9 days guided tour of egypt - pls critique

Jan 21st, 2009, 07:23 AM
  #1  
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9 days guided tour of egypt - pls critique

- tour commpany is "on the go" (australian company)
- price of tour is $949pp (about US$600)

Day 1 - cairo: arrive and go to hotel

day 2 - cairo to aswan: visit pyramids, sphinx, Khufu (we don't go into any of the great pyramids), explore tombs and temples at saqqara (sakkara), rest, dinner, then o/n train to aswan (can upgrade to sleeper)

day 3 - aswan: get off train and check into hotel, visit dam, agilika island (philae temple), shop

day 4 - felucca sailing from aswan; optional flight(??) to abu simbel in morning for $300 (US$200), depart for nile cruise on felucca in afternoon (optional cruise ship for $419 (US$250)

day 5 - felucca sailing; stopover at kom ombo

day 6 - luxor; get off feluuca, guided tour of temple at edfu, drive to luxor with optional tour of temple of luxor by horse and carriage incl. dinner

day 7 - luxor to cairo; valley of kings, optinal hot air balloon ride ($279 US$180), memnon, temples of hatsheput and karnak then board train o/n to cairo

Day 8 - arrive cairo; egyptian museum, free time

day 9 - depart cairo

included in the price:
breakfast daily
all meals on cruise
4 nights at 4-5* hotels
airport meet and greet plus transfers
qualified tour guides

What I want to know is if this is a good tour and a good price compared to doing it myself or arranging a private tour guide like the ones recommended on this site???

Some things to know about me (and my group):
we are 2 couples
we are well travelled and have never taken a tour group before and our travels have included backpacker accomomdation around the world. we are also used to self drive
BUT (and its a big but) my dad is now old - mum is fit and healthy. We would tend to want dad to use a wheel chair as much as possible although he is still able, he lacks in fitness and fatigues quickly.

IMPORTANT: our main aim is simply to "breath in" egypt and so we can say that we got there and saw it. If we don't climb through everything and explore all there is to explore then that's ok with us.
Therefore, we don't have more time than that as we will also go to jerusalem for a few days.

Any commments and all critique is welcomed. Ask me any clarifying questions.

Thanks

PS oh, and all accomodation on this tour is based on twin share but if we did it ourselves we would be happy to go in quad share or have 2 bedroom apartments or hotels to save on costs (if there is such a thing in egypt)
bhuty is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 07:07 AM
  #2  
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ttt

i really need some advice here
bhuty is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 07:52 AM
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Not familiar with the tour company, but then I'm in the states..

However, what first jumps out at me is your dad on a felucca between Aswan/Luxor. These boats are rather basic for sleeping and food provided, with no toilet facilities. You might seriously consider the Nile cruise ship, which is a lovely trip, sightseeing along the way. If dad prefers not, he can relax on the boat's top deck.

The grounds around sites/temples along the Nile, in Cairo, Aswan and if you go to Abu Simbel - are uneven, so even physically fit people need sturdy shoes. A wheelchair would be difficult, but one of those cane/chairs might aid for relaxing/sitting down during sightseeing.

For the Abu Simbel option... is that by road or air. If road, know that this an early start before sunrise, thru the desert, time at AS, then road back. Again, how will your dad do with long trip.

As to the train, best that you book first class seats.

My suggestions is that you arrange the trip to accommodate dad and his ease and comfort. The rest of you will do fine with awareness of the heat and strong sun (need lots of water, hat, sun protection lotion).

Hope this helps somewhat.


sandi is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 07:57 AM
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Without question, upgrade to the sleeper train. We took it in August and it was great -- much better than expected. Sitting up all night even in a first class "seat" would be miserable IMHO, and do not even consider anything less than first class. As for the sleeper, the only thing to be aware of is 1) bring food -- they serve food but it's awful, really awful and 2) wear shoes when you go to the bathroom.
sf7307 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 08:07 AM
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A few more thoughts:

1) Are you saying you could take the felucca on the Nile rather than land transportation or a Nile cruise? Picture Tom Sawyer's raft...that's what a felucca is like (I'm exaggerating, but not much). We didn't take the Nile cruise -- opted for land transportation, and it was fine.

2) Number of days -- we also had 2 full days in Cairo, 1 in Aswan, 3 in Luxor (of which one was spent lounging by the lovely pool). For a "taste of Egypt" that was fine. We did not go to Abu Simbel (too many people we were paying for - too many $$)

3) I don't know your tour company, or any other than the one we used (Lady Egypt). Ours was a private tour for the six of us, so it's hard to compare prices, and ours included some intra-Egypt flights so sorry but I don't know whether the price is good or not. It sounds pretty good to me. FWIW, we paid about $1100USD per person, including flights for all six from Luxor to Cairo and for four from Cairo to Sharm, 2 people in 4-5* hotels for 9 nights, 1 person for 13 nights, 3 people for 11 nights, all breakfasts and all entrance fees (which can add up, and I'm not sure if they are included in your price or not), a tour guide who was with us in all three cities, and a tour representative who met us at each hotel, checked us in and out, dealt with our bags, etc.

Hope that helps.
sf7307 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 08:53 PM
  #6  
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thanks for input thus far.


my responses and decisions so far are:
- yes the cane/chair option will work well so will do that
- i'm thinking that the cooler months will be a requirement in our planning
- i will be upgrading to sleepers for sure
- my partner and i will probably do the felucca and will send mum and dad on the upgraded cruise ship
- the abu simbel option is a moring flight - don;t know if they even land or if its just a fly by but i read elsewhere that its a lot of money for what you get so i may not do it.
- the nile cruise for 2 nights is mandatory with the only option being the felucca or the cruise ship

again many thanks and will appreciate more comments
bhuty is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 09:17 PM
  #7  
 
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bhuty, even though we elected not to do the Abu Simbel side trip, many people (in fact, I'd venture to guess most) on this board think it IS worth it, so I'd suggest you spend some more time researching this before deciding. Again, we were traveling with 6 people -- Abu Simbel by air would have cost us an additional $1200, which we just couldn't see spending to see more antiquities (even if they WERE moved when the dam was built!).
sf7307 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 05:58 AM
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Just make sure you REALLY know what is involved with the felucca.

Personally, I loved hiring feluccas in Cairo for a couple of hours of sailing along the Nile with friends - not much longer due to the call of nature! But I would never consider sailing along the river on one for an overnight thing.

Here is a relatively recent thread on this subject -

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4
Grcxx3 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 06:18 AM
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The Abu Simbel option flight, DOES LAND. Once here, a short bus ride to the sight, meet up with a guide at entry for visiting the temples; bus back to the air terminal and flight to Aswan. Time spent at temples about 2-2.5/hrs.

We flew from Cairo to AS, and felt it was well worth the few hundred dollars.
sandi is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 09:06 AM
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We flew from Cairo to AS, and felt it was well worth the few hundred dollars.

Sandi, I would have, too, if it were just me and my husband. But me, my husband and four 20-somethings ---- not so much LOL!!
sf7307 is offline  
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