Private or Group Tours on Nile Cruise?

Sep 17th, 2018, 08:46 AM
  #1  
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Private or Group Tours on Nile Cruise?

I'm talking with an agent regarding a Nile cruise and he mentioned that the tours off the boat are around 10-12 people. I'm traveling solo, and this seems like a lot of people for a group tour. I'd like to have some flexibility, especially in Luxor, for deciding how long to stay at various sites, how early we depart, the pace of the tour, and perhaps even the order we visit various sites.

However, I've been in groups of 10-12 that were pretty in sync, but I know it's a bit of crapshoot in terms of what you get in groups.

The agent tells me that it's an extra $240 for a private guide. Just wanted to check in to see what experiences people have had and whether the private guide is worth the extra money.

Another alternative is to skip the cruise altogether and simply do a few days in Luxor and then transfer over land to Aswan. In this case, I would have private guides the whole time for a bit lower cost.

Thanks.
lifelist is offline  
Sep 17th, 2018, 08:06 PM
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To cruise or not to cruise is up to you obviously, is being on a boat on the Nile a priority as it was for me. Mine was last November and since there were no other English speakers on the boat, the group tours were defacto private and completely flexible. No guarantees, of course, but you may have much the same experience.

Where the boats stop the monuments or groups of them are more or less standard so buying the services of a private guide for the sake of some perceived variety seems to me kind of a waste of money. Everyone sees pretty much the same things in the same time frame from the boat. I like to go my own way probably more than the average traveler and I was satisfied.
MmePerdu is online now  
Sep 18th, 2018, 04:50 AM
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A group of 10 to 12 people is actually quite small and should allow you to move along quite efficiently. Most groups are 20 to 50 (i.e., a bus load), to give you some perspective. Whether or not you buy a private tour is really your choice, but it seems a significant expense for little to no return on your investment. Other than at the Valley of the Kings, you'll have no trouble getting a taxi back to your ship if you want to break away from the group in Luxor.
doug_stallings is offline  
Sep 19th, 2018, 09:49 AM
  #4  
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I was thinking more for things like, if I wanted to visit the temple of Hatshepsut at dawn for photography - both for lack of crowds and better light. I couldn't do that with a group tour, really.

Regardless, I booked the cruise without the private guide. I don't know enough about the locations to have strong opinions on what to visit and when, so I'm fine going along with a group at this point.

Thanks for the feedback.
lifelist is offline  
Sep 19th, 2018, 06:15 PM
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I spent a week in Luxor before a cruise and hired a guide for the West Bank sites that interested me. This blog post (link below) includes photos I took of Hatshepsut’s temple. I didn’t go at dawn, there were other visitors but few enough that I could give the impression of solitude. I cannot guarantee that you’ll be as lucky but most groups don’t stay a long time and I think you’ll find opportunities around the site for people-free photos as I did and go on to others as they clear.

https://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/in-...uxor-west-bank
MmePerdu is online now  
Sep 26th, 2018, 04:54 PM
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by lifelist View Post
I'm talking with an agent regarding a Nile cruise and he mentioned that the tours off the boat are around 10-12 people. I'm traveling solo, and this seems like a lot of people for a group tour. I'd like to have some flexibility, especially in Luxor, for deciding how long to stay at various sites, how early we depart, the pace of the tour, and perhaps even the order we visit various sites.

However, I've been in groups of 10-12 that were pretty in sync, but I know it's a bit of crapshoot in terms of what you get in groups.

The agent tells me that it's an extra $240 for a private guide. Just wanted to check in to see what experiences people have had and whether the private guide is worth the extra money.

Another alternative is to skip the cruise altogether and simply do a few days in Luxor and then transfer over land to Aswan. In this case, I would have private guides the whole time for a bit lower cost.

Thanks.
We took a Dahabiya cruise from Luxor to Aswan last april. With accomodations for 20, there was one other couple and that was it. We had the boat pretty much to ourselves. We had our guide and the other couple had theirs. Our guide was excellent, flexible and helpful. Because he was staying on the boat with us, we had lots of time to spend with him. The only time he asked to leave us was to go back to a sheesha bar to was a soccer game that Mo Sallah was playing in. What the Dhabiya lacks in accomodation and service was more than made up by the service, the intimacy, food and quality time. After that trip, I don't think I'd do a Nile cruise any other way. Well, if we could book passage on the SS Sudan, I'd take that instead.
idlechater is offline  
Sep 26th, 2018, 04:59 PM
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by lifelist View Post
I was thinking more for things like, if I wanted to visit the temple of Hatshepsut at dawn for photography - both for lack of crowds and better light. I couldn't do that with a group tour, really.

Regardless, I booked the cruise without the private guide. I don't know enough about the locations to have strong opinions on what to visit and when, so I'm fine going along with a group at this point.

Thanks for the feedback.
Can you book a guide for a dawn visit? You could hire a cab, I suppose. You have to buy a ticket as well, and I don't know if the entrance checkpoint is open at dawn.


West Bank sites are best in the morning because of heat, but a guide willing to start that early would be excellent.

Last edited by idlechater; Sep 26th, 2018 at 05:02 PM.
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