PDA

View Full Version : Egypt Cruises?



BrooklynRider
October 5th, 2005, 07:38 PM
I'm looking at booking an Egyptian cruise for 2007 and was wondering if anyone has had any experiences or can recommend any cruiselines for me to look into.

Thanks.

MidtownGuy
February 21st, 2006, 09:15 PM
I was on a wonderful cruise on the Nile in 1999. It was something I will never forget. I was actually there for a month, the cruise was only 4 or five days, but it was spectacular. We departed from Aswan and sailed up to Luxor. I highly recommend Egypt to anyone, but there are lots of practicalities to plan for. You will find that learning a bit of Arabic will really endear you to the people. I will look up the name of the cruise ship that I was on. Egypt will blow you away completely, and nothing you have seen on TV will prepare you for the magnificent things you will see. It is not a trip it is a life changing event, at least for me it was.

MidtownGuy
February 21st, 2006, 09:30 PM
I dug up this photo to inspire you.

http://static.flickr.com/39/102844422_15f493ff42_b.jpg

MidtownGuy
February 22nd, 2006, 05:19 PM
The ship was the OBEROI SHEHRAYAR. more info if you ask for it...

http://static.flickr.com/28/103161348_eb64579aff_o.jpg

The view from our stateroom:

http://static.flickr.com/27/103161349_1c87782cba_o.jpg

Sunbathing on the deck:

http://static.flickr.com/34/103161353_d48495cc28_o.jpg

sorry for the picture quality- they are scanned in, it was way before I got my digital!

lofter1
February 22nd, 2006, 06:47 PM
Thanks ... looks relaxing ...... :cool:

Google shows this (although the info for this vessel seems to be for 2004; if you click on "Other Nile Cruises" at the left side of the page some of those links show rates / cruises for 2006): http://www.safariegypt.com/egypt_nile_cruise/oberoi_nile_cruise/details_shehrayar.htm

Oberoi Shehrayar Nile Cruise

Oberoi Shehrayar Nile cruise as her sister ship Oberoi Shehrazad is an elegant Nile Cruise with only 38 cabins and two suites, owned by Oberoi Egypt Nile cruises, the Shehrayar 9 standard cabins have private bathrooms with shower, air-conditioning, telephone, mini-bar, television and safe deposit box, only twin beds are available in standard rooms .The 29 deluxe cabins got either King size bed or twin and two private bathrooms with shower (approx. 23 square meters) while the two suites are both nearly 30 square meters.

The Oberoi Shehrayar restaurant where all meals are served, give a beautiful view of the Nile and offer a variety of Continental and Oriental cuisine for the discerning traveler.

The stylish lounge is the place for a drink and relaxation, and the open deck is perfect during the day with its pool, and from the evening the best place to watch the night sky with its magical stars over the Nile.

The Shehrayar Oberoi Nile cruise has a special gym for fitness, various gymnastic equipment are available, as games, a multilingual library, audiovisual equipment and billiard.

Luxurious coaches with air condition and knowledgeable Egyptologists make sightseeing both comfortable and rewarding.

Top end cruise is often a major cost of a tour to Egypt, and we believe anyone going on a cruise deserves to get the best possible information up front. It's part of our level of service, so enjoy the large photos from the ship. It's a recommended way to choose the best cruise according to own preferences.

Oberoi Shehrayar Nile cruise sail 4 nights & 7 nights cruise trip starting in Aswan and 3 nights /4 days & 7 nights/8 days cruise trip starting in Luxor.

English guide is Available on board.

The Oberoi Nile cruise is based on Full board.

lofter1
February 22nd, 2006, 07:06 PM
Check this one out ... the site says it's set to start sailing the Nile in February 2006 ...

The Nostalgic Nile - cruise the River Nile in the leisurely style of yesteryear.

http://www.cruisingholidays.co.uk/wriver.aspx?hid=6205

http://asp.bluewaterholidays.co.uk/images/6205/zahra.jpg

Dahabiyyas were popular amongst those who wished to enjoy Egypt at a leisurely pace,
to drink in the landscapes, and peruse the monuments and villages on the riverbanks.

We intend to revive those elegant days, but with modern comforts and conveniences.



http://asp.bluewaterholidays.co.uk/images/6205/zahra-upper-deck.jpg


The new dahabiyya the Zahra (flower) is currently being completed
with an inaugural sailing in February 2006.

