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3 days cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Dreaming of a short but luxurious escape? A 3-day cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi blends futuristic skylines with ancient traditions. Imagine yourself sipping cocktails on deck as the sun sets over the Arabian Gulf, then exploring vibrant souks and majestic mosques ashore. This is not just a cruise; it is a curated adventure. I will discuss the best itineraries, insider tips for booking, and what to expect on board so you can set sail with confidence.

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3 days cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Why Choose a 3-Day Cruise?

Short on time but craving a luxurious escape? A 3-day cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is your ideal solution. These bite-sized voyages are perfect for those with limited vacation days, offering a taste of the high life without sacrificing precious time off work. Here are the benefits of 3 days cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.

  • A Quick Dose of Luxury
  • Perfect for First-Timers
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Maximized Shore Time

A Quick Dose of Luxury

3 days cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Immerse yourself in the world of luxury cruising for a few indulgent days. Unwind in your magnificent stateroom, with plush furnishings and a private balcony enjoying the blue waters. Savor meals cooked by world-class chefs featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients and international flavors. Indulge in pampering spa treatments, from rejuvenating massages to refreshing facials, and emerge feeling relaxed and revitalized.

Perfect for First-Timers

If you have never cruised before, a 3-day trip is a fantastic way to test the waters and see if the cruise life is for you. It is a low-pressure introduction that allows you to experience all the essential aspects of cruising, from gourmet dining and exciting entertainment to world-class service and relaxation at sea. The shorter format makes it easier to manage your expectations and itinerary, and if you find yourself loving it, there are always longer cruises to explore in the future.


3 days cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Compared to longer cruises, 3-day voyages often come with a smaller price tag, making them a more accessible option for budget-conscious travelers. So, this allows you to experience the magic of cruising without breaking the bank. You can still enjoy all the luxurious amenities and exciting activities onboard, all for a fraction of the cost of a longer trip.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an even more exclusive experience on the water, consider a private yacht rental in Dubai. You will have complete freedom to customize your itinerary, explore hidden coves, and soak up the Arabian sunshine in style.

Maximized Shore Time

With overnight experience in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, you will have a good opportunity to explore these iconic cities at your own pace, even with a packed itinerary. Unlike some cruise itineraries with shorter port times, you will have a full day to delve into the vibrant souks of Dubai or marvel at the architectural wonders of Abu Dhabi.

As a seasoned cruiser myself, I have found that 3-day cruises are like a refreshing amuse-bouche – they leave you wanting more while still satisfying your wanderlust.

Top Cruise Lines Offering 3-Day Itineraries

Two cruise lines stand out for their 3-day sojourns between Dubai and Abu Dhabi:

MSC Cruises

Known for its modern fleet and lively onboard atmosphere, MSC caters to families and couples alike. Think stylish staterooms, diverse dining options from sushi to steak, and Broadway-style shows. Their ship, MSC Opera, offers a classic cruise experience with a focus on European elegance.

A fellow traveler said, “MSC really knows how to create a festive vibe. The entertainment was top-notch, and the food was surprisingly good for a cruise.”

Costa Cruises

An Italian cruise line with a flair for the dramatic. Costa’s ships, like the Costa Toscana, are known for their extravagant design and unique amenities like a 4D cinema and Formula 1 simulator. They also offer a wide range of shore excursions in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Keep in mind that 3-day itineraries can change seasonally, so always check the latest offerings directly with the cruise line or a reputable travel agent.

A Glimpse into Your 3-Day Itinerary

3 days cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

While specific itineraries can vary slightly depending on the cruise line and season, here is a taste of what you can expect on your 3 days cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi:

Day 1: Dubai

Your adventure begins in Dubai, the City of Gold. In the morning, board your luxurious cruise ship at Dubai Harbour, a world-class destination with stunning views of the Dubai skyline.

As you set sail in the afternoon, keep your eyes peeled for iconic landmarks like the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and the man-made archipelago of Palm Jumeirah. Later, unwind by the pool with a refreshing mocktail, indulge in a pampering spa treatment to soothe your travel muscles, or try your luck at the casino with breathtaking sea views.

Day 2: Abu Dhabi

Morning: Arrive in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital city, and disembark for a day of exploration.

Afternoon: Immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural heritage with a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Marvel at its intricate mosaics, shimmering chandeliers, and serene courtyards. Optionally, explore the Louvre Abu Dhabi, an architectural marvel housing a diverse collection of art and historical artifacts from around the world.

Evening: Return to the ship for a themed dinner and an evening of entertainment, perhaps a dance party or a movie under the stars.

Day 3: Sir Bani Yas Island

On Sir Bani Yas Island, a nature reserve developed by the Abu Dhabi government, you can choose from exciting adventures. Explore the Arabian Wildlife Park on a 4×4 safari, spotting exotic animals like giraffes, cheetahs, and oryxes. Alternatively, kayak through the island’s lush mangroves or relax on its pristine beaches. For a unique experience, go for a horseback ride along the shore.

Beyond the Itinerary

3 days cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

While ashore, seize the opportunity to explore Dubai’s vibrant souks, where you can haggle for souvenirs and sample local delicacies. In Abu Dhabi, don’t miss the chance to visit the Emirates Palace, a luxurious hotel that offers a glimpse into the city’s opulent lifestyle. A fellow cruiser shared:

The shore excursions were well-organized and offered a great mix of culture and adventure. We loved exploring the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and going on a desert safari.

