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vmcg Jul 20th, 2005 02:51 PM

6 days in Cairo- too much?
We are planning a trip to Egypt and thought we'd stay in Cairo (at the Marriott) for about 6 days. I assume there's a lot to see and can easily fill up those days, but still wonder????
If we do this we will need a private guide through the city for most of the sights. Also need to book something to get to Luxor and Abu Simbel. Is a Nile cruise the only way to go? Having trouble finding a tour company that will let me book the hotel and airfare and have them handle the other aspects of the trip. Want to go at least 4 star if take a nile cruise. Any suggestions?

gail Jul 20th, 2005 05:15 PM

The answer lies in how much time you have in Egypt total. Most tours do not spend that much time in Cairo, but I think you could easily fill that amount of time - as long as it was not at the expense of some of the things to see south of Cairo.

I do not know of anyway to currently cruise to Abu Simbel - so land or air transportation is the way to go (I think air is the best choice).

A Nile cruise is the most effective and efficient way to see things in the part of Egypt between Luxor and Aswan. I do not know if it is the only way - there are still some parts of the desert that have either security or road condition issues.

felicia Jul 20th, 2005 05:37 PM

Try contacting Sakkara Tours in Cairo. They run most of the land operations for the other tour companies. They are very organized. Good luck.

felicia Jul 20th, 2005 05:44 PM

Here is the website for Sakkara--

PRchick Jul 20th, 2005 08:42 PM

Six days is an awful lot of time in Cairo. There is a way to cruise to Abu Simbel but I'm not sure how to arrange it. Bus or air from Aswan is more common. I use Tut Egypt Tours in Luxor. They'll take care of you and work with you. I think they do Cairo tours also.

sandi Jul 21st, 2005 05:22 AM

Six days is a long time to spend in Cairo. Sure you can do a day trip to Alexandria, even head out to one of the close-in oasis. But most tours do at max 4 days in Cairo, 2 at beginning and 2 at conclusion.

Trying to book air from Cairo to Luxor or Aswan to do a Nile cruise is best done thru an in-country tour operator as they obtain better prices and with one of their reps at the airport you'll get better service as well. They also can (most always) do better with hotel rates. Unless you want to use a particular hotels mileage program for rooms... then mention this to the tour operator - i.e, a Hilton.

As to Abu Simbel. It's best done by air from Cairo direct, or Luxor or Aswan at begining or end of your cruise depending on routing of the cruise boat.

While there are cruises on Lake Nassar adjacent to Abu Simbel, there is no sea route to Abu Simbel for a boat from Aswan. If you wish to go by land from Aswan to Abu Simbel, this can be done thru the desert, but it's an early early start and a very very long day. Air is your best option.

banners Jul 21st, 2005 05:27 AM

Six days is way too long to be in Cairo. There is so many other places in Egypt to spend time. Our favorite was Luxor.
We did a Nile Cruise and loved it.

Good Luck

rfb Jul 22nd, 2005 05:12 AM

How long is too long depends on what your interests are. If you fall into the category of casual tourist, it's probably too long. If you are interested in Egyptian history and culture, I believe you could spend a lifetime there without becoming bored. I've been to Egypt many times and still find new things to do in Cairo. I do, however, usually break up my stay there into a few days at the beginning and a few days at the end of each trip.

Personally, Nile Cruises seem to me to be the ultimate waste of time and worst possible way to see the country, but then I'm not a cruise type person.

If you are looking for a reliable, individual tour guide, try contacting Deb Senters at [email protected], she operates a service under a name which I can never get quite right. I believe you will find her more than satisfactory.

banners Jul 23rd, 2005 07:56 AM

I wonder what a 'cruise type' is? We were on a small boat with 3 great meals a day and 3 wonderful days visiting 'Egyptian culture and History'. What a PAIN. I guess since we live in the Middle East we do easliy OD on too much local culture and wow effect and like a bit of pampering (and alcohol!!)
You need to figure out what sort of person you are I guess and plan from there.

Brit Jul 23rd, 2005 08:50 AM

We were in Egypt in March with OAT. I thought the 4 day cruise from Aswan to Luxor was one of the highlights of the trip. It was wonderful to sit on the sundeck and watch the world go by. I was struck by the fact that I was watching people living the same way they did hundreds of years ago.

Spygirl Jul 23rd, 2005 09:13 AM

ANYONE planning to go to Egypt right now should absolutely reconsider their plans, and regularly check the website to see what Travel Announcements are posted there, and to HEED the travel advice. This is nothing to act nonchalantly about!

I find it utterly weird that people can respond to a post on Egypt as if nothing has happened, and blithely advise about where to go, without mentioning the attacks. One thing we DO know about these terrorist bombers: their M.O. is to continue to attack the same targets, and sometimes, as we have seen in London, in short succession, so before you go jaunting off to the over side of the world-you need to give great consideration to that fact.

Somebody was not carrying out their security duties at Sharm-one of the bombers actually announced he HAD a bomb-two minutes before it went off, and apparently no security guards who were there or should have been there in the area did anything!

