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Egypt Travel Guide

13 Best Egypt Tour Companies to Help You Plan the Trip of a Lifetime

These Egypt tour companies will help you make the most of your trip.

Travel to Egypt is booming. With a host of new luxury tour operators and the promise of the Grand Egyptian Museum finally opening in 2023, there’s never been a better time to book a trip to see Cairo, the Great Pyramid, and more. Although it’s not difficult to plan and book an independent Egypt vacation, most travelers realize once they get there that Egypt isn’t such an easy place to navigate alone, even if you speak fluent Arabic. The psychic exhaustion of having to negotiate every little piece of business can also wear you down. There’s all the more reason to have an organized, guided tour from one of the best Egypt tour companies handle the logistics for you–something luxury travelers have long known.

And the side-benefit is that having a company pre-book everything on your behalf and provide a guide to accompany you throughout your Egypt trip costs little more than doing it all yourself; a guided trip on either the low or high end (or even in the middle) can be a good value. It’s your guide, however, who will make or break your trip to Egypt, and having the same person with you throughout your journey is the real advantage of a luxury Egypt tour. If you’re researching who to go with for your trip of a lifetime, we’ve rounded up the best Egypt tour companies to make your trip as seamless as possible.

INSIDER TIPThe best time to visit Egypt is between October through April (and especially December and January), when the temperatures are most tolerable. The best Egypt tour companies will spend at least seven days total exploring Cairo, Luxor, and the surrounding area.


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Abercrombie and Kent

The premier luxury tour operator in Egypt, Abercrombie & Kent offers top-notch service and the highest levels of accommodations on small-group Egypt trips that are well thought-out with excellent guides and every comfort you can get. That’s expected at these prices, but A&K has a reputation for delivering in a destination that can be a strain for even the best Egypt tour companies. A&K maintains its own operations in Egypt, so you tend to deal with employees, not freelancers, which means you have more consistency in service. If you want to do their trips privately, that can be arranged, albeit at higher prices than the small-group tours.

Noteworthy: You stay at luxury hotels like the Mena House and Four Seasons in Cairo; your cruise ship is the top-rated Sanctuary Sun Boat IVwhich has private docking facilities in both Luxor and Aswan; King Tut’s Tomb and a trip to Abu Simbel are included.

You Should Know: Most dinners are not included (except on the cruise), but that gives you the opportunity to explore a bit further afield.

Pricing: Starts at $8,300 for 10 days

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Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises only began Egypt trips a few years ago, but it’s already expanded its trips in the country, offering services and comforts that are similar to those provided by more expensive Egypt tour operators but for less money. These are not quite luxury trips, but they also cost noticeably less. A longer-than-average cruise means you’ll get to visit the Dendera Temple complex in Qena and the Esna temple, which are not on most cruise itineraries. And Viking has an extensive on-the-ground team and employs local Egyptologists to help organize guided tours.

Noteworthy: Viking built its own ships for Egypt (a rarity) and fitted them in a style similar to their other Scandinavian-inspired river ships; they even have elevators. In addition to the Viking Ra, which debuted in 2018, the company has added two new 82-passenger all-veranda ships to its fleet: the Viking Osiris and, in 2023, Viking Aton. And you get a lot for your money, including a rare visit to Queen Nefertari’s Tomb in the Valley of the Queens, which is both expensive and not open to the public at all times.

You Should Know: Even at these prices, there are a lot of optional tours, including Abu Simbel, and they do sell out. And many departures for its popular Pharaohs & Pyramids tour are more than $6,000 (you tend to get the best deals by booking early). One noteworthy optional tour is a hot air balloon ride in the Valley of the Kings.

Pricing: Starts at $5,200 for 12 days

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Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel offers various budget tours, including inexpensive options that draw backpackers and allow you to see Egypt and even visit Hurghada in two weeks for under $1,500. For some travelers, the spartan accommodations and lack of comfort will not be sufficient on those cheap Egypt trips, so the “comfort” trips are usually a better choice. Unlike a lot of trips, this one includes Alexandria. And because of the extra cost, the age of participants is higher than on a typical Intrepid trip, but you usually get a nice mix of travelers. Intrepid has enough tours that they get consistently good guides on both the low and higher end.

