Crossing from Aqaba to Nuweiba

We had difficulty finding any accurate information on how this service works so we decided to put our experience up. So we arrived in Aqaba town and found a hostel. From there we set about trying to find the AB Maritime office which sits on the ring road on the edge of town. However, this is not were you buy tickets! The services available to us in June 2011 included one fast ferry leaving at 12 noon for $75 UDS per person and $235 for our 4×4 and a slow ferry leaving at 12 midnight for $65 USD per person and $225 for the 4×4. The reason we had to take a ferry instead of driving through Israel is that if we got an Israeli stamp on our passports Sudan would refuse us entry, thus we had to pay $140 each to get across to Egypt. Feel like writing to the Israeli government for compensation. We went to a travel agents called Orbit travel which is on the southern end of Aqaba’s waterfront. Sadly the fast ferry was booked up and we had to take the slow ferry. We went down at 9pm despite the boat setting sail at 12 midnight. Trust me you need the time. We arrived down at the Passenger Terminal which is a big white building. There were around 600 people milling about the terminal. First step is to go into the ground floor and pay your 8JD departure tax. If you have a vehicle go through a door on the right of the departure tax window towards customs. Get your Carnet de Passage stamped for the vehicle and then you can go back out to the front of the terminal building. On the right hand side of the building is a set of stairs, you go up these and turn left and this is were you get your exit stamp for Jordan. Once all this has been done you can return to your vehicle to clear Jordanian customs, this was a fairly quick once over of the car and our paperwork and we were allowed to board. Once onboard you need to begin your Egyptian immigration procedures. They took our passports at this point and gave us receipts for them and said we’ll get them back in Nuweiba from the immigration building. A situation we werent happy with but there you go. The slow ferry itself was rammed with people. We found ourselves some chairs and lay down anywhere we could to get some sleep. Thats hard when you’re in a room of nattering wives and crying kids. The ferry was supposed to take 4 hours but 8 hours later we were still on the boat. When we eventually got off there was the insanity of Egyptian customs. The immigration compound is a dilapidated and run down area with no signs in english or arabic labeling the different offices/sheds. Luckily we got help from two tourist police officers who really helped us out. First things first, passports and visas. Once they have been secured and stamped you begin on the vehicle. Insurance needs bought, Arabic license plates need bought, the vehicle needs searched and the carnet de passage needs to be processed. This all cost us in the region of 700 Egyptian pounds and everything needs photocopied. We were carrying about 30 different pieces of paper and a fire extinguisher at one point. Without those tourist police officers there was no way we could have got through in 3 hours. The biggest hold up we had was when the customs official said our fire extinguisher wasn’t big enough. We then needed to go and buy one from a random shed on the edge of the compound. Weird. Once cleared to go we set off out into the Sinai peninsula. Our first footsteps on the African continent!

4 Responses to “Crossing from Aqaba to Nuweiba”

  1. next time, know that Israel will NOT stamp your passport if you specifically request such at entry/exit. For years, those traveling from Isralel to Egypt would be denied entry if such a stamp existed and many, many, many have gone from Is. to Eg and points further.

    • We are travelling with two Malaysians, they would be refused re-entry to Malaysia if they went to Israel. That and the Carnet de passage does not apply in Israel so more paperwork and red tape. Cheers anyway

  2. Hi! Ive read about what you are doing and would love to write an article on it! Im in contact with Camara anyway so should I get your email / phone details from them or through yourselves? my mail is

  3. Hey Johnny – great to find the website (Ta Jim) and catchup on the adventure so far. Once in a lifetime experience. I’m sure you can hardly believe you’ve finally made it to Africa after all that planning. Look forward to seeing some more photos & hearing the tales.

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