Agents Egypt (2018)
Details of the 2 main agents that represent yachts for the Suez Canal transit.
Published 5 years ago
There are 2 main agents that represent yachts for the Suez Canal transit.
Namely Felix Maritime Agency (http://www.felix-eg.com/) and Prince of the Red Sea (http://princeoftheredsea.com/[Broken Link]). Any other agency is normally either a subsidiary of Felix/Prince, a sub-contractor to them or only deals with large cargo/container ships and not with yachts.
On the previous occasions that Miyagi Moon has visited Egypt (winter 2012/13 and winter 2014/15), we used Felix. On these occasions, their fees in total (for their services at Port Said and Hurghada), not including the Suez Authority Canal Fee, were approximately 314$.
Port Clearance – 40$
Entry Visa’s (for 2 people) – 50$
Agent Fees – 70$
Cruising Permits – 30$/month (2 months).
Visa Extension (for 2 people) – 24$
Agent Fees – 70$
When we asked Felix to provide a quotation for this trip (2017/18) their original fee quotation equated to some 425$, we then negotiated a further discount of 50$ making it 375$. Acceptable considering it is 3 years later.
A few weeks prior to arriving in Port Said we asked for confirmation of fees. To our amazement, their fees increased to 785$. When questioned why, the response back was that the rules for Hurghada had changed and instead of going straight to Hurghada Marina you now have to go to Hurghada Port, where there are further Immigration, Quarantine, Customs & Port Police checks.
These changes in rules resulted in an increase in their fees to:
Port Clearance – 60$
Entry Visa’s (for 2 people) – 60$
Agent Fees – 85$
Note: How did changes in Hurghada fees affect the fees in Port Said?
Immigration – 20$
Quarantine – 10$
Customs – 50$
Expenses – 20$
Cruising Permit – 30$/month (50$/month for yachts over 18m)
Agent Fees – 200$ (twice what was originally quoted)
Total: 535$ (575$ for yachts over 18m).
Furthermore, on leaving Hurghada for Port Ghalib or to Port Suez we would also have to pay additional fees of:
Immigration – 60$
Port Police – 30$
Custom – 30$
Agent Fees – 100$.
Felix Agency – Total Fee 2018: 755$/795$
Obviously, we were not impressed and asked more and more questions from them and got only half answers. Therefore, we invited the other agent, Prince of the Red Sea, to quote. We also wrote to Hurghada Marina’s Harbour Master (Mr Sherif).
Both Prince of the Red Sea and Mr Sherif confirmed that the rules had changed. The changes require you to check in to Hurghada Port prior to going to either Hurghada Marina or El Gouna.
Prince of the Red Sea also stated that there was no requirement for any additional fees when departing Hurghada.
They confirmed that their fees would be as follows:
Immigration – 18$
Quarantine – 10$
Port Authority dues – 42$
Port Police – 15$
Cruising permit – 30$ per month / 50$ per month for yachts over 18m
Agent Fees – 70$
Total for 2 months: 215$ / 255$ for yachts over 18m
Port Clearance – 50$
Entry Visa’s (for 2 people) – 50$
Agent Fees – 70$
Prince of the Red Sea Agency – Total Fee 2018 (not including Suez Canal Fees): 385$.
We obviously went back to Felix, who then decided to tell us that the fees they gave for departing Hurghada were not needed, when questioned why they gave them in the first place, the answer was that it was an accident!
They yet again revised their fees – the total now is 565$.
We had never used Prince of the Red Sea but understood that they were very much like Felix who proved to be good and efficient on our previous trips. However, Felix did on a few occasions trying to con us on fees, but as we had everything in writing they could not get away with anything.
Because we believed that Felix did try to rip us off with these fictitious (accidental) additional fees in Hurghada and they were no longer the cheapest, we opted to use Prince of the Red Sea.
What we did not know at the time, was that Prince of the Red Sea did not have their own representative at Hurghada. As it turns out they sub-contract, in this instance they sub-contracted to Alpha Yacht Services (Mr Mohamed Suleiman).
We can honestly say that Prince of the Red Sea was excellent and provided a service above and beyond our expectations.
At Port Suez, Capt. Heebi from Prince of the Red Sea laid on a lovely evening meal for all boats there (we were running the Med Asia Sailing Safari at the time) and provided a minibus free of charge to take everyone to the local market and supermarket.
Just before leaving Port Suez Felix gave a new quote for Hurghada:
Hurghada Port Fees – 70$
Cruising Permit – 30$ / month
Agent Fees – 90$
It would be interesting to find out what the real Hurghada Port Fees are!
A week after we arrived at Hurghada, 3 Catamarans arrived from Port Suez. They had used Felix. The fees charged by Felix at Port Said, not including Canal Fees, were (Agents Fee 150$, Port Clearance 55$, Visa’s 30$ each) per boat – and at Hurghada 350$ per boat. They were also given a price of 300$ to check out of Hurghada, as opposed to going to Port Ghalib where the checkout fee is 80$.
A few days later another Catamaran arrived, this time from the south. They had checked in to Egypt at Port Ghalib. Fee 80$ plus Visa’s 25$ and 1-month Cruising Permit 30$. They needed an agent for Hurghada/Suez Canal and had received a number of quotations. Felix apparently was the highest. Whilst at Hurghada, Felix’s representative approached them asking if they were going to use Felix. He was told no as Felix were the highest price. Two hours later Felix lowered their fee and suddenly became the lowest @ Agent Fee 80$, Port Clearance 55$ and 10$ per person for Immigration.