The Zahra is exclusive to us and our partners Bales Worldwide, and you will
not find anything similar offered by any other tour operator in the United Kingdom.

Join us on an idyllic, tranquil journey on a sailboat fit for a king!

MidtownGuy
February 23rd, 2006, 10:51 AM
Wow, that looks amazing. Must cost a fortune compared to the other cruise ships like the one I took, but it's probably well worth it!
However, the Shehrayar was more than adequate, I promise. The food was great,each day there is a visit to archeological sites accompanied by extremely knowledgable Egyptologists, and staterooms that were very comfortable with large windows. Anyone with an interest in architecture, or the Ancients, must visit Egypt once in their lifetime.

lofter1
February 23rd, 2006, 11:06 AM
Basically costs a couple of arms and a leg, but for a once-in-a-lifetime cruise -- if you could afford it -- it would definitely be worth it.

Out of curiosity, yesterday I sent in for info. Here is what I got back this morning -- for a 14 day cruise in April 2006:

This cruise costs 2395 UK pounds per person sharing an outside twin cabin.
There is also an 89 UK pound per person departure tax to pay on the above.
Single Supplement: 1080 UK pounds

This price includes:

Scheduled direct flights, including U.K. Airport Passenger Duty and Passenger Service Charge
Private transfers direct from the airport to your hotel and sailboat
The services of our local representative in Cairo to help you with optional sightseeing
Experienced English-speaking guide on the Zahra, exclusive to your group
Sightseeing as detailed, including entrance fees
Modern first class hotels.
Exclusive 'dahabiyya'
11 full breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners.
Wine, beer, soft drinks, tea and coffee are included in the price

MidtownGuy
February 23rd, 2006, 11:08 AM
http://static.flickr.com/36/103442954_2c6c387f12_b.jpg

that's me facing the camera. One block of stone was several times my size, and the overall scale made it feel more like standing at the foot of a mountain than the bottom of a man-made structure.

lofter1
February 23rd, 2006, 11:13 AM
Here's some more info on the Nostalgic Nile tour aboard the Zahra, including itinerary details: http://www.balesworldwide.com/HolidayDetails.HolidayID-1248.nor-0hd00c005001001?More=More

MidtownGuy
February 23rd, 2006, 11:53 AM
Lofter1, that was so awesome of you to get some prices. I have been contemplating a return.

MidtownGuy
February 23rd, 2006, 12:57 PM
On the website, the itinerary is to stay at the Mena Oberoi while in Cairo. That's where I stayed. It was very beautiful and first rate. Here is a pic from the pool area. The pyramid complex is a short walk away, but not so close as this photo may suggest:

http://static.flickr.com/31/103476414_fbf54267f2_b.jpg

BrooklynRider
February 23rd, 2006, 03:50 PM
Wow, thanks! Next year is a "big" birthday for me and a "big" birthday for my partner. I want to do something spectacular.

This is on the shortlist, but I know nothing about the the cruise lines other than that Abercrombie & Kent seemed to be the top-of-the-line.

MidtownGuy
February 23rd, 2006, 04:29 PM
If you want to mark this meaningful milestone together, I can think of no better way than a trip to timeless Egypt.

JMGarcia
February 23rd, 2006, 05:05 PM
I've been to Egypt a couple of times now.

Last time I went was in 2001 with A&K. I purposely chose their boat for 2 reasons. First A&K has the best guides for the shore excursions. They got us into certain tombs and sites that are often off limits and are far more interesting and spectacular than those that the hoards often visit. A little baksheesh goes a long way. The second reason was their advanced water system. "Tourista" is a serious issue in Egypt. Their cruise also included the round trip air fare from Aswan and tour of Abu Simbel. Its only a 10 minute flight but still its nice to have it all arranged and included.

My itinerary which I highly recommend.

3 night Cairo staying in Giza at the Mena House. Cairo is a nightmare to get around. Staying out on the Giza side allows easy access to the Pyramids as well as Saqqara. If you're interested, while in Saqqara you should check out a particular noble's tomb. It unusual in that two men are buried there rather than husband and wife. If you're interested in details let me know. Save the Egyptian museum and Islamic sites for after the cruise.

