CAS-205 | Casablanca, Morocco (for Marrakech) | See Special Notes
*Price displayed in US Dollars unless otherwise noted; excursions priced in other currencies may be available on select voyages only. Prices are based on the amount Princess typically charges for each excursion, but your price may vary by voyage date and departure time.
Board your motorcoach for a scenic drive along the main highway and past beautiful farmland en route to the exotic city of Rabat.
Dramatically situated in the middle of Morocco's Atlantic coastline, Rabat is the political capital of Morocco and the official home of the king. It is also one of the area's main industrial centers and home to several educational institutions. Culturally sophisticated, the city contains a rich mix of modern and historical offerings.
Your first stop is the magnificent Royal Palace, built in 1864 and a superb example of Islamic architecture. At the heart of the palace lies the Mechouar, a magnificent garden courtyard, which you can stroll through and photograph. Directly across from the Royal Palace is the king's personal mosque.
Continue a short distance to the Mausoleum of King Mohammed V, one of the country's most important shrines. Here you'll see members of the Royal Guard standing proudly at the final resting place of Morocco's great king. Interestingly, the mausoleum was designed by a Vietnamese architect and inaugurated 6 years after the king's death. The building's austere exterior gives way to an interior of exquisite Moroccan craftsmanship. Stunning mosaics adorn the walls and gold leaf ceilings showcase intricate carvings. Enter the mausoleum from the white marble terrace where the tomb of Mohammed V rests between those of his two sons.
Hassan Tower is located next to the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. The 144-foot- high minaret was built in the 12th century as part of a mosque that was never completed. The tower has walls eight feet thick and looms over the ruins of the mosque, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755. The mosque was to hold over 20,000 worshippers, and although all that remains are reconstructed columns, it is still possible to sense its majesty.
Re-board the motorcoach for a short drive to a preeminent restaurant to savor a refreshing mint tea. Then, a short drive brings you to the exciting Oudaya Kasbah. Walk through the city's picturesque old quarter where whitewashed buildings are trimmed in bright blue. Follow narrow alleyways to the lively souks, where stalls brim with colorful fabrics and vendors offer leather goods and Moroccan delicacies. Flavorful teas and coffees are sold along with traditional Moroccan sweets and pastries.
The area is also home to the Chellah Gardens, which display a wide array of plant life and blooming flowers. Banana and fig trees grow in abundance in the area originally abandoned by the Romans in 1150. Above the site, the stately Sale Fortress stands guard.
At the completion of your tour, return to Casablanca, where you may choose to be dropped off for shopping and independent sightseeing. You are then responsible for your own return to the ship.