Aqaba, Jordan | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Aqaba, Jordan

Aqaba (العقبة al-ʿAqabah) 1 is Jordan's only port city, located on the Gulf of Aqaba in the extreme south of the country.

Aqaba is Jordan's window on the Red Sea. Historically the same city as Eilat on the Israeli side of the border, plans for a shared international airport and other forms of cooperation have cooled down in the past few years during a period of political tension. Aqaba has seen a lot of development in the last few years. This has improved the infrastructure and facilities. Be prepared for road maps to be incorrect/out of date.

Aqaba, Jordan


Aqaba (العقبة al-ʿAqabah) 1 is Jordan's only port city, located on the Gulf of Aqaba in the extreme south of the country.

Aqaba is Jordan's window on the Red Sea. Historically the same city as Eilat on the Israeli side of the border, plans for a shared international airport and other forms of cooperation have cooled down in the past few years during a period of political tension. Aqaba has seen a lot of development in the last few years. This has improved the infrastructure and facilities. Be prepared for road maps to be incorrect/out of date.

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Aqaba, Jordan: Port Information

Aqaba is the only city in Jordan with access to the Red Sea. So it is also the only port in the country. It is famous for sea's amazing coral reefs and ancient city Petra which is 60 miles away to the north.

Cruise ships dock at a pier south of the city. You won't be able to walk in the port area, so there are shuttles provided to take you into the city. They stop at the bus stop by the Moevenpick resort which is to the north of the town center. It is approximately 4 km away.
Here is the link to the list and cruise schedule for Aqaba Jordan port.

Get around Aqaba, Jordan

By taxi

Taxis are easily available in the city. 
While taxis are yellow all around Jordan, early 2008 Aqaba taxis have been painted green and blue: the logo colours of Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ).
When negotiating the price of a taxi, make sure to determine whether the final cost is the total or "per-person" price, as you may otherwise receive a surprise at the end of the ride.

By local buses

Local minibuses connect residential areas with downtown. The fare is 17 Piasters (170 Fils or 0.17 JD) regardless of the length of the journey. Passengers can get on and off at any point of the route. The central bus station is located in front of the Police station in King Talal street, less than 10 min walk from city centre (ayla square, Al-Hussein Bin Ali Mosque).

Buses stop at the roofed benches at King Hussein Street, near the big flag pole and near the traffic light. Central bus station workers typically point travelers to the flag pole stop.

What to see in Aqaba, Jordan

  • Aqaba Fort

    . Originally dating to the 14'th century, although the present structure was built by the Mamluke sultan Qansawh el-Ghawri (1501-1516) and has been revised many times since then. (In reparations as of February 2014, so only outside view permitted)  
  • Ayla, (next to the Mövenpick resort). The old city that was established when Islam came to the area in 622 AD.  
  • The oldest purpose-built Christian church in history, (across the street from the JETT bus station, which is just west of the Mövenpick hotel.). A posted sign gives a little bit of information on the church.  

What to do in Aqaba, Jordan

Except the sea and diving, Aqaba doesn't have a lot of things to offer. The following could be of interest but could easily be done in one day. The Fort and the museum are right next to each other.

  • Aqaba Fort (in reparations as of Feb 2014, only outside view permitted)
  • Aqaba museum, 1 JD in Feb 2014
  • Fourth century roman church

To get money, there are many ATM on Al-Hammamat Al-Tunisyaa street in city centre.

  • Aqaba Heritage Museum, Grand Arab Revolution Square. 8:00-14:00. This unique museum is surely one of Aqaba's main attractions as it displays a large variety of heritage items as well as real size models of traditional life in one of Jordan's most important cities. It also contains a collection of rare historic images from the beginning of the past century until today. free admission.  


