A tour of Casablanca will introduce you to the mystic of the East.
Many travellers stay in Casablanca just long enough to change planes or catch a train, but the sprawling metropolis deserves more time. It may not be as exotic as other Moroccan cities, but it is the country’s economic and cultural capital, and it represents Morocco on the move. Casablanca is where the money is being made, where the industry is, where art galleries show the best contemporary art and where fashion designers have a window on the world. The contrast is always interesting. The architecture always stunning.
As you leave the pier area, your short ride to the bustling Central Market delivers a new perspective on this area of the world. The kaleidoscope of color, charm, street musicians, fresh fish, freshly-cut flowers, fruit, and spices make this clearly the center of many locals' lives. You will have an opportunity to make an inside visit in the 60-room Mahkma Court of Islamic Law and pass once again through the market on your way to the centerpiece of the city, the Hassan II Mosque.
This piece of architecture is the second largest mosque in the Islamic world, quite a claim. This masterpiece is supported by 78 granite, marble, and onyx pillars, and it features a retractable green-tiles roof, as well as a 210-foot high minaret. Inside, you will see frescoes, painted and sculptured woods, stuccos of intricate designs, ornamental arabesques of flowing lines, so typical of Moorish and Arabic decoration.
A short stop will follow your visit to the mosque, allowing you to refresh yourself at the Hyatt Regency Hotel before you visit the New Medina, or the Habous Quarter. This area, laid out in the 1920s by the French, remains one of the most atmospheric districts of the city. Characterized by its small, tree-lined squares, neat alleyways, and elegant arcades, strolling around the Habous unveils a curious mix of French colonial buildings and traditional Maghrebi architecture dotted with small souks selling Moroccan handicrafts and leather goods. This will lead you into the elegant residential district of Anfa, which is where the origin of Casablanca is found.
Your visit to Casablanca is not complete without the sight of Mohammed V Square. It is the center of Moslem-styled buildings with its monumental fountain, public garden, and a statue of Marshal Lyautey. He became the first French Resident-General in Morocco from 1912 to 1925. Early in 1917, he served briefly as Minister of War. From 1921, he was a Marshal of France. He was dubbed the Maker of Morocco and the French empire builder, and, in 1931, made the cover of Time, so he is revered in Casablanca as the "founder." You may have a chance to do a little last-minute shopping here before heading back to your starting point.
- Admissions for all mentioned attractions are included.
- No food, beverages, or gratuities are included in this tour.
- This tour involves a minimal amount of walking.
- This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilize a wheelchair. YOU MUST NOTIFY SHORETRIPS IN ADVANCE IF YOU WILL HAVE A WHEELCHAIR; only a collapsible chair can be handled.
- The tour sequence may vary.
- During Saturday or Sunday visits, only exterior visits are permitted at the Mahkma Traditional Court Palace.
- Our cars and mini-buses are usually parked 150 feet away from the ship because of port authority rules. Your guide will be right by the pier holding a big sign to welcome and assist you and take you to the car to start the tour.
Days offered: 7 days a week