A Red Sea Cruise is a unique vacation experience. The Red Sea is located between Africa and Asia and connects to the ocean through the Gulf of Aden and the Bab el Mandeb Strait. The Red Sea in the Great Rift Valley; is approximately 169,100 square feet, and 7,254 feet deep in the central trench. Shallow shelves also encompass the sea and are home to many species of marine life. The coastline runs from the Gulf of Suez to the Sudan border.
Ports of Call
Political unrest in Yemen and Aden prevent cruise ships from visiting some Red Sea destinations. Saudi Arabia discourages tourism on the eastern coast of the Red Sea, and with the exception of Sharm el Sheikh, there aren't many tourist destinations. The western coast has many Egyptian diving centers. One of the more unusual destinations for cruise ships is Suakin, which sits on a coral inlet, not far from Port Sudan. The attraction is that the settlement is so ancient. The town is surrounded by a high coral wall, with a group of ancient forts about a mile away.
One of the largest resorts near the Red Sea is Hurghada, surrounded by mountains and desert. Most of its development has taken place within the last 20 years. A number of hotels, bars, restaurants, and shops have sprung up, but the atmosphere is casual and relaxed. Visitors shop duty free, but the main attraction is the coral reefs and islands. Nearby Suez has colorful shops and markets in addition to the Suez Canal, which is worth seeing.
Sharm el Sheikh, on the Sinai Peninsula, along with Naama, are two of the most popular diving areas in the world. The beaches shelve gently, making diving even for beginners easy. Restaurants, bars, shops, and cafes line the beaches. The backdrop is desert landscape and mountains, and four bays lie along the water.
The onboard experience varies depending upon the ship you're sailing on, but even small cruise ships have amenities that were once only found on larger luxury liners. Relax on the Sun Deck or take a refreshing dip in the pool. Smaller ships usually accommodate all guests for dinner at one seating, and the atmosphere is generally more casual. Passengers may choose to stay onboard or take onshore excursions. Most lines require you to book excursions at least 24 hours in advance.
Activities that may be included on most of the larger cruise ships are duty free shopping, relaxing in the ship's library or in one of the comfortable observation lounges to watch the incredible scenery. Have a relaxing spa treatment. Participate in a class or watch a demonstration. In the evening ou can test your luck in the casino or enjoy live entertainment in one of the ship's lounges.
Special Event Cruises
Group cruises become more popular every year, and there's a Red Sea Cruise to suit every taste and budget. Cruise lines make special effort to accommodate large groups and usually offer discounts or even a free cruise for the group's organizer. Group cruises generally last between 3 and 22 days, and are the perfect vacation for church, youth, and social groups.