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AB Maritime (www.abmaritime.com.jo) runs both a daily fast and slow passenger ferry connecting Nuweiba in Egypt and Aqaba in Jordan. The service is noted for its delays. Both Egyptian and Jordanian visas are available on arrival.

Port Tax

All Egyptian international ferries charge LE50 port tax per person on top of the ticket price.


The Nile River Valley Transport Corporation operates twice-weekly from Aswan to Wadi Halfa. Tickets (1st/2nd class LE350/250) can be bought a week ahead either in Cairo or Aswan. You must show a valid Sudanese visa in your passport.

The trip is slow, taking up to 24 hours; tea, soft drinks and snacks are available. Boarding is usually announced for 10am, but it’s a good idea to arrive at about 8.30am to clear customs and get a decent seat. The ferry might not leave until sometime in the afternoon, depending on how much there is to load. Some Sudanese immigration formalities are carried out on the boat, including checking yellow-fever certificates. The return trip departs from Wadi Halfa on Wednesday.

Vehicle Ferry

The Nile River Valley Transport Corporation runs a separate barge for vehicles. You must have the usual carnet de passage en douane and allow plenty of time for customs procedures.

Saudi Arabia

Ferries run from Hurghada in Egypt to Duba in Saudi Arabia, though they follow erratic schedules, which fluctuate according to work and hajj (pilgrimage) seasons. There is also a service from Safaga. Note that tourist visas are not available for Saudi Arabia, though there is an elusive tourist transit visa, which you must apply for well in advance.

Ro-Ro Freighter Services

With no passenger ferries to Europe operating out of Egyptian ports, African-overlanders with vehicles only have the option of Ro-Ro (roll-on, roll-off) freighter services.

At the time of research, both Grimaldi (www.grimaldi.napoli.it) and Van Uden Shipping (www.vanudenshipping.com) were operating a weekly Ro-Ro service to Limassol in Cyprus from Alexandria's port.

The freighter service situation changes rapidly. In Egypt one of the best in-country contacts for up-to-date information on operating Ro-Ro services is Kadmar, which can also help you organise reservations on ships.