Suez Canal Transit – 19:00 June 21st to 04:00 June 22nd
Originally scheduled to commence the transit in the early morning of June 21st, so should have seen the entire canal during daylight, but we awoke to find the ship still swinging on the hook, or at anchor. Due to ongoing engineering works in the canal and delays to the southbound convoy, our departure time was repeatedly put back throughout the day, eventually departing the anchorage shortly after 18:30.
View from our balcony of ships lying at anchor waiting to enter Port Suez.
Cruise ships, which book transits more than a year in advance and are normally positioned at the front of the convoy, with only warships having a higher priority. Well we picked the same day to transit Suez with the US Navy and a Royal Navy supply ship, which reduced us to spot number 6.
The USS Iwo Jima the task force command ship with Sea Harriers on the stern and choppers up fwd. Being the largest naval unit and task force commander she was at the head of our convoy.
In the number 2 spot was the USS New York, which is notable for the recycled steel from the World Trade Centre towers used in the construction of her bow.
Other ships at anchor on our stbd side that will follow behind us in the northbound convoy
The Princess House Flag at the Stem Jack as we departed the anchorage for our transit of the Suez Canal
Once the 5 naval units passed our position and the pilot was aboard, Sea Princess weighed anchor and took up position about a mile astern of the vessel ahead, at an initial speed of about 9 kts.
Rounding the final bend in the buoyed channel on approaching the entrance to the Suez Canal.
On final approach immediately prior to entering the Suez Canal
Entering the Suez Canal with the 2 ships ahead of us in the convoy
Inside the entrance breakwater navigating along the entrance channel
Port Suez at the entrance to the Suez Canal
Mosque on the banks of the Suez Canal entrance channel
Approaching the first bend in the Suez Canal with very fresh wind
Rounding the first bend with the entire convoy visible ahead and the first of many sets of pontoons to be used as a Bailey Bridge should the military need to bridge the canal.
Ship’s focsle with a number of crew enjoying the Suez Canal transit
Rounded the first bend and navigating along the canal in a fresh wind
My final photograph from above the Bridge before returning to the cabin.
Judi on the balcony obviously enjoying her first transit of the Suez Canal.
Setting sun being held up by a radio mast.
Wide angle shot of the setting sun and our passage along the Suez Canal.
Judi on the balcony enjoying the canal transit and sunset
Our progress along the Suez Canal from our balcony.
Sunset colours over Egypt as we navigate through the Suez Canal.
The Suez Canal transit continued throughout the night and we cleared Port Said about 04:00, prior to sunrise.
While we are enjoying this extended holiday and the current 104 day World Cruise, we are always thinking of what we are missing at home, especially our grandson Owen, who was 2 months old when we left and is now 5 months old. I will finish today’s post with a photograph received today from our daughter Heather.