Morocco Advice

Old Jul 7, 19, 11:44 am
  #1  
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Morocco Advice

Did a search, not quite getting what I'm after. My 17 year old daughter and her friend have the opportunity to attend a summit at a university in Ben Guerir Morroco in August. The package includes pickup from RAK. In looking at the map and seeing the location in relation to CMN and RAK, and a relatively affordable flight YXU-YUL-CMN, I'm trying to see how easy it is to get from CMN to Ben Guerir. I was looking at the ONCF rail website, as well as options on the CMN site and it seems like they would have to take a 45 minute train up to Casablanca to catch the Marrakesh train. Is there a rail option from the airport going south or other reasonable ground options? Unfortunately, Air Canada doesn't offer a CMN-RAK connection to the above flight, but that flight is significantly cheaper (which is weird to say considering how much flying from London YXU seems to add to any flight out of Toronto or Montreal) and is a much better schedule than basically every other flight I can find.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:15 am
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I would think you could book a taxi or private car option relatively cheap to take your daughter directly to where she needs to go. Have someone at the university book it for you. It is about 90 minutes by car and a whole lot easier.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 2:23 am
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Originally Posted by DanJ View Post
Did a search, not quite getting what I'm after. My 17 year old daughter and her friend have the opportunity to attend a summit at a university in Ben Guerir Morroco in August. The package includes pickup from RAK. In looking at the map and seeing the location in relation to CMN and RAK, and a relatively affordable flight YXU-YUL-CMN, I'm trying to see how easy it is to get from CMN to Ben Guerir. I was looking at the ONCF rail website, as well as options on the CMN site and it seems like they would have to take a 45 minute train up to Casablanca to catch the Marrakesh train. Is there a rail option from the airport going south or other reasonable ground options?
The airport is located southeast of the main rail line, requiring you to go to Casablanca before heading elsewhere, so it's not much of a detour. The train trip will take about 3 hrs by train and about 2 hrs if you drive from CMN to Ben Guerir.

Unfortunately, Air Canada doesn't offer a CMN-RAK connection to the above flight, but that flight is significantly cheaper (which is weird to say considering how much flying from London YXU seems to add to any flight out of Toronto or Montreal) and is a much better schedule than basically every other flight I can find.
I wouldn't add CMN to RAK. Doing that and having to backtrack would be longer than 3 hrs.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 4:51 am
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The idea for flying into RAK is because the university offers a pickup from there. I'm hoping she can get in touch with the program people and find out if they also will do pickup from CMN, even for additional cost, and save all the worry. It doesn't seem like this is easy to arrange online ahead of time. I'm also curious about how much of a language barrier they might run in to. I understand Morocco is Arabic, French and English, but I haven't seen how predominant English is, will they have trouble trying to arrange ground transportation? They both have done a bit of travelling away from home the last couple years so they are used to airports and Uber but this is a new level for them.

Regarding the train, I noticed on the schedule the 2nd or 3rd stop is the city of Berrechid, which is just a few miles south of the airport. Would it be more useful to taxi to there to get the train south rather than going into Casablanca, or is getting that train right in Casablanca a better idea? I'm wondering if the train might be very full right out of Casablanca, or even sold out and them either not being able to get on or seats together a few stops down the line.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 5:19 am
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Originally Posted by DanJ View Post
I'm also curious about how much of a language barrier they might run in to. I understand Morocco is Arabic, French and English, but I haven't seen how predominant English is, will they have trouble trying to arrange ground transportation?
It is definitely better if you can speak French, and mandatory for business people. But Morocco welcomes english-only speaking tourists and there will always be someone around who can help translate for tourists. However not all taxi drivers can speak English so it would be best if they have someone arrange things with the driver.
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