Skip to Content

Egypt to Jordan Ferry | Crossing the Red Sea

Travel in a new country can be daunting. Especially when there is not a lot of reliable information online or you like to book things in advance. When you are traveling around Egypt, reading recent blogs and first hand information is critical (or at least, very helpful) to ensure your plans go smoothly. When we visited, we wanted to take the Jordan to Egypt ferry that goes along the Red Sea leaving Nuweiba and arriving into Aqaba. This post will be extremely helpful if you plan on taking this route in either direction.

But it does not stop at ferries, there are plenty of other ways to get around the country. You can read all about them in this post.

Nuweiba ferry: Egypt to Jordan Ferry

Getting Around in Egypt and Ferry from Egypt to Jordan Information

If you are looking for more information on travel in Jordan, click here.

Travelling around Egypt is quite straightforward and a lot can be booked online, with a travel agent or at a ticket desk.

Travel by air in Egypt can cover long distances in short amounts of time, but we found that most connections were via Cairo. For instance, when we wanted to leave Sharm el Sheikh and go to Aswan, we had to first fly to Cairo.

It is relatively easy to hire a car or taxi to take you for a day trip, or shorter distances. But I suggest asking around. We had 1400LE and 750LE quoted for a 2 hour trip from Sharm el Sheikh to Nuweiba. So it can vary quite a lot. Ask your hotel, ask a taxi driver, hop on a mini bus and ask them too!

Getting in and out of Egypt can be done by air, land or sea. Here is a little synopsis on how to get around in the country and I will add more information as I get it.

[toc]

Nile Air Information Cairo to Sharm el Sheikh
Flying Nile Air

Egypt Air Travel

Egypt Air and Nile Air are popular options to travel by air. We flew with both (Egypt Air from Jordan to Luxor and then from Luxor to Cairo and Nile Air from Cairo to Sharm el Sheikh). Both airlines served us meals, which was a nice change from most short haul flights I have been on lately! We had an airport transfer from Sharm el Sheikh Airport to our Movenpick Naama Bay hotel. You can also get Airport transfers from Cairo here, Luxor here.

A Meal Aboard our Nile Air Flight
A Meal Aboard our Nile Air Flight

Egypt Nile Cruises

There are lots of Nile cruise options. You can check out some tour companies that offer Nile Cruises that you can book in advance here:

Viator Nile Cruises

Get your Guide Nile Cruises

Nile Cruises are a popular way to travel from Luxor to Aswan or visversa or round trip sailings. It is a nice way to have your hotel move with you. Most sailings are 3 to 5 days or 7 days round trip! We have not taken a Nile Cruise but hope to take one on our next visit to the region!

Egypt Train Travel

Train travel in Egypt is one of those modes of transportation that has a locals price, and a tourists price. Tourists are not able to buy tickets for the cheap trains (without doing it online) and are only sold the overnight sleep train tickets for certain routes. This is the case for Cairo to Luxor and Aswan routes. There are work arounds (such as buying online) where you can get rates more than 75% cheaper than the tourist price for the sleeper trains. So do your research about travelling Egypt by train and pick what works best for you! We have not taken a train in Egypt yet, but hope to return in 2018 and continue to explore Egypt.

Jordan Ferry: Nuweiba Ferry to Aqaba at Nuweiba Port
Nuweiba Ferry to Aqaba at Nuweiba Port

Now to my main post, Travelling the Red Sea from Nuweiba in the Sharm el Sheikh region to Aqaba Jordan by Ferry.

Ferry from Egypt to Jordan

There did not seem to be a ton of reliable information on where and how we could travel from Egypt to Jordan on the Red Sea by boat. Or what the schedules even were for Jordan to Egypt Ferry. Could I get a visa on arrival? Were the departures from Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Dahab or Nuweiba? After a bit of digging, we found that there was daily service from Nuweiba to Aqaba on the Red Sea. Nuweiba was about 2 hours drive North of Sharm el Sheikh and an hour north of Dahab. Sounds like fun, right?

Looking to travel from Cairo? Read this post about getting to Amman from Cairo

Planning on visiting Dahab? Check out this list of the best things to do in Dahab.

Ferry from Egypt to Jordan Red Sea Sinai Coast Sharm el Sheikh Aqaba Nuweiba

Egypt to Jordan Ferry: Our Nuweiba to Aqaba Experience

Hassle, Hassle, Hassle.

ONE:

I was told everything would be a hassle. “Dont take the ferry to Aqaba,” I was warned. “You can wait for hours!”

