Topics include Background, Dining Scene, Jordan: For Foreign Visitors & more!
At the A(rab) B(ridge) M(aritime) office in Aqaba, they constantly tell people who want to take the ferry to Nuweiba that there is "no fast boat today" at 1 pm ("maybe tomorrow") and that there is "only the slow boat" at 1 am. Perhaps, even in high season (spring) there are not enough passengers to fill the speed boat and so they want everyone to go on the slow ferry, which is very inconvenient. Not that it takes that much time to cross the Red Sea (3 hours instead of 1.5), but it's often delayed because of the extremely slow loading and unloading. Don't be surprised if it only sails at 9 am instead of 1 am! And yet it's almost as expensive as the speed boat.
To avoid this, buy your ticket for the brand new Babel speed boat at Meenagate, under foreign management, but very efficient and friendly. They started operating in 2011. Their office is located on the left side of the JETT bus station in Aqaba. You can also book in advance by e-mail (consult their website at www.meenagate.com for details). Daily departure guaranteed around 6.30 pm, from the Royal Yachting Club in Aqaba (so you don't need to go to the port, which is very convenient). Crossing to Nuweiba takes about 1h 30 min. Passport control and boarding very fluent. Immigration through a separate terminal building in Nuweiba as well. Excellent service on board (free drink and snack, entertainment), before departure and after arrival. For only 5 USD more than the ABM ticket price (80 USD instead of 75 USD one way; return fare is cheaper), you get a real VIP treatment.