Itinerary Help for Egypt Trip

Old Jul 24th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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Itinerary Help for Egypt Trip

My wife and I are considering both an individual guided “tour” ala Ahmed Hamed Yousif (Lady Egypt) or a small group tour. Our rough itinerary is as follows (with questions):
Cairo - 3 Days following the arrival day.
Luxor – 3 Days
Dendara & Abydos – 1 day van trip from Luxor
Aswan – 2 or 3 days?
Abu Simel – 1 day and fly back to Cairo
Cairo – 1 day before flying out.
Issues and Questions: We are not thrilled with being on a cruise boat and would prefer hotels in Luxor and Aswan. What do we miss? Can we see Komo Ombo and Idfu without being on a cruise boat? And if we did have to take a cruise boat, what would be the least time on it seeing those and other sites? How many days in Aswan?
The posts have been an enormous help. Thanks to you all in advance.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 02:16 PM
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Hi! I believe the minimum cruise is 3 nights (by law or custom) - although only one night will actually be cruising the Nile. One night will be in Aswan and one night in Luxor.

Yes you can see Kom Ombo and Edfu from Aswan - I believe it is a lot of driving though.

The cruise is essentially a floating hotel - if you arrive late in the afternoon Day 1 you'll have that evening, all day Day 2 and you'll be off the boat likely early Day 3 so it's not a typical cruise experience. And it is a convenient method of traveling versus long drives.

Maybe a felucca as an alternative?
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 02:19 PM
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Nile cruise boats are not the typical big cruise ships most people think of. They are much smaller, and - I found - more intimate.

I liked the "down-time" in the afternoons as the boats cruised along the Nile. I loved looking at the scenery - from the mountains in the background to the villages along the banks of the river.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 06:42 PM
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When I started researching our Egypt trip for Feb. 2006, I didn't plan on doing a cruise either. But when I found that most tours did them and it was the easiest way to see Edfu and Kom Ombo I decided to do it. We ended up on a 7 night cruise and loved it.

If you want the least amount of time on a cruise and still see Kom Ombo and Edfu, take the trip from Aswan to Luxor. The part from Aswan to Luxor was basically one full day on the boat with a visit very early in the morning to Kom Ombo, a noon visit to Edfu and then a nice relaxing afternoon-evening cruising to/through the locks.

You will enjoy the trip to Dendara and Abydos. We really enjoyed ours. Driving in the convoy, going through the small towns along the Nile, with the guards (maybe local militia) at the cross roads, was something to see. It is one long day though.

Julie
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 07:02 PM
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We loved every minute in Egypt. The entire experience was wonderful. But the best, the absolute best, was the cruise. This is the way to get off the beaten path, to see rural Egypt to travel the way the Egyptians did/do. Seeing the little villages, the fishing boats, the farms along the river, etc was so special. Most of the ancient sites are along (or not far from) the Nile . Our boat was small, only about 25 passengers yet we had every luxury and amenity. Outstanding food and service. We cruised for 7 nights and were treated like royalty. Not taking a cruise along the Nile is missing a major part of the Egyptian experience.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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Thanks to all of you.
So, it looks like our best bet might be to fly from Cairo to Aswam, stay in a hotel, take a one day round-trip to Abu Simbel from there, and then take a three day cruise to Luxor that would include Kom Ombo and Idfu. At Luxor we can then stay in a hotel and take the all-day van trip to Dendara & Abydos (and yes a felucca in Aswam and/or Luxor).
We’ve traveled extensively on our own, and I don’t want to sound anti-social, but even checking out some great pictures (Thanks, Liz!) I think we’d like to ability to stretch out and relax at a hotel with the option of going into the towns rather than being on a boat.
If you looked at all the Fodor forums over recent years, you’d probably find the most questions about what is “Norway in a Nutshell?” and “What’s with these Nile cruises?” But with a lot of help from our friends, we figure it out and have a grand time.

Small tour – independent “tour”? We have been leaning toward an independent tour with Ahmed Hamed Yousif through Lady Egypt, but I see a recent post wondering if they’re still around. I haven’t seen a small group (<15) that does what I’ve outlined. Any suggestions. Thanks.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 09:26 AM
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Thanks PaoloCast - I think you outlined the best plan - and I think you'll see that the cruise really is just a floating hotel - most of the time it will be docked at either Aswan or Luxor - lots of opportunities to walk around town.

We are very much like you (and that anti social comment!) - one thing about the Oberoi Philae that we appreciated is you had your own table at meals.

My Felucca comment related to taking a felucca from Aswan to Luxor, not just a ride around the islands. It is a very different means of Nile travel - and maybe possible for just the two of you - that could be fun.

Definitely an independent tour! And obviously we highly recommend Ahmed. Re Lady Egypt - there is no evidence of title of that post being true - one poster has been in contact with Lady Egypt in the last 24 hours.....perhaps an unfortunate title.

One other thing you might want to consider - in retrospect we would have liked to stay a night in Abu Simbel. Hard to describe why - as we drove through the town it appealed to us as an out of the way place. And apparently the Sound and Light show at Abu Simbel is terrific.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 02:19 PM
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A Felucca between Aswan and Luxor... no bathroom on board. They're rather rustic and doesn't appear to be the manner in which you travel. And, if there's no wind, you're not going anywhere.

I'm adverse to anyone who even says the word "cruise" to me, so surprised even myself when we decided to cruise the Nile. These are flat bottom boats, small with usually less than 100/paxs (if fully occupied), I could see both shores of the Nile along the way. And, I'd thought this would be better then driving thru the hot and sandy desert with military escort to the temples - Kom Ombo, Edfu, etc. It was wonderful.

Great to see life along the Nile, and quite relaxing when cruising. Meals were very good, individual tables or group, as you wished. Crew was wonderful.

When we visited temples, they had one guide for a group of English (or French, Italian, German) speakers... we were never more than 10; lots of fun!. Of course, you can pay to have your own guide cruise with or meet you at sites - more $$$$.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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sandi - I thought there were Felucca cruises that have more services (i.e. bathroom) - in are in fact very comfortable - no?
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 02:41 PM
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I was researching feluccas recently and saw not one offering a bathroom. You have to jump off the boat. Or hold it till the next stop. Not really enticing to a female. And in some slow-moving parts of the Nile are nasty bugs you don't want to come in contact with.
We found that in Egypt the top-of-the-line accommodations were more like upscale motels, so beware the term "5-star." So I still haven't figued out if that also applies to the Nile "cruise" boats.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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The "star" system varies from country to country. Even so-called first-world countries have different criteria for their rating systems. Named hotels world-wide aren't the same; some are under the corporation while thers can be independently owned.

Elizabeth_S -

Believe LAleslie answered your felucca question. Recall her doing a bit of research on this.
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