Luxor to Aswan: Overnight Train or Flight?

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Aug 30th, 2004, 12:58 PM
  #1
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Luxor to Aswan: Overnight Train or Flight?

Hello,
I'm travelling to egypt for a week in December.
Fly from luxor to aswan or tak the train? any advice, recommendations?
Also, from aswan to abu simbel, by road or by air?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Regards,
Raj
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Aug 30th, 2004, 01:06 PM
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sandi
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Air for both and back to CAI by air.
 
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Aug 31st, 2004, 06:02 AM
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Hi Sandi,
I've seen some of your other posts and u obviously know what u r talking about, i'm going to follow your advice.

Any specific reason why u reccomend flying over trains, though?

i'm on a tight budget( a poor student, u see . i was thinking that with a train, the fares are much cheaper and with overnight trains, i can save by not getting a hotel room for the night.

ps:
u r clearly the MVP of this forum. thanks for all your help. great karma for u.
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Aug 31st, 2004, 06:54 AM
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The train ride is overnight so you do not lose any time and it was kind of fun. Be sure to take your own "bag" supper with you as the food was inedible. Actually, when I think about it, we had a private compartment on the train so perhaps that is why I did not mind the trip. I think sitting up all night would be a problem. Also, the bathrooms are at the end of the car and not very clean, but I have experience a lot worse in my travels.

If you are on a tight budget, I think the price would be the determining factor.

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Aug 31st, 2004, 12:59 PM
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sandi
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Thanks for the compliment - really just trying to help where I can.

OK, budget! I haven't done the train, but understand there is the Wagonlit train and the regular; the former being better. But can't say what the actual difference is, but please don't opt to sit up rather then having a sleeper if this is the way you go. Have you checked the difference in fares? Is it a lot of money? And, yes, if you fly, you do pay for a hotel room the night before, even if you have to be out of the room real early to get to airport - most flights depart anywhere between 6:30-8:00am.

And while I go for comfort and speed and the heck with the cost, not everyone can. So there are budget options. Train to/from Luxor/Aswan and the road trip to/from Abu Simbel.

All I can say is that except for the air which might be more costly, just about everything else, including hotel and food, can be very inexpensive. And if you are considering a Nile cruise, not all boats are as expensive as others, but all stop at the same sites.

Are you trying to do all of this on your own, or working with an in-country Egyptian tour operator. If the latter, there are a number of good tour operators that have been listed on this board - do a search for the Egypt threads to find them - and just see what they can offer you within your budget. You can often get an all inclusive trip for about $1500, which is pretty good. However, important to remember that December is hi-season, not only for foreign travelers visiting Egypt, but many Egyptians travel within their country.

Let us know what you decide, but be assured that however you do this trip, you'll absolutely love Egypt.
 
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Sep 1st, 2004, 01:44 AM
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If you're on a tight budget then you should catch the train, but definitely with a sleeper or a first class seat that reclines a fair bit. No point waking up to your next destination with a crook neck/bones.

The bus trip from Aswan to Abu Simbel takes 3hrs and you'll be starting at around 4am for the bus convoy trip. The plane takes around 30 mins. Plane is obviously easier but you can just sleep in the bus. Make sure it has air conditioning!!! Abu Simbel was the highlight of my trip...makes the pyramids over rated! Make sure you wait near the end of the alloted time to take pictures without the horde of people.
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Sep 22nd, 2004, 03:33 AM
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The 1st class overnight train with the reclining seats isn't bad. The seats were comfortable enough, but the noise level from the Egyptian movie was more than anoying. Take earplugs. A student card will get you a discount. The Wagon Lits was much more comfortable and they have a club car. I was looking for info on it when I found a web site for ABELA trains. I don't know if they bought the Wagon Lits or if it's just a different company , but the fare was $53 per person one way with 2 in a cabin. After taking both trains and having done the Egypt Air terminal experience I'm opting for the sleeper train when I go this Nov. I had a great time on it both times I took it (once alone & once with my sister) I also found Egypt Air listings through Travelosity and I believe Aswan to Abu Simbel is $158 round trip. Have a great time.
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Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:04 AM
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The address for the sleeper tain is
www.sleepingtrains.com.
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Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:06 AM
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The train journey from Luxor to Aswan is only three hours. All the talk of overnight trains doesn't really apply to this trip unless you mean a train journey to/from Cairo from Luxor or Aswan which I'm not sure that you do from your post.

