Sir Bani Yas Island Cruise

An amazing nature reserve
A dream beach experience
Thrilling outdoor activities

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Sir Bani Yas

Enjoy all the comforts of the ship, along with all the fun of the beach

An enchanting stop on this MSC Cruise to Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sir Bani Yas is Sir Bani Yas island.


It has nothing to do with the hyper-technological progress which you will admire on your trip to the capital, Abu Dhabi. 


The MSC Beach Experience on Sir Bani Yas means relax. It includes a delicious barbecue lunch of succulent burgers and other grilled delights, fresh salads and vegetables, pastries and fruit. And you can enjoy cocktails, ice-cold beers and soft drinks from the island’s six bars.

Entertainment options range from beach tennis and volleyball to paddle boarding and snorkelling, not forgetting gym and dance activities and fun beach parties. Meanwhile, the inflatable water park and kids’ play area will keep children happy all day.

Without leaving the beach, you can pamper yourself with a revitalising massage or beauty treatment provided by our expert MSC Aurea Spa personnel. And if you’ve booked an island tour–or decide to join one at the last minute–you’ll find our Excursion Office right there on the beach too.

On Sir Bani Yas, just like on the islands of Dalma and the six nearby Discovery Islands, an enormous nature reserve has been designated to species in danger of extinction, be they from the Arabic peninsula or from Africa. 


You can explore a one-of-a-kind island destination. Go horse riding or jeep riding; take your time at wildlife watching hides, then settle down on a traditional dhow for a mini cruise.

On Sir Bani Yas, everyone can enjoy the beach experience of their dreams or experience a safari like no other between the mangroves, the desert and the protected bay areas.

Must see places in Sir Bani Yas Island

Discover our excursions

9 results found

  • ISLAND MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDE

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      1 h

    • Adults£45Price per person

    • Children£30Price per person

    SBY08

    Created millions of years ago by natural geological forces, Sir Bani Yas island is actually the visible peak of a large salt dome, features a beautiful coastline and boasts the Arabian Wildlife Park on just over half of its surface area. This 1-hour excursion combines a chance to get some exercise in the fresh air with a lot of fun and delightful island views. After leaving the ship, reach the small stretch of beach on the island, choose a bike, cross the small bridge and arrive on the main island to begin your guided bike ride on a route that will showcase the island’s natural beauty. As you pedal your way around the more rugged regions, your effort will be rewarded with plenty of photo-worthy moments, so do remember to bring your camera along for the scenic ride. Please note: mountain bike instructor will provide only basic information in English. This tour is not available to guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair. Guests are recommended to wear sport shoes and high-factor sunscreen. Guests must be at least 8 years of age to take part.
  • JEEP SAFARI ADVENTURE

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      1:30 h

    • Adults£47Price per person

    • Children£34Price per person

    SBY05

    After leaving the ship, your first encounter with the island will be a small stretch of beach from where, crossing a bridge with your Land Cruiser, you set off on an adventure outing through the beautiful nature reserve that occupies a little more than half of Sir Bani Yas island. By decree of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, hunting is prohibited on Sir Bani Yas and all development work on the island has been carried out with a view to conserving its fragile ecosystem. The late Sheikh was a man both with a vision and on a mission, namely to provide endangered and other animals – both local and foreign – with a safe haven to roam free and grow their numbers. Enjoy the tour with some photo stops during the itinerary which concludes at the small stretch of beach where you can opt to stay on the island or return to the ship with full memories of a modern-day Noah’s Ark full of wonderful creatures you may otherwise never see in such a natural setting. Please note: the driver will provide some basic information in English; this tour is not available to guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair. Minimum age to take part in this tour: 4. Sighting of animals cannot be guarantee all the time.
  • PADDLEBOARDING

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE
    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      1 h

    • Adults£17Price per person

    • Children£17Price per person

    SBY12

    It’s as close as you’ll ever get to actually walking on water, it’s great fun and it’s a good way to improve core strength and balance: the sport in question is stand-up paddle boarding and you’ll be doing it in the calm offshore waters of Sir BaniYas Island. Once you’ve got your equipment, you’ll be free to paddle around the shoreline enjoying glorious views, the sunshine and the cool sea breeze. This activity outing is suitable for guests of average to good fitness levels and ends with your return to the ship.Please note: the paddle boarding instructor speaks only in English and is not available to guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair. Guests are recommended to wear sport shoes and high-factor sunscreen. Guests must be at least 8 years of age to take part.
  • MINI ISLAND TOUR

    CULTURE AND HISTORY
    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      1:30 h

    • Adults£36Price per person

    • Children£28Price per person

    SBY09

    One of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Al Nahyan’s visionary achievements was to turn Sir BaniYas island into a wildlife sanctuary, where hunting is banned, that offers both endangered and other species of local and foreign origin a home to roam free. Part of this “Greening of the Desert” programme was also aimed at making the desert environment more hospitable for human habitation. This appealing look at the island intends to showcase the legacy left by Sheikh Zayed, which includes a development policy whose top priority is to promote harmony between nature and culture. Next to an ancient archaeological site, the island provides a safe habitat for numerous free-roaming animals as well as myriad trees and other vegetation. Your sightseeing ride around Sir Bani Yas will include stops at the archaeological site, providing interesting facts on the places visited. Please note: guests will receive audio guides in several language. This tour is not available to guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair. Guests are recommended to wear sport shoes high-factor sunscreen. Minimum age to take part in this tour: 4. Sighting of animals cannot be guarantee all the time; the tour follows a circular itinerary around the island without approaching the reserve too much for safety reasons.
  • MANGROVE KAYAKING

    NATURAL WONDERS
    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      45 m