  • Zara Spa, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba, South Beach Road - Tala Bay Area, P.O. Box 2425, ☎ +962 3 209 0300 (, fax: +962 3 209 0301). 9.00 am – 9.00 pm. As well as a sauna, steam room and a hydro pool with skylight, Zara Spa Tala Bay offers the latest in spa facilities. Included is an "ice fountain" designed to stimulate circulation and tighten the skin. A variety of fragrances and coloured lighting effects are available for showers and also supposedly designed to increase blood circulation. A hair salon, a nail studio and a shop with a variety of beauty care products are also on premises.  

Scuba diving

  • Aqaba's Anchor Diving Centre, Bur Sa'id Street, PO Box 1522, Aqaba, Jordan, 77110 (Behind Jordan Post), ☎ +962 (0) 799385261 ( 24. A scuba diving centre in the middle of the city, teaching PADI courses from beginners to PADI divemaster in English, Arabic, Turkish and Swedish. A tailored and quality service in scuba diving for learners and qualified divers with free local pick up on request.  
  • Ahlan Aqaba Scuba Diving Center, Al Nahda St., Hotel area in the heart of the city (The road behind the Movenpick Hotel), ☎ +962 (3) 2062242 (, fax: +962 (3) 206 2243).  
  • Intel.Arab Divers Village, South Beach Road (South Of Aqaba), ☎ +962 (3) 2031808 (, 5. 24. 35 JD for introduction dive, 40 JD for 2 dives.  
  • Red Sea Dive Center, South Beach Road (South Of Aqaba), ☎ +962 (3) 2022323 (, fax: +962 (3) 202 2323), 6. 24. 40 JD for introduction dive, 40 JD for 2 dives.  

What to eat and drink in Aqaba, Jordan


  • Casalingo, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba, South Beach Road - Tala Bay Area, P.O. Box 2425, Aqaba 77110, ( 6.30 pm – 11.30 pm. The Italian restaurant has a distinguished Mediterranean contemporary decoration with a live cooking counter and wooden fire pizza oven. Casalingo serves authentic Italian dishes, seasonal specialties and piping hot pizza and a selection of fine wines will compliment the specialities, prepared by our Italian master chef. Guests can enjoy their dinner on the terrace or in the air conditioned restaurant.  
  • Red Sea Grill, Mövenpick Resort & Residence Aqaba, King Hussein Street, P. Box 678, 77110 Aqaba, ☎ +962 3 203 40 20 (, fax: +962 3 203 40 40). 7.00 pm - midnight. Open during the summer months for dinner only, the Red Sea Grill serves up some of Aqaba's best fresh seafood specialties. These include grilled fresh fish and shellfish dishes combined with an Afro-Arab cooking twist in one of the best locations in the country. Complete with magnificent panoramic view of the Gulf of Aqaba from our popular terrace restaurant located on the hotel's private beach.  
  • * Alerzal restaurant, Aqaba Gate complex, ☎ +962 3 201 3 733 ( Al-Erzal Lebanese Restaurant strategically located at the northern shores of the Red Sea (Gulf of Aqaba) inside the Aqaba Gate Complex, offering their guest a variety of Lebanese dishes and Mezza along with Sea Food and Barbeque delights. Truly it's the finest Lebanese restaurant in Aqaba; fine food can be enjoyed in the restaurant where they offer both inside and outside setting, or on the Harmattan Boat where they offer lunch and dinner cruise in the Gulf of Aqaba, for an added excitement, guests can experience the beautiful Corals of the Red Sea when diving (onboard we have certified diving instructors) 
  • One of the finest, The Royal Yacht Club. It is situated next to the water in an upscale neighbourhood. They serve exquisite fare (mostly seafood fresh from the sea) for prices that are reasonable by Western standards. Service is fast and courteous. Note however that they are not open all afternoon, but only reopens at dinner, so not available for a mid afternoon snack after coming from the beach.
  • Not far from the Yacht Club, situated behind McDonald's, is a very nice restaurant/bar called "35 Degrees East" (Aqaba's longitude), which is open during the afternoon and serves very well prepared Western food (including steaks and seafood) for prices that are also reasonable by Western standards, though higher than many other restaurants in Jordan. This is also a great place to get a good photo (from land) of yourself with the famous Aqaba flagpole in the background, without it being obscured by trees.
  • *Syrian palace restaurant, P.o.Box 1527 - Jordan - Aqaba // on Raghadan Street, Hayl al madina, Al Awsat (At the right side of Al Shuala Hotel when you are looking to the hotel), (fax: 314788).  

