Discover Casablanca - it's not what you are expecting!
Welcome to Morocco, and the modern heartbeat of the Kingdom - the bustling cosmopolitan city of Casablanca. Although the city’s name rings bells all over the world, due to the 1942 Hollywood classic, the reality is not exactly what you would expect. The central activities of Casablanca are largely business-based, as it is the country’s largest center of commerce. Between and beyond the modern highrises, chic hotels and busy boulevards, find neighborhoods scattered with unexpected corners of historical intrigue.
After meeting your guide, your first visit will be to 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.
Continuing on we will visit the winding Habous neighborhood, where one can discover smaller-scale Moroccan handicrafts in the traditional souk, or marketplace, frequented by locals and visitors alike. Discover a little more about Moroccan style and design while exploring small shops overflowing with ceramics, leather work, beautiful tea sets and of course typical Moroccan babouche - handmade leather slippers that dot the inside of most Moroccan households. The habous is also the perfect location for relaxing in an outdoor cafe and enjoying a traditional Moroccan mint tea - brewed with gunpowder green tea, fresh mint, and plenty of sugar. For those interested in sampling some of Casablancas tasty snacks, pop in to Patisserie Bennis, a famous local bakery where you must try the local specialty, a pastry known as the Gazelle’s Horn! In addition to navigating the souk, you can take in the entrance to the King’s Royal Palace as well as the neighboring courthouse.
Following the habous, take a stroll around the city’s Art Deco District - another interesting example of Morocco’s history of combined cultures. Built early in the last century, the European influence of the downtown architecture is a surprising treat for the eyes. Particularly notice the towering French-inspired apartment and office buildings, with distinctly Moroccan happenings on the ground level - small hanoots (corner stores), traditional hammams, fresh fruit and flower carts making their way through town. From here, you’ll head back to your ship.
- Please note that this tour is available in the morning or afternoon, however, if conducted in the afternoon then this tour will not include a guided visit of the Hassan II mosque as this is only possible in the morning.
- Mint tea is included in the tour cost. Additional food and beverages are not included in the tour cost.
Days offered: 7 days a week