MSC Lirica docked at Khasab harbor, about 3k from the city center in Khasab, Oman. There are 1.6 kilometers to the mile so that’s a bit less than 2 miles. There were of course excursions available through the ship for that port as usual. There were also last-minute excursions available both in the port building and outside.
People who just wanted to go to town without walking there could buy all-day tickets onboard the ship for shuttle busses into town for a nominal fee. These busses went back and forth all day and ticket holders could ride them as often as they wished. For people who don’t mind walking it’s an easy walk into town from this port. We took a dhow boat ride in the morning, which was awesome, and then had time to walk to town when we got back from our excursion.
Staying on the main road out of the port leads right into the main part of town. The road leading out of the port area had some fancy streetlights.
Veering off on another road to the right leads to the other side of the river. On the right there are some small mosques, a very large store, some eateries, and a road that leads into an area of town where a lot of the buildings are boarded up and closed if you go too far away from the main road, though walking through that area we never felt unsafe.
Also on roadway off to the right, but nearer to the main road, you can get to one of the town’s two forts and the giant store. Close to that fort a sign points the way to the other fort, giving a distance of 1 kilometer. At the end of the giant store’s parking lot there is a good view of the city center. There’s also a much larger mosque over on the main city side than any we saw on the other side.
We took a 5k walk on the opposite side of the river from the city center, so we never made it into the main part of town. We walked past the fort in town, but did not go looking for the other one a kilometer away. Before heading back to the ship we went into the mega store, which was called LuLu Hypermarket. The store had all sorts of food, both familiar things and stuff we’ve never seen. Some candy bars that come in one flavor at home were available in multiple flavor options there.
There were also all sorts of things that are not food in the giant store as well. One thing it does not have is alcoholic beverages since Khasab is a dry town. There were things that appeared to be, but had no actual alcohol content. I don’t know if all their cashiers speak English, but the one we had did. A lot of people in Oman do.
Early in our walk we saw some cute and friendly little stray puppies who seemed to be in pretty good shape. They had little nests dug into the sand where they slept in the shade of a bit of vegetation on a small vacant lot. One popped up out of its nest and came right up to us wanting some attention. It was so cute and friendly I would have loved to take it home, but of course that is not possible on a cruise ship or easily done from a foreign country so we had to leave it there. Later some distance away saw mama dog, probably out in search of food. She seemed to be in decent condition as well.
The stray cats in this town didn’t look like they were faring so well though. All of the cats we saw looked pretty thin, especially one very scrawny half grown kitten. One stray cat popped up out of a garbage bin when we walked by. Probably its main food source as the barren rocky hills surrounding the town don’t look like they have much to support life of any sort so there probably isn’t much for them to hunt.
We saw some interesting looking buildings. There were places with fancy architecture, places with fancy gates, and one place with a fence around a tangle of trees.
We even saw something resembling a pyramid. It was off by itself in a rare green area on the outskirts of town.
We didn’t come across too many other people walking around in the area where we went. Most of the ship’s passengers who walked to town went on the other side of the river into the main city area, which is probably where most of the locals would go too, unless they were going to the LuLu Hypermarket and they probably drive there. We did see a few people here and there though. All of them seemed friendly enough. The ones who said anything to us as we passed by all spoke English.
For people looking for things to do there, Khasab Fort has a museum and there is a castle and some restaurants in town.