Flew then to Luxor 1 day before the cruise ship embarked and stayed at the Winter Palace. Luxor's corniche (the street along the Nile) is very charming after the chaos of Cairo.

Did the A&K cruise from Luxor to Aswan including Abu Simbel. Simply terrific in every way.

Flew back to Cairo and stayed 2 more days at the Marriott downtown which gives much easier access to the Egyptian Museum, the market, and the Islamic sites than if you stayed out in Giza.

If you want any more specifics just ask.

MidtownGuy
February 24th, 2006, 10:47 AM
Hi JMGarcia! That sounds like it was a great itinerary. we saw many of the same sites. I also enjoyed the corniche in Luxor. What was your favorite thing or site? My least favorite had to be the sand flies I think.

lofter1
February 24th, 2006, 11:17 AM
hate those flies ...

What time of year did you go?

And were the flies a problem on board the vessel??

MidtownGuy
February 24th, 2006, 11:52 AM
It was in September. People warned of the heat, but to be honest it was not an unbearable heat- the air was dry so you don't feel your sweat, and there is always a nice wind blowing on the Nile.
Nights, the temperature is very pleasant with a breeze and sky full of stars.

The flies were not a problem in the staterooms or in the common rooms of the ship, but I think I remember some flies up on deck when the ship was moored. While the ship was moving there was enough wind, so no flies if I remember correctly.

The flies were worst while visiting the sites, and in the towns.

JMGarcia
February 24th, 2006, 11:58 AM
Hi JMGarcia! That sounds like it was a great itinerary. we saw many of the same sites. I also enjoyed the corniche in Luxor. What was your favorite thing or site? My least favorite had to be the sand flies I think.

I was there in Feb. no fly problem at all.

My favorite thing was that I got to climb to the very top of the pyramid of Mycerinus (Menkure) at Giza. A fantastic experience although highly illegal.

Other tops were the tomb of Nefertari in Luxor. Its stunning in both design, quality and in incredibly good condition. So good in fact that entry is severly limited so that humidity from too many people breathing does not damage it. The temple of Philae was also a surprise. Its island setting is fantastic. The "Tomb of the Hairdressers" or "Tomb of the Brothers" (wink, wink) in Saqqara was also a real surprise too.

BrooklynRider
February 24th, 2006, 01:26 PM
I dug up this photo to inspire you.

Is that you in the photo at Giza? Just wondering...

BrooklynRider
February 24th, 2006, 01:34 PM
I've been to Egypt a couple of times now.

Last time I went was in 2001 with A&K. I purposely chose their boat for 2 reasons. First A&K has the best guides for the shore excursions. They got us into certain tombs and sites that are often off limits and are far more interesting and spectacular than those that the hoards often visit. A little baksheesh goes a long way. The second reason was their advanced water system. "Tourista" is a serious issue in Egypt. Their cruise also included the round trip air fare from Aswan and tour of Abu Simbel. Its only a 10 minute flight but still its nice to have it all arranged and included.

My itinerary which I highly recommend.

3 night Cairo staying in Giza at the Mena House. ...

Flew then to Luxor 1 day before the cruise ship embarked and stayed at the Winter Palace. Luxor's corniche (the street along the Nile) is very charming after the chaos of Cairo.

Did the A&K cruise from Luxor to Aswan including Abu Simbel. Simply terrific in every way.

Flew back to Cairo and stayed 2 more days at the Marriott downtown which gives much easier access to the Egyptian Museum, the market, and the Islamic sites than if you stayed out in Giza.

If you want any more specifics just ask.

Can you tell me what ship you went on and how long the cruise was? I see these different itineraries, but know so little about any of it. I've never been on a cruise, so it is all a bit confusing, until I understand the basics. A&K seems expensive, but I want decent food and I want to feel secure (if that is an issue - I don't know). I'm hoping to do a cruise for two in the $2000-$3000 each range plus airfare and all transfers / transportation. Is it possible? Do I need to readjust my expectations? I'm a Marriott Reward member. Are you and is that why you chose the Marriott? I am hoping to make reservations this summer for Fall 2007 or January 2008.

Any further info or travel related contacts would be great.

