Ferry from Port Sudan to Saudi Arabia

We run into a lot of surprises and challenges when we took the ferry from Port Sudan to Saudi Arabia (Port Sudan -Suakin axctualy- to Jeddah). So to help other travellers with this journey we collected all the up to date information about tickets, costs and harbour procedures.

Tickets ferry from Sudan to Saudi Arabia (July 2016)

  • At the moment there is only one company that sails; Namma Shipping Lines (it is a Nesma company, they don’t have a website)
  • Departure on Monday, Wednesday, Friday from Suakin (close to Port Sudan), Sudan.
  • The ferry wil arrive in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Tickets can be bought in Khartoum, Port Sudan and Suakin.
  • Ticket for vehicle – SDG 2200 $158
  • Ticket for passenger – SDG 875 ($63)
  • First-class cabin per person – SDG 150 ($11) can be arranged on board at the reception desk.
  • Motorcycle: It should be allowed to travel through Saudi Arabia by motorcycle

Note: You need to confirm you ticket (before 12 o’clock on the sailing day) at the Namma Office in Suakin – SDG 70 ($5) per ticket, also for the car. Should be around coordinates 19.112629, 37.306214 (ask around for the right office, as we haven’t been there).

Advice: you can also drive to the gate of the port and ask for someone who can organise this for you. Police man in the harbour usually also work as fixers for the port procedures. Will save you a lot of time and hassle.

Practical information boarding ferry from Sudan to Saudi Arabia:

  • Departure time – 7 pm but most of the times it leaves after 8pm or later
  • Trip takes around 12 hours.
  • Take your own blanked and towel on board if you take a cabin. (shower is available)
  • Drinks and food are also available on the the ferry.
  • If you insist, you can lock you vehicle while on the ferry, you have to unlock it when the ferry arrives in the harbour in Saudi. They will come and get you when it’s time to unlock it.
  • Take out (or lock up) valuables, you are not with the car when it goes through customs
  • Take your yellow book with you (they wanted to see if we had our vacinations before letting us of the ferry)
  • It can take a long time before you get of the ship or back to your car, so taken enough food and drinks.

Sudan customs for carnet

  • Coordinates 19.109612, 37.344816
  • You get a stamp on your carnet in this building.
  • Make sure you get a letter in Arabic that your car is cleared. You need this letter to enter the ferry.

Sudan customs for exit stamp paspoort

  • Coordinates 19.116239, 37.345033
  • You need an exit form with stamps (blue building outside to get the exit form)
  • First stamp (light blue) in the building with the blue stairs, one of the offices with the wooden doors
  • Second stamp (dark blue), outside this building offices with the pink wall (right desk)
  • Extra form with barcode attached to exit form. Same building with pink wall, desk om the left. Pay SGD 21
  • Inside the building stand in the long queue for the firth stamp (red stamp)
  • Then you are ready for an exit stamp in your passport. Inside this building. They need the exit form with all the stamps, 2 copies of your passport and two copies of transit visa.

Advice: As you can see you need to go to a lot of different desks and the desk probable vary from time to time. You can try to do this yourself but we advise you to use an Arabic-speaking person who knows their way around and knows the people inside. It will save you a lot of time and hassle SGD 200 for a fixer. With the fixer it already took us 5 hours in the harbour. 

Saudi Arabia customs

  • Immigration is very easy. Just follow the people and the signs
  • You are send to customs were you have to collect your car, get insurance and pay port fees
  • Car insurance 120 Riall ($30)
  • Port fees 270 Riall ($71)

It took us 6,5 hours from the moment we were of the ferry, till the moment we could drive away with our car. Most of the time was for waiting to get the car back from customs and we needed some extra time because they lost our tentpolls somewere in customs;-)

