The Suez Canal
One of the most important waterways in the World is the Suez canal. Before the opening of the Canal, ships sailing between Europe and East had to stop in the Mediterranean or the Red Sea and the cargo had to be transported via land through Egypt or another route which proved to be popular at the time was the ships sailing via the Cape of Good Hope. The necessity of a link between Europe and the East has come long ago at the times of the Pharaohs and they made a canal through the eastern branch of Nile but was somehow neglected. Then the idea came again at the time of Napoleaon but was not supported and finally Ferdinand de Lesseps was the one who signed a concession with the Egyptians and made the canal in 1854. The canal was open for commercial shipping just over 10 years later and is long 163 km. During the conflict between Israel and the Arab states as a result the canal was closed for about eight years and reopend in 1975. Tha canal went through lots of imporevement and maintenance and is limited to a single lane but there are several passing points which allow two way traffic. The canal can accommodate ships as large as 240,000 dwt and with 19/20 m draft. The height of the vessels must be about 63 metres above the water level and a maximum beam of 77.5 metres.