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Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

Canada
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Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

I'm in the planning stages of a trip to Egypt in possibly March 2011. While I have done various methods of solo traveling before including the backpacker way, wandering on own while staying at a hotel way, and joining tour groups. While I know there are viewpoints on both sides of the debate over safety for solo women traveling in Egypt on this site, I think I would like to play it extra safe and take an organized tour. If I'm going to go ahead and pay for a tour, I'd also like it to be comfortable. Thus, I'd like to avoid taking the train because of the 'smelly conditions' I've read about and a couple of posters on here have mentioned it may be unsafe for women traveling alone. But it seems that most tour companies include the train on their itineraries except for Gate1. Gate1 is already sold out of the dates for 2011 I would want and they have a hefty single supplement.

Are there any companies besides Gate1 that does a tour of Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan with flights instead of trains and is comparable in price to Gate1? I have looked at tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294201-c85399/Cairo:… and found that most companies don't post prices, so that's why I'm turning to help here.

I've also looked into GAP,Geckos, and Intrepid but they all require taking the train of course.

Thanks in advance.

Edited: 20 December 2010, 11:00
Alexandria, Egypt
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1. Re: Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

FIRST of all i wanna mention the point u said about safe woman , is it safe to go at night in USA for a safe woman ? in fact in egypt i guess it is safer than you and i never heard anything that happen unusual to foreigner solo woman , everything happen it is the same that can happen in your country or in europe or in Gulf , Egypt is so safe . about the train issue come on dont believe everything u heard about them , we have different types of train and the one you will use for travelling does not include smell or anything bad because you will use the expensive one includes a sleeping room during your trip to luxor or aswan , so it is good or you even can get a plan it is faster only 1 hour from cairo to luxor , train take almost 18 hours , u can lg into www.egyptair.com and check the rates of the plane and the timing and even reserve a ticket , anyway i will be very glad to give u any advices concerning your trip

Scotland, United...
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for Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
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2. Re: Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

We're UK based and tend to use one company for flights/hotels & transfers so as to get the ABTA/ATOL cover available in this country. We then organise local tours on arrival.

The companies offer various tours etc., but many will quite happily organise a one-off for us if we want a 16 day holiday or whatever.

Can any of the companies you are considering offer the same service? Tell them what YOU want and make THEM work for their money

My wife has frequently stated she feels much safer wandering the back streets of Luxor than she would in most UK cities, so my advice would be not to obsess about safety to the detriment of enjoyment or curtailing what you might see.

Stockholm, Sweden
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3. Re: Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

Agree with eLaRef about safety in Egypt. I also feel safer in Egypt than many other European and American cities.

As for the tour operators there are many companies that customize a tour based on your request. Get in contact with as many as you can and choose the one that suits your budget.

Here is a list of recommended operators:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294201-c85399/Cairo:…

CHEERS

london
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4. Re: Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

I have not travelled as a solo female in Egypt but I would not hesitate to do so. Safety is not an issue IMO. I have actually looked up the statistics and you are many times less likely to be the victim of physical assault in Egypt than in New Zealand - which is generally thought of as very safe - let alone the US. Tourists are restricted to particular trains and there will be a guard and a tourist policeman on the train. You will of course dress sensibly. If you are on some kind of tour I suppose the company rep will see you onto the train and hand your care over to the guard. You could probably ask him to ensure you were in a compartment next to other tourists or females. I'd tip the guard maybe 20 LE.

Niagara Falls...
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5. Re: Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

I am assuming the people here offering thier opinions on the safety conditions for female travelers in Egypt or on certain modes of transportation, such as the trains etc.. are of course destinations experts who perhaps have visited the country a number of times & have adjusted to the way of life there, hence feel comfortable. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

As a first time visitor to Egypt, and train traveler in the country, I have to be honest to my fellow females & say be cautious, always have your wits about you if you plan to travel solo. I was traveling with an arab man who kept most of the harrassment at bay, but the second he left my side, I was the subject of a series of harrassing sexual comment made by men, pictures & staring. Something I've never been subjected to in my own country. You say your an experinced backpacker & I'm not sure where you have traveled to prior, but maybe Egypt will be nothing new for you.

If your a strong willed woman, who does'nt take anything personally & are not afraid to stand up for yourself, you have nothing to sweat:)

Myself on the other hand, perhaps I'm far too sensitive.

Edited: 21 December 2010, 16:22
Scotland, United...
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for Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
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6. Re: Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

Barjil

3 out of the 4 persons answering before you had 'Destination Expert' after their names. If you look at my TRAVEL map (click on my name and look for travel map on the left of the new page) you can see where I have been in the world.

A lot of those have been the, shall we say, "less civilised", areas, so you may be correct in some measure.

.

But my wife tends to the 'sensitve' side of humanity, so if she feels OK, I reckon it is OK.

You can get harrassment ANYWHERE in the world, including all our own home countries, wherever they may be.

.

I am in NO WAY suggesting you were dressed inappropriately, but Muslim countries tend to be harder on women if they are not 'respectfully dressed'. If a female tourist walks down Luxor's souk dressed for Sharm, I am sure there will be comments from the younger traders. I know some of the (older?) women unfortunately enjoy that banter.

You are no way obliged to put up with it. There are many tourist police in Luxor, including some female ones. If more people reported males for harassment, I would hope it would be dealt with in some fashion by them.

Edited: 21 December 2010, 17:02
Canada
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7. Re: Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

Barjil, I would be upset if that happened to me as well. Hence, why I think I would like a tour group.

I'm sure the level of violence towards tourists is actually slim, but it's the "uncomfortable" situations like what barjil described that I'd like to avoid.

I would have signed up for Gate1 because it's reasonably priced and they fly instead of taking the train but none of their departure dates are going to work for me this year or next year. And the 'adventure' style tours that are within the same price range like GAP, Geckos,Intrepid, and Topdeck are a little too adventurous for me. I might fall within their target age demographic, but I'm not a "sleep under the stars" kind of girl.

So I haven't figured out what I'm doing yet. I might end up booking flights, hotels, arranging transfers w/ hotels and then arranging day sightseeing tours with the hotel's recommendations. I assume that hotels in Cairo & Luxor have reputable tour companies that they work with to set up day tours. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks everyone for the responses. I'll pursue the other tour operators and see if they can beat what arrangements I can put together myself per a couple of people's recommendations.

Philadelphia
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8. Re: Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

Contact Bella Vista Tours in Boston, & speak with April Bargout. She arranged my Egypt trip & did a great job. All internal travel was by EgyptAir & everything went well.

Scotland, United...
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for Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
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9. Re: Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

Echo2006

"i assume that hotels in Cairo & Luxor have reputable tour companies that they work with "

Not necessarily.

.

The Mena House at Giza has one just off reception, yes and we used them to set up a Saqqara trip for us.

I haven't been conscious of any in Luxor, like that, but since there are 5 or so based in the area in front of the OWP there, it has not been a problem for us staying in the Pavillon. It was our standard practice to visit them all, see what they wanted to charge & choose one, then haggle, all the while threatening to go 'next door'

Have a look at the red boxes at the bottom of this map www.luxortraveltips.com/maps/centralluxor.htm to see their locations and also the South map, as well as reading the rest of the site.

10. Re: Egypt Tour that does not use the train?

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