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 Egypt the call center number is 19567.
East Delta Bus Company. 02/2405–3482 in Cairo; 069/366–0660 in Sharm El-Sheikh; 069/364–0250 in Taba; 069/352–0371 in Nuweiba; 069/364–0250 in Dahab; 064/366–5885 in Ismailiya; 066/364–9617 in Bur Sa'id.
Go Bus Company. 02/2578–5548 in Cairo; 065/354–1561 in Hurghada; 069/336–4953 in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Super Jet. 02/2579–8181 in Cairo; 065/355–3499 in Hurghada; 069/366–1622 in Sharm El-Sheikh; 02/2579–8181 in Bur Sa'id.
Upper Egypt Bus Company. 02/2260–9279 in Cairo; 065/354–4582 in Hurghada; 065/325–1253 in Safaga; 065/333–0033 in al-Quseir; 062/366–4258 in Suez.