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Low Cost Airline: Jeddah - Istanbul

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1. Posted by gatotj (Budding Member, 21 posts) 26 Apr '06 19:41

Folks,

Is there any direct Low Cost Airline Serving Jeddah - Istanbul? Or, is there any other point of destination in Turkey reachable from Jeddah?

Thank you in advance.

2. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 27 Apr '06 06:57

Try Turkish Airlines, they currently have promotional fares for anybody flying in and out of Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

I've found that the cheapest way away from Jeddah is the ferry to Egypt. You could then take a charter flight from Hurghada to a number of European destinations, most noteably Germany, UK and Russia. It might even be that the cheapest way to fly from Jeddah to Turkey is to take a charter flight to Russia and get another charterflight (or the Sotchi ferry) to Turkey. And flying from Cairo to Istanbul should be an option too.

BTW, Cyprus Airways sometimes has ridiculusly cheap prices for the Middle East. Unfortunately they don't fly to Turkey, but they should be ideal for Jeddah - any place in Greece. From Kos or Athens it should be easy to get to Turkey.

Another option is by land: take the bus north to Aqaba in Jordan and go via Jordan and Syria to Turkey. Cost for Jeddah-Istanbul should be around 100-150 Euros if you do it cheap, not counting the extra money needed for the time spent travelling and the visa fees. If you make a few stops (Wadi Rum, Petra, Aleppo, Damascus) you'll need between 5-10 days to get to Istanbul.

3. Posted by gatotj (Budding Member, 21 posts) 27 Apr '06 19:12

Assalaamu'alaikum ukhti ;-),

Hope everything is fine with you, as to current world (especially westerner or more exactly the media) fingering on Islam. As if we’re all criminals and they all saints. But I’m trying not to be judgmental and stereotyping. Something I learn from traveling ;). Not all my travel is nice experience, but even at the bad one, it’s always become something nice to remember.

I love to create a theme for my travel. This October – November trip will be “Religious Adventure” :). I plan to make my Umrah pilgrimage in Ramadhan and then continuing to Turkey, Egypt and Jerusalem (through Jordan).

The only reason to make Turkey my second place is “Winter”. Well .. I am a tropical bird from Indonesia, can’t get too much cold ;). I heard that it’s late Fall in October for Turkey. Though not sure whether temperature difference between late October and mid-November is that much.

While the reason for making Jerusalem as my last destination is to prepare for the worst case; I cannot escape from having Israeli stamp on my passport . I am trying to make it via King Hussein bridge in Jordan, but not sure what will happen there …

Please correct me if I'm wrogn with above priority.

I really wish to take a closer look to the origin of three religions, Jewish, Christian, Islam and also civilization prior to it (the Romans). Hopefully I could learn something, hopefully positive values, from it. Amin

Here is my original plan:

Turkey (8 days)
Overnight in Istanbul
To see: Topkapi, Blue Mosque, Haghia Sophia, etc.
Overnight in Selcuk
To see: Ephesus and around, 3 of 7 churches of revelation (where are the other 4?), Pamukkale, etc.
Overnight in Konya
To see: Rumi place, Antalya, etc.

Egypt (10 days)
Overnight in Cairo
To see: Alexandria and around, Giza and around, etc.
Overnight in Luxor
To see: Valley of the Kings, etc.
Overnight in Mt. Sinai
Overnight in Aswan
To see: Abu Simbel, High Dam, etc.

Jerusalem (3 days)
Overnight in the old city
To see: Al-Aqsha, the old city.

After Umrah, I only have 23 days off. The above is only 21 days, intentionally spares 2 days for overlooked stop-over.

I’m just surprise that even what they said “Low Cost Airline”, is not really cheap especially to be compared with current South East Asia’s flight. Looking at $/km, I mean.

So, suggestion other mode of travel (ferries, trains, buses, etc.) or even improvement on route, in order to have “more economical transfer-cost” is highly appreciated. IMHO, transfer-cost and accommodation could be reduced as low as possible. But experience is priceless ;-)

BTW. Where is the ferry stop in Jeddah? How can I get there from airport? Can I go out Saudi from there just using “umrah visa”? (I heard there is a lot of travel restriction using this visa). What is the destination port in Egypt?

