Nile Dahabiya Explorer
Discover the secrets of Egypt with this 10-day tour. Visit the Great Pyramids in Cairo before heading to the Luxor and Aswan in the Nile Valley and enjoying a luxurious Dahabiya cruise down the Nile. All the main sites in the Nile Valley are visited, including the beautiful island temple of Philae, the fascinating and impressive temples at Abu Simbel, as well as the Pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings.
Special additions to the tour include a sunset camel ride at the pyramids on your first evening, and the Dahabiya itself. This is an amazing chance to travel on one of the Nile’s most exclusive boats at an incredible price. You also enjoy a spectacular sunrise hot air balloon flight above the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor
Accommodation is in 4-star hotels, 1st class overnight sleeper train and 3 nights on the Dahabiya.
Optional extras include sound & light shows, a selection of day tours for the final free day in Cairo on Day 9, and an extension after the tour to the Red Sea at Dahab.
|START DATE (fly out of JFK)||END DATE (arrive back into JFK)||PRICE|
OUT: From New York JFK on Friday at approx. 18.30 arriving in Cairo on Saturday at 11.30 on flight MS 986
RETURN: From Cairo at 09.30 on Sunday arriving in New York JFK at 15.15 on Sunday on flight MS 985.
After you have purchased your Living Social voucher, please contact us as soon as possible and before the 20th August at the latest to redeem your voucher. Vouchers redeemed after this date may be subject to an extra fee.
We will need to know your name exactly as written in your passport and your passport information so that we can book your flight tickets. You can book extra options to go with the tour any time up until 1 week before departure (single room supplements and room upgrades should be booked at least 1 month before departure). Payments for extra options should be made directly to Encounters Travel and not to Living Social.
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|MEALS & ACCOMMODATION:|
Meals - 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners
The accommodation used on this tour is a mix of 4 and 5-star hotels (local ratings), an overnight sleeper train, and a luxury Dahabiya.
|Cairo||Oasis Hotel||4-star. Visit website|
|Aswan to Luxor||Nile Spirit Dahabiya||Visit website|
|Luxor||Steigenberger Nile Palace||5-star. Visit website|
|Day 1: Fri||Fly to Egypt from New York.|
|Depart New York JFK with Egypt Air at approx. 18.30 |
Meals: As per airline service
|Day 2: Sat||Arrive into Cairo.|
|Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel close to the Pyramids for the start of your trip. They will help you settle in, introduce you to your Egyptologist guide the local area, and explain the arrangements for the next few days. |
After settling into the hotel, we set off for a fun and exciting camel ride around the majestic pyramids at Gisa, getting some amazing photographs as the sun sets.
Overnight: Cairo – 4* hotel.
Extras: Optional Evening Dinner Cruise
|Day 3: Sun||Cairo. Museum & Pyramids tour.|
|Our tour of Egypt begins with a trip to the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo. Home to the fantastic Tutankhamun exhibit the museum hosts many other ancient Egyptian artefacts. Following on from the museum we then make the short trip to Giza to visit the Sphinx and the great pyramids of Egypt. This evening we transfer to the station for the overnight sleeper train to Aswan. |
Overnight: On board sleeper train.
Meals: Breakfast & dinner
|Day 4: Mon||Arrive in Aswan. Tour of Philae Temple.|
|This morning we arrive in Aswan and are welcomed on board our Dahabiya, the Nile Spirit where we meet our captain and drew for a welcome drink. We then start our tour of Aswan with a trip to the island temple complex of Philae visiting the impressive Aswan High Dam en-route. The Philae temple remains one of Egypt’s most romantic and picturesque sites having been completely relocated following work on the Dam. The rest of the day is free to explore the colourful souks and markets found in the town or watch the sunset over the river Nile. |
Overnight: Aswan - Dahabiya.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
|Day 5: Tue||Aswan. Tour to Abu Simbel & start sailing downriver.|
|This morning we make an early start for the drive to the UNESCO world heritage site at Abu Simbel. Returning to Aswan we have lunch and later in the afternoon start sailing towards Balooly Island where we moor for the night. |
Overnight: On board Dahabiya
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
|Day 6: Wed||Nile Dahabiya Cruise – Komombo & Edfu.|
|There is more sailing today and also a visit to Komombo temple and Edfu temple. At Edfu, private horse drawn carriages will take you from the boat to visit the Legendary Temple of Horus, the best preserved and second largest temple in Egypt. You then return to the boat and continue sailing towards Luxor, Enjoy lunch and dinner on board and time to relax on the Dahabya. There is no better way to travel down the river Nile. |
Overnight: On board Dahabiya
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
|Day 7: Thu||Luxor. East bank tour and free time.|
|You have a free morning today, and we check off the Dahabiya and into a 5-star hotel on the banks of the Nile. Your afternoon tour to the East Bank sightseeing begins with a visit to Karnak Temple. Built over 4,000 years ago, Karnak’s immense Hypostyle Hall alone contains the phenomenal sight of 134 towering columns of intricate stonework then onto the magnificent setting of the Luxor Temple. This sumptuous monument was built over 4000 years ago and represents the epoch of the once mighty city of Thebes and the worship of the God. A free evening to enjoy this vibrant and fascinating city. In the evening we have the chance to enjoy a walking tour of the beautiful Luxor Temple. |
Overnight: Luxor 5* hotel.
