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what's your opinion

Istanbul, Turkey
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what's your opinion

My husband, me, our son (9years old) and girl ( 7 years old ) have bought our tickets for Egypt for november 2010. My final plan is 2 days at Cairo, go to Aswan with the sleepers train and take a 3 nights Nile cruise to Luxor and from Luxor return back to Cairo with sleepers train again. Than we have a 1 more night and 2 more days at Cairo as our flight back is on the evening.

I have made a lot of readings about the Nile Cruise. For some, it is a lifetime experience, however, on the other hand for the rest it is not such joyfull. It feels like a rush, get of the ship and then return for lunch, then get off again and return back in such a hurry for sailing time. As Aswan and Luxor is not too far from each other, can the Nile Valley also be visited by a private guided van, having some overnight stops at certain sights. So that we can have an idea/touch of the inland have by having a felucca ride around the islands we can have a Nile experience as well.

If so, can anybody share their experience and suggest places for overnight stops, or should we just go for a 5* cruise ship. Thank you for all of you taking the time to share comments. Loves from Turkey

Canberra, Australia
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1. Re: what's your opinion

I notice nobody has responded yet, so here goes. I'm not an expert, but I have visited the area recently.

There are hundreds (really!) of cruise ships doing the Aswan-Luxor cruise & all are quite similar in external appearance (dimensions dictated by the locks on the river). Lots of choice. We were on a Movenpick boat and it was pretty good, and spoke to others who had similar good experiences with other companies. We did it in Feb this year. The only down side is that the places they stop are very busy with other cruise boat tourists. The upsides are that the cabins were comfortable, the staff very competent (not as common in Egypt as I'd hoped) the food was plentiful with enough variety to satisfy everyone and the air conditioning was effective - it was above 40 degrees outside at times.

The overnight sleeper train from Aswan-Cairo was very bad. Not a smooth ride at all and very broken sleep (a lot of vibration in our carriage, felt like a badly aligned shopping trolley!) and the toilets were really bad by morning. Food was basic - take your own. I would strongly recommend a plane if you can afford it.

As for private guided van - this may offer more flexibility on timing to avoid peak crowds around Luxor/Aswan, but there may be other challenges depending on where you plan to go - north of Luxor (between Giza & Luxor) our small group travelled in a bus with a large tourism police escort (1 squad in front, 1 squad behind and an armed guard on the bus). Similarly you must travel in the convoy to Abu Simbel from Aswan if going by road.

Zeeuws Vlaanderen
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2. Re: what's your opinion

The cruise boats have only two stops between Aswan and Luxor: Kom Ombo and Edfu. All the other sites of the cruise itineraries are in either Aswan or Luxor.

We travelled by minibus, and stopped at both sites. That way we had one extra day in Luxor.

It is also possible to sail by felucco from Aswan to Kom Ombo. That way you spend one night on the Nile.

Destination Expert
for Nile River Valley
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3. Re: what's your opinion

Cruises take three or four nights to do a journey which takes three or four hours by road. If you take a private car or minibus with a driver and perhaps a guide, you can stop at all the places you would have visited on a cruise and some others as well which are seldom visisted but well worth while. The standard cruise stops on the route are Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo ( plus of course there are the places you see while moored in Luxor and Aswan). Less visited places along the road are are Tod, El Kab, and Moalla. So you can see, say, two things in each direction and still arrive in Luxor or Aswan, as the case may be, for a late lunch. There is no need for an overnight stop and nowhere you would really want to stay.

It's really a question of whether you think you would like the cruise experience. Most people seem to, but somehow it has never appealed to me.

The cost of a car without a guide would be under LE 500 altogether, not per person.

The best place for a felucca ride is in Aswan where the river is more attractive. There are many boat captains along the river bank and you just have to bargain with one. In fact, a motorboat is much better if you actually want to move around, as the feluccas are very often becalmed.

Istanbul, Turkey
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4. Re: what's your opinion

thank you for your reply, I wasn't aware of the safety precautions on the road trip. If so, we better take the cruise as we have our kids with us. Do every tourist travel with a guarded security and a police escort between Aswan-Luxor or was it just for precautlon of you tour guide, thanks,elif

England, United...
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5. Re: what's your opinion

Egypt takes the safety and security of it's tourists very seriously and as such provides special Tourist Police and armed guards for tourists. They can be clearly seen in the streets, at monuments and are also with convoys and tourist cars travelling between towns. They are also discreetly on the Nile Cruises between certain points.

West Country
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6. Re: what's your opinion

Personally speaking I have never felt rushed on a cruise. Once you get over the early-ish starts you realise that you will in fact spend a large proportion of your time on the boat just watching the world go by and it is for me, the perfect balance between sightseeing and relaxing.

Just be aware that some boats do not accept children under the age of 12 onboard so make sure your boat does (as i am sure you will do/have done)

I am sure you will all have a wonderful time.

7. Re: what's your opinion

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