Thank you.

4. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 1 May '06 11:50

As-salamu alaikum,

it should be no problem for you to use to boat to get from Jeddah to Egypt, since this is the traditional route for Egypt pilgrims. There are several connections, most of them originating in Duba and going either to Hurghada, Safaga or Suez. Please ask around when you get to Jeddah, because during the last hajj one ferry with over 1000 pilgrims sank, so at least one route I know of is no longer operated. IMO you should try to get either to Safaga or Hurghada, because 1) it is best for your travel plans and 2) the ferry to Suez takes 2 days.

From Safaga or Hurhada there is a bus service going all the way to Aswan.

In Dec 2005 I landed in Hurghada Airport and took the 22:30 bus with Upper Egypt Bus Co. from Hurgada straight on to Aswan. (There are 3 buses daily going from Hurghada to Aswan via Safaga, Quena an Luxor: 10:30, 15:30 and 22:30.) I have no clue at what time the bus leaves from Safaga, but it should be around 40 minutes later than from Hurghada. I recommend that you go first to Aswan and then to Luxor, because the security measures in place make it a bit cumbersome for somebody to get from Hurghada or Safaga to Luxor. (You would have to change buses several times and go to a few checkpoints.) I arrived in Aswan early in the morning. It was no problem getting a room, despite it being the best season. I can recommend the Keylani and the Nubian Oasis hotel. Seeing Abu Simbel will take you a day - the bus leaves very early in the morning (3 a.m) and will return you to Abu Simbel in the afternoon. I highly recommoned that you take the Long tour, Philae (Algilka Island) is something not to be missed. (Just make sure you have a decent guide or guide book explaning to you what you see.!)

I also liked the Nubian Museum in Aswan, so 2 1/2 to 3 days should be planned for Aswan, including the trip to Abu Simbel. You could then take a Felucca tour to Kom Ombo or Edfu - shop around for this among the captains or ask the people at the Keylani to arrange everything for you. If you are pressed for time, best contact the staff of the Keylani beforehand, tell them when you will arrive and let them arrange everything for you. Prices: for the long trip to Abu Simbel around 70 LE, for the 2 day Felucca cruise LE 100-120. If you don't want to take a cruise because of the limited time you have, take at least a small 3-4 hour tour around the islands. Aswan is Egypt at its best, IMO.

Next stop: Luxor. From Aswan, take the train, it is the best way. Otherwise have the travel agent (he goes by the name of Munty, btw.) arrange your onward transport from Kom Ombo or Edfu for you.

In Luxor you will need at least 3 days to see the must-see sights. Best rent a taxi and a bike on the day you go to the West Bank. Go very early in the morning, let the taxi take you up the mountain to the Valley of the Kings with your rented bike and roll down later with it to the Temple of Hatshepsut.

Cairo is btw the ideal place to pick up religious literature in English and Indonesian and Arabic dictionaries. There are several bookshops carrying these around Maidan Husssain. (If you can arrange it, go to Friday prayer in Hussein Mosque. And yes, I know it is haram to travel to a specific mosque to pray exept Mekka, Medina and Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, but I was in Cairo anyway and I couldn't resist...) The Citadel was great, as was the Egyptian museum. Oh yeah, don't forget the pyramids... For Cairo, you can pretty much skip the Old Quarter with Khan Al-Khalili, you will see the same in Jerusalem. The Museum for Islamic Art in Cairo is closed, btw.

So my suggested initiary to you:
Egypt
1 day for travel Jeddah-Aswan
2 days for Aswan, leaving Aswan on the third day
3 days Luxor
3-4 days Kairo

Sinai 3-4 days
be flexible, but as a visitor on a spiritual trip, a stop at St. Catherine Monastery and Mount Sinai (!) as well as Pharao's Island is a must, if you can make it. Mount Sinai is best reached from Dahab, which should also be your starting point for your onward journey via Taba to Jordan. There is a bus to Dahab from Cairo as well as from Alexandria. Travel time from Cairo to Dahab is 9 hours, from Dahab to Taba 2 hours.