I recently returned from a trip to Egypt which included a trip to Abu Simbel from Aswan. I was glad (thanks to advice here) that I took the flight option. My tour company quoted $120 for the flight trip or $45 for the road trip, both including transfers at each end and a guide at Abu Simbel. However, if cost had been a real factor, I would have taken the road option. I know people who did this and they didn't seem to mind the extra travelling time too much.
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Oct 27th, 2004, 09:39 AM
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Dave - which tour company did you use? it seems like everything costs less when you go through a tour company.
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Oct 28th, 2004, 04:51 AM
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I used Experience Egypt (www.experience-egypt.com) and found the Egypt-based tour operators much less expensive than ones based in the UK.

I don't know if that's the same for you in the US but I expect that it is. If you want any other details about the company or tour then please let me know.
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Oct 28th, 2004, 05:34 AM
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Dave - Could you share a bit more of your experience in egypt? did you go on a tour? if so, how was it? how big was the group? did you get a lot of freedom and flexibility? you said the train ride from aswan to luxor is 3 hrs. is it possible to buy tickets for just that segment of the trip? to edfu and also to asuyut?
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Oct 28th, 2004, 06:22 AM
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Thealchemist - I hope this helps a little, please come back if you want to know anything else.

I did a 10-day trip in early September. I booked my own flights to/from Cairo and Experience Egypt (EE) took care of the itinerary while I was there including transfers to/from the airport.

This trip was the first time I decided to travel on my own and I had always wanted to go to Egypt, so I thought the best option would be for me to join a prearranged trip, rather than sort everything out when I got there. I looked into prearranged tours arranged by companies in the UK and I only thought of looking at Egypt-based companies after reading about my different options on this site. The Egypt-based companies seemed a lot cheaper than booking through the UK companies.

I simply told EE my arrival and departure flight times and we put together the itinerary details from there. Everything was agreed via e-mail (they suggest an itinerary based on how much time you have and where you want to go and you can agree and make changes from there). You do not pay anything up front - you pay for the whole tour when you arrive in Egypt and have a pre-tour brief with your guide at the hotel about everything. I had a different guide in each city/area.

I realised that because I was picking my own itinerary I would not be with the same group of people all the time. However, it actually turned out that on all the sightseeing trips with the guides (except Abu Simbel), there was no-one else in the group, it was just the guide and me! I had not expected this at all but was not bothered by this. Obviously this meant I could control the timing more and linger in places I wanted to stay in etc. I expect this happened because no-one else happened to be in the same places on the same day. I would avoid a large group if possible. Having seen coach loads of tours arrive at various places they soon got busy and I would have thought being with that many people at each temple and tomb must take something away from the Egypt experience. My guides were very good at keeping away from the crowds and I soon appreciated the value of being in a smaller group.

I was given a lot of free time. Most of the sightseeing is done early in the day and once this is done, you have the rest of the day to yourself. Because I covered quite a lot of ground in a short space of time, there were some sightseeing afternoons with the guides too. I had all the evenings to do as I pleased.

For the accommodation, I think the default is 3* and you can choose to upgrade to 4 or 5* for a fee. I actually paid for the 3* accommodation but in Aswan was upgraded to 4* and in Luxor was upgraded to 5* at no extra cost to the 3* prices. I think EE find the best accommodation for you at your price (early September is not peak-season so maybe that was why I was able to get these better hotels for the cheaper rates). The boat was 5* and it was superb - almost brand new. Bear in mind these are Egyptian star ratings and so 4 and 5* does will not be what you necessarily expect!

I did not do an Aswan to Luxor train journey, this part of the trip I did by boat. My (overnight) train journeys were Cairo to Luxor and Aswan to Cairo with the Nile trip in-between the two overnight train journeys.

With regards to EE, I would happily recommend them if you are looking to do a tour. You may want to try and find out how big the groups can get but obviously if your experience was like mine, you may find it's very small indeed.
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