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  #1  
Old 10 May 2001
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Ferry options to Egypt

Anybody got any information about ferry options from Southern Europe, probably Greece to Egypt (Alexandria?) for passenger and bike?

Extensive surfing has not really come up with anything, except an indication that such routes do exist, but no concrete information.

If not, any other ideas - Greece to Israel seems to be fairly straight forward.

Thanks
Charlie
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  #2  
Old 11 May 2001
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Hi Charlie

I just spoke to Viamare, which is an agency for about 30 ferries/cruise lines in the Med. She advised me that there is no ferry service between Europe and Egypt, and has not been one for about 5 years.

Like you, I found vague references to Egypt on the web, but nothing specific. She is aware of cruises between Cyprus and Egypt, which allow one day ashore in Egypt, but on a group visa, in other words, not staying in Egypt. So perhaps this is what the references are to. Unfortunately, that's no help to you.

Where do you plan to go after Egypt? If you wish to see other parts of North Africa, there are ferries into Morocco, Tunisia and Libya from Europe. On the other hand, if you are heading east, Israel might be the best option.


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  #3  
Old 14 May 2001
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Thanks for that Susan - even if you are the bearer of bad news!

Egypt will be the point of entry into Africa, from then on down to Cape Town. I only have four months for the trip, which is why I was looking to get a direct ferry. Looks like it will have to be into Israel by ferry and onto Egypt.

I had originally been looking at the Tunisia - Libya - Egypt route, but it sounds like the requirement for an official tour guide all the way through Libya would make the cost prohibitive.

Thanks again
Charlie
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  #4  
Old 14 May 2001
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Charlie

Have you thought about where you want to spend your 4 months? Mostly in North Africa, or mostly in East/Southern Africa? If you've been to one or the other before, that's a consideration. If not, I'd suggest you consider flying into Nairobi with the bike and driving south from there. You'll get to spend a lot more time on the road, and a lot less time dealing with border / customs officials in North Africa. Although driving from Egypt through Sudan to Ethiopia and Uganda is now possible, it is not an easy ride.

In general, Africa is challenging to do quickly, as borders in the north are a hassle, and road conditions can reduce daily mileage considerably from what you'd expect.

Four months to go all the way from Egypt to Cape Town seems ambitious to us!

Good luck.

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[This message has been edited by Susan (edited 14 May 2001).]
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  #5  
Old 15 May 2001
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Susan

I know that doing the trip in four months is less than ideal, but I was glad to get that much as a sabbatical! It has always been my dream to ride North to South through Africa, which is why I would be reluctant to fly to Nairobi as you have suggested.

I know the Sudan - Ethiopia leg of the trip will be particularly challenging, but I want challenging (within reason!). I was initially reluctant to go through Egypt, not only because I have been there before, but also because of the hassles everybody seems to report, but there really isn't another option as far as I can see. I'll just have to keep reminding myself that is all part of the experience when the time comes!

I think that I have managed to find a ferry to get me to Egypt from Greece, looks like at a cost of about £130 GBP. It is operated by a company called Salamis Lines (H.Q) (SA) based in Cyprus. I am awaiting more details, but it looks promising, given that it is a car ferry. Hopefully there are ways around the group visa issue which would allow me to disembark and travel onwards. I found this line through a site called the Greek Travel Pages - www.gtpweb.com which people may find useful.

Thanks for the advice - sorry that I will be ignoring much of it!

Charlie

[This message has been edited by Charlie Money (edited 14 May 2001).]
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Old 15 May 2001
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Charlie

I don't take it personally when people ignore my advice - I've certainly ignored much of what other people told me! Africa is a very special continent, and I'm sure you'll be glad you went.

Good luck with your trip, and do keep in touch. The route you'll be travelling is of interest to many of us. Please let us know how the ferry to Egypt goes.

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[This message has been edited by Susan (edited 14 May 2001).]
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  #7  
Old 22 May 2001
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Susan

You are right unfortunately! After many red herrings I am having to admit defeat and accept that there doesn't seem to be any ferry line operating from Southern Europe to Egypt that will allow vehicles to disembark.

Looks like it will have to be Haifa...

Charlie
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  #8  
Old 23 May 2001
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Charlie

I understand Israeli customs is willing to stamp a piece of paper rather than your passport on entry, so that you don't encounter difficulties in other middle eastern or African countries as a result of having been in Israel.

I suspect you'll also find that Israel has the security situation pretty well in hand. The Egyptian border is another matter, but you'll have heard all those horror stories already!

Good luck.

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  #9  
Old 23 May 2001
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Hi Susan and Charlie -

This is Mo from the Med ferry thread... Just one point re. going through Israel. We've been told that although Israel will stamp a piece of paper rather than your passport, the stamp of the border town you enter when leaving Israel will show clearly where you must have come from and any country particularly opposed to the Israeli situation (e.g. Syria) will spot that. This may not be a big problem in any African countries - I don't know. You could check out Susan's answer to my crossýng the Med question, Charlie, and travel via Cyprus and Beirut (but that is taking you even further away from Africa I suppose...)

Good luck, whatever you end up doing!
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