Jordan:
2-4 days
2 days Petra
1-2 days Wadi Rum (skip Wadi Rum if you are sick of the desert)

Cross into Israel from Aqaba to Eilat.
Places to see in Israel:
Masada
Qumran
Jerusalem
Bethlehem
Hebron
West Bank (Ramallah, Nablus)
Haifa
Jericho

Unfortunately I think you will have to leave out Turkey. October-November is usually the best time to travel in Turkey for an European, but if you want snow you will have to come a few weeks later. There aren't any really cheap flights in the area apart from what Air Arabia is offering, and there is so much to see in Israel. If you are going to marr your passport with an Israeli visa, you might as well push it to the limit. The only reason to go to Antalya at that time of the year is to swim and be envious of the german package tourists who paid 230 EUR for 7 days of full board, 4 star hotels and return flights from Germany, while you yourself are shelling out around 250 EUR for a decent hostel and snacks from the food stalls for the same time.

You could of course go to Egypt and make then your way up to Turkey (taking the ferry from Taba to Aqaba to avoid Israel) and then fly from Istanbul to Tel Aviv, but for this you would need a lot more time than you have. Egypt, Jordan and Israel in 23 days is a hell of a trip alone. (I took 3 months in Israel/Palestine, a week in Jordan, three weeks in Egypt and I still haven't seen all.)

To compensate for your thirst for cold, I can assure you that you will most definitely need a jacket or a sweatshirt for your nights in Jerusalem in November. (If you are very very lucky, it might even snow. Happens every few years or so for a day or two.) Jerusalem is up in the mountains, so days are still warm, but it is too chilly to sleep on the roof even with a thick blanket.

You will also need to be flexible with your schedule when you are in Israel. You cannot set yourself to go and see Al-Aqsa on this or that day, because the Israeli authorities have the habit of closing the site to visitors for security reasons on the spot without notice. Same with Hebron and Bethlehem. So often your travel plans will need a change in schedule very fast. It is best to plan 5 days or more in Jerusalem, it will definitely heighten your chances that you'll get to see Al-Aqsa as well as Hebron and Bethlehem.

Masada and Qumran are best visited on your trip from Eilat to Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron and Jericho from Jerusalem, Haifa from Tel Aviv.
Haifa is the centre of the Bahai religion, their shrine should not be missed. (If you read more on the Bahai religion, you will understand why. They're the youngest in the line of Judaism-Christianity-Islam and consider themselves the legitimate heirs of all religions on earth.) Haifa is a very nice town, if you go there you should make it you last stop before you fly out of Tel Aviv.

BTW, I really really envy you for your chance to see Mekka and Medina. I 've been trying to make it for years, but the Saudi authorities demand a signed declaration by a male muslim relative (mahram) that I'm allowed to go. Duh, I'm a revert, I've got no muslim relatives! They then told me that my husband could sign the bloody papers. Yeah thanks, which husband? I haven't got one! Watching Egyptian women pray for save return from Hajj at Ras Hussein Mosque was one of the saddest things in my life. I'm at the point where I will have to put myself on the marriage market - German passport in exchange for visa to Saudi-Arabia. Thanks, Wahhabis. Muslim women whoring herself out for hajj, what has the world come to?

5. Posted by gatotj (Budding Member, 21 posts) 1 May '06 23:02

Quoting t_maia

I 've been trying to make it for years, but the Saudi authorities demand a signed declaration by a male muslim relative (mahram) that I'm allowed to go. Duh, I'm a revert, I've got no muslim relatives! They then told me that my husband could sign the bloody papers. Yeah thanks, which husband? I haven't got one! Watching Egyptian women pray for save return from Hajj at Ras Hussein Mosque was one of the saddest things in my life. I'm at the point where I will have to put myself on the marriage market - German passport in exchange for visa to Saudi-Arabia. Thanks, Wahhabis. Muslim women whoring herself out for hajj, what has the world come to?

