Day 056 Jordan : Aqaba-Nuweiba Ferry crossing

We went to visit Arab Bridge (AB) Maritime yesterday.  We ended up accidently going into the Head Office (near Safeway) but spoke to a wonderful young lady who gave us this information.  So the disclaimer for this is that the prices are obviously only valid for now but maybe you can use the information as a guide.

There are 2 ferries from Aqaba to Nuweiba.  They are both operated by the same company, so with a monopoly, the prices are as they are.... For such a short trip, they are expensive but there is no negotiation as this is the only route (without going via Israel) to Egypt.

There are 2 ferries: the fast and the slow.

 

The Fast Ferry

This ferry runs once a day every weekday except Saturday.  It is scheduled to leave at 1pm each day and does so mostly within a 60 minute slot i.e. its normally on time but never delayed for longer than 60 minutes.

The journey takes 1.5 hours to Nuweiba.

As a result of being a bit more expensive, supposedly less people use it and so the formalities on the Egyptian side tend to be a little less fraught.  However in our experience, the ferry was jam packed and exiting was a real bun fight.

Tourists are first in the queue for Customs and Immigration we were told.  Not true.  On the fast ferry the non-Egyptians are allocated one seating section in the back third of the ferry whilst Egyptians take up the rest.  The immigration is at the front of the ferry in the Egyptian section.  Egyptian passports are processed first and once these are done, non-Egyptians are processed together.  The process is civilized as the crew arrange this all so wait for their instructions.

The cost at the moment is US$70 per person and US$220 for the landie.

 

The Slow Ferry

This ferry runs every weekday.  In  the schedule it is supposed to leave at 12noon BUT it as it waits until it has as many passengers as possible, it tends to have a time slot as a opposed to a schedule and can leave any time between 12noon and midnight.  The leaving time we hear is mostly midnight which means getting into Nuweiba at 4am.

The journey takes 4 hours to Nuweiba.

Many people use this ferry and the Customs and Immigration is a bit of a nightmare we hear.

The cost at the moment is US$65 per person and US$210 for the landie.

 

For us it seems a no-brainer, so we will be using the Fast Ferry but if you have a bigger rig like a motorhome, the slow ferry is significantly cheaper we hear.  You need to book tickets in advance at the ticket office in downtown Aqaba and its really important that you do this.  The office is right next to Hammam Supermarket.  Find your way to the Hospital roundabout.  Take the road that goes up the hill keeping the hospital on your left.  Take you first turning right (Aqaba Florist is on the corner).  Follow the road and do a u-turn so that you come back on the opposite side of the road.  Hammam Supermarket is on your right.  Parking is always available there. 

 

UPDATE 15/06/09

When we went to the office today, the day before departure to book our tickets, our reception there was awful and we were told "book tomorrow at the port".  All I can say is, don't do it.  I think they must have known that the ferry was busy and had we gone the next day we would not have got on!  So despite our rude treatment ( and it was along the lines of "why you not speak Arabic - you speak Arabic, not English"), we remained calm and insisted that we wanted our tickets issued.  The prices are in full view on the wall of the office and when they tried to overcharge us for the vehicles, we referred to that (also being fore-armed with the information from the Head Office helped) so eventually had the tickets issued.  By the way, you can pay in JD or US$ and they use a fair exchange rate.

#1 trevorb on 6.13.2009 at 11:02 PM

Phew, caught up at last. <Apparently advice is not to relinquish passports but to go with them to police station so they can be examined there...at which point problem usually vanishes apparently>. Hope you had a good and restful break diving at Aqaba. As you imminently will be arriving in Africa, thought I'd mention tracks4africa.co.za

Assume you've already seen it, if so apologies, but if not well worth a visit. GPS and the 4th dimension (time) for Gamin Mapsource. i.e. how long it takes real people to travel and actual averaged GPS tracks, for accuracy and real timings between places, eg Cario to Cape. Maybe worth saving your map tracklogs and uploading. BTW we have booked for SA and will be there from 20th July to 10th Aug, Staying with relatives in JB, PE, CT, otherwise B&B. Driving Joburg, Blyde River Canyon, Kruger, Mooi River, Coffe Bay, PE, Jeffries Bay, Kynsna, Hermanus, CT, Fly JB, fly home. Will be using my GPSmap60csx and room101 maps. Anyone in SA need sugar puffs or HP sauce or appreciate a visit? All the best on the next and greatest part of your adventure. Trevorb