Why you must experience the Palm Inner Circle Cruise in Dubai

 

Disclaimer: Although this Palm Inner Circle Cruise was sponsored by Xclusive Yachts, the opinions expressed are solely my own, from my experience and written by me.

Dubai will spoil you for choice when it comes to activities and for those looking to relax, in a gorgeous setting, this sunset/dinner Palm Inner Circle Cruise is one of the best things you can do. There are ample options when it comes to selecting a cruise here – from Dhow Cruise on the creek to Dhow Cruise on Dubai Marina, Bateaux Cruise on the Creek and Dhow Cruise on the Canal, and although each has its own charm, a sunset/ dinner cruise inside the circle of the Palm Island is my favourite, for many reasons.

Firstly, the yacht sails in one of the brightest, most beautiful and intriguing areas of Dubai. For those of you who may not know, Palm Jumeirah is the biggest man-made island in the world and is home to world-class resorts which line the crescent of the palm-shaped island with the iconic Atlantis Hotel in the middle and the fronds of the Palm are strewn with some of the most luxurious homes that you’ll find in Dubai. Various celebrities from around the world own villas on the Palm, such as Victoria & David Beckham and Shah Rukh Khan (the famous Bollywood actor). Who knows, you might catch a glimpse of them taking a dip in their private beach while on this Palm Inner Circle Cruise.

Palm Inner Circle Cruise

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Come November and Dubai has the most pleasant weather for the next six months. With average temperatures in mid-20s, dinner on an open deck with front row seats to breathtaking views of Dubai’s skyline, a gentle sea breeze caressing your face while you sip on sun-downer drinks and a selection of international fare crafted by Barrel 12, soft and relaxing music playing in the background, is just what you need to make your evening special. And the Palm Inner Circle Cruise ticks all these boxes!

Photographers and Instagrammers, bring your best phones and cameras because you’ll surely get social media worthy pictures. And don’t be surprised if your night pictures are even better than those of the sunset, Dubai is a city that comes to life more at night than it does during the day. I couldn’t get enough of clicking pictures of Atlantis Hotel, during the dusk and at night as well as the famous Marina skyline, with some of the tallest buildings in the world. I'll let my pictures convince you to take the Palm Inner Circle Cruise.

Dubai Marina Skyline

Palm Inner Circle Cruise

The cruise halts for a while in front of Atlantis Hotel, allowing you enough time to take pictures. It starts from one end of the Palm’s trunk (east) and goes all the way to the other end (west) before it crosses under the bridge and drops you back to the starting point. The hotels on the crescent a sight for sore eyes, each designed in a unique manner, with architectural precision and creativity. Of course, Atlantis the Palm is my favourite but the others to watch out for and get good pictures of include Kempinski and Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. The water villas of Anantara The Palm and the 101 Lounge of One & Only will pique your interest as you pass by, apart from a sneak peek at Sheikh’s Palace. The staff on board will be happy to point these out to you.

Palm Inner Circle Cruise

Palm Inner Circle Cruise

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The best part? It is not common for cruises in Dubai to serve alcoholic drinks but the Palm Inner Circle Cruise is one of the few that does. A glass of wine or hop, in the middle of the islands, surrounded by some amazing architectural wonders for 2 hours, is for me, a great to spend an evening.

 The map: 

The only thing that didn't impress me about this experience is the on-going construction on certain parts of the island which spoils the view in places. However, the Inner Circle Palm Cruise is still unique because of the good quality of the yacht, the space available that can accommodate about 80 people, the great food from Barrel 12, the availability of alcoholic drinks on board and most importantly, the best views of the iconic Atlantis the Palm Hotel. 

Palm Inner Circle Cruise

The meeting point: East Marina, The Palm

The cost: Without alcohol: AED 310 / USD 85 (alcohol is additional, charged by the glass or bottle)

Is it worth it?

I found the cruise slightly pricey, so I negotiated a special price. The good news? This discount is available to ALL my followers! Use PROMO CODE MEDHA 260 and get a special discount on your sunset/dinner cruise, only through Xclusive Yachts.


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144 thoughts on “Why you must experience the Palm Inner Circle Cruise in Dubai”

  1. So Dubai is one of those places where I am torn because I do agree that places like Palm Jumeirah and the Atlantis hotel are just marvels of men and their ability to make unbelievable sights. But on the flip side it all seems so manufactured like Las Vegas or Disney World. Thus you are going to to see the fake and not the real UAE. Now I dont hate Vegas or Disney…they are fun but I feel when things are manufactured they tend to cost a lot!! Hence original sticker price of the cruise. Thank goodness for your discount for us to share!
    With that said, I love your pics from the dinner cruise and I think Darcee & I would love to cruise around the Palm Jumeirah and see it all at night. Did you use a special camera to get such amazing pics?