Astaghfirullah al azim .. Part of laugh - part of sad knowing your story. Sad because of actually the rule of Mahram is meant for women protection (consider centuries ago where travelers are male dominated), not at all purposed to inhibit their movement. While laugh to your statement “whoring to find a husband” ;). I'm single, btw ;)

But all of us should already know what Wahabi is ... Claiming they're the only salafiyoon, the holiest saint, the purest sect (please allow me to say this), just because they’re born inside where Islam was born (central Islam). Then, they could claim that their interpretation to Islam is the most authentic and most accurate. While such as for me, Indonesian, far away from Makkah (aka. outer Islam), is always considered “contaminated” with local culture, marginal, which makes my “version” of Islam is flawed. Moreover, what will they say to the opinion’s/reason’s/difficulties of a revert? (Hmm .. I like the use of “revert” than “convert”)

And unfortunately they are the keeper of Al-Haraam ;)

But I’m trying to put my position in theirs too .. Imagining I’m the keeper of holiest mosque, I think I will strictly keep my behave as close as to Rasul was, to the extent literally.. I’m obliged to be a good example for other followers. Because I’m living in a place where is very homogenous and supportive, it is also not necessary to develop sense of tolerance and acceptance to others. And then, because I am accustomed to live like that, I will force my guest to show their respect by following what I did ;)

Quoting t_maia

(If you can arrange it, go to Friday prayer in Hussein Mosque. And yes, I know it is haram to travel to a specific mosque to pray exept Mekka, Medina and Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, but I was in Cairo anyway and I couldn't resist...)

Haram? Who says that? ;) Here in Indonesia, specifically Javanese, it is a custom to visit mosque and cemetery of “Wali Songo” (The nine wali). Wali is infamous ulama, having special place both in front of community and Allah. Wali Songo is regarded as spreader of Islam, “Islam Evangelist”, in Java. (But I don’t think we consider them as a Santo.) Formally, the “pilgrim” travels as to show respect and convey acknowledgement to among the very first Ulama (almarhum), as a good manner from student to their teacher. (It is a kind of student’s obligation and teacher’s right. You must have read Ta’lim Muta’allim book, right?). But then, they also ask for blessing in return ;).

Maybe, the pilgrim may fall to Haram if the Tauhid principal is over crossed, i.e. believing that there is another divine powers other than Allah, which is something we should avoid. IMO the line is visible, though might be tiny for some people, which is then announcing the “Haram” statement. Purely the reason is pre-cautions.

Wallaahu a’ lam …

Apology Note:
Please accept my apology to Saudis (if you read this) for my previous statement. We know that you and the government are working very hard to manage millions of guests every year. To ensure our safety and comfort during pilgrim. We do knowing that not all of us are easy to manage. Some of us even want to take advantage of your wealth. But please also consider some good muslim/muslimah, which have obstacle to fulfill their duty “just because” a literal interpretation to sunnah.

Back to Travel Plan
Jeddah – Duba is about 800 km. By road transport? Guess it will take more than 8 hours, plus time for ferry to Hurghada (Ghardaka?). What is the availability of buses?

Previously I was thinking of Jeddah – Berenice (Egypt). It is very ideal, since Berenice is also closer to Aswan. Berenice also have lots of ancient remains. But then I read for a special permit issued by military for visiting Berenice, but the source is as old as year 2001. Do you think it is still current? Is there any regular ferry from Jeddah to Berenice?

Thanks for Felucca info :). I will just open a thread about it. Somebody says about overnight at Felluca. Is it always possible? How is the arrangement for meals? Are we going to stop and shop somewhere in the Nile? To find a good captain, do you think fluency in English is sufficient? Should I learn some Arabic? Should we bargain for the price?

I heard that buses go for Abu Simbel will be police guarded (in the bus?). Does it still current?

From now, it looks like that I should loosen a bit my budget limit, as time is becoming hard constraint. Hmmm ….

6. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 2 May '06 14:28

Salam,

the hadith I referred to:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Do not set out on a journey except for three Mosques i.e. Al-Masjid-AI-Haram, the Mosque of Allah's Apostle , and the Mosque of Al-Aqsa, (Mosque of Jerusalem)."
Volume 2, Book 21, Number 281 of Sahih al-Bukhari, also in Book 007, Number 3099 by Muslim. Book 7 Numbers 3100 - 3112 by Muslim is the one which gives me my troubles btw. For the benefit of anybody else reading this, all can be found here: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/

Back to business:

I checked the fare for a random day in September from Jeddah to Istanbul or Cairo with opodo, it was around 300-400 EUR for direct flight with Turkish Airlines/Egyptair. Looking at the travelling times from SA to Egypt by ferry, I feel almost inclined to advise you to take one of those. *Sigh.*

To answer yor questions, there was a daily bus from Aqaba in Jordan to Mekka in 2000, it should be still running. So getting to Duba/Debbah from Jeddah with SAPTCO shouldn't be a problem. As Medina is north of Mekka, I would consider going from Medina to Duba, if you can switch your schedule around and or the umrah visa allows it.

For ferry services within the Red Sea, I've found http://www.elsalammaritime.com/ and http://www.ports.gov.sa/. It says that Jeddah-Safaga takes 36 hours, so the bus to Duba (8 hours) plus the ferry to Safaga (8 hours) will be faster. (Duba/Debbah - Hurgada/Al-Ghardaqah is a modern fast ferry, 3 hours.) But you can sleep on the ferry... Hmm. And flying is possible too - Egyptair (MS 662) from Jeddah to Cairo and Egyptair (MS 153) to Hurghada for 430 EUR or Egyptair (MS 139) to Aswan for 470 EUR. Take your pick.

The info on Berenice and Abu Simbel is still current. Security measures are really tight, going anywhere in the area on your own is a pain and you will face trouble with the police if you do not comply with their regulations. Especially going from any place along the Red Sea resorts to the Nile Valley is a major hassle. It is possible, yes, but be prepared to stand with your bus for an hour in the desert to satisfy some minor official that all papers are in order. FYI, the only way to get to Abu Simbel is to either fly in and out from Cairo to Abu Simbel International Airport or take a bus from Aswan and go in a convoy. The convoy leaves around 4 am in the morning, pick up at your hotel is around 3 am.

As for Felucca's: They go regularly down the nile. The captain's are a big brotherhood, a bit like the mafia, a lot of shady characters and as a single traveller you'll have to wait for other people to come and ask for a trip down the nile. The captains sort of collect people until they have enough for a boat to go down the river, so it is essential to book through a good travel agent. (Munty, the agent the Keylani Hotel works with, might look like a weasel, but he is good. Trust him to get you a good captain, but also to take more from you than he should!) I had to wait a day when I tried to leave, because there was no boat. So best tell the people when you arrive or even better ahead in an email that you want a felucca cruise down the river.

The captain also takes care of the food, but he will sometimes collect money (just one or two USD, no more) from you so that you can buy vegetables or meat at the local markets. You will stop frequently along the river and the captains will take you to their friends or into their villages. Most of the people who work in the tourism industry speak very good English, you will have no problems at all. There is no need for Arabic besides a few very basic words.

The only thing really useful is knowing the arab numbers. Traders have little cardboard signs indicating the price per kilo in tens of piasters or Egyptian Pounds (LE), so when you see 100 or 1 written in Arabic, you have to pay 1 LE per kilo. Don't let the trader charge you 5 or 10 LE! Best act like you know the price and hand them only a ten or five pound note, no more, since getting change is sometimes like pulling teeth.

7. Posted by gatotj (Budding Member, 21 posts) 3 May '06 02:10

Alaikum salam wa rahmatullah ..

Quoting t_maia

the hadith I referred to:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Do not set out on a journey except for three Mosques i.e. Al-Masjid-AI-Haram, the Mosque of Allah's Apostle , and the Mosque of Al-Aqsa, (Mosque of Jerusalem)."
Volume 2, Book 21, Number 281 of Sahih al-Bukhari, also in Book 007, Number 3099 by Muslim. Book 7 Numbers 3100 - 3112 by Muslim is the one which gives me my troubles btw. For the benefit of anybody else reading this, all can be found here: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/

::give-up::
you mention so many sources while I could only provide dalil aqli can't match yours .. ::hail::
but will ask my ustadz for its asbabul wurudl. Usually we will have better understanding to the context.

