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  #1  
Old December 5th, 2012, 08:21 PM
archie401 archie401 is offline
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Default Nile River cruises for 2013

Anything can happen in Egypt in 2013 or anytime, but we're planning a trip there, pending developments, for December 2013.

Has anyone taken the ss Sudan for the Nile Cruise? It has a remarkable history from the Golden Age of Travel, and it looks perfect for us.

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old December 5th, 2012, 09:16 PM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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With all due respect, you need to reconsider going to Egypt. Have you studied the political situation there?
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  #3  
Old December 6th, 2012, 12:26 AM
cb222 cb222 is offline
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That is a trip we woud NOT dream of doing any time in the near future.
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  #4  
Old December 6th, 2012, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4774Papa View Post
With all due respect, you need to reconsider going to Egypt. Have you studied the political situation there?
I agree wtih Papa. I've been all over the world and Egypt and Jordan was one of my favorite trips but I would seriously reconsider going there now. I can't imagine anyone being able to go to the Egyptian museum with all that's going on in Tahrir Square right now and if you cannot go to the museum you will miss so much. There are so many variables to consider like flights in and especially OUT of the country if things take a serious turn for the worse, which could happen at any time, as well as very strong anti-American feelings which could make it very uncomfortable when out in public. One of the most wonderful places we visited was Old Cairo with it's Hanging Church, which is not to be missed, but I would be very afraid to go there as an American and a Christian right now. It's such a shame because Egypt was such a beautiful country and the people were so nice to us but there is no way I would go there now.
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  #5  
Old December 9th, 2012, 12:50 PM
archie401 archie401 is offline
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I agree wtih Papa. I've been all over the world and Egypt and Jordan was one of my favorite trips but I would seriously reconsider going there now. I can't imagine anyone being able to go to the Egyptian museum with all that's going on in Tahrir Square right now and if you cannot go to the museum you will miss so much. There are so many variables to consider like flights in and especially OUT of the country if things take a serious turn for the worse, which could happen at any time, as well as very strong anti-American feelings which could make it very uncomfortable when out in public. One of the most wonderful places we visited was Old Cairo with it's Hanging Church, which is not to be missed, but I would be very afraid to go there as an American and a Christian right now. It's such a shame because Egypt was such a beautiful country and the people were so nice to us but there is no way I would go there now.
Thank you all for your comments. They show concern, which I appreciate.

Yes, no one should deliberately put oneself in harm's way when contemplating travel, especially to a troubled region. I, like many of you, have traveled quite a bit, but I have also been concerned about this trip to Egypt. I am very in touch with what is happening there and will cancel my plans if things get too dicey. However, the U.S. State Department has yet to issue a travel advisory warning, and the many recent reviews on Trip Advisor have been encouraging. Frankly, I am more worried about not seeing the Egyptian Museum in Cairo than my personal safety. Egypt has a tremendous infrastructure for securing tourists as tourism is so vital to their economy. Would that New York City, prior to 9/11, or that theater in Aurora, Colorado or any other place--Paris, London, etc.,--places we would ordinarily think much safer to be in than Egypt, had better security measures than Egypt currently has.

My trip is not until December 2013, so anything can happen between now and then. I hope to make this trip and to writing a favorable report to you all afterwards.

Thanks again.
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  #6  
Old December 9th, 2012, 11:29 PM
abredt abredt is offline
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Did you get Cancel-for-Any-Reason trip insurance?

cb
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  #7  
Old December 11th, 2012, 08:06 PM
archie401 archie401 is offline
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I have made only a 25% refundable deposit but certainly will insure all other moneys.
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  #8  
Old December 11th, 2012, 08:43 PM
npphotog npphotog is offline
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Want to go to Egypt but toooooooo scarey for me right now. Willard
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  #9  
Old December 12th, 2012, 10:49 AM
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Douglas: I sincerely hope you make it to Egypt and I look forward to hearing about your trip...BUT if Egyptian Museum is that important to you I would stay in touch withtheir web site due to its proximity to Tahrir Square. Actually I googled museum before we left, explored all the exhibits on line and made a list of exhibits I would die if I missed and their locations...DH went with tour guide and I went alone. I'm sure I missed some important things but I got to see what I was most interested in. My concern would be that museum would close because of damage suffered during initial uprising or have seriously curtailed hours. We had an armed guard with us at all times and I would imagineyou will too. Tourism is vital to their economy. Go with an established American based company...this is NOT the time or place to travel on a shoestring! Good luck!
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  #10  
Old December 12th, 2012, 01:19 PM
midcolumbian midcolumbian is offline
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We spent a week in Egypt over Thanksgiving (Viking River--highly recommended). We had a great tour director and we had a great time. Everything went exactly according to the tour plan, except better than we expected. We stayed at the Intercontintental in Cairo, which is between Tahrir Square and the Nile. The demonstrations in Tahrir, at least while we were there, weren't big enough to effect the hotel or close the Cairo Museum. We walked thru Tahrir (we're obviously north European or American), and didn't get any attention from the demonstrators. The issues are internal to Egypt and the economy looms large, so there wasn't any hostility. I was "attacked" by a group of about 15 high school girls at the Museum (all decked out in their beautiful scarves). They just wanted to ask a few questions, try out their English, and tell me how glad they were that I was visiting Egypt. They giggled, and I turned red. It's been a long time since I got any attention from high school girls.

