Welcome to Egypt!

Welcome to Egypt!

Elsa on MSC Cruise, Suez Canal, Egypt

Sailing down the Suez canal!

Karen and I set the alarm for sunrise at 6:30 am to get our first glimpse of the Suez Canal. Katakolon, Greece, is the last Port of call before sailing towards the northern end of the Suez Canal.

The ship anchored at Port Said to complete the necessary documentation for the transit along the Egyptian coast. What struck me immediately was how narrow the Canal is. Leaning over the balcony, I saw one of the two tugboats that would accompany us. They would help keep our ship on the straight and narrow. A local port pilot assists the Captain throughout the journey along the Suez Canal.

The Canal is about 101 miles long and 164 – 360 feet wide. Since the connecting points are at the same sea level, there are no locks. Some ships must wait for a convoy of vessels to come down the long distance before they can use the lane. The Canal incorporates three lake basins, Lake Manzala, Lake Timsah, and Lake Amari.


Then, at some point, the Canal splits into two waterways, allowing traffic in both directions at once. It was too misty to see the ships behind us for quite a distance. Finally, the sun broke through and revealed a large cargo ship following us at a respectable distance.



It was amusing to see local fishing boats dart between the big ships and the tugboats. The railway runs parallel to the Canal on the eastern bank.




Finally, there was a huge colorful sign WELCOME TO EGYPT.

Our first Port of call in Egypt was Sokhna. I can still kick myself for missing out on the pyramid tour. I will have to come back again.

Sharm-El-Sheik port, EgyptThe next day, we arrived in  Sharm-El-Sheik. Karen and I braved the city on our own, determined to find a beach. We shared a taxi with another couple at a reasonable price of $2 per head and stopped off at Naama Bay. We were unsure whether we should feel threatened or secure by the number of tourist police offices dotted around the town. 
Sharm-El-Sheik Beach, Naama Bay, EgyptAfter quite a walk, we reached the beach area, where numerous waitpersons tried to entice us to enjoy their piece of the beach at quite a price. Eventually, we simply walked into a luxury resort, parked on lounge chairs, enjoyed the changing cubicles nearby, and had a lovely swim in the Red Sea. The water felt heavier than ours, and it was pretty easy to float. Then, we headed back to the ship.
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