TWO:

For Safety Reasons, you should fly in and out of the region – A recommendation coming from travel.gc.ca

But Egypt had been nothing like I was expecting. Besides a few vendors who were trying to sell their goods, and the random “would you like a taxi?” questions from random men the second you stood still and looked around Egypt has been an extremely good experience. Read my post on 6 Things to know before visiting Egypt for more info!

Yes, I had a day where I did not like how our day went in Cairo. We all have bad days, right?

It was going to be CAD1200 (about USD 800 ) to fly back to Jordan from Sharm El Sheikh, or a 7 hour bus ride to Cairo and about CAD800 ( USD 500 ) to still get to Amman. The flights did not have good connections and it meant we would be spending all day sitting in Cairo airport, or we had the option to stay in Cairo for a few days and see more of the city.

Nuweiba Port Ticket to Aqaba
Nuweiba Port Ticket to Aqaba (or so I hope haha)

Cost of Ferry from Nuweiba, Egypt to Aqaba, Jordan

I was intrigued at the option to take the ferry from Egypt to Jordan, and despite the STEEP PRICE USD90 per person (as of Dec 1 2017 it was changed to US75 per person over 2 years old), it meant a two hour car ride, a night in a Nuweiba hotel near the port and an arrival into Aqaba (Which unfortunately it is a long weekend in Jordan, an Islamic holiday, and there are less than 10 hotels with rooms.)

The photos below are where to buy the tickets for the Nuweiba to Aqaba Red Sea Ferry.

AB Maritime Nuweiba Office Location
AB Maritime Nuweiba Office Location
Nuweiba AB Maritime Ticket Office from Street
Nuweiba AB Maritime Ticket Office from Street

Important AB Maritime Nuweiba Aqaba Ferry Information

We were told that we needed to purchase our tickets at least 2 hours in advance of the sailing. It sounded super annoying but as you read below, you are exiting a country and need to have your luggage x-rayed.

You do not buy your tickets at the port. You buy them around the corner at AB Maritime office. Make sure you get your tickets from the ticket office before you go to the port entrance!

Aqaba to Nuweiba Ferry Map

AB Maritime Schedule Red Sea Ferries

Egypt to Jordan Schedule 

Nuweiba to Aqaba Trip 1 12:00 – 4:00

Nuweiba to Aqaba Trip 2 1:00 – 4: 00

We were not offered trip one or trip two, but I came to know that trip 2 was the fast, tourist aqaba nuweiba fast ferry and trip 1 was more the vehicle and passenger ferry. Trip 1 did not even leave at 12, it was scheduled for 12:30 but as you see below, it did not leave on time.

Jordan to Egypt Schedule

Aqaba to Nuweiba Trip 1 23:00 – 1:00

Aqaba to Nuweiba Trip 2 23:00 – 24:00

These are current to Feb 2018. Check the schedules on the AB Maritime here.

Aqaba and Taba on Map

If you are not in Nuweiba, there is also a ferry from Taba to Aqaba

 

AB Maritime Aqaba Taba Ferry Schedule

Taba to Aqaba Ferry (Sun, Tu, Th, Fri, Sat) 13:30 – 14:30

Aqaba to Taba Ferry (Tu, Th, Fri) 10:00 – 11:00

These are current to Feb 2018. Check the schedules on the AB Maritime here.

You do not buy your tickets at the port. You buy them around the corner. Make sure you get your tickets

Nuweiba Port Entrance for Jordan to Egypt Ferry
Nuweiba Port Entrance

Nuweiba Port

We are now sitting on the AB Maritime ship taking us back to Jordan. I sit in a room with about 200 Arabic men. Not only am I the only white person (minus my two kids), but the only woman. I wonder what takes these men to Jordan, most carrying green coloured passports, which I assume indicate that they are Egyptian, not Jordanian (their passports are blue). Work, I can only assume.

We have been escorted from the entrance by the tourism police. I have not had to say a word on account of my Arabic speaking boyfriend. Who today is my husband for optics. Usually my Canadian passport makes smooth entry to most places, but a small tip in Cairo airport last week also gave us the same kind of escort. I am assuming this official is just trying to make a living.

After we fill out our exit forms, the officer hands our passports over to the man in the customs booth, asking us to take a seat. About 5 minutes later we are called back, our passports stamped, and we are led again, by the same official, to sit down on the far side of the waiting area, away from those who are already sitting.

