Topics

Tunesia

Joerg Esdorn
 
Edited

I would like to sail my A55 to Tunesia in May and am looking at 2 ports near Tunis.  Sidi Bou Said or Marina de Gammarth.  Anybody have any recent experience with either port?  I’m particularly concerned about safety and space/sufficient water for a boat of this size. My boat is US flagged.  Many thanks for any input you can provide!

Joerg Esdorn
A55 #53
Kincsem

James Alton
 

Joerg,

    We were in Tunisia Sept. Of 2018.  Bizerte, Kelibia, Hammanet, Monastir.  My wife and I felt safe in all locations.  Monastir has a large number of liveaboards and we met many interesting cruisers.  Marina staff is very friendly and accommodating.  Most things that you need are close by.  We enjoyed Bizerte as well Hammanet is modern,touristy but still nice.  Kelibia is a small fishing port with little room.  We taxied to Tunis (very cheap) to see the Bardo Museum but did not bring the boat.  Officials checked our paperwork at each port and anchoring is discouraged but we did anchor out some. Tunisia has a trash problem but we found the people to be honest and friendly.  If there are any other questions that you think I can answer about Tunisia let me know.  Our boat is US flagged, no issues.  Tunisia apparently was the first country to recognize US indepence and has had good relations.   Best, James Sv Sueno,. Maramu #220.

On Mar 9, 2019 10:03 AM, "Joerg Esdorn via Groups.Io" <jhe1313@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

I would like to sail my A55 to Tunesia in May and am looking at 2 ports near Tunis.  Sidi Bou Said or Marina de Gammarth.  Anybody have any recent experience with either port?  I’m particularly concerned about safety and space/sufficient water for a boat of this size. My boat is US flagged.  Many thanks for any input you can provide!

Joerg Esdorn
A55 #53
Kincsem

Gerhard Mueller
 

I have been for 6 years in Tunesia, mostly Monastir, and left last year.
Sidi Bou Said is a very picturesque village but the marina is mostly crowded by better situated Tunesians with motorboats from Tunis.
Marina de Gammarth is quite new and pretty nice. But for shopping you will need a Taxi to La Marsa. Taxi is cheap however.
--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece

hanspeter baettig
 

Hi James
I would like to chaim in
because I knew Tunesia very well. First of all: The Marina some mentioned is Hamamet not Gamamet. The Port name is Port de Jasmine. Monastair is ok even for 54 ft vessels. Quit small. Bizerte is a new marina, but emty, nowbody goes their. I don't now way. Tunesia is becoming a very poor country after the Yasmin Revolution 2011. But! Its a lovely country, specially if you speak french.
Rent a car and go south visiting this country. A lot of old "Römische Ruinen, " better conceives then in Rom
and a lot of fantastic mosaiques in the area of Cap Bon.
have a good time
Hanspeter
Tamango 2
SM 16
Grenada

Von meinem iPhone gesendet

Am 09.03.2019 um 11:35 schrieb James Alton via Groups.Io <lokiyawl2@...>:

Joerg,

    We were in Tunisia Sept. Of 2018.  Bizerte, Kelibia, Hammanet, Monastir.  My wife and I felt safe in all locations.  Monastir has a large number of liveaboards and we met many interesting cruisers.  Marina staff is very friendly and accommodating.  Most things that you need are close by.  We enjoyed Bizerte as well Hammanet is modern,touristy but still nice.  Kelibia is a small fishing port with little room.  We taxied to Tunis (very cheap) to see the Bardo Museum but did not bring the boat.  Officials checked our paperwork at each port and anchoring is discouraged but we did anchor out some. Tunisia has a trash problem but we found the people to be honest and friendly.  If there are any other questions that you think I can answer about Tunisia let me know.  Our boat is US flagged, no issues.  Tunisia apparently was the first country to recognize US indepence and has had good relations.   Best, James Sv Sueno,. Maramu #220.

On Mar 9, 2019 10:03 AM, "Joerg Esdorn via Groups.Io" <jhe1313@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

I would like to sail my A55 to Tunesia in May and am looking at 2 ports near Tunis.  Sidi Bou Said or Marina de Gammarth.  Anybody have any recent experience with either port?  I’m particularly concerned about safety and space/sufficient water for a boat of this size. My boat is US flagged.  Many thanks for any input you can provide!