Here is also quoted from your favourite page
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/
And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, leave it. And fear Allah: truly Allah is severe in punishment.
Hmmmm .. I think the context of above is for Fa'i share (what is the translation for Fa'i?). Asbabun nuzul is because of some Anshar did not satisfy with their Fa'i allotment, grumbling behind Rasulullah, which was giving more share to Muhajirin. But off course, Rasul never-ever mean it to disgrace Anshar. It's just because that time Muhajirin is really need the Fa'i (money?) after their hijrah. You should know already that some Muhajirin was once very rich people in Makkah, but he must leave everything ...
So, IMO above Qur'an statement can not be used for claiming we must follow Rasul literally. Even if it is hadits shahih as above ;)

Back again to Travel

The website is not so helpful. There is no time-table and price info. But I have sent them email. Wish their response is at speed-light

And there is strange route for SAPTCO.

There is "Tabuk - Jeddah" bus via Duba (this is not through Madinah). But when I reverse with "Jeddah - Tabuk", the route is not available. Do you think the route is like circling? ;) impossible ..

So, here is my itenerary update .. Not yet complete, whether directly to Jerusalem/Jordan or try Turkey ...

Jakarta Jeddah Flight
Jeddah Madinah Bus
Madinah Mekkah Bus
Mekkah Tabuk Bus
Tabuk Duba Bus
Duba Hurghada Ferry
Hurghada Aswan Bus
Aswan Luxor Train
Luxor Hurghada Bus
Hurghada Sharm el-Shaikh Ferry
Sharm Sinai Bus

Sinai Cairo Bus
Cairo Alexandria Bus
Alexandria Cairo Train
Cairo Istanbul Flight

(Itallic route is still under consideration ..)

8. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 3 May '06 14:23

I guess that SAPTCO operates a bit like an airline - several hubs from which buses go out and in. Don't worry about bus travel in SA, I've found that in the Middle East it is best to figure things out on the spot. So as soon as you arrive in Jeddah, figure out a way to make both Madina and Mekka as well as a Duba as cost and time effectively as possible. I don't know the particularities of your visa or the requirements of umrah, but I would try to make it Jeddah-Mekkah-(Jeddah-)Medina-Duba. Bus travel in SA should be cheap, it is an oil country and fuel prices there are a real joke. It might be a good idea to get a used copy of the Lonely Planet Arab Peninsula book on ebay or Amazon, as there aren't many good forums to help you with travel within SA. I'm at my wits end with this country.

Luxor Hurghada Bus
Hurghada Sharm el-Shaikh Ferry
Sharm Sinai Bus
Sinai Cairo Bus
Cairo Alexandria Bus
Alexandria Cairo Train

seems a bit like a pain. I'm not that tall (174 cm) and yet I had trouble sitting in the Egyptian busses. My knees always bumped the seat in front of me and I was very uncomfortable all the time. It is also impossible to sleep on them, because the roads are bad and they play Egyptian movies at full volume. The ride Luxor-Dahab(yes, you can book a bus all the way) is 14 hours, (once daily, 100LE, book as soon as you arrive in Luxor) and Dahab-Cairo is 9 hours (4 times daily, LE 70). Consider that when making your plans.

You should IMO take the night train from Luxor to Cairo and do a day excursion to Alexandria from Cairo. The 50 EUR I spent on that ride for a First Class Luxury Sleeping Berth was the best investment I ever made. I slept like a baby and got first class service too. Saved me a day of travelling and to pay for a room for a night. I arrived in Cairo at 5 am, just in time to get a room at a hostel and go to the Pyramids before the heat started.

It is a good idea to do Sinai, but it would be better timewise to do it only if you go there anyway. Like taking the ferry from Jeddah to Suez or going there on your way to Jordan or Israel.

