Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

P&O Cruises Oriana Port Said to Sharm El Sheikh

We have now completed two uneventful sea days since we left Valletta, Malta, and have now arrived at the Mediterranian entrance to the Suez Canal at Port Said. We arrived in darkness at around 5.30am this morning, and passengers were allowed ashore at 7.00am after docking alongside. The people who had chosen to spend 4 hours on a guarded coach trip to view the pyramids set off at that time, and today it is "all aboard" by 10.30pm to allow them time to return to the ship. We had a leisurely breakfast before we went ashore for a wander around the city, which we found to be a little tedious both due to the constant pestering from the inhabitants to either buy something, or take a taxi journey, and they won't take no for an answer. The town itself was also looking very worse for wear, and infrastructure that had obviously once been quite spectacular was now looking very tatty, with election posters and graffiti everywhere - only to be expected in the present circumstances though. We spent the morning ashore before returning to the safety of the ship to continue with a restful day.
We saw the TV news today about the large cruise ship that had sunk off Italy, very sad for the passengers who lost their lives, but looking at the care our (British) crew put into running the ship, I find it hard to believe that their Captain managed to run aground, although Costa cruises is part of the same parent company, Carnival.
The itinerary for the next few days is to transit the Suez Canal during daylight tomorrow, arriving for a day in Sharme El Sheikh on Monday morning. Again, due to high internet costs, I will update this post after that before I post it to the blog.
Sunday - We had begun our Suez Canal transit before we got up. As we had breakfast, we sat by the window and watched the close proximity of the Egyptian countryside pass by. We then had a couple of hours to wait at anchor in the Great Bitter lake, while the north bound traffic cruised by in convoy. By around 12 noon we got under way again, the first of the south bound convoy, and by 3.00pm had reached Port Suez and the entrance to the Red Sea. The. Sea colour is now noticeably different, being a translucent turqoise.
You may have noted in the news recently that a joint British and American initiative had intercepted and arrested pirates in this area. We have been practising against unauthorised boarders over the last few days. We now have security patrols on deck manning specialist equipment, the promenade decks will be closed during the hours of darkness, and, I am led to believe, we will be escorted, during the overnight passage from Dubai, by a British military vessel. The Captain has also ordered all un-necessary external lighting to be turned off during the hours of darkness. All these measures remain in place until we leave Cochin, India.
Our next port will be Sharm El Sheikh on Monday, and then on to Muscat, Oman, and Dubai, where we hope to meet up with Margaret's cousin, for what looks being a memorable day out.

1 comment:

  1. That looks like an amazing tip that you had there. I always wanted to see those places along the Suez Canal to Egypt. I hope I can be on a cruise like that someday.


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