Shipping to Egypt - Istanbul or Athens
I know there has been alot of info on this subject and hope that this thread will help making shipping a little easier as after much frustration in finding a shipper and clearing agent I thought this might help some of you, so here's a little back ground.
Having done much research on the shipping of my vehicle during Feb/Mar of 2012 as driving through Syria was looking less and less like an option, I trawled the NET looking for blogs and websites of other travellers who might have encounterted the same thing. I came across several references about a ferry which operated between Venice, Istanbul, Athens, Damascus and Alexandria but apparently this has stopped operating at the time of the unrest in Syria and the company (Visemar Lines) which operated this service merely had a notice on their website that until further notice this service had been suspended.
I then looked at several options for shipping as I had been planning my trip for about 18months previous, so explored the options of shipping to Cape Town from London and driving north to Cairo, shipping from London to Egypt and then shipping from both Athens and Istanbul to Alexandria in Egypt. I made contact with several companies in the UK who were unable to help for some or other reason and then came acros a company in the UK "James Cargo" who were very helpful and quoted me from Istanbul including all costs, shipping, clearing, haulage, lashing, etc at the same time I made contact with a Greek company out of Athens "Primeway" who also provided a detail quote.
In the end I decided I wanted to explore Europe and enjoy the summer for 3-4 months before entering Africa for a further 3-5 months as this was going to be my trip back home to Cape Town after spending 12 years in London.
We left at the beginning of July and made contact with James Cargo in August to check all was still in place for shipping, following several e-mails without response, in the end the guy I had been dealing with had left and the colleague who replaced him wasn't interested and passed me their agents directly in Istanbul who again after several e-mails and phonecalls and 6 weeks of lost time could not assist me in shipping out of Istanbul.
I contact Primeway (George Lianos) via e-mail to confirm their costs from Feb and they responded within hours. I literally changed course and plans from driving from Montenegro to Istanbul to driving to Athens in amatter of hours. They made the whole process simple and easy, even if they were more costly than the Istanbul option which was no longer an option and only wondered why it could not be the same in Istanbul. My vehicle was shipped this past Saturday and should collect it next week as the sailing time is 4-6 days.
From my experience Primeway can make it an easy process of shipping from Athens to Egypt without to many problems and thought that might help others of you out there trying to ship your bikes or vehicles to Egypt as I know there isn't much reliable or useable information on the NET.
Hope this helps others with their shipping good luck and safe travels