The opening of Suez Canal in 1869, provided the shortest ocean link from Britain to the Far East by making the long journey around the Cape of Good Hope unnecessary.It took approximately 120 days to travel from Europe to Singapore (back and forth), and the initial route had to pass the Cape of Good Hope which is located at the south end of the African continent. The journey was unsafe as the weather there were always unfavorable.
Ferdinand de Lesseps, a French engineer, drew plans to shorten the sea route around Africa by cutting a long canal to link the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. With the opening of the Suez route, the trade route was shortened significantly.The construction of the Suez Canal officially began on April 25, 1859. It opened ten years later on November 17, 1869 at a cost of $100 million.