The Suez Canal was the reason we came on this cruise.
We had an early start as Oceana started her transit through the Canal. We passed through the lakes, passed the towns at the side of the canal until we finally emerged into the Mediterranean in the afternoon.
There are a lot of images in this blog recording the day.
Our cruise through the Suez Canal started in Dubai and took us to Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Salalah, then the transit of the Suez Canal, Valletta, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Venice, Split and finally back to Valletta.
Day 15 Monday 1st April: The Suez Canal, Egypt
The Captain’s 6 pm talk the night before had given us approximate timings for the transit. Adding to the confusion, the handout that we had received had different times for the start of the transit! My alarm was set for 5:30 am which I hoped was about the best time.
As the alarm went off I could see the side of the canal slowly passing by. I had missed the entrance to the canal clearly. After quickly getting dressed I was out on the balcony looking at the banks of the canal. Oceana was the lead ship of the convoy. This meant that ahead of us we had a clear uninterrupted view of the canal. Following closely behind was a tug. Looking aft I could just about make out a car transporter ship in the early morning mist.
I then went down the corridor to the viewing platform at the front of the ship. Passengers were two or three deep watching the ship’s progress through this first part of the canal transit. This early in the morning it was definitely quite chilly and I was grateful for all the layers of clothes that I had put on.
On the starboard side we could see the desert of the Sinai. On the port side we were passing the first set of pontoons stored on the other side.
Beyond the pontoons we could see a high fence running alongside the canal and beyond that houses.
On the Sinai side we passed the first watchtower and an Army barracks.
Out on deck we listened to the excursion manager simply read out his hand-out that we had received the night before. This meant that for most of the transit we had to guess where we were and what we were seeing. Not at all inspiring when compared to our earlier transit of the Panama Canal.
We could see the rising sun through the mist over the desert.