Welcome to Casablanca’s cruise port guide. Most travelers associate Casablanca with the Marrakesh Express and the movie Casablanca although the reality is often much different. Most people love Casablanca for everything it is. A big raw city with its busy dirty Medina, the incredible mosque and its true fascinating Islamic heritage. Casablanca is something to prepare for. Most cruise ships visit it in combination with the Canary Islands and compared to this you are stepping into a whole new world. It is different. Different from anything you would expect. You have tons of options on what to see and do and why not fall into this captivating culture by just embracing it. Staying in town is a good option as Casablanca is where you would get a real feel for daily life in Morocco. There are so many neighborhoods to explore that are all different from one another. Take in the culture, the smells, the food and the way of life. Hopefully this is something that you are open to and if you are, you can get carried away in a city like this. The true Morocco is waiting for you here.
Travel information Morocco
Official currency – Moroccan dirham
Accepts Euro / Us dollars – sometimes in tourist areas
Creditcards – are often not accepted
Drives on the – right
Timezone – UTC +0
Inhabitants – 33,8 million
Official language – Arabic and berber
Capital city – Rabat
Kingdom of Morocco
Government – Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Moroccan Arabic language
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’
Cruise Port Guide Casablanca – Morocco: docked
In Casablanca your cruise ship is going to be docked. It is docking in a big container port that needs some instructions. The Casablanca port is a huge area stuck to the city centre of Casablanca. You are allowed to walk in the port, but you’ll need to walk for about 2 km to reach the exit of the port, which is also the start of the city centre and where you will find the Medina.
There are no facilities in the port. Usually there are no shops, no maps or tourist information at the cruise dock. Most cruise liners will provide a shuttle bus. Check with your cruise line what the case will be for your cruise. If they provide a shuttle bus they often bring you to the Medina of Casablanca which is the perfect location to start a journey by foot through the city. Be aware though there are a lot of pushy sales men at the shuttle bus stop.
Taxis in Casablanca
There are taxis waiting for you at the pier. There are 2 types of taxis in Casablanca: red and white ones. The red taxis are the small ones and the white taxis are the big ones. Don’t expect to much comfort from the taxis as usually these are old vehicles. They do not have a meter so you’ll need to negotiate with them. The drivers will accept US dollars and Euro. Usually a ride from the cruise dock to the city centre (Medina) will cost you around 10 euro and if you try to get back from the city to the port (cruise dock) expect you pay about 5 euro. Tours are often given for about 40 – 50 euro a day.
Remember to negotiate and to check the vehicle before you step in.
Public transportation system
There is a train station at the exit of the port that opened up in 2015. You can check the train schedule on http://www.oncf.ma/Pages/Accueil.aspx. Please know the train station is at the exit of the port and is called Casa Port. A famous place to visit by train is the city of Rabat.
There is also a modern tram system in Casablanca that you could use, although it is not very extensive. Go to http://www.casatramway.ma/fr/reseau to check their route. The page is only available in French or Arabic, but if you know the tram line is the orange line on the map it will get you a long way.
If you have read anywhere else that Casablanca is an outdated dumb. Think again! These are outdated posts. Check out this pictures underneath of 2012, 2013 and 2015. Things are changing.
Be open minded and enjoy the ride. In Casablanca you want to be a traveler and not a tourist.
Destination and distance from port:
Casablanca city center 2,5 km south west of the port
Casablanca Medina 2,5 km south west of the port
Hassan II Mosque 4,5 km west of the port
Rabat 90 km north east of the port
Al Jadida 108 km south west of the port
Marrakesh 250 km south of the port
FAQ about Casablanca
– Is Casablanca safe?
Yes, it is. Remember that if it wasn’t safe, your cruise line wouldn’t go there.
– Do taxis take US dollars and Euro?
Yes, in general they do.
– Do the shops at the Medina take US dollars and Euro?
Yes, they do.
– Can I go to Rabat independently?
Yes, preferably by prearranged tour or by train.
The port of Casablanca is massive. It is Morocco’s biggest port and it is even one of the largest artificial ports in the world. As you can already see from your ship it is a busy port that serves mainly the container ships.
The largest mosque of Morocco is open to non-muslims and this is simply an oppurtunity that you have to take. It truly is one of the most beautifull mosques in the world. It is right there in the list with the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Get a guided tour inside starting at 9am, 10am, 11am and 2 pm. From port it is 4,5 km / 50 min walk to the west.
When in Casablanca you have the opportunity to go visit Rabat. This is definitely a city that has more charm than Casablanca. You’ll feel it’s more a traditional city compaired to a business city like Casablanca. Rabat is where you can get acquanted with some of the most important landmarks of the country like the Kasbah, Hassan tower, Mausoleum of Mohammed V. From port it is 90 km / 1 hour 15 min drive to the north east. Visit it with the train.
Casablanca cruise dock is located in the port of Casablanca which is one of the largest in Africa. There are limited facilities at the dock. Aside from your ship’s shore excursion busses and taxis there is little there. Read about your options on transportation and what to see and do in our Casablanca cruise port guide.
This Catholic construction has been dominating the neighboorhood since 1930. Casablanca is not only home to the muslims but also catholics and there are several buildings to prove this. This cathedral is no longer in use for religious purposes, but nowadays they often have interesting exhibitions inside. From port it is 3,5 km / 45 min walk to the south west.
The Medina is the area of town that has to be manditory to see on a 1st time visit. This is the old town. It basicaly is one gigantic market in the twisting and turning streets of old Casablanca surrounded by the old city wall with its 4 gates. Buy your local souvenirs here. From port it is 2,5 km / 30 min walk to the south west.
This brand new train station stand right at the exit of the port that is about 2 km walk from the ship. Catch the train to various destinations like Rabat. Check the train schedule on http://www.oncf.ma/Pages/Accueil.aspx
On the Place Mohammed V you will find the most prominent and important buildings of the Casablanca like the law courts, the splendid wilaya, the bank al-Maghrib and Ministry of Defence building. From port it is 3,5 km / 45 min walk to the south.
The Central Market in Casablanca is a bustling market to experience. It is a feast for the senses. Befriend a shop owner or two and get acquanted with the friendliness of the locals. See the fish straight out of the ocean, pyramids of fruits or smell the meat that still recognizable on its hook. From port it is 3 km / 35 min walk to the south.