Have you been on a Nile River cruise?


May 19th, 1997, 04:42 AM
Neal Sanders
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Have you been on a Nile River cruise?

My wife and I are thinking about a trip to Egypt some time between mid-November and mid-April. We've never set foot in Egypt but have a keen interest in learning about the Nile River civilizations. We're out to have an interesting and educational trip, and cost is probably a secondary factor. With that in mind, we're interested in opinions on the following: 1) Are there any times to travel that we should either avoid or strive toward? 2) How many days to allot in Cairo? 3) Would it be worthwhile to plan any side trips in the north of Egypt? 4) Which Nile River tour operator offers the best guides, smallest groups, etc. (we've been told Amercrombie & Kent is best); and 5) How many days on the Nile? All suggestions will be appreciated.
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May 21st, 1997, 12:16 PM
Gene Kasprzyk
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Abercrombie and Kent are so high dollar that i think you miss a lot of the culture because the trappings of money isolate you from the reality of a third world country. If you want a trip of luxury, go A & K. If you want to get closer to the real Egypt think about looking into Archaeology Magazine. They always have Egypt trips with top rate Egyptologists and from what I understand, excellent accomodations. I have been to Egypt twice and I can tell you, the dollar goes a long way so you don't have to spend the cost of King Tutankhamun's golden mummiform coffin to get a great trip. i like to do my own thing. Its best to go in the winter, December and january, although this is considered the high season and you will see a lot of European tourists. Cairo is like any great city, you can spend weeks and not see everything. Settle on 3 - 4 days and stay at the Nile Hilton or Sheraton Gezira if you want modernity and central location. Stay at the Mena House if you want old-world British and a great view of the Pyramids of Giza. Most of the cruise ships are excellent, the Hilton chain runs some of the best. Personally, 4 - 5 days in Luxor is a must. Stay at the Winter Palace, where Howard Carter, Lord Carnarvon, and many others have stayed. If you want to see the Mena House, Winter Palace, or the Old Cataract Hotel (my choice in Aswan), rent Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile. Can't help you with northern Egypt although I would some day like to visit Alexandria. You can rent a car and drive there from Cairo if you can muster enough courage to battle the Egyptian traffic. You will have a great time I'm sure. I'm going back in December so please e-mail me when you return to let me know how things went.

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May 24th, 1997, 07:19 AM
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The above mentioned info is very accurate for some tips on your trip to Egypt. Our Nile cruise was a 5 day trip flying out of Cairo into Aswan and boarding the Ramses King of the Nile cruise ship. We made our way north to Luxor then flew back to Cairo for 4 days. We travelled in August and it was 102 degrees in Aswan and hotter as we travelled north but we expected it--we encountered NO lines or crowding anywhere which was worth experiencing the heat in our opinion. In addition to the Nile Hilton I have stayed at the SemiRamses Intercontinental which was HEAVEN after the cruise. Just make sure you have a detailed description of you ship, etc coz sometimes people get real junk boats. We had escorted guide on ours (approx 20 people was all we had in our little group which was wonderful!). E-mail me for any other info you may need on this--never went north out of Cairo--Alexandria is supposed to be pretty--would never rent a car myself, would arrange for a driver and guide (can be done at hotel).
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May 29th, 1997, 10:17 AM
EllenMarie Rockwell
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I agree with alot of the other postings but offer this compromise.
We went to Egypt last November for 14 days including the Thanksgiving Holiday's. What was so special was that it was a low tourist time and temperate weather
for Egypt.
I spend a year planning each trip we take. We usally like to go alone and explore or rarely with a small group.
We went OAT (Overseas Adventure Tours), the max is 16 per group, you have an excellent Egyptian Egyptologist with you every step of the way. They are far less expensive than A&K BUT they use a lot of the SAME facilities as A&K, the Sun Boat II is the A&K vessel you travel on. The others are right the ship makes a big diffrence there are over 150 nile cruise boats!
Sun Boat II is small( 20 cabins I think) and very comfortable not to mention luxiorus.
OAT also has a knack for getting you to see the real Egypt and important sites. Our Guide Mohammed Wahba got us to the sites first BEFORE the crowds! He was extreemly coeurtous and informed about the sites. He got us into the tomb of Nefiteri which has just been refurbished, he did this for me because I had read about it he arranged for the 16 on the Tour to go if they wanted to!!! His love of egyptoligy shines in his eyes, he has imparted me with a new passion. I can email you his adress if you want he will do private tours!
As for OAT they get you to all the neat stuff in tempels,tombs,mosquesmarkets with no muss, no fuss you have an at home visit dinner with an Egyptian family which is an excellent cross cultural evening. The hotels are not always an American Hilton type but always are lovely if more like an Egyptian Style. The do use the Old Cataract in Aswan. I could rave about the trip for pages. Email if you have questions. If you are an archlogoy buff there is one trick for the Egyptian Museam, we went back on our last day in the afternoon just as Fodors advises! It was empty of tourists and only Egyptian school children were there painting and drawing which was lovely in it self!
You also can do an extension to Petra (I regret I did not have the Vacation) or stay a few days more on your own after the OAT trip has acclimated you to Egypt and its customs.

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