New ferry between Sharm and Hurghada
A much anticipated new ferry service between Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada opened this week - it replaces the defunct daily service between the two resorts, abandoned sometime in 2011 after the fall in tourism following the Egyptian Revolution.
With Egyptian resorts – especially Sharm and Dahab – in a state of crisis following various European government restrictions being placed on travelling via Sharm-El-Sheikh airport in the wake of the downing of a Russian jet in October last year, coupled with a certain unease surrounding the loss of an EgpytAir flight over the Mediterranean in May, the news has been cautiously welcomed by businesses in both locations.
The timetable is sparse, and may not be convenient for all travellers, with crossings currently available only on Thursdays and Sundays at 8am from Hurghada to Sharm, and 6pm in the evening for the return journey. The crossing takes around two hours and is currently priced at 630 Egpytian pounds for a return journey – around £50 per person – making it cheaper than an internal flight (around £80) but without the hassle of airport transit, and most importantly, avoiding travel through Sharm airport with its associated FCO warning.
It’s early days but should the ferry prove to be popular, it’s highly likely that the number of crossings will eventually increase. It might not be convenient to all holidaymakers, but it does substantially improve the options for travelling to and from Sharm, and any project that helps to improve tourism in the belaboured nation is a positive step forward.