Turkey & Ferry to Egypt

Turkey

Toll booths

  • Try to buy a KGS card which is like a pre-paid Oyster card before entering the motorway, if this isn’t possible there will be a booth to the side of the carriageway at the exit. Buy a card before you try and exit the unmanned barriers!
  • KGS card costs about 5TL plus top up (approx 25TL top up should get you down to Iskendrum)

Goreme

  • A nice, if touristy stop off, for anyone travelling from Istanbul down to the South East of the country with some beautiful rocky landscapes
  • We stayed at Kaya Camping up on the hill, slightly out of town. Email kayacamping@www.com, tel +90 (384) 31 00 343 39 84
  • They are extremely friendly, very clean bathrooms, free wifi and beautiful views across the luna type landscape and swimming pool

Ferry

Ferry Booking

  • Currently there is no ferry between Mersin and Egypt. There is a talk of a new ferry starting sometime in Oct/ Nov according to Megamar and Alcor Shipping
  • Instead the route is from Iskendrum, operated by www.sisashipping.com/ Kadmar Shipping (sisa agents in Turkey, Kadmar agents in Egypt)
  • The boat is scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday departures, leaving at 12:00 with a 19 hour crossing (actually took us 2 nights which seems normal)
  • There is an online booking from on Sisa’s website but as we couldn’t read Turkish or see any confirmation of prices so we decided to head for Iskendrum and arrange things face to face
  • We spoke to Saba at Sisa Shipping before arriving in Iskendrum, she is very helpful and speaks good English, her contact details are saba.ipek@sisashipping.com +90 (216) 444 2954.
  • We learnt from the Wyndleys that it’s possible to book directly with Sisa via a bank transfer if you contact Saba
  • If you’d rather do things face to face then Remon Travel in Iskendrum can book tickets they are one road up off the sea front – Savas Mah. Maresal Cakmak CD No 16 Zemin Kat. Tel +90 (326) 614 10 12. If they try and ask you for a further $50 to start the Customs process a day early to ensure you don’t miss the ferry decline their offer of help. We had no issues by sorting it out ourselves on the day of travel
  • We paid $260 for the 2 of us plus $460 for our Disco (total $720), this was without a cabin as this would have totalled $1200.

Iskendrum Parking

  • There are a few secure parking sites around, we used one quite close to the port, not far from the police station and it seemed pretty good with fences, gates, cctv and big dogs. 7.5 TL/night
  • GPS Co-ordinates are N36 35.384 E36 10.742

Iskendrum Port

  • On the day of travel you need to go the Port Gate B. This is just off the main road as you go into town and is signed as Liman B (you’ll see the road is kind of divided by concrete barriers and the side nearest the sea and railway track is where you need to be)
  • We got all the car/ customs paperwork sorted by being whizzed from one side of the port to the other. We were not asked to pay anything here.
  • There’s a lot of waiting around so take some food!
  • A guy without any uniform or ID arrived mid afternoon to take the passports away in a big box. They were retuned later complete with exit stamps

Ferry crossing

  • We finally left at 21:25
  • On getting on the boat everyone had to hand their passports over for Egyptian police
  • We were also called to the Reception desk mid afternoon on day 2 and asked to pay$83 for the car being taken into Egypt. The guys behind the desk did appear to be Egyptian Port Officials/ Police and also had our passports. They also issued a receipt, this was needed later.
  • We had to spend a second night on board and then docked at about 06:00 the following morning and got the car off the boat shortly afterwards. We then spent 8 hours on the boat waiting for our passports to be returned complete with entry stamps (everyone on board did the same).
  • Try and have some food for this last day as no food is served on the boat
  • We had already got Visas before we travelled so I’m not sure what the process would be if you plan to get them on arrival  (Others said it was sorted on the boat)
  • Total time from Port entrance to Port exit (with the car still in the port) – 2.5days.
  • Ask for “Customs (Gomrok) garage”, leave vehicle there.

Customs & Carnet – Port Said

  • Customs is closed on Fridays and Saturdays so you may want to opt for a Saturday sailing to avoid delays in Port Said
  • We used a fixer guy from Port Said called Eslam Elshamaa, his details are – Tel 002 0128 9220 002, email eslam_elshamaa@yahoo.com.  I liked him a lot, he knew what he was doing and was nice to deal with, he sorted the following….
  • We’ve been told recently by other overlanders that Eslam tried to assist with Customs in Damietta but he doesn’t have the contacts and therefore I’d suggest you don’t use him for this port.
  • Day 1 AM – The $83 receipt from the boat was used to get documents from Kadmar Shipping to give the shipping number for the car and the whole load.
  • Day 1 AM – Went to port office to get a pass to re-enter the port
  • Day 1 PM – Customs office in port organising papers, many papers! (close at 2:30)
  • Day 2 AM – Customs office again to get paperwork & Carnet sorted
  • Day 2 PM – Transport office in port to get car license, other office outside port to get number plates.  Return to Garage to pay garage fee & ollect vehicle.
  • For our Landrover Disco total payments were 2800Egyption Pounds (£280 uk) + whatever you agree as payment for the fixer.  Get your fixer to break down the cost for you before you start the process.
  • There aren’t any secure parking facilities in Port Said so we hunted down a hotel for $50 which had parking, it’s on the main road by the beach. Noras Style Beach Hotel (the only white a blue hotel)
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5 Responses to Turkey & Ferry to Egypt

  1. Anonymous says:

    we do my best with every one need help in egypt with good price

    best regards
    eslam elshamaah
    mob:00201289220002

    • Hi Eslam, glad you’ve seen this and heard that Laura has been in touch and you’re helping them out. We hope people continue to see this and you can assist more overlanders with the fun of getting vehicles into Egypt.
      All the best!

  2. Anonymous says:

    We’re planning to take this ferry in April 2013. This is very useful information! Thank you!

  3. Suraj says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the information.. I’m looking to bring my vehicle to Egypt via the same route but have recently heard of issues in taking my own vehicle through.. I’ve contacted the people you mentioned and a few others to confirm, did you guys have any trouble getting your vehicle in..?

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Suraj Estrella (www.uk-2-philippines.com)

    • Hi Suraj
      Egypt was just a lot of hassle, you need patience, but with the help a a decent fixer its all possible. See details of the guy who helped us in “Overlander notes”.
      Of course the political situation in Egypt is difficult at the moment, as is are any ferry timetables. You just have to keep up to date with developments.
      Ben

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