Tours of Egypt questions

Reply

Aug 27th, 2003, 06:25 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 38
Tours of Egypt questions

I am planning my first ever trip to Egypt for March/04 - travelling with my mom. I've looked at both Globus and Trafalgar's 10-day tours and Globus appears to be much more expensive (almost $1500 CDN more!). They seem pretty much the same, except the Globus one includes a flight from Cairo to Answan, whereas Trafalgar has an overnight train trip to Answan instead. Could this account for the difference in price? Does anyone know if Globus is that much better to warrant paying the higher price?

Any help on these or other tour companies would be greatly appreciated!

skidoo_chick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 27th, 2003, 12:47 PM
  #2
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
What you have to do is compare the hotels and cruise ship both companies use. Globus might be putting you up in both better hotels and ship.

The airfare between Cairo to Aswan is somewhere between USD$250-300, so the Canadian figure is way out of line. However, if I had my choice I would fly and not take the train. Granted it is a very early wake-up for a flight at about 6am or 7am, the flight is only 1-hr versus an overnight train.

Also compare whether both are offering the same number of days for the cruise. Most cruises are 4nt/5dy (with exception of the 7dy cruise but that a longer trip in general). If it's only 3nt/4dy then you'll be spending 1-nt in either Luxor or Aswan.

Do either of the itineraries include a trip to Abu Simbel? If yes, that can add about $250-300 to the trip cost.

Also check that both itineraries match sights one-for-one. Though they might do their trips in different order - one might do Cairo first then the cruise and vice versa, but check.

If you want to compare with other tour operators, try Gate-1 located in Pennsylvania, or Isram Tours located in NYC; both have websites and comparable itineraries. The 10-day tour is just about the same with all companies, the major differences being hotels and cruise ship.
 
Reply With Quote
Aug 27th, 2003, 03:35 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,959
We took the Globus 10-day tour 2 years ago. The flight to Abu Simbel was so effortless that the whole round-trip took only until mid afternoon. Also, the view from the air as you approach Abu Simbel is incredible (sit on left side of plane).

Check actual hotels and locations. for example, our first 2 nights were at Mena House across from pyramids with view of pyramids from our balconey. Not only was this a great introduction to Egypt, it allowed our tour to get to pyramids at 7 AM, so we could get some of very limited number of tickets to actually go inside pyramid. (Plus it was not that hot at that hour). Our final hotel was right in Cairo, so one our free half day we could actually walk somewhere and not brave the Cairo vehicle traffic (although crossing street was an adventure in itself).
Also, check what meals are included - Egypt is one of the few places that I was not all that eager to experiment with local cuisine on my own.

I doubt you can find someone who has actually been on BOTH tours - who would go twice on the same tour - so all I can offer is that we were very pleased with Globus.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip.

gail is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 29th, 2003, 06:48 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 38
Thank you both so much for your advice! I really appreciate it and will look more closely at both tours to see differences there are in terms of hotels, ship, etc.
skidoo_chick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 2nd, 2003, 07:39 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 17
Hi skidoo,

I'm puzzled from where you take the prices for your planned trip to Egypt on March/04. I'm planning the take that trip on the same date but after checking the Globus and Trafalgar websites, the difference in pricing is no greater than one hundred dollars. In fact, Trafalgar's Egypt is for 11 days, and is cheaper. Example: Globus air included is $2364 air/land and $1564 land only; Trafalgar's is $2420 air/land and $1485 land only. Maybe you looked at the air/land column in Trafalgar's and compare it at the land only portion in Globus. Consider too, that Trafalgar has three pricing options for their tours. But even in that case, the pricing is not that big. As Sandi said, the differences are the Hotels options. Hope this helps.
Gilawi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 2nd, 2003, 10:30 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 38
Hi Gilawi,

I got the Trafalgar pricing from the Winter Breaks brochure that just came out and the prices are quite a bit cheaper than the ones in the regular book (likely what you were looking at on the internet). Were the prices you mentioned in US or CDN dollars? I think the Trafalgar winter breaks one which we are considering was around $2450 CDN land/air for the 10-day Real Egypt tour. The Globus book only had prices until the beginning of March and it was $3900 CDN land/air. So I'm guessing it will be about the same mid-march.