Noteworthy: Abu Simbel by air is included in the “comfort” trip (that’s often a $300 addition to tours), but a lot of other temples and museums you may wish to visit are not. Though none of these is terribly expensive, the costs do add up after a while.

You Should Know: The trip from Cairo  to Aswan is by overnight sleeper train, so keep that in mind (on the “comfort” trip, you fly back from Luxor, but on the “Adventure” trips, you take the train back). The hotels are decent but not deluxe. Intrepid tends to draw a somewhat younger crowd than most mainstream operators, but the more expensive “comfort” tours skew older than the most adventurous Egypt trips offering fewer creature comforts.

Pricing: From $3,100 for 12 days (in the “comfort” tour).

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Memphis Tours

One of the long-time tour operators in Egypt, Memphis Tours offers mostly basic large-group tours but can also arrange for more comfortable and even custom trips. Their basic Egypt tours are affordable and cover the major sights, including a few nights in Cairo and a Nile cruise. This high-volume operator offers both extended tours and day tours in all the major destinations of Egypt, so they have a large group of guides to draw from, most of whom get pretty high marks from travelers. But this is not typically a luxury Egypt tour operator; however, if you want to visit places that are not on most tours, including the western desert oases, Hurghada, or even a Dahabiya river-yacht cruise, they can make those arrangements for you.

Noteworthy: Domestic flights to Luxor and back from Aswan are included in most of Memphis’ Egypt tours, but Abu Simbel is an optional extra.

You Should Know: Most Memphis tours offer Abu Simbel by road and not by air, so you will be in a road caravan for more than three hours each way, making for a long and exhausting trip. Basic sights are always included, but there are many  options that aren’t.

Pricing: From $1,450 for eight days


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On-the-Go Tours

If you are looking for a true budget experience, including pretty basic hotels, the overnight train from Cairo to Luxor and a two-night rustic felucca trip on the Nile (where you sleep on a mat on deck with no shower or toilets), On the Go Tours is your Egypt tour company. For little more than what it might cost you to organize and book an Egypt trip on your own, you’ll have the benefit of a local guide to accompany you throughout. Tours are very well received, but people do seem to know what they are getting themselves into (and want that kind of experience). The more comfortable “signature” trips are what most people would consider a mainstream trip to Egypt: relatively small-group trips with comfortable, air-conditioned hotels and a guide, but you still travel north and south on overnight trains, and most admissions and meals are not included (other than breakfast).

Noteworthy: Guides are included on even the most basic Egypt trips. Signature trips offer an experience more like what the typical tourist might expect, including a short Nile cruise, some meals, and comfortable hotels. Abu Simbel is an optional trip, but only by road, adding three or more hours each way.

You Should Know: On most of these trips, admissions to sights are not always included, which may add $100 or more to the trip cost. There are no domestic flights; all travel within Egypt is by bus or train.

Pricing: From $830 for 10 days of budget travel, but “signature” trips start at $1,100 for 10 days.

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Friendly Planet

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced, comfortable, small-group Egypt tour, you’ll be more than happy with Friendly Planet.  Like many organizations, the company maintains their own office in Cairo and uses the same knowledgeable and helpful guides and tour manager on all their trips. The Cairo hotels are good, and you see a lot with relatively few hassles. The company will pre-purchase your visa in Egypt and have it ready for you on arrival, something many but not all Egypt tour companies will do.

Noteworthy: International flights are always included on Friendly Planet Egypt trips. King Tut’s Tomb is included in the Valley of the Kings, as is afternoon tea at the Old Cataract Hotel; you can buy a vacation package that includes most of the optional tours for a small discount.

