Experiencing Egypt

Tour operators promote exclusive offers throughout the country

By: By Sarah Zarrabi

Tour operators have expanded their Egyptian tour offerings and specialsWith more travelers choosing Egypt as a vacation destination, tour operators have expanded their Egyptian tour offerings and specials. Travelers can choose from a broad range of tours — they can choose to tour Egypt by city or site, by land or sea, by luxury or economy. Here are some of the latest Egyptian tour offerings that you should share with your clients.

Effective now through June, Foreign Independent Tours is offering a brand-new package — the seven-day Egyptian Kaleidoscope tour. Starting at $1,899 per person, this tour immerses travelers in both Egyptian and Nubian cultures as they spend a week traveling through Cairo, Abu Simbel and Aswan. Travelers will visit the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx in Cairo. They will explore the Great Temples of Ramses II in Abu Simbel, and make excursions to the Nubian Village and Nubian Museum in Aswan. The Egyptian Kaleidoscope tour includes roundtrip airfare from JFK to Cairo, hotel accommodation at the Shepheard Hotel in Cairo and Basma Hotel in Aswan, domestic land and air transportation, and the guide services of an English-speaking Egyptologist.

For travelers seeking to make a quick getaway in the near future, Variety Cruises is now offering a last-minute, two-for-one special on the April 4 departure of its Egyptian Red Sea Wonders cruise. Targeted toward couples, this special allows the second guest in a double cabin to travel for free. Beginning at $1,490 per person, per week, the Red Sea Wonders cruise departs from Sharm El Sheikh to embark on a seven-day tour through Egypt’s Red Sea, Sinai and Jordan. Fare for the Red Sea Wonders special includes upscale cabin accommodations aboard the Harmony G, daily meals, wine and refreshments and English-speaking Cruise Coordinator Services. The two-for-one special is available for a limited number of cabins and cannot be combined with other special offers. Be sure to mention the two-for-one special at the time of booking.

Travelers who are AARP members can take advantage of the nine-day All Glory of Ancient Egypt Nile cruise and tour being offered by General Tours World Traveler. Running from Oct. 10 to 18, this tour is exclusively planned and discounted for agency clients who are members of AARP — indeed, it is priced $400 less than comparable Egyptian tours being offered by this same tour operator. The tour begins in Cairo, where travelers visit the Egyptian Museum and enjoy a private lecture by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. Travelers then visit the Temples of Abu Simbel before boarding a five-star cruiser for a five-day all-inclusive river cruise down the Nile. Priced at $2,999 per person based on double occupancy, the entire nine-day trip will be led by Bob Drumm, the president of General Tours. While airfares from the U.S. to Cairo are not included in the package, General Tours does offer competitively priced airfare from JFK to Cairo aboard EgyptAir. For travelers interested in a more extensive Egyptian tour, General Tours is offering a five-day pre-tour to Jordan for an additional $999 per person.

Homeric Tours is currently promoting its Nile Explorer tour package. Starting at $2,745 per person, based on double occupancy, the 12-day Nile Explorer leads travelers on a whirlwind trip through Cairo, a five-day Lake Nassar cruise that includes excursions to Kalabsha Temple, Wadi El Seboua, Amada, Kasr Ibrim and Abu Simbel and a four-day Nile cruise that includes excursions to Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu and Luxor. The package includes roundtrip airfare from JFK to Cairo, all flights within Egypt, three nights land and seven-night cruise accommodations, daily breakfast, meals on cruise ships, all site entrance and tour fees, an English-speaking escort and all tax and service charges. The Nile Explorer tour departs every Friday from JFK airport in New York.

For travelers interested in an Egyptian tour that is shorter in duration, Ya’lla Tours’ Cairo Stopover package is ideal. Cairo Stopover is a three-night, four-day tour of Cairo during which travelers visit the pyramids and Sphinx on the Giza Plateau, explore Medieval Cairo, the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities and the Khan el Khalili Bazaar, and make short trips to Memphis, Sakkara and Dahshour. The package includes three nights’ hotel accommodations in Cairo with daily breakfast, private transfers, two days of touring in a private air-conditioned van with an English-speaking guide, two lunches and all entrance fees. This offer is valid from April 4 to 20, and May 1 to Sept. 30. Tour rates range depending on the selected class of tour (silver, gold or platinum diamond), occupancy and number of children. Prices start from as low as $595 to as high as $2,435.

Agents should also be aware of Globus’ most popular African vacation — the 12-day Grand Tour of Egypt 2009. Starting at $2,253, this tour will begin in Cairo, then make its way to Memphis, Sakkara and Luxor. Once in Luxor, travelers will board a four-day river cruise down the Nile that showcases the monuments of Karnka, the Valley of Kings and Valley of Queens, Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple and the Temple of Horus. They will disembark at Aswan, where they will spend two days sightseeing the Old Damn and Temple of Isis before returning to Cairo. Airfare from the U.S. to Cairo is not included, and must be purchased separately.

For 2009, Sita World Tours is offering its Pyramids & Palaces tour and cruise through Egypt. This 10-day tour engages travelers in an exploration of Cairo, the Great Pyramids of Giza, Memphis, Sakkara, Luxor and includes a four-night Nile cruise aboard the MS Tu-Ya that features excursions to the Valley of Kings and the Valley of Queens and to various ancient temples in Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo and Aswan. Starting at $2,465 per person based on double occupancy, this land tour includes: full accommodations at deluxe hotels, nine breakfasts, six lunches and five dinners, tour and sightseeing fees, a four-night Nile cruise, dinner and folk show with a belly dancer, a sound an light show at Karnak Temple, English-speaking guides and all internal airfare and transfers.