CAIRO: Departing from Alexandria, the 150-year-old royal Mahroussa yacht arrived in the governorate of Ismailia Friday to pick up President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi for a cruise during the inauguration of the New Suez Canal Thursday, said an official from the Suez Canal Authority (SCA).
The Mahroussa has docked in the Suez’s parking Lake Timsah (Crocodile Lake), Youm7 reported. On board, a number of world leaders are scheduled to set sail with President Sisi, SCA chairperson Mohab Mamish previously announced.
Mahrousa is one of the biggest yachts worldwide; it is 42 feet in width and carries 3,417 tons. The five-floor yacht was 411 feet in length when it was built in 1859 but extended 40 feet in 1972.
It was the first ship that cruised the Suez Canal in the 1869 inauguration ceremony by the Khedive Ismail Pasha. In 1863, a British company built Mahroussa per a request from Khedive Ismail; the Alexandria port received it in 1956. Khedive Ismail used the yacht to travel to Paris where exhibitions were held, according to Farouk Misr website.
King Fouad I departed Egypt via the yacht to Italy after he was dethroned in July 1952. Former Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi came to Egypt by it in 1939 to marry to Princess Fawzyia, King Farouk’s sister.
After 1952, the yacht was renamed al-Horria (the Liberation) by late President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1956. Late President Anwar al-Sadat cruised on it to Jaffa to sign the peace agreement with Israel ; during the second inauguration of the Suez Canal 1975, and after the 1973 war, Sadat toured the canal via it.