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Through the Suez canal on the Costa Fortuna - 11 April 2014

Through the Suez canal on the Costa Fortuna - 11 April 2014

Postby Wansbrough » 27 Apr 2014 22:04

On the 11 April 2014 our ship, the Costa Fortuna arrived in the early hours at Suez which is the northerly end of the Red Sea. We joined around 15-20 or so other ships all waiting to transit the canal in a convoy. Apart from the MSC Lirica and ourselves all the other ships were commercial and these were mostly tankers and container ships.

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The view from our cabin as we arrive at Suez end of the canal in the Red Sea




We decided to make our way up on deck to get a better view and watch the sun rise, briefly stopping to pick up a coffee on the way.



We understood according to the daily programme that we would be setting off fairly early and were surprised when the MSC Lirica set off first and then we didn't follow her. We waited and watched as all the other ships joined the convoy and we just sat there.
Eventually after all the other ships had set off we had movement, but not a manoeuvre we had expected. The ship made a anti clockwise pirouette before finally setting off in the direction of the entrance to the canal. We were some 2 hours behind the MSC Lirica and right at the back of the convoy.

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The MSC Lirica heads off first into the Suez Canal





Everybody else goes on ahead







Our turn finally arrived as we follow the convoy into the canal



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Our entry into the canal passing the Egyptian city of Suez as we go in






The first few miles into the canal cruising at 10 Knots


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The only things behind us are the 2 tugs whose reason for being there hasn't been made clear.






Arrival at the Great Bitter Lakes which is one of the natural lakes which make up part of the Suez Canal


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A panorama of the Great Bitter Lake


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A panorama of Egyptian side of the Great Bitter Lake


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The Great Bitter Lake was the only place we encountered traffic coming in the other direction





A memorial near Ismailia to the Egyptian soldiers who died in the Battle of Ismailia (opposite Timsah Lake, the second of the natural lakes which make up the canal)





The Al-Ferdan Bridge






The Al-Salam Bridge


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As the light began to fade we started on the final stretch


The tugs have gone and we are near the end of the transit of the Suez canal. Our evening agenda meant that this is where the photos ended. By the time we had got ready for dinner darkness had fallen so there are no photos of us exiting the canal at Port Said.

It turned out that our delay was due to one of the engine failing and there were lots of negotiations going on to allow us to make the transit, hence the reason for the two tugs which stayed with us for the transit.

The full set of photos can be found >>HERE<<

Or if your viewing platform allows a Picasa Slide show here


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Through the Suez canal on the Costa Fortuna - 11 April 2014

Postby Dave » 28 Apr 2014 07:32

Fantastic photos of a memorable experience. :clap:

(We were followed by two tugs when we transited the Bosphorus. I assume they're there in case of an emergency.)
Dave

Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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Through the Suez canal on the Costa Fortuna - 11 April 2014

Postby Jimmy the One » 28 Apr 2014 09:17

Excellent photos as usual W :D
Im just a soul whose intentions are good Oh lord please dont let me be misunderstood

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Through the Suez canal on the Costa Fortuna - 11 April 2014

Postby JC-Liverpool » 28 Apr 2014 11:43

Hi W
Excellent blogs.
I loved the Suez Canal transit,,,,
The photo of the ship going South through the Great Lakes is one of two passing points.

Did you miss the best photo opportunity in the Suez Canal?,the other passing point (anchorage) at el Ballah By-pass.
Where the anchored ships look like they are sailing in the desert.
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Unfortunately a sandstorm was blowing up when we reached El Ballah,,,good to see with the naked eye,but bad for a photo.
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Re: Through the Suez canal on the Costa Fortuna - 11 April 2

Postby JollyJill » 28 Apr 2014 11:46

I must admit that sailing through the Suez Canal is not on my bucket list but it is interesting to see what others think and to see the photos.
We will however be sailing through Suez in 2016 so once we've done it, may be we will be impressed too. I was certainly impressed with the Panama Canal.
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Through the Suez canal on the Costa Fortuna - 11 April 2014

Postby Skier Pete » 28 Apr 2014 23:05

What a spectacular set of images W.

both the big canals are on my to do list and MSC do repositioning cruises through Suez (but of course you know that, as you had Lirica blazing the trail for the convoy :D :D :D ;) ;) ;) ) and i saw a Dubai to Southampton for £199 for 21 nights last year. Now my OH is retiring in July we may be able to pick one up cheaply :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Through the Suez canal on the Costa Fortuna - 11 April 2014

Postby Gillzajoker » 29 Apr 2014 15:26

Again your pics. are excellent, W. I must admit to having been disappointed with the Suez Canal as I had done the Panama Canal twice before and was hugely impressed with that - and, not having done any research - expected it to be similar. So my overall impression was a feeling of "it's just a river". I enjoyed it better the second time as I didn't have that 'expectation'. Some technophile will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the difference in levels from one end to the other is only about 2m.
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Through the Suez canal on the Costa Fortuna - 11 April 2014

Postby grannyM » 29 Apr 2014 18:52

WoW - what a fantastic slideshow W. I thoroughly enjoyed every single shot. :clap: :clap:

I doubt we'll ever have the experience so thank you so much for sharing your magnificent photos. It's a pity there were a few ports cancelled but for bye that I'm sure you both had a wonderful cruise. :D
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Through the Suez canal on the Costa Fortuna - 11 April 2014

Postby Wansbrough » 29 Apr 2014 22:01

JC-Liverpool wrote:Hi W
Excellent blogs.
I loved the Suez Canal transit,,,,
The photo of the ship going South through the Great Lakes is one of two passing points.

Did you miss the best photo opportunity in the Suez Canal?,the other passing point (anchorage) at el Ballah By-pass.
Where the anchored ships look like they are sailing in the desert.
Image

Unfortunately a sandstorm was blowing up when we reached El Ballah,,,good to see with the naked eye,but bad for a photo.
JC


It would appear so JC, was that where the canal spits into 2 at the northern end of the canal?
This could be where you mean?

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Through the Suez canal on the Costa Fortuna - 11 April 2014

Postby Wansbrough » 29 Apr 2014 22:04

Skier Pete wrote:What a spectacular set of images W.

both the big canals are on my to do list and MSC do repositioning cruises through Suez (but of course you know that, as you had Lirica blazing the trail for the convoy :D :D :D ;) ;) ;) ) and i saw a Dubai to Southampton for £199 for 21 nights last year. Now my OH is retiring in July we may be able to pick one up cheaply :D :D :D :D :D :D


That will be the result of my new FZ200 :D I have been very impressed with it on its first proper outing.
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