    1. These are from my iPhone actually 🙂 I agree with you about things being artificial in Dubai. And that’s why, I always tell people to take a few day trips to other cities in the UAE such as Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah where you get to see a lot more nature and not so many artificial things.

  2. looks quite a luxury experience….and the palm view looks stunning….i luv it so much…if u compare its cost with the cost of brunches in Dubai i dnt find it very pricey..and would always prefer this over brunches…thanks for recommendation 🙂

  3. Omg i always think Dubai as one of those places that exudes luxury. Having this kind of cruise is my dream! Thanks for sharing what to expect when we avail this cruise 🙂

    1. The Palm is one of the most opulent places in Dubai, it’s fun to cruise around and see all those lovely homes and hotels 🙂

  4. I have never been to Dubai and if ever I would, I’d consider taking this cruise. The night lights and the skyline look spectacular, indeed. It would be interesting to see this man-made island on a cruise.

  5. Personally I think November would be the perfect time to visit Dubai for that pleasant mid-20s weather. Full disclosure as I read this post I kept wondering under my breath. How much is this cruise. The pictures of that hotel at night are spectacular. What’s the rules regarding flying drones around there.

    1. There are rules about flying drones here, as in most other countries. Several zones are marked as ‘no fly (red)’ zones and others as ‘fly with permission (green)’ zones, which means you need permission from Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to fly in these areas. A part of the Palm is in the red zone and a part in the green zone so I wouldn’t really recommend to fly a drone in this area particularly 🙂

  6. Your photographs capture the city very well. I especially enjoyed the one on the Marina. I’ve been to the palm,but not the cruise. Seeing it from the water offers a whole new perspective.

    1. I agree, cruusing INSIDE the Palm is a great way to see what all is on it. You can see sights that you won’t from the road 🙂

  7. You had me at boats and wine! The city views look spectacular from your photos. That looks like such a relaxing way to explore the city and see a different side of Dubai. I can see why that architecture is legendary.

  8. Dubai always amazes me. Sailing through one of the brightest, most beautiful and intriguing areas of Dubai, itself is so fascinating and bumping into your favourite star.. WOW. Your night pictures are lovely especially one of the skylines. The Atlantis hotel too looks awesome.

  9. This looks amazinggggg! And your night time photography is awesome. I’d love to be on this inner circle cruise and bump into David Beckham hehe. Or even if I get to see him from a distance would be fun. But seriously, the cruise looks and sounds amazing. I had no idea this was a man-made island – silly me, excuse my ignorance. But it’s a great fact to learn. It does sound slightly on the higher priced side without alcohol, but on the other hand, it does look like a wonderful experience to have! Thanks for the discount

  10. Everything I continue to read and see about Dubai is nothing short of amazing! It is incredible what they have managed to do there when you think there was absolutely nothing there when they started this project. I can’t wait to visit Dubai and see the Palm development and taking this cruise in the evening would certainly complete the experience. Such lovely photos showing how beautiful it is at night.

  11. Dubai is full of surprises, and one of its beautiful creation is the Palm Jumeirah that is man made. The sites and view are totally beautiful, cruising is one of my top things in travels and seriously considering this once in Dubai. I also love the fact that at least even though Dubai is a Muslim country, this cruise still offers some alcoholic drinks for its guests. Sure is a good time!

    1. Fortunately, Dubai is a lot more open as compared to other Islamic countries. But it is rare to get alcohol on a cruise here 🙂

  12. Wooooow — I’ve seen the palm from above at the Burj Khalifa but didn’t realize you could do this cruise. Love the photos and the details, and I can relate to your remark that the only gripe is on-going construction, though it has its own beauty and wonder to it.

    1. That’s always something I complain about – how most pictures of Dubai’s skyline get spoiled because of a crane or construction in the background 🙂

  13. You got such great night pictures. We were in Dubai twice – the first time there was so much sand in the air and the second time there was fog – so we never got the sparkling views you showed. Guess we just need to return. It was good to know that this cruise let you have a glass of wine to toast the great views!

  14. Medha, I love your photo during sunset with the Atlantis at your back. It looks stunning! Thank you so much for the code, I can’t wait to use it when I come back to Dubai on March! Nice discovering your blog. Xx, Tala

  15. I’ve always wanted to make it to Dubai and this looks like the perfect thing to do. Plus, I love any chance to get out on the water and take in the views.