AB Maritime Vessel Red Sea Ferry
Ferry: Jordan to Egypt AB Maritime Vessel

Egypt to Jordan Ferry Ride

Right at 12:30 we started to load the Nuweiba to Aquaba ferry. An Australian man, who had been in a car accident and was likely sporting a broken arm, joins us as the only foreigners getting on the ferry. While a hundred men queue, we are taken to the front of the line, our passports presented to another police officer by our “escort” and we are allowed on the boat.

Our escort surrenders his sidearm to another policeman standing outside the ship as he will show us on board. I have seen more security here at the port than almost anywhere in Egypt. But the security is not intimidating. There was a man at the entrance of the port behind a pile of sandbags, an automatic machine gun in front of him. Three other men checked our ID as we walked through a metal detector and had our luggage scanned before we were granted entry. This does not bother me one bit. I am happy to have my luggage screened. I am aware that those who wish to terrorize others live here, and if security makes it as tough as possible, it is a good thing.

I was expecting army clad men with rifles almost everywhere, but the security forces that I have seen have not bothered me. I have seen worse in places like Mexico 15 years ago. I can only wonder how the Mexican police act now.

Now on board, Jordanian officials checked our passports and took our tickets. Our passports were also checked by at least three other officials from the entrance to the port, to the front door, to the customs booth where we got our exit stamp. I haven’t decided if the left hand doesn’t trust the right or if everyone just needs to look like they have something to do. Regardless, our entry was more-or-less like entering an airport.

Awad has assured the police officer that he will see that the Aussie gets to the hospital in Aqaba for an X-ray and he leaves us on board after receiving a small tip for his services.

Interior of AB Maritime Ferry
Interior of AB Maritime Ferry

We are on the boat. It is not the lavish boat that AB Maritime shows on its website. But I am not surprised, and it is fine. There is a trolly for luggage, and an escalator to get up to the main deck. I got a questionable look taking my carry on bag up to the passenger deck, while most were reposting their suitcases and plastic bags on to the trolly. I do not fear theft, But I wasn’t about to unpack my laptop and camera because my purse is already bursting with the junk I carry around on a daily basis.

AB Maritime Vessel Interior of Ferry aqaba to nuweiba
It will do

If you are planning a Middle East Visit, read my packing list for Jordan. It applies to visiting other Middle Eastern countries as well!

Shabby mix matched chairs, likely bought second hand from a ferry going to the scrap yard, at least give us a comfortable spot to sit. The ash tray from the back of the seat in front have been removed. Smoking must be on the outside deck only. A rarity, to see non-smoking rules after three weeks of smoking in hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and even malls!

There is a cafeteria. Thankfully something to eat. Besides snacks, they have chicken and rice, which was quite good.

1:45 we depart. I haven’t found out where the life jackets are yet, which was my first comment when we decided to take the ferry. You always here about those far away ferry disasters on the news. Well, maybe I am on one of those ferries.

Ferry from Egypt to Jordan: AB Maritime Vessel
Ferry from Egypt to Jordan: AB Maritime Vessel

Arriving into Aqaba Port from Nuweiba, Egypt

Leaving an hour late meant an hour late arrival, and as a foreigner, I was escorted off the ferry first, along with the Australian and a Chinese visitor. All of the Jordanian’s had had their passports stamped on the ferry by a customs agent, and the Egyptian men did not need a visa, so I guess the point was to let us get through all the paperwork first.

Disembarking in Aqaba
Disembarking in Aqaba

Jordanian Visa’s in Aqaba are Free

 

On arrival to Queen Alia Airport in Amman, visitors to Jordan are required to obtain a visitor visa costing JD40 for a single entry visa (You can read about renewing a visitor visa in Jordan by clicking the link). But in Aqaba, the Single Entry Visa’s are Free. If you want to save money in Jordan, find out about arriving by ferry or air into Aqaba.

Again it was one of those line up after line up processes. One stamp from an agent, another signature from another, but finally we were able to leave. Or so I thought. Our bags were inspected by Customs on arrival. While bags are scanned in Amman on arrival also, despite scanning in Aqaba, they also went through each case, bit by bit. a few hundred people, having each bag inspected by 3 agents. It took awhile. It was dark before we finally got outside!

Overall, our ferry experience was totally fine, and despite the steep price tag, the cost of an extra hotel and a private car from Sharm el Sheikh to Nuweiba, it was quite a bit cheaper than travelling by air. It did however, take about the same amount of time as flying, but made for a more interesting day!

