Egypt tour company questions?

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Nov 5th, 2004, 05:01 AM
  #1
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Egypt tour company questions?

We have finally narrowed down our choices and have decided to go to Egypt in January 2005 and have a few questions. We normally travel independantly but are not opposed to a guided tour to Egypt. I feel we might get more out of the experience if we have a guide to teach us. The question I have is, can anyone recommend a tour company that offers a tour where there will not be a large amount of people in our group? We are tring to keep our cost low and I know pre-packaged tours help. I have checked with Globus and a few others and they said their tours can have up to 40 passengers. Thats way too many for us. Also we are 29 yrs old and would like a tour that caters to a younger croud. Please help, were running out of time. Thanks
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Nov 5th, 2004, 05:39 AM
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sandi
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Lisa - Do a search in the box on the top of this board. Input "egypt tour operators" or just "egypt" then click "find" on the right. In the left column all threads including this information will appear. Read thru them and contact the tour operators who appear. Tell them what you are looking for. They may have a small group tour, but you should also inquire for an independent tour. You'll have a guide and driver to see the sights in Cairo and surrounding areas. If you choose a Nile Cruise, have them arrange the overnight train to Luxor or Aswan (dependent on from where your cruise boat departs) or flights (I prefer flights). On the cruise, you will be with others, and have a guide assigned for English speakers at the various stops along the Nile.

Get the information, do comparisons for what sights visited, hotels, Nile cruise boat, visit to Abu Simbel, etc. etc. and prices and see how these work into what you'd like for a trip. Then, if you have specific questions, come back here.
 
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Nov 5th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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We also travel independently and the only group tour we have been on was Globus tour to Egypt in 2001 - plus some time on our own. The logistics, plus cultural and language differences made it the most efficient way, both in terms of time and money to travel.

Our group was less than 30. There were no really elderly people in the group, and my husband and I (mid 40s at the time) were probably older than most of the travelers. We had our 2 teenagers with us and there were several other teenagers in the group.

Before we booked, OAT was advertising smaller groups - but the cost was far greater than Globus.
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Nov 5th, 2004, 09:24 AM
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Have you tried Experience Egypt?

I used them for a 10-day trip to Egypt in September and would recommend them for many of the requirements you want.

I wrote quite a bit of detail about the specifics of my trip on another thread a week or so ago. You may find it useful to have a look at that.

If you have any other questions about this company, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected].
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Nov 6th, 2004, 04:39 AM
  #5
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Gail

When you took the Globus tour did you find it hard to hear the guide or get a good look at the sights with that many people. That is my main concern. The Globus tour I was looking at was a really good price. Also, with the Nile cruise, with all the cruises do all of the English speaking tourists go with one guide?
Thanks for responding.
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Nov 6th, 2004, 11:21 AM
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The way it worked for each day of touring was we had an early wake-up call (it was mid-April and wanted to avoid heat and crowds), all boarded bus to travel to site - on bus, guide gave some info on history, what to expect, best way to see site. In some places we were then on our own with an agreed-upon meeting time. At others she lead us into the area, gave us some more info. At any site, we always then had time to wander, take photos, etc - a good balance between feeling like we were on a first grade school trip and being lost on our own.

For example, at the pyramids, she left us on the bus while she went to buy tickets and entry passes to go inside pyramids. She then headed us in the right direction and we were off on our own. On the way out, she stopped for those who wanted to ride camels (I passed - but daughter and husband went) and those remaining on bus got more historical info or could get out and visit various vendors.

Often at the end of the day she would give us the same touring info for the next day.

Advantages of Globus tour - transportation was always there and prompt as traffic and directions, especially in Cairo, are an adventure! Also, got a great deal of history, culture from guide. We never had a hard time hearing anything.

Disadvantages of any tour are the inevitable herd for at least part of the day. Also, be aware that there will be at least one or two stops during the whole trip for planned "shopping" - the rug factory, alabaster store, etc. These never took much time but were annoying nevertheless - I expect that there is some financial arrangment between guide and store.

On the cruise, our tour group was always separate from the others on the boat - with the same guide as the rest of the trip. I think there are also organized tours from the boat separate from our Globus tour - but I would have no way of knowing for sure.

We went 6 months before 9/11 - I do not know if that makes a difference in size of tour groups, etc. Also, we were told that all tour guides are independent contractors, not employed by Globus or other tour companies. Our guide told us she worked for several companies plus did independent tours and worked a schedule compatible with her family and child-care needs. So since each tour guide can do the details of the tours and sites his/her own way, there is no guarantee your would do it exactly the same way.
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Nov 8th, 2004, 04:31 PM
  #7
kp
 
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Lisa--
I have traveled with OAT and have always enjoyed the trips. There were 12 of us on the China trip and 14 in Peru/Ecuador. I think you'll probably find that the average age will be 40's. We're taking the OAT Egypt trip in May and I hope we're as lucky with this group as we've been in the past--we've made some super friends.
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Nov 9th, 2004, 05:48 AM
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Everyone, thank you for responding. Has anyone has any experience traveling with Big Five to Egypt?
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Dec 15th, 2004, 10:43 AM
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Lisa - I just returned from a 2 week trip to Egypt with 11 friends all around 27 - 26 and had a great time. A friend booked our private tour through Egypt Plus Tours. However, the guide we had in Cairo is a freelance guide and is certified to be a guide for the entire country. If you're interested in contacting him, please send me your email @ [email protected] and I'd be happy to put you in touch with him. The tour company could also book your accommodations while in Egypt. Just a word of advise...if you ask for 5 star accommodations in Egypt, they will typically be 3 star by US standards...learned that on the trip. While the hotels were nice, they were not 5 star by US standards.
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