Going through the Suez Canal

Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
Trip End Dec 04, 2013

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Flag of Egypt  , Al Isma'iliyah,
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

We supposedly entered the Suez Canal at 3 AM on Nov 20; we were not there to witness it! It is an all day affair to transit this man-made shipping canal that was HAND DUG in 1859-1869. A bit of information about the canal. It is 120 miles long. It is often called the "highway to India" as it reduces the journey from London to Mumbai from 12,300 miles (around Africa) to 7200 miles via the canal. It has belonged to Egypt since 1956. The fastest passage takes about 14.5 hours. An average of 47 vessels per day transverse it. Average revenue is $5 billion which is 7-10% of Egypt's budget. I did not know the canal was closed from 1967-1975 during the war between Egypt and Israel. Ships had to travel around Africa to get to the Mediterranean Sea during that time period.

The Suez Canal handles 8% of the world' s seaborne cargo, around 2% of the world's oil and is critical to countries like Russia, U.S. U.K. And Israel.

Canal traffic takes turns. Convoys of ships move either north bound or south bound, depending on the time of the day. We travelled south for 6 hours, then anchored for 6 hours until all northbound traffic cleared the canal. We were then allowed to finish to trip south. Unfortunately that latter part occurred after sunset so I have no good pictures of the ship actually in the canal itself. The pictures I have posted were taken while we sat anchored, waiting for our turn to transit.

We will be in Jordan in the morning.
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Annette Landvatter on

Hi, My head is swimming with all the details on the Canal. I guess I knew them when I was in school but I surely had forgotten all these details. The pictures take me to so many movies and newsreels about the Canal. Again I wish I were there. Hugs, Annette

Julie on

Poppy you are doing a great job of updating us!

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