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little britain

Sir Bani Yas Island

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Now that a few ships have called there, I wondered if anyone could share if there are any options for private excursions - very interested in going to see the wildlife but the ship tour is very short and we would prefer to do it at our own pace as DH is a photographer.  

TIA

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1 hour ago, waggie said:

Hi Little Britain.

I have found what I hope will be a useful guide to the many attractions on the island. It seems that you can get around on a free shuttle bus too.

https://yasisland.ae/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Destination-Guide-2018.pdf

 

Waggie

 

Sri Bani Yas Island and Yas Island are two completely different places.  Yas Island is a development on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi city.  Sir Bani Yas Island is an offshore island approximately 100 miles SW of Abu Dhabi city which used to be a private wildlife reserve of the former Ruler but has since been opened up and is now a resort island but still maintains its wildlife reserve.  Some cruise lines call there for what I can only assume is an R & R day between Gulf city port calls.  I have never been to the island myself so can’t help the original poster with his enquiry as to whether there are options for private tours or not.

 

Anne

Edited by Jayayeff

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Thank you so much Anne - you are such a help on these forums.

I couldn't understand how I had missed all that information when I first googled Sir Bani Yas!!!!!!

The cruise lines do seem to offer mainly nature and sport/adventure trips and I haven't been able to find any private tours, much like Little Britain.

We will be there in January and I will post any useful tips after that.

Waggie

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9 hours ago, little britain said:

Thanks Waggie, I look forward to reading your comments!

No problem - I will continue to search for something before we sail in 2 weeks.

We "Eclipsed"  back in September 2010 and I am sure i remember you from that cruise. 

Ruth

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6 hours ago, waggie said:

No problem - I will continue to search for something before we sail in 2 weeks.

We "Eclipsed"  back in September 2010 and I am sure i remember you from that cruise. 

Ruth

I knew I recognised the name! 

Best wishes

LB

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I googled the island and found some fun you tube videos - worth watching to get a flavour of the island.

I emailed one of the resorts to see if they offered excursions to day visitors - they said only residents. They replied:

The Abu Dhabi Port Company has appointed Hala Abu Dhabi as the Exclusive Shore Excursions and Activities Operator and On/Off Beach Activities Provider for the cruise ship passengers at Sir Bani Yas Island.

I emailed them, asked if they offered anything to individuals that didn't want what the ship was offering and got this reply ;

Celebrity constellation offers Jeeps Safaris on the Island and water sports which can be booked on board

 As Sir Bani Yas is an island port and a conservative reserve there are no taxis on the port which can take you to the park for the tour as only special jeeps are allowed to access the park with a safari guide

 To see sir Bani yas island you will have to book a Jeep Safari or a mini Island tour which will give you access to the wildlife park.

 As we have an contract with the ship only tour offered by the ship are operated by Hala.

 I guess the answer is take a cruise ship excursion or do without!!!

And now the website it 'out'.

Ruth

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On 12/6/2018 at 7:28 AM, waggie said:

I googled the island and found some fun you tube videos - worth watching to get a flavour of the island.

I emailed one of the resorts to see if they offered excursions to day visitors - they said only residents. They replied:

The Abu Dhabi Port Company has appointed Hala Abu Dhabi as the Exclusive Shore Excursions and Activities Operator and On/Off Beach Activities Provider for the cruise ship passengers at Sir Bani Yas Island.

I emailed them, asked if they offered anything to individuals that didn't want what the ship was offering and got this reply ;

Celebrity constellation offers Jeeps Safaris on the Island and water sports which can be booked on board

 As Sir Bani Yas is an island port and a conservative reserve there are no taxis on the port which can take you to the park for the tour as only special jeeps are allowed to access the park with a safari guide

 To see sir Bani yas island you will have to book a Jeep Safari or a mini Island tour which will give you access to the wildlife park.

 As we have an contract with the ship only tour offered by the ship are operated by Hala.

 I guess the answer is take a cruise ship excursion or do without!!!

And now the website it 'out'.

Ruth

Update:

The company who work with the cruise lines have sent me this information, along with the map above -sorry, but my IT skills didn't allow me to place it below the text!!!:

Once the ship anchors and you will reach the strip of island by tender and the guest have only access on this strip.

 

There is a bridge between the port and the Island which gives you an entry to the wildlife park and walking access is prohibited due to wild life and guest safety.

So, if the shore excursions are not what suit, then it seems you can relax with a drink and a snack on the beach.

Ruth

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Howlin Walker said:

So can we get off the ship and to to the Tours/Excursions area to book our own safari?

