Trip To Egypt an a Nile River Cruise to the Pyramids

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<p>My wife and I would like to travel this fall to see<br /> the Pyramids. Any suggestion from fellow travelers<br /> who have been there? Is Fall the best time? Any particular<br /> travel agency you may suggest?<br /> Any suggestion about a particular route and how many<br /> days should we plan not to be rushed.</p> <p>------<br /> Moderator note: light editing. </p>

You might want to take a look at some of the small-group travel companies often mentioned on this board:
Overseas Adventure Travel --
Adventures Abroad ---
Betchart Expeditions --
Tours will be a bit more expensive than the package bus-tour companies (up to 50 people in a bus) like Globus, Cosmos, Brendan, Collette, Insight,etc.; but you will see and experience much more of the country.
You also might consider arriving in Cairo a few days before the group tour and exploring on your own; and staying a few days after the tour for additional touring -- perhaps to Siwa, the Western Oasis, or the Sinai if these are not included in the main tour.

Although old information, you might find this summary of our 2006 Egypt trip with OAT. It's been posted before...
We traveled to Egypt with Overseas Adventure Tours March 10-24, 2006. (, Cairo & the Eternal Nile River) Of OAT tours we have taken (6 so far), this ranked among the best. Here are general notes based upon that experience:
Our weather was great! The group leaving Egypt just as we arrived missed their hot air balloon trip and other activities in Luxor because of sand storms. I had read about sandstorms in late March so this surprised me. We had no problem. Weather was comfortable for long pants and tee shirts most of the time. On the boat and surrounding tourist sites, I wore shorts. For the mosques in Cairo, everyone must wear a long sleeved shirt or one minimally covering the elbow. We had light weight jackets, but only used them a couple times in the evenings in Cairo or early mornings.
Our group numbered 14 with nearly everyone seasoned travelers and highly mobile, game to try anything, including sheesha pipes, et al. Our accommodations were superb, better than the norm for OAT. Of course, when we stayed at the Winter Palace, we were in the new building, not the old historic one, but we were still there to enjoy the ambience. The boat exceeded our expectations with both comfort and service. Our cabin was upstairs, but we were hardly in it except when sleeping. I didn’t get into any of the lower cabins, but did hear someone talking about the windows being near the waterline.
One caution is about the food or sanitation. At least half our group – as with the group that left when we arrived—got sick. The foot there is very greasy—too much olive oil maybe—and rich. And if the food doesn’t get you, the germs will. Tips are required everywhere, especially in the toilets, and most one pound notes (17 cents) are filthy, probably dirtier than the toilets. I just popped my pink pills – Pepto Bismal – and was only queasy sometimes. Bring lots of hand sanitizer with you!
Our itinerary started in Cairo with only a trip to the Antiquities Museum before flying on to Luxor. Our hotel was the Movenpick, out by the airport and isolated from the city. A more centrally located hotel would have been better. We left the group after the museum and lunch to explore Cairo city centre on our own. We went to the top of the Cairo Tower which gave us our first view of the pyramids. They were peaking out through the distant haze! Then as we walked, we discovered a racetrack, the Cairo Marriott which was once a palace, and the terrifying Cairo traffic. No one there adheres to traffic lanes or stop signs. To return to the hotel, we used a hotel card with English on one side and Arabic on the reverse. We dutifully negotiated our 50 EP for the trip back and got in. We felt safe from mugging – but the time on the road was at peril.
Security there is tight. Since the 1997 terrorist attacks, Tourist Police have been established. Any group over ten must have an armed guard with them. We always had a man with a big semi-automatic pistol under his jacket accompanying us. When our taxi arrived at the hotel in Cairo, security checked under it with a big mirror and made the driver pop the trunk. We went through metal detectors and were supposed to be searched at all major sites and hotels.
Luxor and Aswan were the highlights, with the Pyramids and Cairo almost anti-climatic. The temples in Luxor were akin to what we saw in Turkey, but a different flavor since they were mostly to cult gods and older. The farm breakfast was a joke, catered by the hotel and we walked around the perimeter of the farm town. Valley of the Kings tombs were very different than expected, more like holes in the ground with beautiful décor inside. Camera were not allowed inside the tombs. The hot air balloon ride was more up and over the agricultural West Bank of Luxor.
If you have free time in Luxor, go to El-Kababgy Restaurant which on the shore or the Nile and across the street from the Old Winter Palace hotel. And definitely, walk down by the Temple of Luxor at night.
In Kom Ombo, if your ship is in at night, disembark and look at the temple in the moonlight and all lit up. We then went to a local outdoor coffee garden there and ended playing Egyptian musical instruments – for a tip, of course.
In Aswan, our room was on the 3rd floor of the New Cataract Hotel – awesome view. But also try to get into a room up on the high floors. Both offer slightly different perspectives in a most beautiful setting. Make time to explore the hotel grounds and gardens. Then across the street from the old hotel is a Coptic Orthodox Cathedral well worth visiting.
Definitely take the Abu Simbel excursion. It was a highlight. Those temples are unbelievably decorated inside. Get the postcard sets there – No photos inside. Not to be missed, plus the flight is great. Lobby with your tour escort for window seats if possible.
Trip highlight for me was the camel day. We sailed from the hotel to the camels and rode them for 15 minutes into the desert to St Simeons Monastery, toured the monastery, and then rode another half hour to a Nubian Village for tea and, if wanted, a henna tattoo. Then, we went by boat through the lowlands to an outdoor lunch. This day provided a fuller understanding of the disappearing Nubian culture.
Finally, we flew back to Cairo for our home visit which was far better than usual, tour and lecture on religious Cairo, the drive through the countryside to Saqquara for the oldest pyramids, and finally the Pyramids.
All in all, we were extremely happy with OAT and this itinerary. Our only complaint was the four 4 a.m. mornings, two of which were to catch flights, one for the farm breakfast, and one for the hot air balloon. Food was rich, but I ate mostly bread (superb), meat, and dessert (to die for). Pace was busy, but we had some down time midday. People were friendly. The tourist police kept pushy vendors at bay and I never felt afraid. We did regret not signing up for the pre-trip to Petra. Highly recommend this trip.
But enjoy your time there with whoever you choose.
Happy travels!