Pin these for later:

Information on Egypt to Jordan Nuweiba to Aqaba Route by Ferry
EGYPT to Jordan by Ferry | Everything you need to know about Aqaba & Nuweiba Travel | #egypt #jordan #ferry #travel #middleeast

Sharing is caring!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Arpita says:

    Hi there!

    We’ve also booked this ferry online, same journey, Nuweiba to Aquaba.

    What I am have doubt is about travel to Wadi Rum the same evening.
    We were initially thinking that we will stop in Aqaba city to have dinner and some shopping and then head to our Wadi Rum Camp.
    Do you know if it would be an issue to arrive late at wadi rum visitor center?
    Or its okay?
    We’re planning to hire a private driver to take us around Jordan or rent a car.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Kind regards,
    Arpita

  2. Jill says:

    Hi Lindsay
    Thank you for your informative and positive information! So many blogs re Nuweiba Aqaba are full of horror stories. I’m staying in Dahab and plan a side trip to Petra and Wadi Rum next week. Looking forward to it!

  3. Alex says:

    Thank you very much, Lindsay.

  4. Alex says:

    Hello, Lindsey. I have few questions. I’d like to riding by ferry or the the boats from Huweiba or Taba to Aqaba and back to take new Egypt visa becouse my visa is lost. I want to stay in a hotel in Aqaba. Those are my questions. 1. Can I buy the tickets in the ferries or boats companies some offices in Lower Egypt? How much is it? Can I take new visa or Sinai permit at arrival back in Egypt? Do me need to pay so-called fee for the leaving Jordan? I shall be in Aqaba or in another Jordan places from one or three days. I heared, everyone must to register itself in Jordan. Is it a true?

    • Hi Alex, quite a complex situation. As for buying the boat tickets, you need to buy from the AB maritime office at the port. As for taking a new visa, I would ASSUME theywould issues visa as many people go from Jordan to Egypt. The “leaving Jordan” fee is JD10 if you do need to pay. I am not sure if you need to pay the exit tax leaving Jordan but I would assume you would. Aqaba is a special economic zone and the VISA for Jordan is free, but I do not know if the exit tax is exempt as well. As for registering yourself in Jordan, I am not sure what you mean. You need to get a visa on arrival. That is usually sufficient, they may ask WHERE you plan to stay.

  5. Anne Harris says:

    Information I could not find elsewhere, thank you. We will be spending NY Eve in Sharm El Sheikand then to Wadi Rum two nights then Petra. Is the ferry still the best option, in your opinion?

    • Hi Anne,
      I would personally suggest it. Otherwise you CAN travel by BUS to Israel and cross into Jordan that way at the Eliat / Aqaba crossing. However the bus is LONG and lots of delays (I knew someone on it last week).
      I would personally suggest the ferry. Just check with AB Maritime for schedule info etc. When you get into Aqaba you can take a taxi to Wadi Rum or often camps will arrange to Pick you up (unless you are renting a car).

  6. Shamali De Vaz - Silverline Tours says:

    Hi Lindsay

    Your post was very helpful to me. I am a travel agent based in Sri Lanka and sending a group of 16 persons from Aqaba port to Taba port in April. They will arrive at the Amman airport and spend 3 nights in Jordon and leave from Aqaba port to Taba to spend about 10 days in Egypt.
    some of them hold UK and Australian passports. Is it difficult to get visas on arrival at Taba port? Do you know anything about this?
    They are very concerned about seating and luggage – please share your experinece regarding this. Hope all of them will get seats also have enough space to keep at least one suitcase each.
    Many thanks for your help.

    • Hi Shamali – I am not sure about Visa’s on arrival at Taba, but I would assume they would be issued. As for seating and luggage, they take your luggage away and store it for the trip. It is open seating and there was plenty when I was there. It is a large boat.

  7. Aya says:

    Hi Lindsay,

    I’m Egyptian, however, this information is totally brand new for me :D, thank you for sharing every detail about the ferry to Jordon. I will be trying this soon.

    Cheers

  8. Brad says:

    Thanks for the great blog posts. Security is always a concern when traveling in Sinai. How do you keep abreast of the security situation? Any news outlets or resources you use/can recommend? Thanks!

    • I have registered with the Canadian Government whenever I leave Canada, and have received emails in the past if something was going on (for example, a protest etc). I also LOOK for English news, but it is not always easy! You can always check out BBC World or Al Jazeera

  9. Lysa Men says:

    Hi Lindsay its Lysa again,

    I am a bit confused. My friends and I will be going to Jordan via ferry from Egypt Nuweiba port to Aqaba port. Not planning on returning to Egypt. We are U.S passports single entry. Where or how do we obtain the Visa at the Aqaba ferry port? Also, from there heading to Wadi Rum to spend the night, are there other restrictions I need to know?

