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The Red Sea is a part of the Indian Ocean which lies between Africa and Asia. Countries which border the Red Sea include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan. Known for its clear blue waters, beautiful coral reefs and varied marine life, the Red Sea is very popular with divers. Here you’ll find pristine beaches, year-round sunshine and lots of fascinating ancient history.
The Red Sea is rarely visited as a cruise destination itself. Instead, you’ll find that cruise ships pass through the Red Sea on longer voyages between Asia and the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal. Sailing through the 100-mile-long Suez Canal is an unforgettable experience. Sit out on the top deck and you’ll feel as though your ship is slicing through the dry desert.
A cruise probably isn’t the best way to explore Egypt. Whilst Egypt does have several cruise ports, you won’t find a huge choice of cruise ships visiting them, and when they do, it’s usually one stop as part of a much longer itinerary involving many other countries.
If you enjoy cruising and want to tick Egypt off your bucket list, a great way to do this is to take a river cruise down the Nile. Our sister company RiverVoyages.com specialise in river cruises all over the world and can offer Nile cruises with any of the world’s river cruise lines.
Port Sokhna is another key port for Red Sea cruises, being that it is the seafaring traveller’s gateway to Egypt’s bustling capital Cairo. This ancient city is now a modern metropolis and has the heavy traffic to prove it. Venture through its crowded streets however, and you’ll uncover some true architectural gems such as Mohamed Ali Mosque and the Mosque of Ibn Tulun. The world’s largest collection of Egyptian artefacts can be found in the Antiquities Museum, but to see some larger-than-life treasures, take a trip out of the city to Giza Plateau, home of the great pyramids and of course, the mighty Sphynx.
Safaga is another popular port of call for Red Sea cruises and it’s from here that you´ll have the opportunity to explore Luxor and some of the most spectacular temples and monuments of the ancient Egyptians. The Temple of Karnak is in fact a complex of temples and an awe-inspiring must-see, while the Valley of the Kings is a burial ground which is home to the tombs of such legendary pharaohs as Tutankhamun and Ramses III. A more personal experience can be found in the Valley of the Artisans, which showcases the creativity and skill of the Egyptians and is the place where painters, carvers and stonemasons lived.
Aqaba is your port of call for Petra, Jordan’s most famous tourist destination. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and after spending a day exploring its historic wonders, you’ll soon see why. An ancient Arabian city, it is home to a host of archaeological treasures. Take a walk through the Siq – a narrow gorge flanked by 300-foot high cliffs – and you´ll enter Petra itself, where sites such as the Treasury await. Carved from the sandstone, its façade is a truly spectacular must-see. Take a trek up the city’s sandstone steps, meanwhile, and you’ll be rewarded with one of Petra’s largest and most beautiful sites, the Monastery.
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