The best way to get to the Suez Canal Zone is by bus from Cairo. You can take one early in the morning from Cairo to Bur Sa‘id, walk around for a couple of hours, then hop on another bus to Ismailiya. Have lunch there, explore a bit, then head back to Cairo in the evening. Travel time on the buses will total around five hours.
However, long-distance bus travel to the Sinai or Red Sea Coast takes time and patience; obnoxious dramatic movies play for the duration, and despite no smoking signs everywhere, even the driver lights up. El Gouna Bus Company offers frequent service between Cairo and Hurghada and El Gouna. Frequent East Delta Bus Company buses run daily from Sinai Station in Abbasia to Sharm El-Sheikh, Nuweiba, and Taba. Go Bus Company operates services to various destinations in the Sinai and Red Sea. Super Jet has buses to Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada from Cairo's Maydan Tahrir station. The Upper Egypt Bus Company has several buses a day between Cairo and Hurghada, al-Quseir, and Marsa Alam; their company also operates routes to Luxor.
Super Jet and East Delta Bus Company buses run frequently from two stations in Cairo—from the Cairo Gateway Bus Station (formerly Turgoman) in Bulaq's Cairo Gateway complex, and from Almaza Station in Heliopolis to Bur Sa‘id, from where you can catch connecting services direct to St Catherine’s. Buses also connect Bur Sa‘id to Ismailiya. These buses vary in cleanliness. Be sure to book front seats, and get to the station ahead of time to book your ticket. And be aware that the ticket salespeople are not always helpful.
El Gouna Bus Company. 065/355–6188; within.
East Delta Bus Company. 02/2383–4753; 02/2405–3482; 069/366–0660; 069/364–0250; 069/352–0371; 069/364–0250; 064/366–5885; 066/364–9617.
Go Bus Company. 02/2578–5548; 065/354–1561; 069/336–4953.
Super Jet. 02/2579–8181; 065/355–3499; 069/366–1622; 02/2579–8181.
Upper Egypt Bus Company. 02/2260–9279; 065/354–4582; 065/325–1253; 065/333–0033; 062/366–4258.