JMGarcia
February 24th, 2006, 02:35 PM
Can you tell me what ship you went on and how long the cruise was? I see these different itineraries, but know so little about any of it. I've never been on a cruise, so it is all a bit confusing, until I understand the basics. A&K seems expensive, but I want decent food and I want to feel secure (if that is an issue - I don't know). I'm hoping to do a cruise for two in the $2000-$3000 each range plus airfare and all transfers / transportation. Is it possible? Do I need to readjust my expectations? I'm a Marriott Reward member. Are you and is that why you chose the Marriott? I am hoping to make reservations this summer for Fall 2007 or January 2008.

Any further info or travel related contacts would be great.

I was on the A&K SubBoat IV. The cruise is usually 4 days doing the main intinerary Luxor/Esna/Edfu/Kom Ombo/Aswan or the reverse. You're probably looking closer to $4000.00 pp if you go with A&K.

To me the A&K ships are totally worth it just because I think Egypt is such a special place and is worth the splurge. As I said, having a good guide can make or break the cruise portion of the trip. I'm usually pretty independent when travelling and don't do guides at all but in Egypt it is really sooooo important. I can't stress it enough. Getting a real egyptologist as a guide as compared to some guy with a prepared script is a huge plus. That was my main reason for going A&K.

The food was really good, nothing over the top like you'd get on Carribean cruises but very good. There is never a question with A&K of the quality of the food or water. Security with A&K is top notch also. There's nothing worse than being on a trip and being chained to your toilet and missing everything you came to see. The cabins were very comfortable, the public areas were also nice and we felt very comfortable with our fellow travellers for the most part. The guides are often hanging around to talk or answer questions if you'd like also.

A typical day on ship is getting up early, breakfast, and off sightseeing. Back to the ship for lunch. The afternoon can either be more sightseeing or just sitting on the upper deck while you cruise down the Nile. It depends on the stop.

You can definitely go cheaper than A&K but before settling on a ship there are some things you should consider. Some ships cater to certain european nationalities in the "package hoard" mode and can be quite a zoo. Travelling down the Nile with 500 of your closest east german factory worker friends can take a lot of the enjoyment out of both time on ship and getting off ship to see the sites. Generally smaller is better in that regard. You also want to find out what you can about the water system on the ship. Some of them actually use water, untreated, right out of the Nile for cooking. Parasites are no fun. The Oberoi boats have a pretty good reputation but I don't know if there is a price advantage over A&K. Generally if you can find boats associated with one of the western hotel chains - Hilton, Sofitel, Sheraton, Movenpick then you should be OK.

If you come across anything you want me to look at let me know. I used to work in travel and am fairly well versed in what's good and what's not.

Am a Marriott member too. I chose them in Cairo because the hotel is a rehab of an old palace and has a lot of local flavor. The rooms themselves, which are in modern tower are fine but nothing special. There's definitely nicer hotels but the combination of location and local flavor can't be beat downtown. In Gize the Oberoi Mena House is the way to go and might work in well with an Oberoi boat $$$ wise.

MidtownGuy
February 24th, 2006, 03:13 PM
Yes, that's me in the photo!
A&K, I am not familiar with myself, but the good things about it in the above post seem consistent with what I experienced on the Oberoi ship. Our guides were all extremely knowledgable Egyptologists. The food, rooms, etc. all very nice. I am not sure the cruise price difference, because I went with with a small group from Harlem(not organized by a commercial enterprise but by an Elder who had been to Egypt every year for 20 yrs. He knew everyone.) and we paid one price for a very extensive itinerary. It was planes, trains, a cruise ship, and buses. We traveled to so many places, almost a month of rigorous itineraries from Alexandria to Aswan and Abu Simbel. The area around Aswan was my favorite- the glorious land of Nubia, now largely flooded by the the Aswan Dam but the people are still there and they are amazing. At night, from my hotel balcony in Aswan, I could hear the Nubian music floating up from the restaurants along the Nile shore. Wonderful! I can still hear the magic of the drums.

BrooklynRider
February 24th, 2006, 04:39 PM
MidtownGuy - That is a shot to treasure. Really incredible.

As for the info you all provided, wow! I can't tell you how much this helps. My partner is reluctant to go to the "Mideast", but I keep arguing that we'll be halfway into Egypt and away from any trouble spots. Plus, I figure tourism is a big part of the economy, so there has to be some consideration (the recent attack at some temple notwithstanding). And, when my number's up, it's up. I can't live scared of what might happen.

