Cousteau’s Ship anchors at El Gouna, the Red Sea’s Premier Leisure Destination in Egypt
Captain Jacques Cousteau’s ship “The Alcyone” anchors in the Abu Tig Marina out of concern for a team member & stays out of delight at the alcove it found in El Gouna. In February, 2004, El Gouna was honored to host Captain Jacques Cousteau’s remarkable ship “The Alcyone” in the Abu Tig Marina for a whole week. Captain Cousteau was one of the prominent figures in the world of underwater exploration & the founder of the famous not-for-profit organization, the Cousteau Society, which aims at protecting the planet.
It all started when Pierre, the son of the late Cousteau suffered from appendicitis on the way along the Red Sea coastline towards Egypt. Although the original plan had not included a stop in El Gouna, yet the team’s confidence that Pierre would get the best medical care at EL Gouna hospital made them head to it directly.
It was not long till they were able to relax and take a look around. Deciding that they liked what they see, they decided to stay.
In El Gouna, the Cousteau Society members were impressed with the lively magnificently planned town, ideally situated along ten kilometers of scenic beachfront, the picture exquisite islands surrounded by crystalline turquoise lagoons, the year round sunshine, award winning architecture and the exciting array of sports & leisure activities.
With fourteen hotels to choose from – ranging from intimate guesthouses to five star beach front resort hotels and the wide array of services furnished, El Gouna appeared to the Cousteau Society members to be the place to spend an unforgettable holiday.
Going deeper in El Gouna, the Cousteau Society members discovered El Gouna’s downtown known as Kafr El Gouna. The Kafr is the town center where plenty goes on both day and night. It is there that all EL Gouna guests and residents get together. The Kafr is set on an island and is built in the traditional Egyptian style of inner courtyards, winding alleys and rolling domes, all surrounded by turquoise lagoons. It provides everything one would expect of a lively downtown area: shopping arcades, bazaars an art village, cafes a wide selection of restaurants, bars, pubs and discotheques.
Regarding sports and activities at El Gouna, the society’s members hit upon countless opportunities for fun, fitness and fresh-air that are scattered throughout El Gouna to satisfy every age group and inclination. This helped them relax and enjoy the best equipment with friendly and professional assistance in one of the most beautiful sites on the Red Sea. The choices are varied: windsurfing, water skiing (the only professional center in Egypt), snorkeling, catamaran, banana boats, canoe, fishing, diving, and many others.
As for golf, an 18-hole USPGA championship golf course designed by the famous American architectural firm of Fred Couples and Gene Bates is offered.
More interestingly, the society members found at El Gouna an example of environmentally responsible management “The Green Gouna”. El Gouna’s management evident concern and care for the environment impressed the research team in a way that made them keen to interview Mr. Samih Sawiris, the founder of El Gouna, to get to know more about the concept he adopted when founding such a coastal resort town constructed in an organized manner and in accordance to preserving and fostering the surrounding ecosystem.
The Cousteau Society shares El Gouna’s hope that future resorts and coastal towns around the world will follow El Gouna’s example of environmentally responsible construction and development.
Boarding their remarkable ship once again, the crew set sail on February 20th, but El Gouna looks forward to welcome these visitors once more in the near future, as a return trip is planned for later this year. Until then, Bon Voyage.