Egypt/Nile Cruises Confused

Sep 9th, 2000, 01:53 PM
Mike Burns
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Egypt/Nile Cruises Confused

My wife and I want to fly from London and spend a couple of full days in Cairo before heading south for a Nile cruise.There seems to be so many tour companies offering trips and so many possible destinations within each cruise. What are the must-see places that you should ensure a cruise visits?
We want a good, value for money experience. Who do you recomend?
Some people advise booking through local agents. Is this a good idea? Are the prices better? Are they reliable? Advice, please on who to use.
Thanks for any advice.
Sep 9th, 2000, 09:14 PM
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I'm still in the planning stages, but here's what I've found. Prices for the same cruise & ship vary, depending on who you contact - an agency, the 800#, the web site, etc. The best price I found for a 5-star ship was Movenpick (800-344-6835). The next best was through Maupintour (800-255-4266)for the Oberai Philae. There might be better sources - I've got a couple of other leads for travel agencies that deal a lot in Egypt. You can e-mail me directly. From what I hear, if you only have a few days, most ships go from Luxor to Aswan or vice versa and stop at Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo (3-nite cruises might skip Esna). Longer cruises can go north of Luxor for less visited spots.
Sep 10th, 2000, 12:30 AM
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We have done a cruise in March 1997 and from what I found out by that time, the "standard" cruises offered by the various (Belgian) touroperators were all for one week - be it on 3*, 4* or 5*luxe ships. They all started in Luxor with a visit of either the left bank or the right bank (vice-versa on the last day) on the first day, sail further in 3 days to Aswan and underway visits of the temples of Esna, Edfu and Komombo. A day "off" in Aswan with possibility to visit Abu Simbel (in the meantime they thoroughly clean the ship), next day visits of Philae, Botanic Island, and then back to Luxor for visiting Karnak and the left/right bank.
We always came across the same people from other ships in every place we came!
Usually all visits are included in the price as well as all meals on board.
We found we had very good value for money.
Sep 10th, 2000, 07:14 AM
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I took a Sonesta cruise in 1996. We started in Aswan, visited Kom Ombo, Edfu, Luxor and then continued to Qena. The cruise from Luxor to Qena and back was wonderful. We only saw 2 other boats in 2 days and much village life along the Nile. The river was very calm and it was so quiet. From Qena we visited the temple at Dendera. This was a 7 day cruise and the Sonesta boat was 5 star and very comfortable. I was on a 16 day package tour so I don't know the cost for just the cruise.
Sep 24th, 2000, 04:21 PM
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Do consider the time of your cruise as well as the size of the boat. Was chatting with a travel agent yesterday (I'm investigating cruise possibilities) --- he advised that during my time frame (latter part of October) the river is low and so, it's best to choose one of the smaller sized boats (carrying 100 or less passengers). The larger size crafts can sometimes run aground if the Nile isn't at its' peak.
Sep 25th, 2000, 08:19 AM
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Mike, I would certainly try for a 5/6 night cruise. This way you will get a sense of the Nile, country, and the way this incredible body of water influenced this magnificent area. I went on the Sonesta Sun Goddess and it was just fine. It was part of a tour that they had obviously contracted out. I would thhink that you want to go all the way to Aswan, getting to see
Esna, Edfu, Komombo, Philae, a felucca ride to Kitchener's, tea @ The Old Cataract, and DO take the time to fly to Abu Simbel. Be sure to sit on the left side of the plane(facing the pilot) to swoop by the temples on the way in to land. In Cairo, be sure and visit the museum in Sadat's villa on the Nile if you have any interest in see a superb collection of pre and post impressionist things. Have a lovely time and enjoy the tea and warm towels each time you return to the ship. by taking a longer voyage you can get in a hot air balloon ride in the Valley of the Kings one morning.
Sep 25th, 2000, 02:28 PM
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Dear rlk - I'd be interested in knowing what travel agent you were talking to and which smaller boats they recommended. I was told by travel agents that I couldn't get on a smaller boat unless I was part of a tour. Thanks.

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