel in Marrakech. Depart for dinner at a traditional Moroccan restaurant or attend the Chez Ali Equestrian and Moroccan Music show under royal tents, with typical Moroccan folklore and fantasia. After the show, return to your Riad or Hotel, then spend the night in Marrakech.
DAY 2: Breakfast at your Riad. Continue site seeing and shopping in the old medina. Visit the Kisseria, Art Galleries and Wood workers. Lunch at Terraces D’Epices or Moroccan fare. There is an option to visit the new city of Gueliz for shopping and also the Menara Gardens. In the late afternoon depart Marrakech and head to Agadir to meet your ship. Relax and enjoy the views during the two-hour return drive to your ship in Agadir. A stop will be made en route to see the goats that climb in trees which is indigenous to Morocco. These goats are the producer of Argan nuts which are utilized in making Argan oil, butter, honey and cosmetics. Option to visit an Argan Cooperative run by women prior to arrival at your ship.
For more information about Casablanca Shore Excursions or Casablanca one-day tours
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