Egypt Help--where do I start?

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Oct 5th, 2003, 12:12 PM
  #1
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Egypt Help--where do I start?

Greetings from Alaska!

My husband and I are trying to plan a vacation for May 2004. At the top of our list for locations is Egypt. We have lots of questions....1)Is it just going to be too hot at this time of year? 2) What are the must see destinations? 3) Should we go with a tour company, and if so which one? 4) What is a reasonable flight price from the west coast, USA? 4) What could we expect to spend on a tour (10-15 days)?

Any help would be REALLY appreciated!
Thank you in advance!
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Oct 5th, 2003, 01:10 PM
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Dear Eskimogirl - you can get a lot of information to mull over if you do a text search at the top of the page. Type in tours and then select Egypt. I will be going in April and am booked out of Seattle which most companies will do for you. If you fly to the East coast you most likely will still touch down somewhere in Europe before flying on to Egypt. If you can fly for example British Air out of Seattle, you will go directly to London and then on to Egypt. April is a little hotter than I would have liked but couldn't manage it earlier. You can check yearly temperatures at www.weatherbase.com. Happy planning!
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Oct 5th, 2003, 01:12 PM
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Sorry - I just noticed that "text" search changed to "Search this Forum".
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Oct 5th, 2003, 05:18 PM
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We went April 2001 - it was very hot on some days (I said it was the hottest I had ever been, but we have since been to Arizona in the summer and that is hotter!) - but by seeing sites early in the day, drinking water, dressing appropriately - we still enjoyed ourselves.

We took a 10-day Globus tour even though we are not usually packaged tour types. We were going with our 2 kids and found the logistics of navigating a totally different language and culture while seeing as much as possible made that the right choice. I look forward to returning at some point and would like to then travel without a tour. At the time our tour, including air from East Coast US was about $2300 per person - including usually 2 meals/day, admissions, 4 day Nile cruise. We paid extra for air travel and half-day trip to Abu Simbel.

I can empathize with the overwhelming nature of planning such a trip. Buy one or 2 good guide books of Egypt as another starting point. Get free brochures from several tour companies - even if you don't buy a package tour they will give you an idea of the important things to see.
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Oct 6th, 2003, 04:38 AM
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sandi
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Eskimogirl -

Stop into a travel agent and get brochures for travel to Egypt - also check guidebooks at library or bookstore for explanation of sites you usually see on tours and history of Pharonic Egypt.

Most tours are about 9-days, 2-3 days in Cairo visiting Giza Phyramids, Sphinx, Museum, tour to Memphis and Sakkara, to the Khan Kalili Bazaar, old Cairo, Coptic Cairo - the flight to Luxor or Aswan (with option to Abu Simbel from ASW -1/2 day), board cruise ship for 3 or 4-day cruise, stopping along the way to sites. At Luxor tours of Luxor and Karnak Temples, visit to west bank Valley of Kings & Queens, then return to Cairo. (The trip can also work in the reverse, depending of the Nile cruiser scheduled.)

Compare site-to-site in each brochure, hotels they use, also the Nile Cruiser, price, etc. Most tours are out of JFK including air, but a tour operator often has info for "air add-ons" from other destinations. Most of these flights are on EgyptAir. If you have frequent flyers miles you can check that airline for availability. The EgyptAir flight though is non-stop from NY.

Yes the weather by May starts getting real hot all around, but with proper clothing, drinking plenty of water, its not too unbearable. While cruising on the boat you can try out their pool. All the hotels have pools.

There are a number of tour operators mentioned on this board - both US based and others in Egypt. Do a "search" on top of Africa/Mddle East Thread page and contact those operators and see who has or can do a good package for you.

Once you have more information and have specific questions, don't hesitate to ask here.
 
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Oct 6th, 2003, 05:25 PM
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Thank you all for your helpful responses! The main reason I am on this board for help is because I do live in an Eskimo village and we have no travel agents, let alone bookstores etc. My only planning tool is the internet. I did a search and came up with a lot of good information.
My next question is...
Does anyone have a tour company that they would definitely recommend? Or did anyone have an unforgettable experience that was because of a certain tour or hotel etc? I would love to hear about some personal experiences!
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Oct 7th, 2003, 04:08 AM
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You can contact the Egyptian Tourism operator - name is MISR - do a search for the exact site address. They can design a tour to your liking at any budget. Also check out:

www.egyptontheweb.com

It is not necessary to be on a tour with a group of people. You can arrange your trip where there is someone to you pick-up from airport, check you into hotel, private guide & driver for sites in Cairo and surrounds, then transfer for flight to Luxor or Aswan for 3- or 4-day Nile Cruise, return flight to Cairo and to airport. Except for time on the Nile Cruise, where you will be with others, it's considered an independent tour.

See what the above two have to offer, then feel free to come back with questions.
 