I have a really strong pull to go there and I want to just do it and do it right. My short list is this or Angor Wat. But, this is the trip my heart is set on.

I'll definitely have some questions in the near future. In the nean time, thank you again!

BrooklynRider
March 15th, 2006, 10:08 AM
I've received the Abercrombie & Kent catalogues and I'm going through the different tours. The Sunboat III only caries 36 passengers to the Sunboat IV 96 passengers. I've never been on a cruise before and wondered whether one over the other would be preferable. I'm also looking at a 10day "Splendor of Egypt" Tour vs. the 12 day "Pyramids and Pharoahs" tours. It seems the itinieraries are close, but not identical.

Also, we are looking at the cabins and keep getting drawn back to the presidential cabins at the front of the boat. It costs a little more, but it seems that it is once in a lifetime and worth the added cost. Anyone have any comments on this?

MidtownGuy
March 31st, 2006, 10:42 AM
I would just suggest that if you can afford the Presidential room, go for it! This really is a once in a lifetime experience (unless you are so smitten you pledge to return, as I did). But that is only if you will still have money for shopping. The shopping I did was for small items because I was moving around so much, but now I really regret not buying some things and shipping them back. In Cairo I visited a carpet factory where ladies were hand-weaving very beautiful silk carpets- the prices were a fraction of what you'd find here, of course. Also some beautiful furniture items that I passed by, and now haunt me.
So, I guess I am just saying to allocate money for things you don't anticipate.
I am in the process of scanning in some of my pre-digital camera photos.
Here are two to begin with, the first at the Temple of Philae, and the second is in front of the Cairo Museum ( A MUST!) with my traveling companions. We were a wacky group, my goodness, what memories. After a month together, though, we had become a quarrelsome family from which I was anxious to separate.

http://static.flickr.com/51/120767251_5d766c4b6a_b.jpg

http://static.flickr.com/44/120767252_00fe94827b_b.jpg

that's me, the third person in the top row! Our Egyptologist is the man with sunglasses in the bottom row.

MidtownGuy
March 31st, 2006, 11:09 AM
A dinner cruise in Cairo

http://static.flickr.com/38/120777611_97b955cc35_b.jpg

View of the Nile from my hotel balcony in Aswan, southernmost large town.

http://static.flickr.com/44/120778445_71d492d7be_b.jpg

JMGarcia
March 31st, 2006, 11:11 AM
I've received the Abercrombie & Kent catalogues and I'm going through the different tours. The Sunboat III only caries 36 passengers to the Sunboat IV 96 passengers. I've never been on a cruise before and wondered whether one over the other would be preferable. I'm also looking at a 10day "Splendor of Egypt" Tour vs. the 12 day "Pyramids and Pharoahs" tours. It seems the itinieraries are close, but not identical.

Also, we are looking at the cabins and keep getting drawn back to the presidential cabins at the front of the boat. It costs a little more, but it seems that it is once in a lifetime and worth the added cost. Anyone have any comments on this?

We took the Sunboat VI. I enjoyed it thoroughly and never thought of it as too big. In fact I kind of liked the slightly larger group as you had more choice of who to socialize with. I really disliked a group of texans that were on the ship. Having said that we didn't really have to deal with them and made some really good friends with other passengers that we have kept in touch with.

We were completely comfortable in the standard room we had. The suites were mostly taken up by families because of the extra space. Honestly I think it is a waste of money. You really only sleep in your suite. Most of the time you are busy but otherwise you'll end up being on deck to watch the view go by or in the dining room or the club/library or somewhere else on board.

The big difference between the 2 tours is the visit to Dendera. It is an interesting site but personally I think it is a bit of an overdose on archeological sites so unless you're really, really interested in it I'd say go for the tour that skips it. You may want to add an extra day or 2 at the end in Cairo. It would give you time to revist the pyramids on your own so you can just wander around without being guided. Some more time in the bazaar is also worth it IMO. A&K is very flexible with that sort of thing.

