The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt that connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. It contains no locks, allowing seawater to flow freely through. The canal is a single lane with only two places to pass. One is located at the Ballah By-Pass and the other is Great Bitter Lake.
The canal is owned and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of Egypt. Under international treaty, it may be used “in time of war as in time of peace, by every vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag.”
The Suez Canal Company (Compagnie universelle du canal maritime de Suez) came into being on the 15th of December, 1858 and work began on the shore of the future Port Said on the 25th of April, 1859. The canal opened to shipping traffic on the 17th of November in 1869. After overcoming a number of technical, political, and financial problems, it was determined that the final cost was more than double the original estimate.