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Cruise with dolphins in Khasab

Updated on 09.06.2018

Khasab Dolphin Cruise is the first attraction in the Musandam Peninsula. Every morning hundreds of tourists from Dubai flock to the border post before boarding for the day on a dhow. Find in this article all the information to prepare your activity: how to book the cruise dolphins Khasab, reviews, tips, schedules, prices, access map and location of the boarding for the cruise, detailed map of the route, hotels nearby.

Traditional boat taking tourists to observe dolphins, in Musandam, Sultanate of Oman ©Odyfolio

Cruise program

Each dhow carries about 30 tourists from the port of Khasab. After thirty minutes of sailing along the south coast, the ship sits at the entrance to Khor Shem, a 17-kilometer-long fjord with crystal clear waters. As one sinks into the fjord one can see fishing villages on the cliff side. Like Nadafi, a hamlet of 50 souls that has no land access. Its inhabitants have motorized boats to stock up on food. The government fills the freshwater tanks at regular intervals and provides a maritime service to take the children to school. A little further we will see the villages of Qanaha and Maqlab. Even today the inhabitants fish and take care of their goats.

Isolated fishing village on the Musandam Peninsula in Oman ©Odyfolio

After two hours of navigation we arrived at Telegraph Island (Telegraph Island also called Jazirat Al Maqlab). This tiny and flat island is known in the region because the British have installed in 1864 the first telegraph cable in the region. The cable connected India to Basra in Iraq. The island has some corals around which marine creatures evolve. The opportunity for a refreshing session of snorkelling. Dhow crews provide flippers, masks, snorkels and life jackets. You can also bring your equipment to be sure to have your size. It is possible to change on board, but we recommend you for more comfort to have your swimsuit on before leaving in the morning. As with many tourist sites, live corals are limited but you should be able to see butterfly fish and other species. Friday and Saturday there are really many people: if you can, opt for the week and board one of the first dhows leaving the port.

Upon your return on the ship a simple buffet consisting of salads, grilled meats, rice and fruits will be waiting for you. Then the ship will continue its route to the village of Seebi, at the bottom of the fjord, where recluse about sixty inhabitants. The calm and translucent waters will invite you to swim again, but no coral here.

Snorkeling on the island of the former telegraph in the Musandam Peninsula (Oman) ©Odyfolio

The afternoon is well advanced and it is time to reach the port of Khasab along the north coast. Admire the cliffs where many species of birds nest. Watch for cliff shelters where fishermen store nets and gear. On the road, another coastal village, Sham, where dolphins like to evolve. Until the return the dhow crews will do their best to attract the dolphins, in what may sometimes look like a hunt. But when the dolphins are there they obviously take pleasure in swimming along the dhow they have chosen. A tip, take a boat with a low hull height: the dolphins seem to prefer them and then we can observe them very closely.

Dolphins in the Musandam peninsula, Sultanate of Oman ©Odyfolio

Count a return to port between 4pm and 5pm. It is possible to embark on dolphin cruises all year long, even if it is necessary to plan warm clothes between December and February because the wind on wet clothes can be unpleasant.

Useful information

It is good to book your cruise in advance. Many agencies on the Internet or on the spot will offer to help you. The average price is 180AED per person and includes meals on board, snorkelling equipment and bath towels. At this price the land transport is not included. You can also watch on groupon.ae for good deals. There are shorter formulas (half day in the afternoon) with fewer opportunities to see the dolphins. Some agencies offer a night on board camping way on the bridge. If you do not have a reservation, park at Khasab Fort or Lulu Supermarket and you will soon be approached by touts. As long as prices are not above 200AED per person, the deal is honest. Access to the Dhow Harbor is on the left after the Lulu Supermarket via an unpaved runway.

Map of Khasab

Location of Telegraph Island, cruise stage with dolphins, in the peninsula of Mussandam in Oman ©OpenStreetMap contributors

Map of Khasab with the location of Lulu Supermarket, Mussandam Peninsula, Sultanate of Oman ©OpenStreetMap contributors