    Also we will be exiting Jordan to Turkey from AMM airport, are we required to exit at the same Aqaba ferry port?

    And, what is a Jordan pass do we need that? How much?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Lysa, Sorry it is taking me so long to get to your message! When you get to Aqaba, they will issue you a visa. It is free at Aqaba port for most countries. As for going to Wadi Rum, no restrictions. On arrival you need to register at the visitors center and pay JD5 for entrance fee. As for flying to Turkey, NO you can leave from any airport!
      as for the Jordan Pass, it is at https://www.jordanpass.jo/

  10. Manuel Leotte says:

    Hi Lindsay, Congrats on your tips…
    I am traveling to Sharm next week, work wise, on a fantastic project that I am involved in
    Check out instagram kids_behuman and mariapalha.com – dare to explore…
    We will be traveling to some beduin comunities for some intreviews
    After new year’s we want to go to Petra. Do we need the Jordan Pass? Do you think we have to spleep in Aquaba for one night?
    Cannot do it in one day only? Nuweiba-Aquaba-Petra-Aquaba-Nuweiba in the same day?
    Thanks in advance for your help
    Manuel
    Portugal

  11. Lysa says:

    Hi Lindsay! Thank you for this blog! love it lots of useful information. I am traveling next year actually going to Cairo, Luxor and then taking ferry to Jordan. I was wondering how far from Cairo or Luxor to the ticket booth in Nuweiba? Is it possible to hire a taxi? Do you need to purchase a head? Are there restrictions for tourists?

    Also, just confirming…in Aqaba Port there should be a place near there where we can get our Visa right? and its free for all citizens? Thank you!

    • Hi Lysa,
      Cairo or Luxor to Nuweiba are a LONGGGGGG Way! I flew from Cairo to Sharm el Sheikh and then took a 2 hour car ride to Nuweiba. BUT there are busses to and from Cairo. I was told not to take them as they can get hung up in aweful traffic. Best to get some help from your hotel. You could probably hire a car also, but I would assume it would be very expensive. As for Arrival in Aqaba. You will likley be let off the boat first (since Egyptians and Jordanians clear customs ON THE BOAT) and you will go to a immigration desk and get your visa (yes it is free). You will also have your bags searched by customs (it was done manually when I was there and SUCH a long line).

      • Lysa says:

        Thank you so much for replying Lindsay! Yes we found a bus company going from Cairo to Nuweiba and yes very looong!…I’ve been reading so many horrid experiences from other travelers on TripAdvisor etc regarding the ferry to Aqaba from Nuweiba but yours given me more hope than ever haha! Just being positive I guess. Does your husband speaks the language?, that must’ve helped tremendously! We are a group of 4 Asian girls, I can already imagined it. Anyway, I am now more concern about the single entry or entering and exiting at the same location? I’m confused I read that somewhere you need to return and exit where you came from? We are planning to stay in Jordan for 2 days then flight off to Turkey. Don’t think we wanna return to Nuweiba then to Turkey.

        You have any idea about this ? Oh and then another traveler said they had their passports taken away from them when boarding the boat, and took them hours to get it back! sounds crazy!

        • Hi Lysa,
          Do not worry about the visa! They will issue it in Aqaba and you can leave from AMMAN Airport! As for the Passport, they take EGYPTIAN AND JORDANIAN ones away, they get theirs stamped ON THE BOAT. I think I did have mine taken at one point by Egyptian police, but not for moe than a few minutes.

  12. Nadia says:

    Hello Lindsay, thank you for sharing your experience it is verry helpful I am traveling to Egypt next week for a month, I am a moroccan girl travelling alone. I wanted to visit jordan the last week, taking a ferry is a good option, I was wondering about visas, the Jordanian one, and my fly back home is from cairo, I have a single entrance Egyptian visa, should i be aware for my return back cross Egypt?

  13. CJ says:

    Excellent information! My husband, daughter and I are visiting Petra next week. I will continue reading your tips.

  14. April Dolan says:

    Thank you for sharing! I’m thinking about doing the same thing with my mom in November and finding good info online has been a challenge!

    • SO glad you found it helpful! I was feeling the same way about finding information about how to actually do it! It will be a breeze, don’t worry! And there is a coffee shop across the street from the port entrance you can sit in if you are extra early!

  15. […] Traveling around Egypt by ferry? Read about how to travel from Jordan to Egypt here. […]