Eritrea was the first port of entry for us in the Red Sea. We were
impressed by the friendliness and efficiency of the Immigration and
Eritrea is small but proud country. The recent war with
Ethiopia for it's independence was very much in evidence in Massawa, but the
people were extremely friendly and honest and the town clean and lively.
Our visit to the capital, Asmara, and the trading
town of Keren was one of
the highlights of our cruise up the Red Sea.
The varied population includes Tigrinya-speaking Christians in
the southern highlands, Tigre-speaking Muslims in the northern highlands .
Many inhabitants along the coast and the border with The Sudan speak Arabic, and
many of those around Asmara also speak Italian.1
you are coming to Eritrea from the north or south Red Sea, you can check in in
the following port:
||+2 hours from UTC
Procedures (as of 2003)
- These are the procedures we followed in 2003 to follow to check into
Call on channel 16 when you are about 1 mile
outside the Massawa port entrance. You will be instructed to either
tie up along the jetty or allowed to proceed directly to the anchorage, which
was the case for us. It is a long dingy ride back to the jetty, but we
did not fancy tying up to the concrete jetty wall.
Bring ship's papers, passports, clearance from
last port of call and crew list to the Immigration office first. It
would be wise to dress in a conservative and respectful manner (long pants
for men or women and covered shoulders for the women)when dealing with the
officials as we found, without fail, that we were always treated well and
The immigration official will review your
passport and issue you a shore pass, which you must show to get
in/out of the port area. They will retain your passport until you
leave. The shore pass allows you to roam freely around the town of
Massawa but does not allow you to travel inland. If you wish to go to
Asmara, you can apply for a visa at the Immigration office. The visa
costs us about $50 US and allowed us to stay for 3 months and travel all
over the country. You then exchange your shore pass for your passport
with visa stamp which you must show the guard when leaving/entering the port
Proceed to Port Captain's office.
Then, go to Customs
Check-out - These
are the procedures that you follow to check out.
1Information obtained from Encyclopedia
Bring boat along side of the jetty and tie up.
Proceed to immigration office to either
exchange your shore pass for your passport or have an exit stamp put in the
Proceed to Port Captain's office to get your
Then go to Customs