Joerg Esdorn
A55 #53
Kincsem

James Alton
 

Grenada,

    There were 41 vessels docked in Bizerte when we arrived in Sept. of 2018.   Monastir was almost full when we arrived and tends to fill up completely later in the season since many cruisers overwinter there due to the favourable winter climate.   

James
SV Sueno
Maramu #220

On Mar 9, 2019, at 8:23 PM, hanspeter baettig <hanspeter.baettig@...> wrote:

Hi James
I would like to chaim in
because I knew Tunesia very well. First of all: The Marina some mentioned is Hamamet not Gamamet. The Port name is Port de Jasmine. Monastair is ok even for 54 ft vessels. Quit small. Bizerte is a new marina, but emty, nowbody goes their. I don't now way. Tunesia is becoming a very poor country after the Yasmin Revolution 2011. But! Its a lovely country, specially if you speak french.
Rent a car and go south visiting this country. A lot of old "Römische Ruinen, " better conceives then in Rom
and a lot of fantastic mosaiques in the area of Cap Bon.
have a good time
Hanspeter
Tamango 2
SM 16
Grenada

Von meinem iPhone gesendet

Am 09.03.2019 um 11:35 schrieb James Alton via Groups.Io <lokiyawl2@...>:

Joerg,

    We were in Tunisia Sept. Of 2018.  Bizerte, Kelibia, Hammanet, Monastir.  My wife and I felt safe in all locations.  Monastir has a large number of liveaboards and we met many interesting cruisers.  Marina staff is very friendly and accommodating.  Most things that you need are close by.  We enjoyed Bizerte as well Hammanet is modern,touristy but still nice.  Kelibia is a small fishing port with little room.  We taxied to Tunis (very cheap) to see the Bardo Museum but did not bring the boat.  Officials checked our paperwork at each port and anchoring is discouraged but we did anchor out some. Tunisia has a trash problem but we found the people to be honest and friendly.  If there are any other questions that you think I can answer about Tunisia let me know.  Our boat is US flagged, no issues.  Tunisia apparently was the first country to recognize US indepence and has had good relations.   Best, James Sv Sueno,. Maramu #220.

On Mar 9, 2019 10:03 AM, "Joerg Esdorn via Groups.Io" <jhe1313@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

I would like to sail my A55 to Tunesia in May and am looking at 2 ports near Tunis.  Sidi Bou Said or Marina de Gammarth.  Anybody have any recent experience with either port?  I’m particularly concerned about safety and space/sufficient water for a boat of this size. My boat is US flagged.  Many thanks for any input you can provide!

Joerg Esdorn
A55 #53
Kincsem


Joerg Esdorn
 

Thanks very much for the advice. I am focused on Marina De Gammarth since wéll be coming from Western Sicily and sailing on to Sardinia and want to see Carthage.  Port Jasmine is a bit out of- the way from that perspective.  Joerg

Gerhard Mueller
 

On Sun, Mar 10, 2019 at 02:24 AM, hanspeter baettig wrote:
Hi James
I would like to chaim in
because I knew Tunesia very well. First of all: The Marina some mentioned is Hamamet not Gamamet. The Port name is Port de Jasmine. Monastair is ok even for 54 ft vessels. Quit small. Bizerte is a new marina, but emty, nowbody goes their. I don't now way. Tunesia is becoming a very poor country after the Yasmin Revolution 2011. But! Its a lovely country, specially if you speak french.
Rent a car and go south visiting this country. A lot of old "Römische Ruinen, " better conceives then in Rom
and a lot of fantastic mosaiques in the area of Cap Bon.
have a good time
Hanspeter
Hi Hanspeter
 
some corrections are needed:
Nobody was talking about "Gamamet" but about Marina de Gammarth which is in the north of the Tunis bay and newly opened 2 or 3 years before.
Bizerte is also crowded now.
When you wrote about Roman ruins yoou have to point to El Djem where is a large colosseum almost in a better state than the colosseum in Rom, Italy.
In the area of Cap Bon are no mosaiques. You can visit mosaiques either in the Bardo meseum in Tunis or also in the museum in the souk of Sousse.
--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece

Gary Wells
 

I can only report on Marina Gammarth. 
I was there in Sept., 2018 for a few days.
The marina facilities are nice, but the complex is basically deserted. While there are many shop-front spaces available, they are all empty save one small service shop and an ATM.  No provisions available and a cab ride is required to go shopping.
.
I also had an extremely distasteful experience with the Customs officers there. The Immigration office was fine, but Customs officer came aboard and systematically began emptying drawers and cupboards onto the bed and setees. They questioned the sources and purposes of my wife's jewelery, our U.S. emergency money and our prescriptions. Each item was ceremoniously inspected (some were phone-photographed) 
It got bad, so I finally asked "What do I need to do?" and I received "Well, perhaps a gift." as a reply.

