Gotta Love Libya

If there is any one thing that will upset the majority of holidaymakers on a cruise it is undoubtedly the absence of alcohol. And that is exactly what will happen when you dock at Libya.

Not a drop of alcohol is to be had anywhere. As you dock in Tripoli the crew empty all the mini bars and the first thing the Libyan authorities do when they came on board is seal up all alcohol stores – so if you’re a quaffer, stash your stash – this is prohibition town.

Libya is different to other destinations; for a start, it isn’t really a holiday place. Independent travel is not allowed. If you have a US or Israeli passport, they won’t let you in. Those with Israeli stamps are also barred. Or they simply may not like the look of you and not let you in – so while all the other passengers go a gamboling, unhindered, it has to said through some of the world’s finest examples of Roman architecture, you’ll be stuck at sea with nothing to do and not a drop to drink.

But, booze cruising aside, this is heaven for those who like an authentic underdeveloped experience, away from high-rise package hell.

The most outstanding ruins are at Leptis Magna, a huge, almost deserted coastal city built by locally-born emperor Septimius Severus in the second century AD, but partially buried in sand until the 20th century. With its 16,000-seater amphitheatre, beautiful location and the huge scale of the monuments, this ancient city is considered among the most impressive in the entire ancient Roman world.

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