Please help me choose a tour company!

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Jan 1st, 2005, 05:23 AM
  #1
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Please help me choose a tour company!

Am planning a trip to Egypt, including a Nile Cruise, in summer. Has anyone had any experience with Big Five? Is Abercrombie & Kent worth the money? Anyone travelled with iExplore, Isram, or Museum Tours? Thanks.
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Jan 1st, 2005, 06:10 AM
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Do take a look at Maupintour. We did their longer tour in April 2004 and it was wonderful. The group was very small - 7 total. I have had relatives and friends who have also done their tour and loved it.
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Jan 1st, 2005, 06:48 AM
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The real problem with comparing tour companies is that hardly anyone has taken a tour to the same place with more than one company. (Why take 2 Egypt tours?). Also, the guide on the tour makes all the difference - and most (?all) guides in Egypt are government-certified and private contractors - some work for only one tour company, others several and many combine both private tours and working for tour companies.

We used Globus in 2001 - great guide, hotels, logistical arrangements flawless. Group was relatively small - about 25. Only negatives were related to tours in general - 2 obligatory shopping stops - one at a rug factory and one at an alabaster place - could have taken far less time at these.

Have a great trip, however you go. I am sure you are aware that summer is incredibly hot - we were there mid-April and can not imagine it being any hotter.
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Jan 3rd, 2005, 11:49 AM
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Although it was not in Egypt; we returned from A&K trip in Kenya/Tanzania this summer. The one thing A&K provided was peace of mind, and that is why I selected this tour operator. After comparing experiences with many other travellers on different tours, I'm not sure if A&K is worth the price differential. Luxurious, yes. But seems to me the next best tour companies deliver at a lower price tag...
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Jan 3rd, 2005, 01:54 PM
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Yes, Isram at the millenium. Great, great trip and I was quite pleased with their service. They took care of everything. I guess my only complaint would be that I wished we had more "private" time where we could do things on our own. There was a bit of that, but I would have preferred a bit more.

Gail is right - the guide makes or breaks the tour. Ours was a bonafide Egyptologist (PhD student) who could read hieroglyphics off the wall upon request. I'm sure it's somewhat common, but I would definitely ask for it (and find a way to verify). It's a real plus.

Have a great trip - Egypt is like no other.

Regards, Bruce
Egypt Travel Photos -- http://www.brucegcollier.com/galleri...level2_all.htm
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Jan 3rd, 2005, 02:22 PM
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Of those listed Isram is the only one with reasonable prices. A&K and Big 5 and any Museum group are way over priced, as is iExplore... so that leaves Isram.

Isram has been doing this for years and know what they are doing. If, however, as another poster mentioned they didn't have enough free time, you might want to check with Isram to unbundle the trip with more time in Cairo at beginning or end of tour, and the cruise as scheduled. This might provide a bit more of a relaxed trip. The added price won't come up to what you'd be paying A&K.

Regarding summer travel - remember it will be very very very hot. Though hotels and your cabin on and the Nile boat are air conditioned, once outside, it is brutal.
 
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Jan 17th, 2005, 03:44 AM
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I cannot say enough good things about Orbit tours--it's an Egyptian company and the prices are great! Most of the time it was just us or another couple. The only thing that at first was nerve racking was the fact that you paid them this wad of cash at the airport for the whole trip! But I did a lot of research and everything was great. . .more than great. . .I can definetly recommend them. Every concern was taken care of. We spent 3 weeks so they arranged a lot for us--BUT you have got to know what you want to do. Do your research.
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Jan 19th, 2005, 09:32 AM
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Jeri - I would be interested in your 3 week itinerary if you have a chance to send it. We are in the planning stages and although I have researched, I want to make sure I don't miss anything.
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Feb 1st, 2005, 05:05 AM
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I would also love to see your itineray. We are in the process of planning a trip in Jan. 2006. Not sure weather to go independent or tour.

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