Cruise ships go to all corners of the world and they provide many people with an opportunity to see some of the most interesting cities of all time. One of these cities is Casablanca, Morocco.
Once arriving at the Port of Casablanca, it is easy to manoeuvre into the city and catch all its points of interests with the city centre only being less than ¾’s a mile away. The city of Casablanca provides free shuttle service from the port to the center of town.
POINTS OF INTEREST IN CASABLANCA
Having a modern day, up to date commercialised city together with the bazaars and the mosques can be a strange yet satisfying experience. Examples of outstanding Moorish architecture can be seen near the United Nations Square.
Get your day started with visiting the Hassan II mosque, which is just a short distance away from the port and one of the most beautiful religious buildings in Morocco. This icon is the 2nd largest mosque in the world after Mecca. It was designed by the French architect, Michel Pineau and named after King Hassan the Second. It is one of the few mosques in Morocco opened to non-Muslims.
If one wants to brag about an authentic experience, they must see the El Bahia Palace & Djemaa-el-F’na in the medina (old town). It looks straight out of a romantic novel with spice vendors and snake charmers as far as the eye can see.
Other things to do include seeing Hassan Tower, Mausoleum of King Mohammed, Chellah & Archeological Museum and many other sites.
One of the other essential areas for any tourist is the Marché Central (Central Market). Not only does this have the appearance of a classic bazaar, it also provides an insight into the daily lives of the inhabitants of the city. Visitors can purchase wonderful spices and unusual and beautiful hand crafted goods.
TOP EXCURSIONS OUTSIDE OF CASABLANCA
There are many great locations to see in Morocco other than just Casablanca. The country contains a huge amount of delights that are just waiting for visitors.
The city of Fez (Fes) is one of the must see cities for any visitor to Morocco and is a popular day excursion from the ship. The most historical and arguably grandest of all of the four ’imperial’ cities, a day trip is the perfect way to see what this city has to offer.
Highlights include the ancient Medina Fés El Bali, a market where each stall is dedicated to a different craft, the Mellah, an ancient Jewish Quarter and the grand Medersa Attarine, which dates back to the 14th Century and has stunning tiles, carvings and mosaics.
The other top excursion is a 3 hour ride from Casablanca but well worth the trip. The 11th Century city of Marrakesh offers some of the most amazing points of interest in the world. Some of the best known sights include Koutoubia Mosque, which was built in the 12th Century, Tombs of the Saadian Kings, Bahia Palace and the world famous square Jemaa el-Fna. This is one city that everyone should go to.
While many people might think of Casablanca as an exotic getaway straight out of the Hollywood classic, the reality of the city is quite different. It is not only the largest city in all of Morocco; it is also the cornerstone of trade in North Africa and has some of the most moving Islamic art in the world. Many major cruise lines make call at Casablanca including Costa, Fred.Olsen, MSC, NCL and Princess, amongst others.
Written by Veronica Shine