Scarab

MODERN LUXOR

Scarab
     
 
NATIONAL FERRY
Connie Tindale
 
fer1fer2New ferry boat
The ferry runs 24 hours per day and new sand coloured boats are being introduced in 2009.
The ferry point can be found to the northern end of Luxor Temple. Payment for the journey is made at the small kiosk, which is down the steps from the Corniche. For visitors, the cost of the journey for visitors is 1 LE each way. If payment for a return journey is made then a ticket should be received otherwise no tickets are issued.

The ferries cross the river from east to west and back all day and all night. During the day, the movement is constant with three ferries in operation; as one arrives, one departs and another is filling with passengers. During the night, the ferries are reduced to two, and the time waiting for them to leave is longer but they still offer a reliable and very cheap service. Because of the river's current, they cross in a backward letter S shape so that they leave pointing south on one side and arrive on the other, still pointing south.

Crossing on the ferry is a pleasurable experience with a good view of the riverside and the colourful mix of local people travelling to markets and to work makes it very interesting. At times the ferries can be quite crowded but never let this be intimidating as they are safe and although people may try to talk to you they are being friendly and hassle is usually at a minimum on the ferry itself.

Sometimes you will see people clambering aboard the ferry once it has started to move. Several people are killed each year doing this as they lose their footing and fall into the water. Sometimes people are rescued but at other times, they surface under the pontoon instead of beside it, and they drown. The River Police, who are usually on duty at both ferry points, dissuade people from attempting to jump on the moving ferry but sometimes they are unsuccessful.

From early 2009 new ferry boats are being introduced to replace the old boats that were getting into a dilapidated condition.