Musts to optain a Saudi transit Visa

  • You can get a Saudi Arabia transit visa in Khartoum. Coordinates 15.574339, 32.546669
  • Most likely you will be send to an agent on the other side of the street. Around coordinates 15.575384, 32.546812. Waleed is very helpful and knows the people inside the embassy. He can fix the visa in a couple of days.
  • You have to pay for an Saudi health insurance when applying for a transit visa (new rules) The agent will arrange this with the visa. SGD 1400 per person for Visa, Insurance and agent fee ($100)
  • Your car needs to be LHD (Left Hand Drive) to get a transit visa.
  • Be aware that you can only get a transit visa. Tourist visa will not be issued
  • Be aware that the transit visa is valid only for three days. You can NOT overstay
  • If you travel as a couple you need to be married.
  • You need to bring passport photos, woman with abaya and hijab.


Ferry crossing from the Emirates to Iran

When you want enter Iran after crossing the Middle East, you may also want to read our travel information about the ferry crossing from Dubai to Iran.

Share your thoughts, comment bellow

If you have any questions about the ferry crossing or about the Saudi transit visa, don’t hesitate leave your comment below. Also if you any information to add to this page, or you just want to share your thoughts, please leave a comment bellow!

Get an impression of Sudan and Saudi Arabia

If you want to see or read about how we experienced our transit trough Saudi Arabia, please visit our blog. The Sudanese visa will permit you to stay at least two weeks in Sudan so don’t miss the spectacular sights and hospitality of Sudan.

    1. Avatar photo

      Hi, I don’t know but we only got a 3 day transit via to cross Saudi Arabia. I doubt it will be enough time to cycle trough this enormous country. Cheers.

  1. Rafał

    you wrote “Motorcycle: It should be allowed to travel through Saudi Arabia by motorcycle”
    do you know where and who issues such permits ?
    thanks .


  2. Ericus Steyn.

    Good morning
    We are currently, 05/08/2021, in South Sudan and waiting for visa for Sudan so that we can ship from Port Sudan to Jeddah . 2 problems. I read on Wikipedia that ferry services from Port Sudan to ANY destination has been suspended. Not sure how accurate that information is but regardless that is where we are going. Secondly we first have to get a visa for Saudi Arabia before getting visa to Sudan. They want to be pretty sure you leave their country. Lastly we are traveling without carnet from South Africa and no issues so far.
    But, and this now seems a major issue, we have a RHD vehicle. We managed to get a transit visa for. Saudi in 2009 for the same vehicle but you say it will be impossible. Do they check before you board the ferry or when you land at Jeddah? What will they do, send you back? Maybe there is ferry from Port Sudan to Aquaba?

    1. Avatar photo

      Hi Ericus, we crossed Saudi in 2016 so our info isn’t up to date, a lot has changed since then. About the RHD vehicle, I heard stories about someone not allowed to bring the vehicle through customs in Jeddah. So the person got trough customs but the vehicle was not allowed to enter the country. They had to ship the vehicle back or to egypt, wich was hard because they didn’t have access to the vehicle. But this is info from a couple of years ago. Don’t know about the current situation. Cheers

  3. Alejandro Sosa

    Is a “fixer” necessary if you’re not crossing with a vehicle? I would think it would be as simple as having your Saudi visa and buying the ferry ticket.

    1. Avatar photo

      Hi Fabrizio,
      I’m sorry, our information is from 2016 and therefore outdated. A lot has changed since then. When we were there they drove the car in the customs area without us, we weren’t allowed in there. But it is better to look for more recent information on this particular question.

  4. Graeme Thomson

    I am an overlanding company that operates all right hand drive overland trucks throughout Africa. Is there any possibility of obtaining special dispensation to operate our RHD overland truck. Basically we are looking to operate an overland trip entering through Jeddah, over to THE UAE then overland up to Jordan and then through to Cairo.


    1. Avatar photo

      Hi Graeme,
      I’m sorry, our information is from 2016 and therefore outdated. A lot has changed since then. It is better to look for more recent information on this particular question.

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