Founded during the 10th century BC by Berber fishermen – and made indelibly famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the film of the same name – Casablanca conjures images of markets, mosques, beaches and glamor. As a port of call, Casablanca has a little bit of something for everybody. From the Old Medina to the King Hassan II Mosque, there’s no way to get bored in Casablanca. The interesting fusion of Middle Eastern and French culture makes this one of the most fascinating ports of call in all of Africa; if your ship stops here, make it a point to get out, stretch your legs and take in the unmistakable ambiance of Casablanca.
Sightseeing & Things To Do
If you’re on a cruise that makes a stop in Casablanca, jump at the chance to get out and do a bit of exploring. The Old Medina, if nothing else, is a truly delightful way to immerse yourself in a little bit of old fashioned Moroccan culture. Marvel at the massive mosque or bask in the sun on the Atlantic Ocean – when you come to Casablanca, the choice is entirely up to you.
The only trouble with spending time in Casablanca is narrowing down the many excellent options that you have to choose from. A few of the main Casablanca highlights are:
The Old Medina
In order to experience what the Casablanca of yesteryear was really like, head over the the Old Medina section of the city. This is a traditional walled city that has been remarkably well preserved. Plenty of excellent photo opportunities await you in this part of Casablanca – and it is positively dripping with romance and charm.
The Hassan II Grand Mosque
Built at a cost of over $800 million back in 1993, the Hassan II Grand Mosque is a breathtaking landmark in Casablanca, and makes for a wonderful addition to any sightseeing tour in this port of call. The fifty one-ton Venetian-glass chandeliers are reason enough to stop by for a tour. Throw in the remarkable retractable roof, and the Hassan II Grand Mosque is something that you simply must see for yourself.
If relaxing on a lovely beach is more your speed while in Casablanca, you’re in luck: the Corniche area offers up plenty of sand, surf and fun. A pleasant assortment of beaches are available along this scenic stretch of Casablanca, and there’s a beach for every taste. From water sports to basking in the sun, you’ll find what you’re looking for along the Corniche.
Enjoy Casablanca from a whole different perspective by taking a caleche ride. Caleches are traditional horse-drawn carriages and are available for hire all around Casablanca. Don’t pass up the opportunity to see the city in an entirely different – and exceptionally romantic - way.
Musée Dar Si Saïd
Known in English as the Museum of Morocco, this is a great opportunity to take a closer look at some of the art and artifacts from Casablanca and the surrounding region.
There are a couple of different places in Casablanca where you can enjoy great bargains and plenty of special finds. If you’re not afraid of haggling, stop by the souk in Casablanca’s Derb Ghraleef neighborhood, where many great deals abound. Otherwise, the Old Medina is a great place to shop for great Moroccan items like pottery and leather goods. It’s easy to find genuine, handcrafted trinkets in Casablanca.
Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship
Morocco is famous for its pottery, so a wonderful souvenir to pick up when stopping in Casablanca on a cruise is a piece of traditional Moroccan pottery. Look around for something that really suits your fancy, then bring it home to remember your remarkable time in Morocco by.
Eating — Sample the Local Cuisine
Whether you want to spend a lot of money – or very little – there are plenty of dining options in Casablanca. No matter where you decide to eat, though, be sure to sample tajine. Tajine is a dish that is primarily found in North Africa, and is a kind of slow-cooked stew that may incorporate several different ingredients. Lamb and/or chicken is usually combined with raisins, pears, apples and lemons along with spices like turmeric, paprika and cinnamon. Everything is slowly simmered to a delectable perfection. No matter what variety you try, tajine is undeniably delicious; you must try it while in Casablanca.
When, Where, and How
When To Go
Generally speaking, Casablanca is a year-round destination and pretty much any time is a good time to visit. However, if you have to choose a single time to come, make it April or May when it is warm and dry; the summer months, especially July and August, can be unbearably hot.
Where You’re Docked
The majority of cruise ships dock approximately three miles from downtown Casablanca. As a popular and modern port, it’s easy to find transportation into the main part of the city from there.
Which Cruise Ships Go Here?
Most of the major cruise lines feature itineraries that include stops at Casablanca. A few of the most popular cruise lines that stop here include Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Silversea Cruises. However, there are hundreds of choices in terms of ships, dates, days at sea and in port when it comes to Casablanca.