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A Cruise around the Red Sea?

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    A Cruise around the Red Sea?

    Would you sign up for a cruise around the Red Sea? One globetrotting line is betting on it.

    Europe-based Costa Cruises this week announced it will position two ships in Sharm-El-Sheik, Egypt next winter to offer seven-night voyages around the 200-mile-wide waterway.



    The 820-passenger Costa Allegra and 776-passenger Costa Marina will depart from the Egyptian resort town every Monday and Thursday, respectively, and call at Adabiyah (Egypt), Safaga (Egypt), Aqaba (Jordan) and Eilhat (Israel) before returning to Sharm el-Sheik.
    guide to the new ships of 2010

    The unusual new routing will allow cruisers to visit the famed Egyptian ruins of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings (accessible via Safaga) and the equally legendary Jordanian ruins of Petra (accessible via Aqaba), among other historical and cultural attractions in the region.

    The ships will spend three days in Sharm-El-Sheik, which is located on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula and known for diving, snorkeling and beaches.

    Carnival-owned Costa and its German-focused sister line, Aida, have been at the forefront of the growing trend of Middle East cruising in recent years, adding the first regular Persian Gulf voyages (out of Dubai) three years ago. Costa began its fourth season of cruises out of Dubai in December with the arrival of the 2,260-passenger Costa Luminosa. A second Costa ship, the just-unveiled, 2,260-passenger Costa Deliziosa, will take up residence in Dubai later this month, and the 1,494-passenger Costa Europa also is visiting the region this winter on a series of one-way cruises between Italy and Dubai.

    The sunny and warm waters of the Persian Gulf have proved a popular winter getaway for cruise fans from Europe, in particular, as well as Middle Easterners and smaller numbers of Americans, despite the waterway's location near several troubled countries including Iraq and Yemen. Unlike the nearby waters of the Gulf of Aden, the Persian Gulf is not known for pirate attacks on ships.

    Source: USA Today
    sigpic
    Twitter: @cruisegrant l Blog: cruisegrant.wordpress.com l
    Next cruises: Celebrity Eclipse (May 2015)
    Past 6 years: Independence of the Seas (x3), Queen Mary 2 (x7), Celebrity Eclipse (x2), NCL Norwegian Jade, P&O Aurora (2), NCL Getaway
    Ship Visits: MSC Opera, HAL Ryndam, Royal Princess, MSC Magnifica

    #2
    just returned from thomson' "red sea magic" ; brilliant chance to see petra,cairo and pyramids and luxor but husband refuses to go back to Sharm-el-sheik airport ever again and port sokhna and saffaga ports are ugly,industrial ports miles from anywhere so you would need to think carefully about not going on excursions.

    Comment


      #3
      I've also done the Red Sea Magic cruise with Thomsons and the area is fantastic for winter sun. We liked it so much that we've just come back from a week snorkelling in Sharm el Sheikh - our first land-based holiday in 5 years!

      If you want to see the big sights and are prepared to travel to see them or are really keen on snorkelling/diving/glass bottomed boat trips in the Red Sea then this is an excellent cruise. However if you want to wander out of the port areas straight into a local town/good beach then this is more problematic. Sharm has great local beaches and I think the same applies to Aqaba (did excursions both days there). However Safaga didn't seem to have a lot to recommend it apart from it being the closest point to Luxor, albeit still 3 hours (?) away.

      If you like the history you are far better off doing a Nile cruise. However if you want to get a taste of Egypt without history overload then this is a great destination. Even if you don't like history, Petra in Jordan is one of the world's greatest 'must see' sites, in my opinion.:D
      Cruising my way through life!

      Sue

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by History Addict, Alfreton View Post
        I've also done the Red Sea Magic cruise with Thomsons and the area is fantastic for winter sun. We liked it so much that we've just come back from a week snorkelling in Sharm el Sheikh - our first land-based holiday in 5 years!

        If you want to see the big sights and are prepared to travel to see them or are really keen on snorkelling/diving/glass bottomed boat trips in the Red Sea then this is an excellent cruise. However if you want to wander out of the port areas straight into a local town/good beach then this is more problematic. Sharm has great local beaches and I think the same applies to Aqaba (did excursions both days there). However Safaga didn't seem to have a lot to recommend it apart from it being the closest point to Luxor, albeit still 3 hours (?) away.