MidtownGuy
March 31st, 2006, 11:46 AM
I agree with everything JMGarcia advised. You'll be more than happy in a standard. We were always on the deck or dining room also.
Great advice about Cairo. It is a fascinating place and you should spend some time there.The Khan el-Khalili bazaar was amazing, though you'll have to politely fend off would be "guides". It was worth it. Do go to the Pyramids a second time unguided- it was then that two friends and I were able (with a small baksheesh(tip) to go into the Kings chamber of the Great Pyramid and literally have the place to ourselves to meditate for about 15 minutes.

Dendera was quite a bus ride away. We went because we had so much time in Egypt. I thought it was extremely impressive. I will try to find and scan some photos of it. On a shorter trip though, you might have to forego the visit. The busride was very interesting, riding through the fertile Nile valley and seeing small villages where life is in many ways unchanged for centuries.

JMGarcia
March 31st, 2006, 12:35 PM
^
Its amazing what a little bakseesh can do. The first time I visited Egypt I revisted the Pyramids without a guide. I didn't know it at the time but it was also a holiday and the entire site was virtually empty. Some nice college student who's uncle was one of the security guards was hanging out there. For a little bakseesh we were allowed to climb to the top of the 3rd pyramid. The experience and pictures I have are worth their weight in gold. :)

BrooklynRider
March 31st, 2006, 05:36 PM
Thanks again for this on-going info. So, you both recommend extending the stay in Cairo for a day or so. Have either of you been to Sharm El Sheikh? I thought it might be a good endcap to the trip and a place to ease myself back to NY time. I've only ever been snorkeling in the Caribbean and the opportunity to hit the Red Sea is very enticing.

JMGarcia
March 31st, 2006, 06:27 PM
Thanks again for this on-going info. So, you both recommend extending the stay in Cairo for a day or so. Have either of you been to Sharm El Sheikh? I thought it might be a good endcap to the trip and a place to ease myself back to NY time. I've only ever been snorkeling in the Caribbean and the opportunity to hit the Red Sea is very enticing.

I haven't been to Sharm El Sheikh. From what I know if it it is very touristy with lots of Europeans but nice yet still. If you really like snorkeling then go for it. Just realize anytime you take a flight in Egypt there's lots of pushing and shoving and general stress. The other thing to consider is that Sharm is not so much different from beach resorts anywhere but Cairo is pretty unique.

BrooklynRider
April 10th, 2006, 09:36 PM
I continue to be thankful for all your advice.

MidtownGuy
April 11th, 2006, 10:08 PM
I didn't go to Sharm either, though I tried to convince my friend to make a day trip with me from Luxor. After weeks in the desert, the clear waters of the Red Sea sounded like a refreshing change, but he wanted to spend another day exploring Luxor and I didn't put up a fuss, for the same reason that JMGarcia noted. I figured, I can snorkel in many places, but when would be the next time I could stroll through an Egyptian bazaar.

In Luxor I was staying at a dynamite place called the Pyramisu Isis Hotel, I highly recommend to anyone spending time in Luxor. The pool area was a horticultural marvel.

If you return to Cairo for a little quality time at the Giza pyramid complex, you really should stay at the Mena House, the closest to the pyramids, literally across the street. Request the Palace building, the historic part of the hotel which will blow you away with all its Arab splendor. If you want to go out at night, you can just order a taxi to take you downtown. The Hilton downtown, where we went for drinks, was beautiful, but in a Western way we've all seen before. Mena House is Eastern opulence.

http://static.flickr.com/55/127245762_956b700ced_o.png

http://static.flickr.com/56/127245761_8d7e8fe8e0_o.png

http://static.flickr.com/47/127245760_a63e9127bd_o.png

wired38
April 20th, 2006, 05:54 AM
oh man, i've been dying to be in a cruise too!:) well, THE MUMMIES kinda inspired me:D

egypt06
August 31st, 2006, 01:15 PM
Hi All,

I was surfing the web and came across your string -- My wife and I are going on the A&K Egyptian excursion in two weeks and traveling on the Sunboat 04 -- I found all of the emails helpful.

This is our 5th time to Africa with A&K and I am looking forward to experiencing this one as well.

Andy Curgino
Chicago

ABrett
October 25th, 2006, 05:30 PM
have just come across this Forum whilst looking at Nile Cruises. I have wanted to join one for a long time. However, I have had a knee replacement and have limited mobility. I can manage steps and a certain amount of walking.

Has anyone any advice as to whether a trip to Egypt would be suitable?

Your comments would be appreciated.