  16. This is a fantastic tip and only wish we knew of this one before our UAE trip in October last year. We however did a slightly different tour on a similar route via The Yellow Boats which take us on a speed boat tour. Its not as leisurely, nor as luxurious but slightly cheaper with great views 🙂

    1. Yeah the Yellow Boats is a different experience and quite fun too. This one is more of a dinner cruise, as you mention, leisurely and luxurious 🙂

  17. I love the idea of taking a sunset cruise around the Palm Jumeirah. Definitely instagram worthy! I did the Bateaux cruise a few years ago for Christmas and the food was fantastic. What was the food like on this cruise? Shame about the ongoing construction on the palm. It’s a great way to see the Palm at night.

    1. The food spread is pretty good on this cruise too. Bateaux Cruise is also pretty nice but I’m not very fond of the area it cruises in (the creek). I like Dubai Marina or the Palm Islands much better for cruising.

  18. Dubai amazes me! It is really beautiful especially at night, this place has really grown on me. The cruise seems like a must to do in Dubai, a photographers dream!

  19. Your pictures say it all. Dubia is surreal a beautiful city in the day but more beautiful at night. Then there’s this luxurious experience offered by Palm Inner Circle Cruise in this magical night city. It’s just great! Good you have discount for this cruise experience, who knows, someone might be booking a ticket?

  20. I was in Dubai during last year July for a very short time. I wanted to do the evening cruise but somehow time was not sufficient. Plus as you said I was dicey because of the ongoing construction. Maybe I wait for few years before taking up the cruise though construction there seems to be never ending. I am glad to know you loved the cruise.

    1. Oh July isn’t the best time to be here, it is hot and humid. Many outdoor places shut at that time and even cruises usually run with their outdoor decks closed. It’s 45 degrees even at night! I’d recommend to visit during the cooler months, between Novemeber – April. As for the ongoing construction, I find myself complaining all the time about that in Dubai. It never stops!

  21. Cities at night are really stunning, with everything lit up. Dubai is certainly no exception.
    I remember doing a sunset cruise on Sydney Harbour some years ago – it was also very beautiful.
    But I was a bit surprised by being able to see into so many people’s harbour front apartments. I guess they leave their drapes open to enjoy the view. Did you notice this in Dubai?

    1. Oh yes it is quite common for people to do that here too 🙂 And some of those houses are done up so beautifully from the inside, I find myself staring and then feeling embarassed LOL.

  22. Oh Medha, every post I read of yours about Dubai just has me craving a trip there! I’d love to experience a cruise like this, it sounds so exotic and very “first class” hehe! x

  23. I have not heard of the Palm Inner Circle Cruise but what a great way of seeing Dubai. I went to Dubai over 10years ago but I have always wanted to go back and explore more and now I am going to add this to my list of things to do there.

    1. So much has changed in 10 years! We did not even have Burj Khalifa a decade ago 🙂 You must return, it’s a new city altogether now!

  24. The views from the water certainly give a very different perspective. The Atlantis the Palm looks very exotic at dusk. And fine dining onboard to boot, very nice.

  25. This looks like a really cool luxury experience in Dubai. I always like to take the opportunity to see a city from the water – you get a much different perspective on it. I’ve been to Dubai, but only for a few hours on a stopover so I really haven’t seen much of the city at all.

      1. I also wasn’t aware that most cruises don’t serve alcohol. I wonder why this one is able to while others do not…is it strict laws that prevent others from obtaining the proper license? Any idea? 🙂

        1. Yeah, they’re quite strict in the UAE about alcohol licenses. That is why, you will see that most restaurants that are not affiliated with a hotel brand (most, not all) do not serve alcohol. It is not easy to get a license to serve alcohol here! Dubai is still more open than other Emirates though 🙂 Sharjah, for example, does not allow alcohol AT ALL, even in the hotels!

  26. Oh no – I was in Dubai last year and missed this completely! I didn’t get a chance to view the city from the ocean’s perspective. Oh well, there’s always a next time.  Your night pictures look fantastic, btw. Great work! – Ella

  27. I haven’t been on a cruise yet – that might be hard to believe. But I have always wanted to go and this sounds like the best experience for the first-timers. The view of the Dubai skyline at night is mighty impressive!

    1. Wow, if you have never been on a dinner cruise, you must! They’re so cool. And you have many options here in Dubai too but I agree, this is one of the good ones 🙂

  28. This is a really great cruise. Especially the area of the Palm Inner Circle ensures that the cruise is a unique experience. The shots of the Atlantis hotel from the ship are indeed spectacular.