I was under the impression that Government officials had stopped playing that game but it is apparently not so in Gammarth. 
I was very disappointed and cannot recommend the marina for that reason alone.

Gary W. 
SM 209, Adagio
BVI/USVI

James Alton
 

Gary,

   All of the Tunisian officials that checked us into the country in Bizerte were super nice and respectful to us, both during the process and afterwards when we met them on later at the marina.  No drawers were opened at all they simply asked us some questions.  Now the boat that was docked right next to us had a very different experience from the same officials and had been asked for a gift.  They were very offended and were very vocal about their dissatisfaction and left at first light the next day into half of a gale.  From what I gathered in talking to the officials (In Bizerte they live right next to the marina) , there are a lot of boats that sail to Tunisia to check in for one day to reset their Schengen clock and are not there to spend any money.  Right or wrong this seems to grate on the nerves of some (remember these people don’t have much) Tunisians which feel that they are being used as a means to lower the rich mans tax bill at no benefit to their country.  I knew about the possibility that I might be asked for a gift and so long as it was not out of line I was prepared to pay it.  I think that we may have been treated differently than the neighbouring boat because when the officials asked us if we would be leaving soon we told them that no we wanted to see their country and asked for suggestions on where to go and what to see and ended up with a lot of good ideas.  We found pretty much anything that we needed in Bizerte and met some amazing people.

    Really sorry that you had such a bad experience with the Customs in Tunisia since you otherwise might have had a great time there.   And yes I agree that it is wrong that officials would ever ask for a “gift” and especially to harass you in anyway to extract the gift from you.  For myself I just saw this as a risk and a potential cost of going there so was prepared to not be offended,  I mean in when I think about how much it cost for me to buy, prepare and sail my boat there, a few extra dollars to ruin the experience did not seem to make sense.  

 We felt that the country is a pretty amazing place, safe and there is a lot to see.  We plan to go back if we get the chance.  

All the best and I hope that you enjoy your future cruising,

James
SV Sueno,  Maramu #220

On Mar 10, 2019, at 7:09 PM, Gary Wells <gary@...> wrote:

I can only report on Marina Gammarth. 
I was there in Sept., 2018 for a few days.
The marina facilities are nice, but the complex is basically deserted. While there are many shop-front spaces available, they are all empty save one small service shop and an ATM.  No provisions available and a cab ride is required to go shopping.
.
I also had an extremely distasteful experience with the Customs officers there. The Immigration office was fine, but Customs officer came aboard and systematically began emptying drawers and cupboards onto the bed and setees. They questioned the sources and purposes of my wife's jewelery, our U.S. emergency money and our prescriptions. Each item was ceremoniously inspected (some were phone-photographed) 
It got bad, so I finally asked "What do I need to do?" and I received "Well, perhaps a gift." as a reply.

I was under the impression that Government officials had stopped playing that game but it is apparently not so in Gammarth. 
I was very disappointed and cannot recommend the marina for that reason alone.

Gary W. 
SM 209, Adagio
BVI/USVI

Joerg Esdorn
 

This is very helpful advice, many thanks!  My conclusion is to go to Hammamet/Port Jasmine, rather than Gammarth or Sidi  Bou Said.  
Joerg

Alan "Woody" Wood
 

Hi Joerg

We were in Tunisia (Monastir) for a fit-out in June/July.. then sailed up the East Coast. We never made it to the North Coast as the winds weren't in our favour and our insurance ran out.. but made a couple of blogs about the experience (below) if you're interested. Unfortunately comments have been disabled as YouTube in their infinite wisdom are disabling all comments on kid/parent videos at the moment. :/
https://youtu.be/c-TcgJrUcBs
https://youtu.be/6nHe3zU--rU

Cheers
Woody