It was then back to the ship for a late lunch, taking in the waterfront shops first.
After leaving Malta we had two days at sea before heading into the Suez Canal and our revised full daylight transit. However, there was a dense fog In the morning, clearing to hot sunshine by lunchtime. During the Suez transit there was a deck party and BBQ.
The next port was Aqabar. From here we had a full day's tour booked to the ancient city of Petra, with a hotel lunch half way through the day.
Both Petra in Jordan, and our next port, Salalah, in Oman, are ancient places, both with biblical references, and hold much interest to us - the historic aspect that is.
As happened last time we cruised in this area in January 2012, we entered into a heightened state of security as we approached the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Arabian Sea, implementing anti-piracy measures. During the evening of the 17th we watched as we embarked our ex-military armed security by launch at sea off Port Suez, complete with their weapons and ammunition cases. We also have a Royal Navy Lt Commander aboard until Sri Lanka in the role of liaison officer between the ship's crew and the International Task Force which we will come under the protection of during our transit of the internationally assigned protected shipping corridor. This will include the Royal Navy, and other National forces assigned by a United Nations mandate to protect merchant ships from pirate attack. A security plan will be implemented which will include a nightly lockdown during the hours of darkness. We undertook 'pirate drill' for both passengers and crew on Thursday the 16th. These measures will last through until 4th February when the security guards will be taken off at sea.
Unfortunately, due to the extortionate cost of worldwide mobile data, and the sparseness of free wi-fi through the Middle East, posts may now become less frequent. A selfie taken during our Suez transit to finish with today......