October 8, 2019
Arrive 7:00 AM
Sunrise 7:30 AM
Casablanca, meaning 'white house', is a main port and capital of the Greater
Casablanca region of Morocco, a country situated to the far west of North Africa,
and settled in the 7th century by Berbers. Rabat is Morocco's capital.
The Kingdom of Morocco has a total population of over 33 million people.
The sea is the natural border in the North and West, with deserts and mountains
being the boundary to Algeria in the South and East. It has a long coastline on the
Atlantic Ocean reaching past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea.
The border to the south is disputed and Morocco claims ownership of
Western Sahara (which we also visited) and has administered most of the
Following clearance by the Moroccan authorities we headed ashore in this
bustling port and boarded our bus for the morning tour. First, and most impressive
stop, was at busy Mohamed V Square with a visit into the Hassan II Mosque.
This is the largest religious monument in the world after Mecca.
It took 3300 traditional Moroccan artisans to create the beautiful
mosaics, marble floors and splendid wood ceilings. The mosque also has
the world's tallest minaret soaring 200 metres above the city.
Visited several other notable places, including the Medina, olive market and souk,
where the usual hawkers, craftsmen etc. were selling just about anything imaginable,
the food being the most colorful and fragrant.
Biggest disappointment for us was our own planned visit to Rick's Cafe & Bar!
A reproduction of the famous 'location' (which was actually a Hollywood set - in
the fabulous classic movie CASABLANCA, starring Humphrey Bogart
and Ingrid Bergman) is there, however it closed during the afternoon,
not reopening until we were sailing away on the evening tide!
Next port of call - Safi, Morocco for Essaouira. I loved it and think it was my
favorite stop on the cruise.