This piece of writing originates from the fact that a lot of friends asked us the reason why we don’t perform return cruises Egypt-Sudan.
|Elba reef, the border between Egypt and Sudan|
A return cruise departing from Egypt to Sudan surely offers the fascination of the long voyage and adventure: only the idea of a long journey through the sea of two African countries sounds attractive and tempting. Blue water sailing has in itself the charm of the dream and the desire to leave the known behind for two adventurous weeks… To this ambition, for quite a while, it’s been added up the choice to leave from Egypt for the fear of getting to Sudan flying with Sudan Airways (Cairo-Port Sudan-Cairo), a company that has never been able to guarantee punctuality and the efficiency of its flights, while flights from Egypt have always been more than ever well-tested. Between Port Galib, the last boarding spot in Egypt, and Port Sudan there are about 340 miles of navigation. Just as many for going back, often against the tide. This means that, sailing at an average of 8 knots with good weather, not achievable in case of sailing against the current, it would be 90 hours of sailing at least.
During a Sudanese cruise, instead, for the traditional Northern itinerary (Port Sudan-Shambaia) the miles of navigation are only 170. As per the itinerary Port Sudan-Pfaiffer, as we call it, “Deep North”, it’s about 240 miles, still a round trip. From last two years there is even the possibility to halve the miles in both cases with the two new itineraries “One Way”. The proportion is easy done and it’s easy to understand that during a Sudanese cruise you gain more time to dedicate to several activities as well as deepening the experience. Moreover, in case of interesting spotting, you can go diving repetitively in the most beautiful and famous coral reefs, stopping for a longer time.
The problem of the uncertainties toward the Sudan Aiways flight has been solved by “Fly Dubai”, operating regularly since almost two years: Dubai-Port Sudan-Dubai. Therefore there is a way to get to Port Sudan safely, with new and punctual flights. Dubai Airport is an interesting airport, an international centre of the air traffic dedicated to efficiency.
Often the news regarding Sudan is not much encouraging: the Country in general doesn’t enjoy a great reputation. We’ve been working over the last twenty years in Sudan and the crew as well as the guests had never been in any danger in the city, in the port, on a trip in Sawakin or somewhere about. The Sudanese are gentle and hospitable and since a few years, with precise intent, tourism has been promoted by the media, newspapers and local TVs. The Sudanese journalists of several headings, supported by University students, started to take an interest in fishing and conservation, preservation of the sharks. The Authorities, strange to information about everything having to do with cruises, the itineraries and diving, have slowly started as well to make an enquiry about our activity and relating to the boats looking for a support and collaboration in order to promote tourism in Sudan. The operating boats in Sudan are about ten, the owners are European and European is the management, while most of the crew and some of the captains are Sudanese. As it’s been said many times, the limited number of boats and guests didn’t have an intrusive impact on the environment. The costs and coral reef barriers are the same all along, as the years go by they’ve only been subjected to changes relative to the nature itself and meteorology in general. Miles of daily navigation for the most interesting underwater itineraries are, therefore, relatively a few. The time, so precious, is harmoniously distributed among the activities, rest and entertainment, depending on the requests of the guests. There are 2 up to maximum 4 hours of navigation between one site and the other one, in solitude, with a sea all for us, a real holiday in the desirable and legendary