Our cruise was from Aswan to Luxor. No sign of trouble anywhere except there were gas lines at service stations (which didn't effect us directly). Wonderful cruise, wonderful people, wonderful food but they're really hurting for business. Still, they're were some crowds of Europeans at the sites.

The real issues in Egypt are the dangerous roads and the somewhat out of control, high pressure, vending. Try to limit your road travel and don't make eye contact with the vendors unless you mean business.
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  #11  
Old December 12th, 2012, 08:42 PM
archie401 archie401 is offline
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Thank you Hydrokitty and Midcolumbian! I really appreciate those encouraging reports. I had hoped that the Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza, at one time scheduled for opening late this year but now delayed, would be open by late 2013 at least. It will have a huge portion of the Tut artefacts from the Egyptian Museum and presumably be less risky.

I am not doing this on a "shoe string" as you warned, but I am using Memphis Tours in Egypt. They have a fabulous reputation and have been doing just this since 1955, surviving many episodes of unrest. I worried that some of the well-known companies in America would either cancel their Egyptan offerings due to decline in interest among Americans to travel to Egypt or would not have the infrastructure and experience that Memphis Tours has demonstrated through the years, as reported in Trip Advisor.

We will have a car, driver and interpreter throughout and are staying at Giza while in the Cairo area, followed by internal flights and a cruise, hopefully on the Sudan. I will continue to watch this situation carefully, but I think tourism is going to see a big resurgance in a couple of years, and this makes it a wonderful time to go later this year and beat the crowds.

Thanks again!
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  #12  
Old December 13th, 2012, 06:32 PM
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I envy you Douglas...going when the crowds aren't there. WE had booked a 3-week vacation in Egypt when the original unrest started and our Gov't said "no travel" and we had to cancel. My husband would never book a trip there now with this unrest so we have to wait. It is at the top of my bucket list....not his lol. I have always been facinated with Egyptian history and was so disappointed when we had to cancel. We had booked it over a year before and were cruising, touring, and then meeting friends from Britain in Sharm-El-Sheik so I was very sad not to be able to go. I hope everything settles down soon....I feel bad for them with the way tourism has dropped off as I know they depend on that to survive. They must be hurting so much now!
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  #13  
Old December 14th, 2012, 10:09 PM
Rxgrad98 Rxgrad98 is offline
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Douglas, I admire your attitude and approach. I just canceled our ocean cruise for next November that spent a night in Alexandria because everyone else in our group was afraid to go. Hopefully one day I will get to at least see the pyramids. I hope everything works out for your trip and its the "trip of a lifetime." Good luck and safe travels.

Tim
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  #14  
Old December 15th, 2012, 08:41 AM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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I lived in Saudi Arabia from 1981 to 85 and visited Egypt twice. The second time December 85 soon after the Achille lauro incident. This was before the terror attack on German and Swiss tourists at the tomb of Queen Hatshepsut in 1997.

http://www.specialoperations.com/Ima...2/achille.html

http://seafari.pl/en/tourism/141-ter...-of-hatshepsut

While working in Riyadh, I got to know several Egyptians. I learned that Saudi Arabia hired most of its public school teachers from Egypt. Most tended to be Muslim Brotherhood types that worked well in the conservative Wahabbi Islamic state.

Most Muslims have no desire to commit acts of terror, but unfortunately there are millions of Muslims that will do so or support those who will.

Events in the Middle East and North Africa continue to shape what groups run the governments of this area. The Muslim Brotherhood is currently in charge of the Egyptian government. The MB created HAMAS, which is not in charge of Gaza and continues to foment terror against Israel. However, the MB is not the most extreme group. Salafists won about 20 percent of the vote in the last election in Egypt and they support al qaeda and terror.

The security situation in Egypt when I visited in 1983 and 85 was fairly good, but still there was some risk to visiting Egypt. My Egyptian friends warned me about going places by myself, not on tour.

For example, on my first visit to Cairo in 83, I secured a taxi at the airport to take me to the Ramases Hilton. On exiting the airport, we had to stop at a security checkpoint and a policeman asked to see my passport and my destination. He took down that information as well as the name of the taxi driver and tag number. I wondered why this was necessary. On returning to Riyadh and questioning my Egyptian friends, they explained that taxi drivers were talking tourist to the desert, stealing their valuables and sometimes raping the women, or just leaving people to die in the desert.
I suspect that this problem is still a concern, perhaps more so today. I would not recommend touring alone with a taxi, but if you do, make sure someone at the hotel knows the taxi driver's name, etc.