        If you like the history you are far better off doing a Nile cruise. However if you want to get a taste of Egypt without history overload then this is a great destination. Even if you don't like history, Petra in Jordan is one of the world's greatest 'must see' sites, in my opinion.:D
        It was mentioned in a previous post that the only way to see Petra for those cannot walk a long distance is to travel by camel or horse. Is this correct?

        Comment


          #5
          Yes, just like Thomson's 'Red Sea Magic'. The ports are mainly ugly/industrial container ports with nowhere to walk to. However the sometimes long excursions are fascinating.
          See my cruise blog: HERE

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Christiaan, Ocean Shores View Post
            It was mentioned in a previous post that the only way to see Petra for those cannot walk a long distance is to travel by camel or horse. Is this correct?
            Yes it is. I recall see horse drawn buggies carrying tourists. There is little room for motor vehicles.
            See my cruise blog: HERE

            Comment


              #7
              Didn't enjoy my Costa experience but have also done Thomson round the Red Sea, had the children with us but all of us thoroughly enjoyed all the excursions.

              First time I've ever paid for all my excursions through the ship, but it makes for peace of mind when doing such long trips.
              We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.sigpic

              Comment


                #8
                I wonder what Thomson think of the competition...although it will more than likely be other Europeans rather than Brits as the majority of passengers.....be interesting to see how long it takes to sail from Aqaba to Eilat ... it's only about a mile away !!!
                Must look on a map and see where Adabiyah is ....
                It still wouldn't persuade me to do another Costa cruise though... two was enough !

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Malcolm Oliver, Essex View Post
                  Yes it is. I recall see horse drawn buggies carrying tourists. There is little room for motor vehicles.
                  Thanks Malcolm . A horse drawn buggy would be preferable to actually being on horseback , or camelback come to that.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by morris, st. columb View Post
                    .....be interesting to see how long it takes to sail from Aqaba to Eilat ... it's only about a mile away !
                    All ports take the full overnight journey, arriving some 12-14hours later, however close they are. This happend with UK and French/European ports which are often only a few hours away from each other.

                    They just take the long way around.;)
                    See my cruise blog: HERE

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Eilat is only a mile away from Aqaba and apparently the border is easy to cross, plus what is there to see in Eilat? all the interesting stuff is in Jordan. Adabiya is a industrial port SW of Suez so no advantage there. I see they have a Thursday departure which could mean chaos as so do Thomsons!. This would not be a day to fly into Sharm airport. Hopefully Thomsons will have a different departure date.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi
                        Is there still a problem with passport stamps re Arab countries and Israel.
                        I think years ago on Topaz it was,Arab countries would not let you in with Israeli stamp in passport.
                        Think we had to do Egypt before Israel or the Israelis stamped a piece of paper instead of passport.
                        JC
                        C P Scott,,,,,"Comment is Free,,but Facts are Sacred"
                        "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          We are going on Thomson red sea magic at the end of this month and I am so looking forward to it
                          life is great :D

                          Comment


                            #14
                            [QUOTE=davecttr, gillingham;28995]Eilat is only a mile away from Aqaba and apparently the border is easy to cross, plus what is there to see in Eilat? all the interesting stuff is in Jordan. ......
                            We haven't been to Eilat since 2002 but we have been there at least half a dozen times for winter holidays and there are historical things to see in the area....we even drove up to the Dead Sea and Massada in a hire car so that could be a coach trip....there was also a big shopping mall, swimming with dolphins, etc. and an underwater aquarium...we used to go for the brilliant birdwatching as it is on the migratory route.
                            the border was never easy to cross...a bit like going from Gibraltar to Spain...if they were in the mood for it they would make you wait ages !!!!! Might have changed now though.!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re the Israeli stamp in the passport.....John has an israeli stamp from 2002 in his passport and we have been to Egypt at least half a dozen times since then and UAE and no problems.....can't go to Libya though and don't particularly want to !!!!!!!

                              Comment


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