You Should Know: There are lots of optional extras on the Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise package, including the trip to the temple complex of Abu Simbel, which adds $300 onto the price; the cruise ship is reliable and comfortable but by no means luxurious, and you’ll be one of several groups, which is not at all uncommon.

Pricing: Starts at $3,300 for 11 days (including Egyptair flights from JFK)


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Overseas Adventure Travel

One of the best-known small-group travel companies that cater to the 50-plus crowd (and is especially popular with solo travelers), OAT has been leading trips to Egypt for years. The company has a long-standing presence in the country and tends to hire good guides. Because these trips tend to be longer, you go to destinations that are both on and off the beaten path. The tour company also tries to bring travelers and locals together by offering home-hosted meals on every trip and usually a visit to a school or other organization supported by the company’s charitable foundation. A trip to Abu Simbel with an overnight is included, allowing you to visit the temples later in the day when most other travelers are long gone.

Noteworthy: OAT doesn’t offer a traditional Egypt river cruise but rather a trip on a chartered dahabeah, a traditional Egyptian river yacht. Since these ships carry at most 16 or 18 passengers, they offer a much more intimate cruising experience. Hotel accommodations are high-class, including the Sofitel Winter Palace in Luxor, the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan, and the Marriott in Cairo.

You Should Know: While OAT tours may seem more expensive than other Egypt vacations, they include airfare (in most cases, you can get a cheaper trip if you book your own air travel, but then you have to get yourself to the hotel on arrival). Most meals and activities are included, but Alexandria  is not (it’s an optional extension tour). The trip to and from Abu Simbel is by road, not by air; you get to spend the night in Abu Simbel Village, and this allows you to avoid some of the crowds but means you are on the road for at least three hours each way. While accommodations are pretty luxe, they are usually in newer extensions of classic hotels, not in the more expensive historic rooms.

Pricing: From $4,895 for 16 days (including airfare from the U.S.)

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Like several of the best Egypt tour companies, Smartours specializes in reasonably priced, air-inclusive trips catering to older travelers, and their Egypt trip is a favorite among their devoted clientele both for the price and the first-class offerings. These aren’t luxurious trips, but they are comfortable and offer good value, with knowledgeable guides and a tour manager who’s on top of things in Cairo. The cruise ship is the well-regarded Movenpick Royal Lily.

Noteworthy: Except on the cruise, most dinners aren’t included. These trips include one-night hotel stays in addition to the cruise in both Luxor and Aswan, as well as a hotel in Cairo, so there’s more than the usual amount of moving around for your typical guided tour of Egypt.

You Should Know: Abu Simbel is an extra cost; the company also offers reasonably priced single supplements of about $400 or $500. It’s possible to buy a land-only tour, but you won’t get a meet-and-greet service at the hotel, and you’ll have to buy your own visa on arrival.

Pricing: From $2,999 for 10 days (includes Egypt Air flights from JFK)

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Tauck pulls out all the luxurious stops for their Egypt tours, including charter flights to Abu Simbel (included) and a camel ride to St. Simeon’s Monastery near Aswan, which is not often included on these shorter trips. Your hotel nights are spent at the Mena House in Cairo, in the Old Cataract in Aswan, and (before the return home) at the Four Seasons Cairo at Nile Plaza. The company hires the best tour managers and guides, and as with A&K, this makes a difference in your in-Egypt experience, particularly when things don’t go as planned.

Noteworthy: Although it’s a river cruise company, Tauck doesn’t own ships in Egypt; instead, it uses one of the Oberoi river cruise ships, the original luxury cruisers on the Nile. Their Egypt trips include an after-hours visit to the Valley of the Kings, when there won’t be other tourists around. In addition, Tauck offers the option to add on a three-day side trip to Petra in Jordan.

You Should Know: Tauck touts its no-options trips. If something is included in the trip, you never pay extra. And they have a reputation for delivering. If you want, they will also book your airfare.

