There probably aren't enough superlatives in the English language to describe Egypt as a destination. A "wannabe" archaeologist's dream, it is a country that fulfills all your travel fantasies -- exotic, historic, cultured, mysterious and marvelous all at the same time. People are friendly, prices are generally low and your photographs and tales of adventures will make all your friends green with envy.
Arza World Travel (tel. 888/811-2812; www.arzaworld.com) has a nine-day "Best of Egypt" package that features Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Edfu plus a five-day deluxe Nile cruise. Included in the $1,845 base price are round-trip flights from New York to Cairo (additional gateway cities are available upon request), seven-nights deluxe accommodation (three-nights at the Sheraton, Cairo and four-nights on the Oberoi Shahrayar Cruise), all transfers,16 meals (seven breakfasts, five lunches and four dinners) sightseeing in modern air conditioned motor coach, services of an English-speaking guide and entrance fees. The price is valid for May, June and July 2006, with higher prices for Sunday departures once to twice per month during the rest of 2006.
Gate One Travel (tel. 800/682-3333; www.gate1travel.com) has a slightly shorter eight-day "Egypt Super Saver" tour that includes a three-day Nile River cruise priced from $1419 per person based on dual occupancy. Highlights of the trip are visits to Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Edfu, Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. The package includes roundtrip flights from New York to Cairo, intra-Egypt flights, six-nights deluxe accommodation (three-nights each at the Sheraton Royal Garden in Cairo and the Ramses King of the Nile cruise), transfers, 12 meals (six breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners), sightseeing per itinerary, services of an English-speaking Egyptologist guide on the Nile Cruise, shore excursions and entrance fees. The price is valid for a November 22, 2005 departures. Add $70 for departures on May 9 and 23, August 29, September 12 and 26, 2006; and $80 for departures on November 8 and December 6, 2005, February 7, March 7 and 21, 2006. Other departures dates are available throughout the year. Taxes are additional.
All Seasons Tours (tel. 866/ALL-TOURS; www.goegypt.net) provides a wide selection of tour options, from seven-night "Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh" tours to a 14-night "Treasures of Egypt" package. Their "Classic Egypt" tour includes round-trip airfares from New York to Cairo, 11-nights accommodation, an overnight train journey, sightseeing at Giza, Old Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and various other locations, admission to the Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Temples of Karnak and Luxor, the Egyptian Museum, the Colossi of Memnon and the Valley of the Kings, deluxe air-conditioned car/coach, a multilingual escort and 28 meals (ten breakfasts, nine lunches and nine dinners). This trip is priced from $1,975 based on dual occupancy in three-star hotels.
The seven-day "Highlights of Egypt" tour is currently on special with rates starting as low as $999 per person plus taxes subject to availability (the regular prices is $1,425). It includes five-nights accommodation, overnight train, sightseeing in Giza, Old Cairo and Luxor, admission to the Pyramids, the Sphinx, temples of Karnak and Luxor, the Egyptian Museum, the Colossi of Memnon and Valley of the Kings, deluxe air-conditioned car/coach, multilingual escort, local tour guide and half board accommodation in Cairo and Luxor. Departures daily with an airfare supplement of $300 during the months summer (June, July and August) and the Christmas period (December 10 to 31). An Egyptian visa and departure tax are additional.
Friendly Planet (tel. 800/555-5765; www.friendlyplanet.com) is a constant and reliable source of affordable international adventures to exotic destinations. Their eight-day "Pyramid Express" trip is currently priced from $999 per person based on dual occupancy, a saving of $200 per person if you book by October 31, 2005. The tour, departing on November 29 or December 6, 2005 includes round-trip flights from New York to Cairo on Egypt Air, arrival and departure transfers, deluxe five-star hotel accommodation at the Cairo Sheraton Hotel and Towers overlooking the Nile, buffet breakfasts daily, tours of the Pyramids at Giza, the Sphinx, Old Cairo and the Egyptian Museum. Add on an optional touring program to Alexandria or three-days at the Lost City of Petra in Jordan for $599. Other departure dates between October 2005 and May 2006 are available for additional cost. Egyptian visa costs plus taxes are additional.
On The Go Tours (tel. + 011 044 020/7371-1113; www.onthegotours.com) currently has ten group tours that either take you solely around Egypt, or Egypt in combination with other Middle Eastern destinations. All are land-only prices so international airfares are additional. Their 13-day "King Ramses" tour starts and finishes in Cairo. It includes visits to Giza, Saqqara, Aswan, Luxor, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Aswan and three days in Dahab on the Red Sea to relax on the beach. Airport transfers, an overnight train ride, another night aboard a traditional Egyptian Felucca boat along the Nile, 10-nights accommodation in three to five-star hotels, daily breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners are also part of the package price. The tour is priced at $779 per person dual occupancy for departures throughout the year. An add-on trip to Abu Simbel is available for $215. Entrance fees to sites are additional.
The 13-day "Dunes and Tombs" tour offers something a little different from the regular tours of classical Egypt. Departing from Cairo every Saturday, the tour is an adventure in four-wheel-drive vehicles which includes airport transfers, eight-nights accommodation in two to five-star hotels, two overnight bus trips and two nights camping in the desert, seven breakfast, four lunches and three dinners. Visit Giza, Saqqara, Bahariyya Oasis, the White Desert, Dakhla Oasis, Kharga Oasis, Luxor and Dahab. The tour is priced at $879 per person dual occupancy for departures throughout the year. Entrance fees to sites are additional
Airfares to Egypt are generally lower in November and December, however January marks the beginning of the peak travel season so airfares generally increase. Travelocity (www.travelocity.com) has a few low-priced advance-purchase options for round-trip flights from New York via European cities like London, Frankfurt or Amsterdam currently ranging from around $550 to $850 plus taxes. Airfare Planet (tel. 888/204-8869; www.airfareplanet.com) currently has midweek special fares in October and November starting at $632 plus taxes via Paris on Air France.
For more information about traveling in Egypt visit www.frommers.com/destinations/egypt.