I checked with a travel agent and she said the main difference in price is due to the fact that the Trafalgar one is a special winter break deal. Not sure. Seems both tour companies generally use decent hotels and are overall pretty good so will likely go with the Trafalgar one, unless Globus has a special "winter break" price too.
skidoo_chick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 3rd, 2003, 03:04 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 17
Sorry! I'm talking about US dollars. Check also that the Abu Simbel optional is $160 aprox. with Globus, but near $250 with Trafalgar.
Gilawi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 15th, 2003, 04:06 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 17
the flight from cairo 2 aswan is cheap and also the wagon lits train..better book it when u r in egypt as following a tour agency would double the price
egy_prince is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2003, 11:45 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
I've been looking at similar tours, on a site called www.friendlyplanet.com which has some well priced Egypt tours. This was prompted after I recently lunched with a friend who set up her own tour through www.touregypt.net this past summer. She basically picked her dates, told them a certain number of nights in several locations plus a 4/5 day cruise on one of the best cruise ships (she did a lot of research before she came up with the options she really wanted) and ended up with a 10-day trip for which their OVERALL costs (meals, tours, guides, tips, souveniers, lodging, etc) staying in 5-star hotels averaged out to $135US per couple. (This doesn't include airfare, but she was traveling from Shanghai so it wouldn't be applicable to us in the western hemisphere.) Apparently the touregypt site sends your desired itinerary to local tour agencies in Egypt, and they start sending you offers. Of course, playing around longer on that friendlyplanet site also got me interested in a trip to Kenya, hence I'm haunting this forum and now totally confused about where we will go next Spring!
uhoh_busted is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 21st, 2003, 12:01 PM
  #10
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
uhoh busted - The "$135/Couple" is per day, am I correct? That's a very good price.
 
Reply With Quote
Sep 22nd, 2003, 04:01 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
Yes, that was per day. Really made it hard to not consider an Egypt trip! I'm going to be driving myself crazy for a few weeks, as I find myself totally torn between which trip to take. Until that lunch I wasn't really thinking of Egypt or Africa.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 22nd, 2003, 01:11 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,959
To uhoh busted: We were planning to take a family trip to London during a school vacation with our teenagers 2 1/2 years ago. Our then 15 year old said, "Let's go to Egypt". We just laughed and kept checking flights to London. But that night the idea of going to Egypt kept haunting me, and off we went on a Globus tour 4/01. Sometimes vacation inspirations come to us in the most unexpected ways. Wherever you go, have a good trip.
gail is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2003, 09:13 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 177
Message to gail:

My husband and I are taking our daughters ages 11 and 7 to Cairo+ this January.

I don't plan on going by package tour (for one I am coming from our home in Beijing). The girls are well traveled (off to Brunei on this coming Wednesday).
You mentioned in a posting somewhere you went with a 10 year old. I'd appreciate any info/insights you may have for us in terms of balancing the itinerary. Did you go to the al fustat garden, cairo land , children's museum, aquarium, or pharonic village or the puppet theater?
[email protected]
Bchen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 27th, 2003, 03:50 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,479
uh_oh_busted - Do you know anyone who has used Friendly Planet? Their prices are very low and I'm curious.
sundowner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 27th, 2003, 08:03 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
No, I don't -- I'm calling the BBB Monday to find out if anyone has had problems with them. Those prices really are enticing.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 27th, 2003, 08:16 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
How about that -- they participate in the BBB's online listing service, and they've been members since 1981 with satisfactory ratings over the past 3 years (that's about all they tell you).
I'd still like to find someone who has used them.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2003, 12:48 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,959
To BChen - our children are also well traveled, although perhaps not as much as yours. Our now 13 year old daughter spent part of the summer in Scandinavia with a school group.

In answer to your question about children's activities - since we were on a tour, we did not have any real choice about where to go. Still, our daughter (and 15 year old son) were interested in all the standard historic sites we visited. There were several other preteen/teenage kids on the tour, so that helped. The only thing they objected to was the forced tour shopping - which is a real downside of any tour. Since they had both studied ancient Egypt in school, it all made sense to them. Besides, what could be cooler than going inside a pyramid?

Have a great trip.
gail is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:29 PM.