From Jordan to Egypt By Ferry
Even wondered how the process of going from Jordan to Egypt by ferry happens? Planning your own trip? Like following along with my trips? No matter the reason you came upon this post, here are the details!
Aqaba ferry is notorious for being late, really late. For this reason I spent most of the day that was supposed to be spent sailing walking around the waterfront of the city of Aqaba waiting for a departure time. It is a very clean town, with lots of interesting stores to keep you busy while waiting. There is also a bunch of cheap and delicious restaurants… mmm! It is a nice place to spend a few hours, but the real fun will start when get get on the ferry. Oh, and by ferry, I mean yacht. The ferry looked nothing like any of the ones that I’ve seen in Canada.
Everyone boarding the ferry had to get an exit stamp at the border of Jordan. I was at the front of the line so was the first served by one of the men. Everything seemed pretty routine, until I got to the ferry where the customs agent seemed less then impressed with my visa stamp. After accusing me of trying to trick him, he walked away with my passport. I started to get worried… the ferry was leaving and I was being yelled at in Arabic. Thankfully, things improved when he came back looking less peeved, turns out the man stamping the passports was using the wrong date stamp.
After getting my passport back, the captain of the ferry took me by the hand. I decided since I had already been in enough trouble, it was best to keep him happy and follow him. After putting me in”the best seat in the house” he told me, ‘you must come to see me when we start sailing’. Seemed like a good idea to me! Soon after, I took my travel mate Mark up to the front of the boat. The captain let us into the room to drive the boat! There were tons of controls, maps, and dials. There were four men in the cabin to manage it all. Rather unnerving, they stopped paying attention to driving once we walked in. They were showing us how everything worked, and explaining the systems. When Mark pointed out that one of the maps said collision course. Whoops… That may just be our queue to leave!
The rest of the boat ride went by super quickly, with the crew coming back to visit often. When the boat docked they let Mark and me off first. Immigration was easy! We sailed through and got our stamp. Suspicion arose when we realized that we hadn’t paid anything for our visa. Since our trip research had been pretty clear that Egyptian Visas cost $15USD, this was a bit of a tip off. Turns out we had gotten the resort visa, good for just the surrounding area. No good for a transcontinental adventurer such as myself!
We had to go to the other port to get that visa. Things were much less clear and touristy there, and much more chaotic. The visa process involved buying your visa in a bank and then handing over your passport several times; to people who disappeared with the passport for fifteen minutes at a time. I’m not entirely convinced that there are not dozens of Michelle Weger passports now available on the black market…
Finally, out of the port and time to see what Egypt looks like! … Except it is super late by now and very dark out! We drive to our camp by the sea and enter our huts in the dark. There is no power at the camp after 11pm, so it is a mystery what this place looks like… I guess I’ll find out in the morning!