Cruising through the Suez Canal
I’ve just received a Facebook message from my daughter who’s travelling in Vanuata, and she said: “Mum, I thnk I’ve died and gone to heaven!
Well, as I sit here on our Stateroom balcony looking out on the Suez Canal having a 4 course specialty breakfast on Sea Princess I wrote back, “I think we have too! We’ll see you there!”
Yesterday evening the Sea Princess hove to and we waited at the southern entrance to the Suez Canal until the ship convoy in which we were travelling was cleared to enter the canal.
Later in the day we met a southbound convoy of ships as we entered the recently constructed new section of the canal which allows for two-way traffic (above).
We were ship number 2 in a 29 ship convoy travelling north and we entered the canal about 5am this morning.
Even at that time the decks were abuzz with people excited about traversing one of the most renowned and strategically placed waterways in the world.
We were going to enjoy the view from our stateroom balcony with a specialty gourmet champagne breakfast served in our cabin: Oh what luxury, what decadence, what it is to be on a world cruise!
We’ve found the food on the cruise to be very high quality and there’s a great variety, with something for all tastes, and we’ve been really impressed with the quantity and range of fresh food and produce always on offer. Surprisingly after 30 days at sea, neither Dave or I have put on any weight and I’ll be giving some tips in a later post on how to achieve this (we think it’s a bit of a miracle and hope it continues!) but honestly, it hasn’t involved starvation diets.
From my Journal
As we look out of over the starboard balcony onto the Sinai desert cruising slowly up the Great Bitter Lake we’ve just passed a south bound convoy of ships at anchor. They will continue their journey south through the Canal as soon as our convoy has cleared the Bitter Lake.
Savoring the views and the food we’re enjoying a long lazy breakfast (eating far more than we might normally!) finishing with freshly baked pastries and coffee.
It’s sumptuous and we’re feeling like millionaires being served delicious treats on a private balcony going through such an iconic waterway.
Looking out over the aqua blue water onto the hazy desert tucking into our fresh fruit starter, a beautifully constructed basket of fruits made from shavings of melon folded and woven into a dish filled with a medley of fresh berries; blueberries, strawberries and rasberries, finished off with a serving of cream and fresh mint on the side.
From our vantage point, the eastern side of the canal is composed of barren sandy desert whilst to the west a verdant green ribbon follows the waterway.
On deck earlier we could see palm trees, rice paddies, farmland, and continuous habitation ranging from small settlements and villages to towns, and the ubiqutous military installations, ranging from lonely guard posts manned by solitary armed soldiers (rifle in one hand, waving with the other) to major air bases.
As we cruised through the Great Bitter Lake to its outlet we tucked into our second course; smoked salmon, ricotta cheese, capers and crispy rolls.
The heat is ramping up now (it’s 9.30am) and it’s getting up to around 39 – 41degrees Celcius. There’s no longer a sea current pushing us, or any waves. There’s just a swish of water, and the colour of blue all around from the hazy blue of the sky to the bright blue of the canal offset by sandy desert.
What a fabulous morning its been with more exciting landscapes to travel past. We are due to reach Port Said at 4pm and then travel into the Med an hour later which will mean that we were around 12 hours to cruise the entire length of the canal (183 miles). Somewhere in here though we have to find time to get to the gym to work off the calories 😉
What a day! How Exciting!
I’m travelling as a guest of Princess Cruises but all opinions are my own.
How many of you Lifestylers have been on a Princess Cruise? Or will you be booking one in the future?