Egypt Now

Written by  Denise Mattia

Africa Egypt
Few countries in the world have a rich artistic and cultural history that has lasted for millennia like Egypt. Nearly 4,000 years ago trade with other countries opened up to the outside world and the trend continued through a steady cycle of growth. Eventually tourism replaced trade and the public’s attraction to visit the fabulous Egyptian monuments, to luxuriate in opulent palaces, to sail down the Nile on a five-star ship and to be treated like royalty has never waned. Interviews with tour operators specializing in the country indicate that Egypt is not only safe but affordable. Egypt is now.

When it comes to planning a visit to Egypt, tour operators and destination management companies provide packages at the best prices, not only for accommodations, but also for other components such as airport transfers, internal air, personal guides and drivers, monument sightseeing, dining, Nile cruises and lectures from celebrity Egyptologists.
Stefanie Schmudde, Abercrombie & Kent product manager for the Middle East reported that the company has designed a new itinerary that showcases the highlights of Egypt for $2,495 ppdo with no single supplement. Internal air is $355. Offering the same standard of service A&K is known for, “Essential Egypt: The Pyramids and a Nile River Cruise” offers exceptional value for a limited small group of no more than 24 guests and includes expert Egyptologist guides at the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. Also included are the temples along the Nile on a three-night cruise from Aswan to Luxor aboard the award-winning Sun Boat IV, where guests can get a taste of local cuisine during an Egyptian cooking lesson. Solo travelers save up to $595 with no single supplement on select cabin categories.
Travel agents receive a 10% commission for booking tours with A&K.
“For more than 38 years, Insight Vacations has been designing the world’s finest escorted travel itineraries,” said John Boulding, CEO. All Insight itineraries are expertly designed for smaller groups with a maximum of 40 guests. Each tour includes the services of an experienced tour director who acts as a ‘traveling concierge,’ and provides a unique look into the history and culture of each site,” he said. “Authentic flavors are celebrated through Insight Vacations’ Signature Dining.”
With the Luxury Gold Insight Vacations to Egypt, guests stay at the finest hotels, dine on the epicurean regional cuisine at featured Michelin-starred restaurants and enjoy an unmatched collection of once-in-a-lifetime experiences and sightseeing. Prices for an eight-day “Elegance of Egypt” tour start from $2,850, the 11-day “Elegance of the Pharos” tour starts from $3,850 and the 13-day “Elegance of the Nile” tour start from $4,725. All three Luxury Gold itineraries include a cruise from Luxor to Aswan along the Nile River aboard the elegant 82-passenger River Tosca cruise ship, “which is operated by a sister brand Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection,” he added. In March 2017, guests will enjoy their stay aboard the new S.S. Joie de Vivre.
Insight Vacations charges a supplement for solo travelers. Prices vary according to cabins and internal air and taxes. Insight Vacations pays a minimum of 10% commission on land and 5% on air (unless there’s a special air promotion).
Gianni Miradoli, CEO of Central Holidays, a division of Sakkara Group International (an Egyptian company) offers private services to their clients. “[Our] tours ensure excellent quality of service and accommodations,” he said, “and we ensure the security and the safety of our clients by having security staff in all our vehicles as well as with every type of sightseeing and excursion during the client’s stay in Egypt.”
The most popular tour according to Miradoli is the “Nubian Treasures” tour, which features three nights in Cairo, four nights on a Nile Cruise and three nights on a Lake Nasser Cruise up to Abu Simbel. He added, “All our boats are 5-star vessels,” and depending on the departure date the Nubian Treasures tour is priced from $1,695 plus air. “We select all our guides at each major touristic location (Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Alexandria, etc.), and offer lectures or meetings with expert professors in Egyptology as well.” Central Holidays shares commissions with other travel agents booking Egypt packages through them.
Flying to Egypt is easier than ever before. Egypt Air, Lufthansa, British Airways and Delta Airlines, the largest carriers servicing Cairo, fly nonstop from New York.

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