    • Adults£51Price per person

    • Children£0Price per person

    SBY10

    Sir BaniYas claims the title of the largest natural island within the United Arab Emirates, is home to the Arabian Wildlife Park and boasts a landscape that even includes mangrove regions with their typical swampland plant and animal life. This is an enjoyable opportunity to explore the island from the waterside perspective afforded by a kayak. You’ll first be briefed on how to handle your either two- or one-person kayak, then you’ll be able to paddle away along quiet waterways that will let you appreciate the true beauty of the island. Your enchanting kayak adventure ends with your return to the ship. Please note: kayak instructor will provide only basic information in English only. This tour is not available to guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair. Guests wishing to book a two-person kayak should book code SBY10 for both participants and the code shall be added on 1 guest only as the price is per kayak; guests wishing to book a one-person kayak should book SBY10SIN.
  • MANGROVE KAYAKING

    NATURAL WONDERS
    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      45 m

    • Adults£39Price per person

    • Children£0Price per person

    SBY10SIN

    Sir BaniYas claims the title of the largest natural island within the United Arab Emirates, is home to the Arabian Wildlife Park and boasts a landscape that even includes mangrove regions with their typical swampland plant and animal life. This is an enjoyable opportunity to explore the island from the waterside perspective afforded by a kayak. You’ll first be briefed on how to handle your either two- or one-person kayak, then you’ll be able to paddle away along quiet waterways that will let you appreciate the true beauty of the island. Your enchanting kayak adventure ends with your return to the ship. Please note: kayak instructor will provide only basic information in English only. This tour is not available to guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair. Guests wishing to book a two-person kayak should book code SBY10 for both participants and the code shall be added on 1 guest only as the price is per kayak; guests wishing to book a one-person kayak should book SBY10SIN.
  • SNORKELLING

    NATURAL WONDERS
    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      8 h

    • Adults£25Price per person

    • Children£25Price per person

    SBY11

    Teeming with fascinating marine wildlife, the calm waters of Sir Bani Yas Bay are up for exploration on this sweet snorkelling excursion. Once you’ve geared up, you will have all the time to explore and spot marine wildlife including sea urchins, groupers – known as hammours in these parts – and other colourful fish. The tour is suitable for the entire family and offers a gentle, yet exhilarating activity that will leave you with marvellous memories of an underwater world. Your return to the ship brings your tour to a close. Please note: the snorkelling instructor will provide only basic information in English. This tour is not available to guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair. Guests are recommended to wear sport shoes and high-factor sunscreen. Guests must be at least 8 years of age to take part.
  • FLOATING MATS

    SEA & SUN
    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      8 h

    • Adults£13Price per person

    • Children£13Price per person

    SBY13

    Fancy some unfettered “me time” floating around the calm waters off Sir BaniYas Island? Then this is the perfect outing for you! Once you’ve been kitted out with your personal floating mat, you can take to the water and relax to your heart’s content. The mat is a simple and safe multi-purpose water toy that you can use both as a floating dock on which to sunbathe or as an aid for teaching or learning water sports. After your time on the water and handing back the mat, the tour wraps up with your return to the ship.Please note: the lifeguard speaks only in English; this tour is not available to guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair. Guests are recommended to wear high-factor sunscreen. Guests must be at least 8 years of age to take part.
  • SHEIKH BEACH BEDS

    SEA & SUN
    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      8 h

    • Adults£68Price per person

    • Children£0Price per person

    SBY14

    Make like an oriental monarch and treat yourself to a day of royal treatment on a private, two-person “Sheikh Bed”, the ideal place to bask in the sun. Your all-day outing begins with a priority transfer to the shores of Sir Bani Yas Island, where your personal “Sheikh Bed” will then be ready and waiting for you to occupy. You’ll find it comes complete with bottled water, a selection of fresh fruit and crisps to nibble, all to ensure you can simply stretch out and savour the splendid surroundings. And best of all, you can take your time doing it since the “Sheikh Bed” will be at your disposal for the entire day. Whenever you’re ready to leave, the tender transfer to the ship will bring your day of beachy goodness to a perfect close. Please note: guests will have use of the Sheikh Bed with space for up to 2 people for the entire day. The listed price is per Sheikh Bed (not per person); only one person needs to book, with tour payment chargeable to one account only. The price cannot be charged to multiple accounts. The names of other guest sharing the Sheikh bed with the paying guest must be registered at the Excursions’ Desk on board the ship following embarkation. Guests with limited mobility will not be able to access the water from the Sheikh Bed.

The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Cruises guests with an idea of the different tours which can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programmes and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
 
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

United Arab Emirates

Diamonds shining in the desert
Diamonds shining in the desert

Dubai is actually just one of the seven statelets which collectively form the United Arab Emirates, or UAE, a loose confederation founded in 1971 following the departure of the British from the Gulf.

Technically the seven emirates are considered equal, and preserve a considerable measure of legislative autonomy, rather like the various states of the USA – which explains, for instance, why local laws in Dubai are so different from those in neighbouring Sharjah.

In practice, however, as a cruise to the Emirates can show you, a clear pecking order applies. Abu Dhabi, easily the largest and wealthiest of the emirates, serves as the capital (even if Abu Dhabi city is barely half the size of Dubai) and wields the greatest influence over national policy, as well as providing the UAE with its president.

Dubai ranks second, followed by Sharjah and then the other emirates of Umm al Quwain, Ras al Khaimah, Ajman and Fujairah, which remain relatively undeveloped and even surprisingly impoverished in places.

The fact that the union has survived despite the sometimes considerable differences of opinion between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is a glowing tribute to local diplomacy, even though it is has also created the anomaly whereby Dubai, with its headline international standing, isn’t even the capital of its own low-key country.