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a VirtualTourist member from Tunbridge Wells

Port Said

a day in Port Said, Egypt


We're on a Princess cruise in July/August and one of our stops is Port Said in Egypt.
Now, Princess offer excursions down to see the Great Pyramid etc. It's many hours there and back by coach ---not our way of seeing such wonders! We shall visit the Sphinx and co. on another trip, maybe land based or even a river cruise.

So, there we will be in Port Said for a day, 06:00 until 20:00 and okay we can knock 30 minutes off at each end for dis/embarking.
What can we do there? I've looked at the VT Any ideas?

Yes, we know about ---any VT ideas would be appreciated!

If we have no luck then we'll just need to stay on board the Pacific Princess and indulge ourselves ---but we'd rather not!


5 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Hesperia

Hey, that brought back some memories from my work on the cruise ships back in the day. Actually Port Said is quite an interesting city, and very cosmopolitan or international in style. It is also quite the tourist town for Egyptians.

The history of the canal is quite interesting, and the majestic almost colonial houses in PS, show that a lot of Egyptian money was spent here back in the day.

I don't quite remember the quote, but I believe it was Kipling that said somthing like "....there are two places in the world where you can sit and wait, and the person you would like to meet will eventually show up...." Those being the London docks and Port Said/Suez Canal. Sorry, I likely murdered that quote.....d:o)

Point being, there is no need to spend your shore time on board the ship. A nice private car and driver/guide will make this port a very nice experience. Although they do emphasize day ntours to Cairo, they can surely give you a local Port Said tour as well. Here is one of them, - there are many more. If I remember correctly, there will be a number of operators on the dock looking for business.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Westlake Village

Hey, that brought back memories of my days as a passenger on a cruise ship. One of the most fascinating times was in Cairo at the Souk Khan el-Khalili. Yes, many of the shops are tourist traps but the fun is in the banter of trying to get the price to where they will sell an item. Both the shopkeeper and you should expect a lot of haggling. As long as both of you smile at the sale, it was a good buy. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo is another great experience not to be missed. See website:

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Hesperia

Hi Larry, - I think the point is NOT to suffer the busride to Cairo for a quick glimpse of the pyramids etc., but rather to enjoy a day in Port Said, which is quite doable.......and leave Cairo for another time........d:o)

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Tunbridge Wells

Thanks to you both!

Yes, Erik, you read my enquiry correctly: we don't want to go to Cairo because it is ridiculous to spend so much time on a coach to then spend so little time asking the Sphinx lots of riddles!

I will save the Cairo ideas for another time.

Anybody else got any thoughts?

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Westlake Village

Apologies to the poster. I just felt I had to mention that a trip to Egypt should include a visit to the famous Souk Khan El Khalili and the Cairo Museum. The cruise ship I was on docked in Alexandria and we went to not only Cairo in about 2 1/2 hours, farther than the distance from Port Said, but stayed overnight across the way from the Pyramids of Giza and went to Port Said the next day in less than 2 hours. You could spend a couple of hours right on the docks in Port Said with all the vendors of tourist goodies. Does anyone need a camel hide luggage bag? Port Said does have their own museums, such as the National Museum (a display of Egyptian history), the Museum of Modern Art (featuring Egyptian artists) and the Military Museum (not just modern day displays of military equipment but ancient Egyptian warfare displays) that are a lot more modern than the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, but the museum in Cairo will have the Tutankhamen exhibit and other stored antiquities moved to the new Giza location near the Pyramids of Giza which will be called the Grand Egyptian Museum and should open within the next couple of years. This may be one of the last times to visit the vast display of Egyptian antiquities that have been housed in the Cairo museum since 1902. Additional antiquities are found and added as quickly as the museum can display them with many stored for the new museum in Giza, but it is the musty smell and the dark corners of the Cairo Museum that make you feel as if "Indiana Jones" is just around the corner. If you have not seen this museum, you will have missed out on one of the greatest collections of Egyptian history viewed in an historic building. Oh, it will still be in Cairo, but the impact will have changed and the Disney style new Giza museum with good intent, will be a sterile structure of modern times that to me will just lack the feel of what to me an Egyptian Museum of Antiquities should be.

I understand the no long bus ride for me syndrome, but many of the tour buses today are quite comfortable. Of course, if you are thinking of the old bus days, then yes you would suffer. lol There is the Egyptian Trains 1st class trains from Port Said to Cairo. Just a thought. Oh, well. Trust you will get back to Egypt to see the Pyramids and maybe even the new Grand Egyptian Museum in all its glory.:-)

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