Egypt Questions

Mar 31st, 2007, 11:35 AM
  #1  
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Egypt Questions

I am trying to decide between two tour operators, although I am open to other suggestions.

I was going to book Insight "Splendours of Egypt", until I began doing research and found that OAT -Overseas Adventure Travel has a tour that does a shorter cruise, but has more land time. This itinerary seemed like a good option since I don't believe that you can get the same authentic experience when traveling and dining on a boat as when you are staying on land and have more opportunities to interact with the locals.

I am also open to other suggestions. However, I will be traveling solo and need to watch the trip costs since I have to add the single supplement.

My other question regards weather. This will be a sizeable investment for me, and I'd like to make sure that I enjoy the trip. Will May just be too hot, aspecially mid to late May?

I originally wanted to travel to Africa, but price seems prohibitive, unless someone can recommend a company that is reasonably priced, with decent accommodations, and does not have you camp out most nights. I don't need luxury, but I do enjoy indoor plumbing!

I need to make a decision quickly, so any suggestions or advice you can share will be greatly appreciated.
happy2travel is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 10:31 PM
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Don't have any personal experiences with tours in Egypt, but you might want to check out the thread "Egypt OAT experiences?" that has gotten a lot of discussion lately
Grcxx3 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 09:04 AM
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<<I don't believe that you can get the same authentic experience when traveling and dining on a boat as when you are staying on land and have more opportunities to interact with the locals.>>

I don't see the logic in this. The staff on the boat will be Egyptian and there are shore excursions every day on the OAT tour, including felucca rides (run by Egyptians) shopping in the souk in Aswan and a cooking demonstration aboard the ship. I think they'd be more interaction with the Egyptian staff on the ship than in a hotel.

OAT offers the option of a three or four day cruise and the rest of the time will be in hotels with daily excursions.

There's quite a bit of feedback on the OAT tour, some love it and some were disappointed, but all have written that they liked the ship and the cruise was a highlight.

I know it's hard to make a decision between tour companies. It does require a lot of research and there is a considerable amount of travel and money involved, so I hope you find the one that suits you and that you'll have a great time in Egypt.
Luisah is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 06:55 PM
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It all depends on what sort of traveler you are. I typically prefer to travel independently so if I am in a place where it makes more sense to do a tour, I look for a tour company that attracts similar-minded people. For me, that means companies like Djoser and Intrepid. I did a three-week tour with Djoser in Egypt in 2003 that was terrific. It was a mixed group -- Dutch, German and American. I was by myself (female) and enjoyed it tremendously. I have since been back independently (a week in Cairo in Jan 07).

I personally would never want spend much time on a cruise because it is definitely harder to see real world Egypt than when you are on land. On land you can walk through local neighborhoods, eat at a local restaurant etc... I've been in places where I was the only person who was not Egyptian. You won't get that on a cruise. But that's not to say that there aren't good things about cruises. I'm not bad mouthing them; I'm just saying they aren't for me.

My point is that the best way to choose a tour is to know what sort of traveler you are and then pick a company whose sensibiities match yours.
viaggi is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 11:05 AM
  #5  
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Luisah, I think that you misunderstood me. It is nice to spend some time on a cruise, but I truly believe a traveller gets a better feeling for local culture by spending more time on land. That said, this was the reason I was looking at an OAT tour as an option. Many companies have long 7 night cruises which encompass almost the entire trip. Whereas OAT provides the option for taking a short 3 or 4 night cruise so that the traveller can have greater amount of time on land, and be able to have more opportunitues to interact with locals in shops, on local treansportation, in restaurants, etc.


Viaggi, thanks for your reply. I have travelled the world extensively independently, by tour, and by cruise. As you said, the choice is made depending upon the locations, how comfortable one feels about traversing a particular region alone, etc.

I have never heard of Djoser. There's one thing for sure- the more I research, the more tour company names I find. It's difficult to narrow it all down.

OAT has a bit of an older crowd, but the value seems good. It includes air, and offers lectures on culture and religion, as well as additional cultural activities like an Egyptian cooking demonstration, etc. I like these extra perks since I love to learn about the local culture (and interacting with the local population), as much as I enjoy seeing the sights. I'll have to look into Djoser.

BTW, what did you think of Intrepid. I am adventurous, but I still enjoy private accommodations which are clean, and incl. a private bath. It does not need to be luxurious, however. I really enjoy small, family run establishments, and don't enjoy large chain hotels.

If anyone has more feedback, I would love to read it!
happy2travel is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 02:25 PM
  #6  
 
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Hello happy2travel

Yes, I did misunderstand your comment, shame on me. Thanks for the clarification.

There do seem to be a lot of companies offering Egypt tours. I hope you find the perfect fit.
Luisah is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 02:41 PM
  #7  
 
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Djoser was great, Intrepid I have not traveled with but would if it ever made sense. I've met others who have enjoyed tours with them and I think their style suits mine. So far Egypt is the only place I've ever done a multi-day tour. On my Djoser trip, btw, I just paid the single supplement upgrade as I definitely wanted my own place to relax in at the end of the day. The supplement was not outrageous.
viaggi is offline  
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