In the center of the city one can find very good hummus, Falafel and Shwarma (lamb meat in pita bread) places in many local restaurants. 

  • Formosa Chinese Restaurant, The Gateway Aqaba, ☎ 032060098. 1200-2300. Indulge yourself with the authentic home-cooking Chinese food. Cozy and warm yet relaxing atmosphere makes you home away from home.


You can ask for fresh fruit juices in most restaurants, and they are a treat! Many also serve the lemon juice with fresh mint in it, and it is very delicious.
Alcohol is available from many liquor stores around Aqaba. Several are near the My Hotel. 

  • Fish Fish, Al-Sa'adah Street (Opposite Golden Tulip Hotel), ☎ 00962 795 245 599. If you're hungry for seafood, Fish Fish is the place to go. From shrimp, lobster, fresh fish to traditional Jordanian and Italian cuisine, one is sure to find a fantastic meal at an affordable price! Also offered are a variety of mezze, crisp salads, and freshly-squeezed fruit cocktails. Sit inside the cozy and romantic dining area or outside on the shaded patio. End your dining experience with a choice of flavored hubbly-bubby. 

Safety in Aqaba, Jordan

Jordan is very safe. The army controls areas adjacent to the Iraqi, Syrian and Israeli/Palestinian areas so it would be best to have your passport with you when visiting such areas.

Jordan is one of the most liberal nations in the region. Western fashions are popular among young Jordanian women. However, modest clothing should be worn in religious sites and when visiting more conservative rural or urban areas. Even in more liberal urban areas, sexual harassment is a very real problem, although it rarely goes beyond leers and catcalls. Keep in mind Jordan is a Muslim nation and some Western norms, such as public displays of affection, may be considered crass or offensive, even by Jordan's western educated elite. Jordan is not a place where homosexuality is flaunted as openly as it would be in the West, although it is not illegal in Jordan unlike the case in most other Arab nations. Consensual sex between unmarried couples is technically illegal in Jordan under the law of adultery, in practice this is very rarely applied (as it can only be charged based on the complaint of a spouse or parent).

Despite the fact that Jordan is a popular place for sex tourism, prostitution is illegal as in many other middle eastern countries, and isn't recommended.

As in all urban areas in the world, Jordan's cities have some health concerns but also keep in mind that Jordan is a centre for medical treatment in the Middle East and its world-class hospitals are respected in every part of the world. Just remember to have caution with buying food from vendors, the vendors aren't trying to hurt you but the food might be unclean. Hospitals in Jordan, especially Amman, are abundant. Jordan is a hub for medical tourism. Also, the biggest risk to your health in Jordan is probably being involved in a road traffic accident.

If you encounter any emergency while in Jordan call 911.

Some hospitals of an international standard in Amman include:

1- Al Khalidi Medical Center, Fourth Circle, Jabal Amman +962 6 460 1701

2- Jordan Hospital, off Queen Nour St, Shmeisani, Amman +962-6-5608080

3- Arab Medical Centre, 5th Circle, behind Sheraton hotel, Amman +962 6 592 1199

4- Istishari Hospital, Wadi Saqra opposite King Abdullah Gardens, Amman +962 6 5001000

5- Amman Surgical Hospital, 3rd Circle Jabal Amman, +962 6 4641261

6- Farah Hospital (mainly maternity and paediatric), between 3rd and 4th circles, behind Le Royal hotel, Amman +962 6 460 3555

Language spoken in Aqaba, Jordan

Arabic, (English widely understood among upper and middle classes).


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