I went to Egypt (and Jordan and Syria, but you can do just the Egypt part) with Adventures Abroad (see post above for the URL). It was fantastic. One of the highlights of the trip, and one of my best travel memories ever in over 70 countries now, was entering the Valley of Kings by coming over the ridge at the south end via donkey rather than entering by bus at the north end as most tour groups do. (There were other options if you didn't want to ride on a donkey.) Most people on AA trips are about age 50-70 or so, but you'll occasionally have younger and older people in their groups.
I went in July. DO NOT DO THIS. :-) It was hot hot hot! I don't think AA runs the trip at that time of year any more.
I completely echo Wanda's advice regarding getting sick, also.

Thank You so much for Your Replies.
It gave us some good insight for our planned trip
in the Fall this Year.
Wanda You gave us some very good information
Thanks again
Peter S.

We have been looking at trips to Egypt- Odyssey has very reasonably priced comprehensive trips-
anyone ever used them??

We have traveled to Egypt many times and absolutely love the country and its people. We have found a great guide that we use exclusively. is his website. Rashid speaks excellent English and is very enthusiastic about showing his country. He can design a tour for you or go with your itinerary. A private tour with Rashid is so much more fun than riding on a bus with 50 other people. You'll get to know the country, its customs and people using a private guide. And you'll find the price is much the same as a large group. Give it a try.

Thank you for all the nice replies and advise.

Does anyone had any dealings with Egypt Panorama Tours (
The outlined a nice program but We would like to know
a little bit more about the Company?
Thank You
Peter S.

(Moderator note: website corrected)