  29. What a fun idea! I went on a harbor bay cruise once in Southern California, but instead of massively beautiful resorts, we were surrounded by beautiful beach bungalows and decorated sail boats. This seems like a perfect evening adventure, complete with the backdrop of a lifetime!

    1. I do love getting a sneak peek into the opulent lives of the people in Dubai. Houses with private beaches, palace on a private island, luxurious hotels and amazing lounges – those are what lie on the Palm Jumeirah Islands.

  30. Looks like an incredible experience, I would love to take this cruise! We took a yellow boat around the marina and really enjoyed it but this boat looks very romantic! Will have to have a look at this next time we visit!

  31. Dubai never fails to amaze me. You either love it or hate it! I’d love to see the Palm Jumeirah when all the construction is done. Looks like the marina skylne has developed since I was last there!

    1. I pressed send too quickly. i was wondering if Atlantis allows people to walk in off the street to explore or is it like Burj Al Arab – where you can’t just walk in without an appointment.

      1. You can go to Atlantis, unlike Burj Al Arab. Infact, they have a waterpark too, which is pretty awesome (you need a ticket for that though). However, the restaurants, shops and cafes can be visited just like that.

    2. Marina keeps getting new skyscrapers, even though it already has so many already! I love the new ‘twisted’ building that’s come up there 🙂 Looks like a lady elegantly turning around with her back to the camera LOL.

  32. Wow, your photos look absolutely incredible. I have only had a stopover in Dubai airport and I was kicking myself that I didn’t spend the day looking around Dubai. Next time I have a long layover I will be sure to check out Dubai’s skyline and do this cruise.

    1. Anita, you should try to spend at least 4-5 days in Dubai, next time you have a stopover. There’s a lot to do and you won’t regret it 🙂

  33. Cruising around Palm inner circle is really a memorable experience. With those stunning skylines of Dubai, sunset followed by soft music, the whole journey is very romantic. I did not try this Palm Cruise tours, but would definitely look into this as it has alcohol on board with food from Barrel. will use your promocode for getting discount.

  34. A sunset and dinner cruise would have been fabulous. When we visited we only went on a boat during the daytime, but your photo of the night skyline shows we made a poor choice. And it’s good that the cruise stops for photos. It’s almost impossible to get decent photos on a moving boat at night.

  35. A sunset/ dinner cruise inside the circle of the Palm Island sounds like an amazing choice for sure. I saw the Palm from my hotel room when I was in Dubai (stayed at the Atlantis), but what a treat it would be to actually sail through it. You definitely got some social media worthy photos – love the night shots of the skyline, and of course the hotel I stayed at!! And total bonus on being able to enjoy a glass of wine onboard. Thanks for the discount code!

    1. Oh that’s great Meg, to know that you stayed at the iconic Atlantis hotel. I am sure you had great views from there and I love their waterpark (Aquaventure). Their beach club (Nasimi) is also pretty awesome.

  36. I’ve never been to Dubai and this sounds like a lovely way to experience all the man made islands. The pace, luxurious setting and gorgeous views seem fantastic. Hope to make it to Dubai soon!

  37. I was in Dubai 2 years ago for an overnight layover, Just visited the Great Mall, Burj Kalifa, and the souks. This would be a reason to go back. The Palm Island is so cool to see from above and afar. Up close on this Cruise would be sensational and most photographable, I am sure, including the Dubai skyline, Atlantis, etc.

  38. I really wish I had more time in Dubai ! Seeing sunset from that cruise looks so magical! What a views! wow ! I didn’t even made it to the Palm but Ive seen the marina and it such an amazing place! Great photos!

    1. The Palm Islands are pretty cool, especially because they’re man-made! It’s amazing to see what wonders have been achieved by the mankind 🙂

  39. I have never been to Dubai, but I have read so much about it, that I am seriously considering paying it a visit. The view from the cruise is amazing, both at sunsent and at nighttime! It is definitely instagram worthy and since it’s Dubai, I was expecting a very expensive price for the cruise, but it doesn’t seem so bad, especially with the discount you are offering us! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  40. I’ve always wanted to venture to Dubai, but I had never thought of going on a cruise there! This post is brilliant — love the photos and all the information about the cruise company. Sounds like you had a fantastic time on your cruise and we’re able to find some much-needed relaxation.

