Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) has added two new ships and departures to meet demand for a Suez Canal transit cruise that was initially offered on just a few departures of OAT's new adventure, "Cruising the Red Sea: Egypt, Sinai, Saudi Arabia & Jordan.” The Suez Canal transit cruise is now offered on 40 Red Sea departures from November 2008 through March 2009. Beginning at $5495, the Suez Canal and Red Sea adventure includes roundtrip international airfare from New York, cruising aboard one of OAT's new, four-star, 50 passenger ships, and exploration of Egypt, Sinai, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, where OAT travelers will be among the first American tourists.
"When our original Suez Canal transit cruise departures sold out within three days of promotion, we realized that transiting the Canal by small ship was definitely something that many Americans wanted to do,” said Mark C. Frevert, OAT President. "Transiting the Canal in a deluxe, private ship of just 50 passengers and as part of an international convoy of ships offers travelers an exciting way to experience the spectacular engineering feat that almost 140 years ago opened trade with India and the Far East without having to sail around the continent of Africa.”
OAT's new adventure begins with three nights in Cairo and two nights in Luxor before flying back to Cairo to prepare for the next day's crossing. The OAT ship will join one of three daily convoys of ships from around the world for a memorable 11-to15-hour transit from Port Said in the Mediterranean to Suez on the Red Sea. Along the way, travelers will witness small villages, fishing boats and daily life along the banks of the historic canal—either from the ship's top deck or, for those booked on an Upper Deck, from one's own private teak balcony.
The 19-day Suez Canal and Red Sea adventure begins at $5495, or about $290 a day, and includes roundtrip international airfare from New York, the Suez Canal transit onboard one of OAT's three, new 50-passenger ships, a seven-night Red Sea cruise, visits to Egypt, Sinai, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, 43 meals, 24 small group activities, all shore and offshore excursions, services of a local OAT Trip Leader, and all land transportation. Group size is limited to 25 travelers, although two groups, each with its own Egyptian Trip Leader, will convene for the Suez Canal transit cruise and seven-day Red Sea cruise.
In addition to the transit and Red Sea cruise, highlights include Saudi Arabia, where travelers will tour and meet with Bedouin tribe members in their village; shared meals at local families' homes in Egypt and Jordan; six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in three countries; Mt. Nebo and Mt. Sinai; floating in the Dead Sea; the ancient "Lost City” of Petra and the modern capital of Amman, Jordan; and the history-rich cities of Cairo and Luxor in Egypt.
OAT's new four-star sister ships, the M/V Arethusa, M/V Artemis and M/V Athena, were launched in April 2008, September 2007, and May 2007, respectively, and are part of Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises' award-winning fleet of 50+ small ships. Each ship has 26 cabins (24 doubles at 150-170 sq. ft., 2 singles at approx. 140 sq. ft.) that feature private bathrooms, moveable twin beds, flat screen TV with CNN, telephone, mini-refrigerator, individually-controlled air conditioning, hair dryer and dual electrical outlets. The common areas feature a lounge, bar area, dining room, library, and sun deck.