The main sources are Plutarch and Dio and they are clearly biased against Cleopatra. Plutarch, even more so then Dio, and has Cleopatra fleeing in panic. From Dio's account, by contrast, we can at least see a military strategy at play. As Dio states, they were to fight a naval battle and then force their way through should victory look unlikely.I have never seen a single source that says anything like this. Are you sure it is not just some far-fetched theory?
They did not wish, however, to sail out secretly, nor yet openly, as if they were in flight, lest they should inspire their allies also with fear, but rather as if they were making preparations for a naval battle, and incidentally in order that they might force their way though in case there should be any resistance.
(Cassius Dio, Book 50. 15.)