As previously stated, Prince of the Red Sea had sub-contracted the Hurghada element to Alpha Yacht Services. Despite Prince being above and beyond in the Suez Canal, Alpha Yacht Services were in comparison very poor. They were inefficient and did not appear to fully understand the processes and procedures in full.
In late November 2017, a Catamaran with 2 Spanish crew contacted us asking for information on procedures and agents etc. for Egypt. They were on their way from the Med and intended to spend the winter in and around Hurghada. We gave them as much detail as possible and suggested they use Prince of the Red Sea. They duly appointed Prince of the Red Sea and were very happy with the service and fees for their transit through the canal. However, the fees quoted for Hurghada using the sub-contracted agency Alpha Yacht Services was 500$.
Having spent three winters in the Egyptian Red Sea 2012/13, I am constantly being asked about agents, fees and procedures. I told both Felix and Prince of the Red Sea that I was writing an article to be published on various internet sites that would enable sailors to see and understand the fees applicable to sailing in and around Egypt, including the Suez Canal. I asked both companies to provide me with their Fee Structures which I could use in this article for the Suez Canal (Port Said / Port Suez) and Hurghada.
The Fees below were given by each agent. These fees are purely indicative and we recommend that each yacht should request their own fee quotation from the agents. At the time of writing Prince of the Red Sea was in the process of opening their own office in Hurghada, the fees for Hurghada to be advised.
[Table Left Out]
*This is applicable to Yachts arriving from the south but having not checked in at Port Ghalib first. Immigration, Port Police, etc. will also be applicable.
** This is the fee for Hurghada only for yachts that have checked into Egypt at Port Ghalib, obtained their Visa’s and 1-month Cruising Permit and will use this agent for the Suez Canal Transit going North. Note: There will be additional fees if Cruising Permit needs extending.
*** This is the fee applicable to yachts leaving Hurghada to check out of Egypt at Port Ghalib.
# This the fee applicable for the agent to obtain Coastguard permission to leave the Marina when yachts want to go out of Hurghada Marina for day sailing, out for a few days or to depart to another port.
It should be noted that the fees shown above by Prince of the Red Sea are more or less the same as originally quoted back in October 2017. Felix’s fees, on the other hand, are totally different than any of their previous quotes. Also, Felix has now stated that there are no fees at Hurghada for Port Authority dues, Quarantine, Port Police or Immigration. Amazing change read into that what you wish.
On our departure from Hurghada heading to Port Ghalib, our agent Alpha Yacht Services demanded an additional 75$ per yacht. Unless we paid this we would not get our original cruising permit nor get Coastguard clearance to leave. We were held to ransom and had no choice but to pay. Be aware!
Hopefully, what this shows is that the agents will try and con you whenever possible. Before arriving in Egypt, ensure you have received a number of quotations. Question everything and make sure everything is in writing. If you just turn up in either Port Said, Hurghada or Port Suez without already agreeing and appointing an agent, expect to get ripped off.
Also note that if you check into Egypt at Port Ghalib, you do not have to check into Hurghada Port prior to going to Hurghada Marina or El Gouna and there are no additional fees payable.
Suez Canal Fees – Once you are measured you go on record, so do not get measured again. In 2012 (our first transit) we paid 375$, in 2014 we paid 325$ and this time in 2017 we paid 240$. Each time the Suez Canal Tonnage rate was 8.5$. We requested from both Felix and Prince of the Red Sea our actual measured tonnage. Felix answered by telling us to get it from our last transit i.e. Prince of the Red Sea. Prince of the Red Sea informed us that it was 28 tons. At 8.5$ per ton our fee should, therefore, have been 238$. Wonder why Felix did not want to give us the tonnage or why in 2012 & 2014 it was so high?
It should also be noted that the canal fee is a return fee, so as long as you return within 6 months your return transit is free. You still, however, have to pay agent fees etc.
Although this report appears to be biased against Felix Maritime Agency, it is not meant to be, it is just how it all panned out. I am sure the other agencies are just as capable of overcharging or inventing fees as Felix and Alpha Yacht Services (sub-contractor to Prince of the Red Sea) appeared to have done.
At the time of writing it was rumoured that Port Ghalib was going to contract out the Entry Processes to a private Company such as Felix / Prince of the Red Sea. Again we would recommend you ask Port Ghalib for a quotation prior to arrival.
Contact: Capt. Sherif Fawzy, General Manager, e-mail [email protected]
Which agent would we recommend?
Without a doubt, the answer would be Prince of the Red Sea. Capt Heebi was as honest as the day is long. However, I will re-iterate, make sure you get written quotes for everything and question it if anything seems strange. If you are heading North, I would recommend checking into Egypt at Port Ghalib, not Hurghada. If you are heading South, I would still recommend stopping at Hurghada, however, be very careful about fees. Touring / sightseeing Egypt can be done from Port Suez, Hurghada or Port Ghalib.
SY Miyagi Moon
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of noonsite.com or the World Cruising Club
Related to following destinations: Canal, Egypt, El Gouna, Hurghada, Ismailia, Mediterranean Coast (Egypt), Port Ghalib, Port Said, Red Sea (Egypt), Suez Canal