After leaving Crete the QM2 continued sailing toward the Suez Canal. Grayden and I were so excited over the possibility of sailing into this area that neither of us have ever been. The Middle East is a place that many of us think of, but never visit. Different cultures, different languages , different religions, different alphabets, and very different scenery awaited the next leg of our World Voyage!
The evenings brought brilliant sunsets as we said goodnight to the day.
We both felt safe and were happy that Cunard and the officers of Queen Mary 2 were looking after everyone's safety. Thankfully, we had no issues during this voyage of this area!
The Suez Canal is an artificial sea level waterway that goes through Egypt. It connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez. This 120 mile route divides Africa and Asia. We were so excited to view this transit that we opted to have breakfast in our stateroom so we could view the early morning beginning of the canal from our balcony.
The canal was constructed in 1859 and completed in 1869. The Suez Canal starts at Port Said and ends in the city of Suez. When I think of a canal I think of locks, but the Suez Canal does not have locks like the Panama Canal. The Suez Canal has no locks because of the flat terrain, and the minor sea level difference between each end is inconsequential for shipping.
There were towns dotting the Suez as we traveled along. Since 2014 there has been major development along the corridor. The cost of transiting the canal has brought great economic growth to Egypt.
As we looked forward we could see the Suez Canal Bridge that links Africa to Asia. It is also known as Al Salam Peace Bridge or Mubarak Peace Bridge. It is also known as the Japanese-Egyptian Friendship Bridge as Japan contributed over 60% of the construction cost. Egypt put up the other 40%. The Japanese participated in this endeavor as part of the larger project to develop the Sinai Peninsula. The bridge opened in 2001.
Going under this giant bridge was interesting to say the least! The clearance was just a little over 229 feet. So the Queen Mary 2 could not be over 223 feet over the water line. I'm glad I'm not the one to do those calculations!
I can assure you we were both in awe over the scenery! A canal this vast in the middle of the desert! How amazing!
Our day was full of constant surprises as we watched the transit from various points along the ship.
Taking this trip down the Suez Canal was certainly an unreal moment for Grayden and I. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to experience this area!
Ninety percent of Egyptians follow Islam and we saw many minarets dotting the landscape. These towers call to prayer those that follow the Muslim faith five times a day.
This memorial is dedicated to the defense of the Suez Canal against the Ottoman Army during World War I.
The QM2 passed through the Great Bitter Lake and approached Port Suez then we entered the Gulf of Suez. Soon our ship entered the Red Sea near Sharm el Sheik before setting a south easterly course to pass along the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian coasts.