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Oct 7th, 2003, 12:57 PM
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I am traveling solo to Egypt January 16-27, 2004. I am going with Abercrombie & Kents "Slendours of the Nile" and flying business class on Alitalia using Delta frequent flyer miles. The base price is $4,130, $875 Single Supplement, and $485 internal air and to Abu Simbel. I could go much cheaper but I would prefer to stay in nice hotels. I can let you know any information after I return if you would like. A & K has a website in order to check out the tours they offer in relation to other offers. I also looked into Isram Tours and Gate 1 but chose A & K.
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Oct 7th, 2003, 02:19 PM
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A&K tours are very nice, but average more than twice what you can get through other tour operators stateside. Isram and Gate-1 are both good operators based in NYC and Pennsylvania, respectively. Both use excellent hotels and Nile cruise boats.

While the A&K Nile Cruise boat has no competition, and I believe the Four Season's hotel they use on this itinerary - the sights are the same on the standard 9 or 10-day Egypt tour. While the Four Season's in new, it is a bit aways from things in Cairo, though it is connected to a new shopping mall.

Check out Isram and Gate-1, both have websites and see what hotels and Nile cruise boats they're using. The Sonesta boats and the Movenpick boat are excellent.

A recent poster had been on the Oberoi Philae (the best of their 3-boats) which is also one of the top cruise operators, but indicated the boat needed some "refreshing". In all cases as regards the boats, which do get a lot of wear, sand and damp air, check when the boats were last "refurbished".

I recall when we were disembarking lthe Movenpick "Radamis", they were changing the carpet in the main entry way. So this type of work should be done regularly including public areas and individual cabins on these boats.

Don't forget contacting the Egyptian tour companies listed in above posts, then when you have so much information and feel you are "about to scream" then let us know, and we'll help.
 
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Oct 7th, 2003, 04:53 PM
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You might check Maupintour. I am a big fan of their tours having done Greece/Turkey and Kenya/Tanzania. I will be doing their 17 day tour (6 night cruise on the Nile) in April although I don't see they have a trip for May. Two different parties that are friends of mine have done the tour and loved it. They also have a $36 million reserve for payback if something should happen to the company although that is very unlikely.
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Oct 8th, 2003, 08:14 PM
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Thank you again everyone!

MauiMaui- I would definitely like to hear about your trip when you get back!

I have a lot of research to do...I'm sure I'll be back with more specific questions before long!
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Oct 8th, 2003, 09:29 PM
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Dear Eskimogirl: For details of our self-arranged (over the internet) trip to Egypt in July 2002, search on the Egypt link for the word "travcotels." I posted my comments/trip report shortly after our return from Egypt. As we also visited Sharm el Sheikh, I also posted some comments relative to that portion of the trip (search on the Egypt link for the word "hyatt.") All my comments can be found under my screen name of "David." Good luck with your planning and feel free to ask any questions you might come up with. This site was incredibly helpful in planning our trip. By the way, which village are you from? We spent 8 years in Anchorage and 6 years in Juneau before a new job/life in the "lower 48" called us away. We miss Alaska. David.
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Oct 20th, 2003, 11:29 AM
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hi eskimo girl,,
in may it begins 2 be summer and the wather is around 30-35 in day and 25 in night, u have 2 c the following places..
1- pyramids sphinx and sakara pyramid.
2- the pharaonic village in giza.
3- the ciro tower on the nile where u c all the city from its top.
4- old cairo, old mosques and churches.
5- alhussein and khan alkhalili.
6- mohamed ali castle.
7- of course a cruise in the nile.
8- the egyptian museum.
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Oct 21st, 2003, 07:34 AM
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Hi Eskimogirl, from the sunny south - Florida. I'm departing this Saturday, 10/25/2003 for Egypt. 2 nights Sheraton/Cairo; 4 night cruise; overnight Cairo, return home. It's a packaged tour with a New Jersey tour operator. Upon return, I'll report to you. Beginning to get excited. Don't stay home a lot, so looking forward to a new city. See ya!
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Nov 3rd, 2003, 06:01 AM
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To ptcruiser, I too am looking forward to your trip report! Eskimogirl, I will give you a report when I return. I can't wait to go!
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Nov 3rd, 2003, 09:04 AM
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Try Overseas Adventure Travel. Good prices, excellent trip; they also use very good guides which make up for any shortcomings. Went with them just 2 weeks after 9/11. Their prices are very competitive and I liked the small group of only 16. www.oattravel.com Recommend that you take the optional trip to Abu Simbel.
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Dec 29th, 2003, 07:38 AM
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Eskimo Girl, did ptcruiser ever let you know about her trip to Eqypt? I have not seen a posting about it. Let me know. I am going to Egypt 01/16/04.
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Dec 31st, 2003, 03:45 PM
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Eskimogirl
I ran across this and it might help you. http://www.cbel.com/egypt/ It has a ton of tour operators listed!!!
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Jan 4th, 2004, 01:48 PM
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A must: sit down, take a rest and have a drink in a cafe called The Fishawi, in the Khalily market.

Have fun in Egypt, you'll like the people as well.
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