  41. I haven’t been to Dubai for a number of years and the skyline has certainly changed. It definitely makes me want to go back as your photos look great and the night views are fabulous

    1. There’s always something new in Dubai and the skyline keeps changing too, because of new skyscrapers being built by the minute. You must visit again sometime, it’ll be like visiting a different country altogether 🙂

  42. Dubai looks like such a futuristic place with amazing infrastructure!! I’d love to visit one day. Cruising sounds like the perfect way to sorbs an evening … nothing like gorgeous ocean views to make you feel at peace with the world!!

    1. I think it’s the best way to explore the famous Palm Island. You actually get to go INSIDE the island and see all the opulent homes of celebrities!

  43. I’ve never really considered a cruise before, but this one looks great and you get a discount too, bonus! I’m glad they serve alcohol on board, as it would be perfect to enjoy the views with a nice glass of red 🙂 I still haven’t been to Dubai, but I have many things to schedule now after reading your posts!

  44. Your photos convinced me 🙂 I haven’t been on a cruise in ages but have been wanting to go one Europe one, or something similar. I didn’t even know you could cruise in Dubai so will bookmark this for sure!

  45. I can see why you enjoyed the cruise, in the golden light of evening and then the darker night, you get some stunning views of the grand and shiny hotels and offices along the marina and of the palm resort itself.

    1. You also get to see the opulent homes of some of the celebrities and Sheikh’s palace on a private island, how cool is that?

  46. Wow! A cruise around Dubai’s famous man-made island? That does sound very ideal! I’d definitely agree with the photos. Dubai is beautiful at night with those gorgeous lights!.. We usually travel on budget, but it’s good to splurge once in a while. This cruise may be pricey, but I think well worth it!

  47. This is surely going to be one of things that am going to look forward to when I visit Dubai. 2 hours cruising along the inner palm circle, with beautiful views of the city skyline, is definitely the best opportunity for photographers to capture that drool worthy travel photograph, like you did.

  48. It does look a beautiful evening cruise. We did a cruise when we were there a few years ago around Dubai Creek but it was in the hotter months and you had to really stay indoors so the views were affected by the reflections in the glass. This looks much better and the temperature seems perfect.

    1. Most people do the dhow cruise, which is on a traditional wooden boat. While that is an interesting one to do, personally I like these luxurious yachts more and the fact that this cruise is INSIDE the palm island is a unique thing, the views are pretty amazing and the setting really chic!

  49. Gorgeous opportunities for photography! I’m completely convinced that doing the cruise is a must do when visiting Dubai. As far as the construction thing, it’s been in every city in the world we’ve been to over the past few years. With the economies in good shape for now, it’s just part of life. We’ve actually started embracing it and are able to create photos that others won’t have 🙂

    1. That’s brilliant Heidi, the best photographers are the ones that can capture the beauty of the place despite the obstacles 🙂

  50. Wow, these are some very beautiful photographic impressions. I have heard already of Dubai as a place of Superlatives. The night photos of the Dubai Marina Skyline looks absolutely great, Atlantis Hotel as well.
    Since I like to explore new places often by guided tours, this Palm Inner Circle Cruise seems to be a perfect way to discover so many interesting places. Thanks for that tip!

  51. Looks like a nice cruise to take if you have an evening free in Dubai and if you are fond of lovely night views of the island city. Incidentally, we end up seeing so many images of these Dubai hotels, I wonder if the romance of seeing them yourself with your own eyes still stays.

    1. I’ve seen most of these building numerous times and I still love seeing them again and again, especially Atlantis. It is quite an iconic building.

  52. Palm Jumeirah, is that what the island is called! I should have guess by the look at it! Taking a boat ride with the Palm inner circle cruise seems like a great way to spend your evening indeed! With all the colors of the building and the boat make the ambiance quite special. And with a glass of good wine nothing could go wrong! Really gorgeous evening! Addinh this to my bucket list!

    1. You can do either a sunset or dinner cruise! I personally like the sunset one, you get the see the dusk and night colours.

  53. Dubai has been on our bucket list for so long! I had no idea you could also have a dinner cruise in Palm Island, it sounds so decadent and very luxurious! I’ve just added it to our list of things to do there!

  54. I’d heard that there is still a lot of construction on Palm Jumeirah, not surprising, given how huge it is! It would still definitely be a spectacle worth seeing at night – all those amazing hotels and lights. And yes, I agree with you, a cruise that serves alcohol would definitely win it for me – a glass of wine while slowly circling this amazing man-made island would be perfection!

    1. There are not a lot of cruises serving alcohol in Dubai, given that is is a Muslim country and getting a liquor license isn’t the easiest thing here, although they’re a lot more lax as compared to other cities. Barring the little bit of construction (which is pretty much everywhere in Dubai!!), the sites are beautiful, no doubt!

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