Next, traffic in Egypt, especially Cairo is probably the most dangerous place that I have ever seen in the World and I have been to 55 countries. People drive like maniacs. There are few street lights and drivers honk their horns when the arrive at an intersection. Who honks first has the right of way. Egyptian men drive like they are trying to prove their mascilinity and that is very agressive driving.

It is safer to tour in a bus of some kind, so if you are in an accident, you have more protection.

Last, but not least, the country is still coming out from under a poiice state that had some control over subversive groups. Now one of those groups runs the country and others are back in business, especially since many of the jails were empied of some of the worst terrorists.

Since Mubarak was overthrown, attacks on Coptic Christian churches have been a huge problem. The police are not protecting the Christians as they should.
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/10...on-christians/
Sure, the government must know that a safe environment is necessary to keep tourists spending their money in Egypt, but the security environment is much looser than before. There are groups that could easily decide to go for the new Caliphate
by trying to harm tourism, which could be your bus or you.

I know that cc wiill continue to find posts from people that have successfully visited Egypt. That does not mean it is relatively save to visit. The threat is there.

Egypt has people that have stated that the Pyramids and Sphinx should be destroyed, since they are idols. This is not a majority view, it means that there are some bad dudes in that country.
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Old December 24th, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archie401 View Post
Anything can happen in Egypt in 2013 or anytime, but we're planning a trip there, pending developments, for December 2013.

Has anyone taken the ss Sudan for the Nile Cruise? It has a remarkable history from the Golden Age of Travel, and it looks perfect for us.

Thank you!
Hi Archie401
We are due to go on a Nile cruise in just over a week's time, I will let you know how it all went when we get back. We are travelling to Luxor and from there sailing up to Aswan.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 05:52 PM
archie401 archie401 is offline
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Thank you, 4774Papa, for that excellent report. We are going to continue to watch the situation closely and will not make a decision on this until much later in the year. Travel anywhere involves some risk, doesn't it? Naturally one shouldn't deliberately put oneself in a risky situation, and we won't go if things don't settle down there.

Walkiria, I am anxious to hear how your trip went. Please post when you get a chance.
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  #17  
Old January 12th, 2013, 01:07 AM
franski franski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkiria View Post
Hi Archie401
We are due to go on a Nile cruise in just over a week's time, I will let you know how it all went when we get back. We are travelling to Luxor and from there sailing up to Aswan.
I would be very interested in knowing how things went. My DD is planning on visiting Egypt over Easter (against the wishes of her worried Mother!!) and I want to know if I should step up my objections, or say a prayer and back off!!

Fran
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  #18  
Old January 12th, 2013, 08:02 AM
beachtango beachtango is offline
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Default Our recent experience - nothing scary in Egypt

My husband and I cruised from Istanbul to Luxor in November and then spent four awe-filled days touring from Luxor to Cairo and Memphis. We left Cairo, where we stayed at the Intercontinental Semiramis on Tahrir Square, four days before Morsi's power grab. We witnessed a number of demonstrations while we were there and have continued to stay in touch with our Egyptologist, Mohamed Shehata Ali. The demonstrations we saw were all very well circumscribed with life continuing on normally around their margins.

Our experience in Egypt was excellent in every way. Cairo is a frenetic, even chaotic, city but we believe it is a great place to visit. Egyptians in Luxor, Cairo and Alexandria were very friendly and outgoing. You will encounter many groups of schoolchildren at the sites and the kids are anxious to meet you and practice their English. Egypt's fall weather and fresh food are delightful with fruits and vegetables that really outshine what we have in Florida.

Your guide is key to the quality of your experience: Mohamed helped us understand the nuances of the political situation, had strategies for reducing traffic bottlenecks and line-waiting, taught us how to deal with annoying vendors, and monitored our comfort. (For some reason we had an accompanying armed guard in Alexandria and Luxor but there was no apparent threat and we had no guard during our Cairo visit.)

If you are interested, here is a slideshow of photos from our trip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4JklywHFec

Hope you follow your adventurous heart to Egypt!
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  #19  
Old January 12th, 2013, 01:31 PM
franski franski is offline
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The demonstrations we saw were all very well circumscribed with life continuing on normally around their margins
It is the demonstration in early December that worries me... 7 dead, and 700 injured. This is just one month ago.

The Government of Canada website re: foreign travel is very explicit in describing the areas that are considered the riskiest for people travelling in Egypt - so am hoping to hear from someone who has travelled there since that deadly demonstration occured.

Fran

Last edited by franski; January 12th, 2013 at 01:32 PM.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 06:18 PM
archie401 archie401 is offline
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Thank you, Beachtango. I enjoyed your slide show very much!
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