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Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

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Wales
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Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

Can anybody advise me on the best way to pre-book tickets for the overnight train Cairo to Luxor? Is there a trust-worthy website to do it through? I don't want to just turn up on the day and hope there are tickets!

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1. Re: Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

There are web sites but I’ve never used them. You can buy the tickets from local Cairo travel agents or directly at Ramses or Giza stations. If you do it a day or two in advance, there shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve done the trip (both ways) and it was OK but some say things have gone downhill a bit. Flying is quicker, easier and often cheaper. The EgyptAir web site is easy to use and very reliable.

Edited: 13 November 2011, 14:11
2. Re: Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

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Wales
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3. Re: Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

Thank you for your prompt reply! I had considered flying down but we kind of fancied the excitement of the overnight train plus saving the cost of one night in a hotel. You say you had heard it had gone down a bit.what do you mean? I know it won't be luxury but. We don't mind roughing it a bit....

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4. Re: Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

It’s not a matter of “roughing it”; the train was perfectly alright. It departed and arrived on time. The toilets were OK. The food wasn’t bad at all for railway fare and was as good as what I got on EgyptAir. (They probably have the same caterers.)

But this was a couple of years ago. Since then, I’ve heard of strikes, various delays and been told by a few tourists (in one case, a few Australian girls on a world tour) that the toilets were unbearable. I have no idea of whether these tales were an exaggeration, one-off incidents or an indication of a decline in standards.

Flying is still quicker, often cheaper and etickets are simplicity itself. But, if you want the experience, you won’t regret the train. You won’t see a lot at night but it is fun to say you did it. You will also save a hotel fee but, given some of the current on-line deals, it may not be much. If you want tickets, I would just take a taxi to Ramses Station a day or two before and buy them on site. It’s very easy.

Edited: 13 November 2011, 18:16
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5. Re: Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

I just took the train in on November 2nd from Aswan, it left on time and arrived on time in Cairo. I enjoyed the trip and managed to sleep a lot.

The toilets were clean when we left Aswan and bearable the next morning, no worse than airline/bus toilets after 12 hours of use.

This was my first time on the train since the new management took over, the food has not improved since, it was very ordinary - so bring snacks.

Quainton, United...
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6. Re: Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

www.sleepingtrains.com is the OLD site from the previous operating company - I've no idea who is still paying their webhosting fees!

The new company is Watania, www.wataniasleepingtrains.com

There are two ways to pre-book the sleeper train between Cairo, Luxor & Aswan. The easiest way is to contact a travel agency such as www.osoris.com, www.egyptiants.net, www.safariegypt.com, www.paradisetravelegypt.com and (in Luxor) www.sunrisetours-eg.com, see the section above. You'll pay a fee for their services, but at least you usually get a reply!

The other way, which avoids a fee but may take more persistence, is to book direct with Watania, by phone, fax or email. Times & fares are on the sleeper train website, www.wataniasleepingtrains.com. Fax your request to + 202 37 489 680 quoting your email address or phone their reservation office on + 202 37 489 488.

They will email you a booking reference and you can pick up the tickets and pay for them (in US Dollars or euros) at the sleeper reservation office at Cairo station. You must collect them at least 24 hours before departure. If you cannot pick up tickets at least 24 hours in advance, then book through a travel agency as recommended above, paying a booking fee.

Quainton, United...
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7. Re: Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

I should add Watania's email is info@wataniasleepingtrains.com

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8. Re: Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

I also sent Watania an email yesterday to book my tickets to Luxor. They responded within a few hours, but told me to pick up the tickets in their office in Gaza Street (near the Sheraton Cairo hotel) instead of the train station. Has anyway else visited their office or did you all go the Giza train station?

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9. Re: Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

Ramses is the central rail station and not far from the Sheraton. I bought my ticket there the day before I wanted to travel. I paid in a combination of dollars and Egyptian Pounds. However, for reasons which still elude me, I had to catch the train from the Giza station. Unfortunately, it sounds as if things are even more bureaucratic than they were. Glad I flew the last couple of times.

10. Re: Overnight train - Cairo to Luxor

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Removed on: 15 November 2012, 10:27