ReisebrevTEAMFLUID

Cruising on the Red Sea

Teamkjører Iris Straume ble med Camp Fluid på kitecruise i Rødehavet. Les hennes opplevelse.

Being stuck on a boat in the middle of the Red Sea wasn’t my initial idea of a dream kite holiday, even if it meant being on a luxury yacht. Despite this, I decided to take a chance and join Camp Fluid on a kite cruise in Egypt. For a week in September, I joined 24 other people (of whom most I didn’t know) on the biggest yacht I’ve ever set my foot on.

There are a lot of places in the world with crystal clear turquoise water. I have been to many of them during my last few years of extensive travelling, but I have never before seen turquoise ocean like this before, except in Lofoten, Norway. The advantage Egypt has over Lofoten is obviously the warm sea temperature, and the hot desert winds (normally called Sirocco, but referred to as Khamsin in Egypt).

I came to Egypt with little to no expectations. Since I’ve never been to Egypt before, I didn’t know much of what to expect. Firstly, I am not the typical person to enjoy luxury accommodation. Second, the thought of staying on the same boat with 24 other people 24/7 honestly put me off a bit. Plus, the chances of getting to know authentic, local culture is low on a luxury yacht, or so I thought. Needless to say, I had my doubts of going on this trip.

I only saw a little of the city, Hurghada before we started the sea cruise. Hurghada bears the likeness to many other cities in developing countries located by beautiful beaches. The contrast between the polluted streets and luxury resorts is stark, and I couldn’t help but feeling a bit nauseous being a part of the luxury resorts clientele. Boarding the boat was a relief both from the polluted streets as well as being confined behind the gates of a commercialized, luxury hotel.  

The kite spot at sunset.

Egypt by boat

What surprised me most about being on the boat was how incredibly friendly and fun the boat crew was. They all spoke and understood English well, and they went out of their way to make the guests feel welcome and taken care of. At the same time as being incredibly service-minded, they had an air of lightheartedness and humour of which they shared generously with the guests. Friendly jokes, dancing, and singing was a part of daily life on the boat.

Being on the boat was like being on a luxury resort in the middle of the ocean, minus all the tourists. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner was served as buffet with tasty options for vegans as well as pescetarians and meat lovers. In between meals you could help yourself with snacks, tea, and coffee. Everything included. Making the cruise a no brainer for those who want a carefree holiday with everything taken care of.

The boat had four decks. One with a dining area, kitchen, and common room. The other decks consisted of suites and open areas where you could sunbathe, find secluded nooks for hiding with a book, or chill in the jacuzzi or sauna. The private suites were fresh and modern complete with toilet and shower.

Kiting at Tawila Island

For a hardcore kiter and adventure junkie like me, comfortable and convenient surroundings is one thing, but what really matters is the kite conditions and other activities. Most of the days we anchored up by an island called Tawila Island, a few hours boat ride off the coast of Hurghada. The spot is nothing short of perfect for kiting. White beaches, shallow water, and offshore wind making the water flat. Big areas of shallow water and having rescue boats make the spot ideal for beginners as well as hardcore freestyle/wakestyle kiters.

Linda Victoria Olofsson teaching a beginner kite course.

We were lucky to have strong wind all day, every day for seven days straight. Egypt is a windy place, however not windproof like Brazil. Wind statistics for the areas around Hurghada show an average of 85% chance of kitable wind during high season, June – September. In other words, high chances of a very successful kite holiday.

Most days I was kiting for two hours before breakfast, then a second session before lunch, and finally a third session before dinner. Having the luxury to kite whenever you want during the day, is rare for most kite destinations. I was in a constant awe of how beautiful the kite spot was, and the clear, turquoise ocean.

Making friends with fish and people

Those who didn’t kite could choose between activities such as diving, snorkeling, water slide, swimming, tube, and wakeboarding. Days with strong wind ruled out water slide, tube and wakeboarding as options.

A whole day was dedicated for diving and snorkeling. Having kited several times a day for the prior four days, I was happy to have a break. Diving in the red sea was a magical experience. The ocean is full of life; fish in all the colours of the rainbow among a vast area of coral reefs. I was mind blown, no exaggeration.

Being on a boat with 24 people was way more fun than I initially thought. I made new friends, and when I didn’t feel like making new friends, I could chill in the comfort of my room. Not that I had much time for chilling with the amounts of hours I was kiting every day.

All in all, the boat cruise in Egypt was a magical experience. I left wishing I could stay for two weeks instead of one. If I get the chance to take a week or more off in September next year, the cruise in Egypt will be on top of my list.

Kiting by the boat at 5 am in the morning. Linda Victoria Olofsson and Joachim Wille.

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