BTW, the price for a 3rd class train ride from Aswan to Luxor is LE 10 - less than 2 USD. Price for a bus ride from Hurghada to Aswan was around 60 LE, less than 10 USD.

It is also possible to get in and out of Israel without having any evidence that you have been there: if you come in from Jordan, cross at King Hussein-Allenby-Bridge and ask the Israelis to stamp a piece of paper instead of you passport.

You should also check with the charter airlines flying in and out of Sharm or Hurghada, it must be possible to arrange a deal that gets you to Turkey from there. When I went to Egypt, I first wanted to fly into Cairo. Tickets from Germany started at 350 EUR return. A charter flight to Hurghada however was 170 EUR return.

Charter flights from Tel Aviv/Israel to Turkey one way are 60 EUR.

9. Posted by gatotj (Budding Member, 21 posts) 4 May '06 23:31

After several browsing on various gov.sa sites and then came out with a word "Tawafa Establishment" (note: I guess it is "Tour Operator", in English), which is then leads to the following document:

Pilgrimage Organizing Instructions

It contains useful information on how Hajj and Umroh is performed and some necessary information for Pilgrim too, such as Visa restriction, transportation, etc.
Another link for Umrah Visa information:

Ministry of Hajj

which states that Umrah Visa for individual will be issued if he/she is represented by approved travel agent.

Here is some important notes, IMO:
1. Pilgrims who are coming by air or by sea must deliver (hand over) their tickets with the passports to the pilgrimage establishments or the field services group for the services which introduce service for him to enable the establishment to use his passport before the time of his traveling in the pilgrimage gatherings center whether he is traveling to Al- Madina Al-Munwarrah or else. It is noticed that some of the pilgrims keep their passports inside their bags which delay the procedures of his journey.
2. In order to make it easier for a female pilgrim who s issued by the Saudi Embassies and consulates on entry visa for pilgrimage, and who is not accompanied by Mahrum (close relative male escort), she must accompany a group led by qualified persons who can take care of her.
3. It is to be stated that there is no need to inform the Agent's Unified Office except in the case of those pilgrims who originally arrived through Jeddah Airport Passport Office or Jeddah Seaport Office or Yanbo, In case some pilgrims arrive before their due departure date at the Agent's Unified Office, this office should inform the Pilgrimage Directorate at the Sea Pilgrim Town immediately about them and hand over their passports to it so as to investigate how they arrived and reporting the matter to the Ministry.
4. Travel within Saudi Arabia is highly restricted. Pilgrims' travel will be limited to the cities of Makkah and Madinah, to the tent cities of Mina and Arafat and to Muzdalifah. Inter-city travel will require the pilgrim or his travel agent to inform the Tawafa Establishment office 24 to 48 hours before departure. Pilgrims travel by buses provided by the General Cars Syndicate, using one of travel coupons given to them by the Tawafa Establishment. Buses are of different standards and are allocated on an availability basis. Pilgrims can also travel by taxis at an extra cost to them.

While for Sea Ports, it looks like that the only approved seaport entry for Umrah/Hajj are: Jeddah, Al-Jubayl and Yanbo. Where is Duba?

10. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 5 May '06 10:34

Quoting from the Minstry of Hajj-website:

Among sea inlets are: Jeddah Islamic Sea Port, Yanbu Port and Dammam Port.

note the "among". It means that there are more seaports for entry. Duba really should be among them, since all the Egyptians go to that port. The Hurghada-Duba ferry isn't called "umrah ferry" for nothing.

Best contact the Saudi embassy in your country for details. They can also tell you whether there are any ferries from Yanbo to Egypt. (I haven't found any online, doesn't mean there aren't.)

And you can always take the bus to Aqaba in Jordan or take the ferry from Jidah to Suez.

The same website also says:

If a woman is 45 years old or older, she is allowed to go without a Mahram if she travels with an organized group or family and submits a notarized No Objection Certificate from her Mahram.

So what I said is still true - a woman who doesn't have a mahram to begin with cannot submit a certificate from her mahram and thus cannot go for Hajj.