PRchick Jul 23rd, 2005 04:51 PM

There's no guarantee that nothing will happen anywhere you go. Even here in the states. People here have good sense. No need to be an alarmist.

welltraveledbrit Jul 23rd, 2005 11:48 PM

Does this mean I shouldn't go to New York?

shashee Jul 24th, 2005 10:19 AM

I have to side with HotAlex, welltraveledbrit and PRchick... Don't let the freaks win this battle. Don't hide. Egypt depends on tourism. These ppl will bring the world down if we let them and it's only a handful of ppl doing this. I am also planning a trip to Egypt and I will go all by my female self. Don't hide. Go. Yalla!

shashee Jul 24th, 2005 10:22 AM

ohh and to VMCG who originally posted the questions... good for you, we need more ppl in this world like you.

Thyra Jul 24th, 2005 10:53 AM

This all reminds me of a guy who lived in Florida then moved to Los Angeles because he was mortally afraid of dying in a hurricane.. guess what? he died in the 1990's Northridge quake. The problem with deconstructing plans to avoid something, is that you open yourself up to the irony of something equally bad happening that wouldn't have happend if you'd stuck to your original plans.. that is my biggest fear.. what if we cancell our trip to Egypt, opt to go to Costa Rica and get killed in a freak rainforest accident... you never know.. or what if we stay home and those guys target Los Angeles... how weird would that be.. oh you can play this game for hours on end...

Hal8999 Jul 24th, 2005 03:01 PM

You shouldn't go to Cairo at all it is too dangerous. Terrorists are blowing up Egypt.

You shouldn't go to London either, Al Qaida is blowing up London.

Don't go to Spain, what al Qaida isn't blowing up the Basque separatists are.

Don't go to Turkey, terrorists are blowing it up too.

Don't go to Italy, they support America in Iraq and are due to be blown up soon.

Don't go to Columbia, drug lords will kidnap you and hold you for ransom.

Don't go to anyplace in Indonesia, terrorists will kidnap you there too.

Don't go to the Carribean, there are storms there that might hurt you.

Stay home! Lock your doors! Get a lot of firearms to protect yourself.

heraclitus Jul 24th, 2005 08:30 PM

I guess you can put me in the "yes, I'm still going" camp. If the State Department, British Foreign Office, Australian Foreign Affairs Office, the Canadian Office of External Affairs, and the German Auswaertiges Amt all put out travel warnings I would certainly heed their call. But that is not currently the case nor do I expect it to occur.

Last year over 8 million people visited Egypt. At least 40 million people have visited Egypt since the terrorist attack
in Luxor in 1997. While any death at terrorists' hands is an outrage, it is not irrational to refuse to be bullied by these monsters. As gruesome as these events are, the odds are still extraordinarily slim that you will be a victim.

I've been travelling independently for almost 35 years now. Most of that travel in recent years has been to less developed countries. There is one and only one travel hazard that truly frightens me. That is motor vehicles. Annual global road kill is well in excess of 1 million people a year. I've come close to being knocked off by cars, trucks, auto-rickshaws, motorcycles,"jeepneys", and buses. (I've also had close calls with ox carts, camels, donkeys, and even elephants.)

Still, in the face of truly terrible odds of succumbing to this carnage I continue to travel. For me, terrorist attacks are just another marginal risk -- like getting Crimean Hemoraghic Fever
or getting charged at by a rhinoceros.
Admittedly pretty awful, but not bloody damn likely.

vmcg Jul 25th, 2005 10:25 AM

Thanks to all of you who responded, and for the concerned warnings. I posted this inquiry before the bombings in Sharm and of course my husband and I were alarmed when we learned about the incident. But we are proceeding, yet with caution. This is not our first personal experience with such incidents. Our plans for Europe were trashed two years ago when the Air France flights from Los Angeles to Paris at x-mas were cancelled due to threats. Last year we were trying to go to Phuket at x-mas and couldn't get a res. Then the sunami hit and we were again aware at how easily our lives could have been in jeopardy. All the same, we could have been in London a few weeks ago or in New York on 9-11 or in Madrid or....
The possibilities for our demise are endless.
Anyway, the focus of my inquiry was on the time in Cairo we have allotted. Just to be clear, this would not be at the expense of visiting Luxor and other locales as we have a full two weeks for the Egypt portion of the journey. We do enjoy staying in one place for a while and getting the flavor of the city. And the people. And hope to get a chance to see and experience some more off the beaten path kinds of things that there aren't time with a shorter visit. Thanks for all your input.

suzanne97 Aug 1st, 2005 11:39 PM

I felt safe when I was in Egypt in May which was great but that didn't mean I was safe. Along the same lines, many people feel safe in their home town but may not be. Egypt has a problem with terrorists that is recently rearing its ugly head again. This could be disasterous for their economy which is highly based on tourism as mentioned before. Each person has to decide for themselves what risks they are willing to take and no one else should critize them.

I would like to see Egypt crack down harder on the terrorist activity in Egypt. The recent attacks and drop in tourism income may bring this about. It is unfortunate if that means you can't take your trip...

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