Welcome to the Aqaba cruise port guide. Aqaba is a town of 135.000 inhabitants situated at the northeastern tip of the Red Sea. It is the largest city on the Gulf of Aqaba and Jordan’s only coastal city. Aqaba is a town that attracts many tourists nowadays because it is known for its warm waters and rich marine life. This is why Jordan’s finest and only seaside and diving resorts can be found right here. Important industrial and commercial activities also take place here due to its strategic location. But Aqaba is not the reason your cruise ship docks here. From here you can easily explore Jordan. Visit one of the lost city of Petra (one of the seven wonders in the world) or explore the magical desert landscape of Wadi Rum. Jordan is a country you absolutely have to visit at least once. It has a rich culture and a population that is proud of it. Get enriched and mesmerised by this unique country. Read our Aqaba cruise port guides and get inspired by the many things you are able to do here.
Good day – يوم جيد – yawm jayid
How are you? – كيف حالك؟ – kayf halk?
Thank you – شكرا – shukraan
Cruise ship – سفينة سياحية – safinat siahia
Port – ميناء – mina’
Inhabitants – 8 million
Official language – Arabic
Capital city – Amman
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Government – Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Travel information Jordan
Official currency – Jordanian dinar
Accepts Us dollars – are often accepted
Creditcards – are not widely accepted
Drives on the – right
Timezone – UTC +2
Cruise Port Guide Aqaba – Jordan: docked
Cruise ships dock at the port of Aqaba. The port of Aqaba is a largest facility in the Red Sea. Because of the abundant activity here you are not allowed to walk through the port. You will either need to leave the dock by: ships shore excursion, by private pre-arranged excursion or shuttle bus. Your ship will need to arrange a shuttle service into town, ask the details at the front desk on board. The cruise dock is about 4 km away from the city centre of Aqaba. In Aqaba there are limited sites to visit. You can visit the Aqaba fort and archeological museum, Aqaba flag pole, the oldest known purpose-built Christian church in the world, the Aqaba market or the archeological site of the city of Ayla. We strongly recommend you to get yourself on a bus or in a car and go further afield. Explore the horizon of Jordan and visit places you only get to visit once in a lifetime.
Wadi Rum At just over an hour drive to the north you can find Wadi Rum. This mesmerising landscape was the backdrop for the film Lawrence of Arabia and is known for its stunning dramatic desert wilderness. This area is 720 km2 and is simply going to show you the beauty of nature and landscapes found in this country. At the visitors centre you can chose to continue by jeep, camel or foot.
The lost city of Petra If this is your first visit to Jordan, Petra should be the number 1 on your list. There is no site like it in the world and words cannot describe it. You just have to go out there and see for yourself. The Nabateans was a nomadic tribe from the Arabian peninsula who migrated from Arabia during the 6th century BC. Over time, they abandoned their nomadic ways and settled in numerous places. They were exceptionally skilled traders, facilitating commerce between China, India, Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome. Imagine that any caravan travelling through the dessert was under the protections of the Nabateans. The Nabateans guaranteed safe passage of all caravans travelling through the region, but it would come with a price which made them incredibly wealthy. Their capital city was legendary Petra. At its peak there were about 30.000 people living here. After the last crusades the city was completely forgotten about and this is why they call it the lost city. Find the map of this large premisses on the following link: http://www.visitpetra.jo/TouristGuide/Maps.aspx. As you can see there is a lot of walking you will need to do in Petra. Expect to walk at least 8 km while you are there. Do know you have the options to rent a donkey or horse (and carriage). Here is some practical information you want to know about Petra: It is best to pre-arrange either a ship excursion or a private excursion. The facilities in Aqaba are limited and it would be to bad if this would leave you stranded.
If you are booked on a ships excursion you have nothing to worry about. If you are going independently please know: The official entrance fee into Petra is 90 Jordanian Dollars. If you have to mention at the entrance that you are a cruise guest the fare should drop to 50 JD. Officially you can pay this with credit card, non officially this usually is an issue. Make sure to change into JD before you are at the entrance, because officially you can change at the visitors centre, non-officially this works different once you are there.
Some general tips when visiting Petra:
– Always check the weather forecast for Petra (not for Aqaba). It can be steamy hot or rather cold in there. You want to know what to prepare yourself for.
– US dollar will be fine for buying souvenirs, food, drinks etc.
– Wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking on unpaved roads.
– For those of you wondering how hard the walk is inside Petra. It is 2 km walk from the visitors centre to the Treasury. This is unpaved and slightly downhill road. There are horses that can take you from the visitors centre to the treasury and donkeys that can take you from the treasury further afield.
Destination and distance from the cruise port
Aqaba city centre – 4 km north of the port
Wadi Rum – 70 km north of the port
Petra – 130 km north of the port
Ride to Petra The 2 hour ride to Petra is absolutely amazing. You are going to get acquainted with the fabulous landscapes Jordan has to offer. You will pass Wadi Rum and later drive by this amazing mountain range. Visitors centre Petra The visitors centre is the start of your journey through Petra. Here you get your tickets and map. From here you start your hike. Facilities at the visitors centre are: information desk, exhibition hall, ticket office, toilets and tour guide office. Petra: The Siq This was and still is the entrance to the city of Petra. Perhaps it is even the most impressive entrance in the world. There is one way in and one way out and back in the days this would ensure that nobody could come in unnoticed. We would highly recommend you to walk through the Siq with a guide to explain you about all the hidden secrets you can find in the Siq. It is just under a km long and at the very end you will catch your first sight of the Treasury. Petra: The Treasury This is the famous picture of Petra and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. […]
This is the Aqaba cruise dock. There are limited facilities available on the dock . Visit the Aqaba cruise port guide here for all the information.
Did you know you are actually looking at Israel in the back? This point of the Red Sea is a remarkable on. If you are standing on the outside deck you are actually not just looking at Jordan, but also at Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
This is the 5th tallest free standing flagpole in the world at a height of 130 meter. Find it right in town.
This is a 720 km2 area of dramatic desert wilderness. If you love geology or the absolute silence of the dessert this is a spot not to miss. It is just over an hour drive from Aqaba and at the visitors centre you can opt to continue by jeep, camel or foot. Wadi Rum – 70 km north of cruise port Aqaba