How To Choose the Perfect Cabin?

Your cabin is more than just a place to sleep; it is your personal shelter at sea. Let’s talk about the different types of cabins available on most 3-day cruises from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, each with its own unique charm and benefits:

Cabin Type Pros Cons
Inside Most affordable, quiet, and dark for sleeping No natural light can feel cramped
Ocean View Natural light, more affordable than balcony The view may be partially obstructed, and no private outdoor space exists.
Balcony Private outdoor space, great for enjoying the scenery More expensive than inside or ocean-view
Suite Most spacious, luxurious amenities often include extra perks and services Most expensive

All-Inclusive vs. A La Carte

Just like choosing your favorite dish from a menu, deciding on your cruise fare type is all about what suits your taste (and wallet).


This is your one-stop shop for convenience. Your cruise fare covers most things – meals in the main dining room and buffet, basic drinks like water, tea, juice, and sometimes even gratuities. This is great for those who want a predictable budget and love the convenience of having everything paid for upfront. But, be aware it might not be the most cost-effective if you are a light eater or don’t drink much alcohol. Some specialty restaurants and premium drinks may still cost extra.

A La Carte

This is for the flexible foodies. You pay for your cruise fare, then choose your meals, drinks, and activities as you go. It offers more freedom to customize your experience, but it requires careful budgeting to avoid surprises at the end.

I always say, “Know thyself!” A la carte is a better fit if you are a cocktail connoisseur or have specific dietary needs. But if you value simplicity and predictability, all-inclusive is your cruise BFF.

One tip: Research each cruise line’s offerings carefully. Some lines have “almost” all-inclusive packages that cover more than others. It is all about finding the sweet spot between value and personal preferences.

How To Book Your Cruise?

Booking well in advance, ideally 6 to 12 months before your desired departure date, often secures the best cabins and sometimes early-bird discounts. It is especially crucial during peak seasons (November to March) when cruises fill up fast.

If you are flexible with dates, consider cruising during shoulder seasons (April to May or September to October). The weather is still lovely; you might find lower prices and fewer crowds.

For a hassle-free experience, book through a reputable travel agent who specializes in cruises. They can help you navigate options, and score deals you might not find on your own. On the other hand, reliable online booking platforms like Expedia offer a wide selection and often have price-match guarantees.

A word to the wise: Always read the fine print, especially regarding cancellation policies and inclusions. And don’t hesitate to ask questions because your cruise experience starts with the booking process.

What to Pack for Your Cruise?

Packing for a 3-day cruise is like a mini fashion challenge because you want to be prepared for everything without overpacking. Here is a curated list to keep you stylish and comfortable on your adventure:

Essentials for Days in the Sun

Swimwear: Pack at least two swimsuits so one can dry while you are wearing the other. Don’t forget a cover-up for strolling around the ship or lounging by the pool.

Sun Protection: The Arabian sun is no joke! Pack a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) for both your face and body.

Casual Wear: Think breezy dresses, shorts, and t-shirts for daytime activities on board and ashore. Light fabrics like linen and cotton are ideal for the warm climate.

Comfortable Shoes: Opt for sandals, sneakers, or flats for exploring cities and enjoying onboard activities.

For Glamorous Evenings

Most cruises have at least one formal night, so pack an outfit that elevates your style. For women, a cocktail dress or a jumpsuit are both excellent choices. Men can pack a suit and tie or a tuxedo for an extra touch of sophistication. Don’t forget dress shoes and accessories like cufflinks or statement jewelry to complete your formal look.

For other evenings, pack outfits that are a step above casual but still comfortable. A nice blouse and pants or a collared shirt and skirt are perfect options. This way, you will be dressed appropriately for any occasion, whether a themed dinner or a show in the main theater.

Extras You Won’t Regret

Scarf or Shawl: you can use this as a cover-up, a fashion statement, or even a beach towel in a pinch. Plus, it is useful for covering your shoulders when visiting religious sites like the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated on your 3 days cruise from Dubai to Abu Dhabi by carrying a refillable water bottle.

Small Backpack or Tote Bag: Perfect for carrying essentials during shore excursions.

Travel Adapter: If you come from outside the UAE, you need an adapter to charge your electronics.

Packing Light Tip: Choose items you can mix and match to create multiple outfits. For instance, you can wear black pants with a blouse for dinner. You can also pair it with a T-shirt for a casual daytime look.

Remember: Even on a short 3-day cruise, you will have plenty of opportunities to change clothes. Don’t overpack! Most cruise lines offer laundry services if needed.

Bonus Tip: If you are debating between a cruise and a yacht charter, remember that packing for a yacht charter often requires a slightly different approach. You might want to focus on more casual and nautical-themed attire and items suitable for water sports and other activities.

Written By

Qazi Raza Ul Haq

My name is Raza and I am an experienced SEO content writer who loves to explore and seek adventure. I have over 8 years of experience in blogging and SEO content writing. I would be delighted to take you on a thrilling journey to discover the world of yacht rentals in Dubai, providing you with valuable insights and helpful tips.


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