Despite the Port Company being really helpful giving me the details posted here, they did not answer that question!

Since they have the exclusive contract for excursions with the cruise line I am not that surprised.

We plan to get the tender boat to the island and find out what is on offer there - otherwise sit with a drink and relax on the beach for a couple of hours.

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13 hours ago, waggie said:

Despite the Port Company being really helpful giving me the details posted here, they did not answer that question!

Since they have the exclusive contract for excursions with the cruise line I am not that surprised.

We plan to get the tender boat to the island and find out what is on offer there - otherwise sit with a drink and relax on the beach for a couple of hours.

Thanks Waggie!

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We have just returned from our cruise - and i said I would update here.

The island was a tender trip - and the sea was very rough during the morning, so we waited until midday to go, had lunch, a walk and then took the tender back.

As you can see from the plan above there were  lots of sun loungers, shade, toilets etc. It was so well organised and spotless.

The ship put on an amazing bbq buffet lunch with bar and drink stations too - I could not believe the amount of equipment transported there and the hard work the crew put in. 

People were enjoying water activities as well as the ship excursions, but most seemed content to swim and laze - it was hot!!!.

It was a relaxing time, but since we only had Friday in Abu Dhabi (and the Mosque was closed to visitors until 4.30) I would have preferred the extra day there. There was a port shuttle service to the World Trade Centre Mall and Souk, and it was easy to get around from there - later, we took a taxi and he showed us the main sites - AED100 for around 50 minutes - he spoke excellent English and it made good use of our time there.

Waggie

 

 

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We have just returned from our cruise - and i said I would update here.

The island was a tender trip - and the sea was very rough during the morning, so we waited until midday to go, had lunch, a walk and then took the tender back.

As you can see from the plan above there were  lots of sun loungers, shade, toilets etc. It was so well organised and spotless.

The ship put on an amazing bbq buffet lunch with bar and drink stations too - I could not believe the amount of equipment transported there and the hard work the crew put in. 

People were enjoying water activities as well as the ship excursions, but most seemed content to swim and laze - it was hot!!!.

It was a relaxing time, but since we only had Friday in Abu Dhabi (and the Mosque was closed to visitors until 4.30) I would have preferred the extra day there. There was a port shuttle service to the World Trade Centre Mall and Souk, and it was easy to get around from there - later, we took a taxi and he showed us the main sites - AED100 for around 50 minutes - he spoke excellent English and it made good use of our time there.

Waggie

 

 

Thanks for the info!

 

Sadly our ship only offers a 75 min wildlife trip (blink and you will miss it...), which will be pointless for the sort of photography that DH wants to do.

 

You say there is a bridge from the beach area to the main island - did you see anyone cross it -I wonder how you can get access to the Anantara hotel (which is the only hotel on the island) as apparently there is a lagoon outside the hotel which may have wildlife?  Appreciate that you cannot walk in the park itself.....

 

I have also emailed Hala AD in the hope that they will expand their offerings with more ships calling in.

Will keep this thread updated!

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Oh well, quick reply from Hala...

 

Thank you for the email, unfortunately we are not authorized to do any excursions for cruise passengers. 

🤷‍♀️🤷‍♂️🙁

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I was there last March. Where the ship stopped was well away from the developed area, very primitive, "take your own toilet paper". I was back at the tender dock within 15 minutes.

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Dancer Bob, sorry to read that - we were tendered in December 2018 and the area was, as I said in my review spotless. There were several toilet blocks and all clean - but I always take tissues anyway! 

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We have just visited Sir Bani Yas Island. I have to say it was spotless with plenty of sun loungers, good restrooms and areas for kids to play. There was also free wifi :). The crew did an  amazing job of transporting all the food and drinks etc. We didn't do any of the ships excursions as we felt they were very overpriced, nearly £70 for an hours wildlife safari. The only downside was the long queues for the tender, with only 2 working. So if you aren't bothered about the beach might be easier to stay on board.

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Thanks for the info  regarding private tours (or lack of).

Wildlife safari for next Jan (2020) is priced at $72 USD or £56.

Question is whether to book morning or afternoon tour. I'm thinking morning is best.

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On 6/23/2019 at 6:36 AM, icsys said:

Thanks for the info  regarding private tours (or lack of).

Wildlife safari for next Jan (2020) is priced at $72 USD or £56.

Question is whether to book morning or afternoon tour. I'm thinking morning is best.

We booked morning as wildlife is usually more active then. If it is really good then DH may go back out in the afternoon one.

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