Pricing: From $8,800 for 10 days

INSIDER TIPLooking for the best hotel in Cairo to stay before your luxury tour or cruise starts? The Ritz-Carlton Cairo is luxurious and central, overlooking the Nile River. But new 5-star options are opening soon, too, including a new Mandarin Oriental in 2024.


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Like other luxury cruise companies, Uniworld offers Egypt tours and includes a seven-night cruise, which provides a more calm and nurturing environment than a hotel. Because they operate their own ship, they have a stable of guides and a good tour management team in the country. On this trip, you spend two nights at the beginning and two nights at the end in Cairo, saving the Pyramids for last (and that may be a better way to see Egypt). Because the cruise is longer than average, you’ll visit both Dendera and Esna temples and also have more quiet moments sailing on the river.

Noteworthy: All accommodations, including both hotels and ship, are luxurious. Uniworld’s best Egypt tour is on the S.S. Sphinx, a brand-new luxury cruise ship carrying around 80 passengers.

You Should Know: Abu Simbel is an optional excursion on these Egypt cruises.

Pricing: From $5,700 for 12 days

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Globus Tours

For the price, you really can’t do much better than one of these popular Globus Tours, which hit the highlights but don’t take you off the well-beaten path, but that’s often enough of Egypt for a first-time traveler. It’s a professionally run, large-group tour company, which helps keep the costs down, but expect a large group of 40 or more, which means early wake-up times and a bit of hurried sightseeing. However, the standard of accommodations is pretty high and the cruise ship is pretty good.

Noteworthy: You stay in nice hotels in Cairo (the Sofitel) and Aswan (the Movenpick), and the motor coaches have Wi-Fi (though it’s not always reliable). Six dinners are included, including on the cruise, and eight breakfasts are included, too.

You Should Know: You really only get one day of sightseeing in Cairo, which gives you just enough time to see the Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum. Abu Simbel is an optional tour.

Pricing: From $2,200 for nine days (including airfare within Egypt)

INSIDER TIPWondering what to pack for Egypt? This is a conservative country, so pack clothing that covers your knees and shoulders. It should be lightweight, light-colored clothing (white linen that will keep you cool, for example). And don’t forget a sun hat.


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Extraordinary Journeys

Offering a luxurious Egypt vacation package for travelers who tend to be sophisticated and adventurous, Extraordinary Journeys has recently cemented itself as a popular Egypt tour operator. Its Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary includes visits led by Egyptologists to Egypt’s biggest attractions, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Temple of Karnak, but with the added bonus of five-star accommodations and expert tour guides along the way.

Noteworthy: You’ll stay in the Marriott Mena House  in Giza and the      Sofitel Winter Palace  in Luxor, where Agatha Christie is said to have written part of Death on the Nile and where Howard Carter announced the discovery of the tomb of King Tut in 1922. Tours stop in Cairo, Luxor (including a Nile River Cruise), and Aswan before returning to Cairo.

You Should Know: Unlike cruise lines that have their own dedicated ships on the Nile, this tour operator arranges a three- or four-day cruise on a traditional dahabiya boat—with the bonus that these small Egyptian boats can go where the bigger Nile River ships cannot.

Pricing: $8,000 for 11 days

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Kensington Tours

Kensington Tours is an award-winning Egypt tour company that offers luxurious Egypt trips and most notably includes private guides and vehicles (a bonus if you don’t want to be toted around with a big tour group) plus customizable itineraries.

Noteworthy: Their best-selling Discover Egypt trip hits all the major attractions of Cairo and Luxor within a quick six-day trip, but you can also opt for the more comprehensive 12-day tour including a stay at the Oberoi in Hurghada. This Egypt tour operator also includes the option for extensions to Israel  and Petra,  in Jordan.

You Should Know: Although the price includes hotel stays, private guides, tour, and transfers, they don’t include international airfare, lunches, dinners, or drinks, making this a pricier option. However, it’s worth noting that this tour company is very flexible (for example: tours can be customized and tour dates aren’t fixed), making it easier to plan an Egypt vacation.

Pricing: From $3,100 for six days or $8,700 for 12 days