|Day 8: Fri||Luxor. Hot air balloon flight. West Bank tours.|
|We start early this morning with a spectacular hot air balloon flight over the West Bank of the Nile at sunrise. Later we start our tour of the West Bank at the Valley of the Kings. The dusty tombs in this ancient burial site are still revealing their secrets today and it remains one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. We also visit the huge temple of Hatchepsut and pass the Colossi of Memnon. In the afternoon we check out of the hotel and visit the enormous temple complex at Karnak on the East bank of the Nile before going back to the train station for the overnight sleeper train to Cairo. |
Overnight: On board sleeper train back to Cairo.
Meals: Breakfast & dinner
|Day 9: Sat||Cairo. Free Day (various day trip options).|
|We arrive back into Cairo this morning and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore Cairo as you choose or you may join us on one of our optional day trips. These include a city tour in Cairo which visits the Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque as well as the bustling market streets of Khan El Khalili bazaar. Other options include a trip out of Cairo to the World Heritage Site of Wadi Rayan and the Valley of the Whales. |
Overnight: Cairo 4* hotel.
Extras: Optional Cairo City Tour, Alexandria day trip, Wadi Rayan & Valley of the Whales day trip
|Day 10: Sun||Cairo. Departure transfer to the airport. Fly to USA.|
|We check out of the hotel early this morning and transfer you to the airport for your departure flight. |
Extras: Extra nights in Cairo, Red Sea extension
- Direct international flights with Egypt Air
- All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
- All transport and transfers
- 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
- Services of a local Egyptologist guide throughout
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Tipping kitty
- Visa fee (US$15, available in the airport)
- Travel Insurance (compulsory, available on request)
- Meals not indicated in the itinerary
- Drinks, snacks, tips and other personal expenses (eg. laundry)
- Tips for tour leader
- Entrance fees (allow approx. US$90)
- Any other items not mentioned above
|WHY CHOOSE ENCOUNTERS TRAVEL IN EGYPT?|
- Guaranteed small groups (max 16 people)
- Return airport transfers included
- Guaranteed departures, all include Abu Simbel
- No compulsory single supplement
- Sleeper train both ways, no night driving
- Luxury dahabiya sailboat upgrade included
- Well located 4 & 5-star hotels throughout
- Industry renowned Egyptologist guides including Sherif, Sam & Walid
- 15 years experience operating tours in Egypt
- Fun guaranteed!
We believe we include more in our Egyptian tours than many others. For example, we use the overnight sleeper train as standard and all our tours visiting Aswan include Abu Simbel. However, we recognise that not everyone has the same budget and some travellers enjoy more free time during their holidays than others. Also, while we love the felucca sailboat trip on the Nile, we know that some people like a bit more luxury.
To go with our set tour itineraries, we therefore offer a range of extras that you can add on if you wish. These include various day trips, activities, beach extensions and extra nights in Cairo. All accommodation based options (eg. Single supplement, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may be either booked and paid for in advance or while you are in Egypt. Full details of current prices are given on our website.
If you would like to guarantee yourself a single room throughout the tour, then we will add this single room supplement fee to your booking.
If you are a single traveller and are happy to share a room, then we will aim to join you with other travellers of the same sex in a twin room. We will arrange room shares in the order that vouchers are redeemed. If we are not able to pair you up then you will need to pay the single room supplement.
Cairo City Tour – US$55
This half day guided tour of Cairo tour begins with Islamic areas including the Citadel of Saladdin, boasting the famous Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali then onto the Coptic area of Cairo where the Romans constructed the fortress of Babylon. The church of St. Mary was built over the ruins of two towers of the fortress whilst it is more commonly known as the Hanging Church next stop is St. Sergius which is said to be the resting place f the holy family. The tour finishes with time exploring the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar.
Al Fayoum & Valley of the Whales – US$140
This option departs Cairo for the approx. 90 min drive to the Fayoum area after a short break for refreshments following your arrival on the overnight sleeper train from Luxor.
After arriving in Fayoum, learning about the history of the area as Egypt and the Middle East’s bread basket, and passing through some extensively irrigated farmland, we head for Wadi Rayan This Protected Area surrounds a fresh-water lake in the middle of the desert which is filled by the remaining irrigation water from the Fayoum area. There are several waterfalls here, and a bird hide which gives good views of the lakes birdlife, particularly in the winter months when the lake is an important stop for migrating water-birds. We also visit the Springs Oasis area, a rare example of an uninhabited Saharan oasis, and host to many different plants and animals, including Dorcas Gazelle, Ruppell’s Sand Fox and Fennec Fox.
After a stop for a packed lunch, we then drive into the stunning desert & mountain scenery of Wadi Hitan (Valley of the Whales). This World Heritage Site is accepted as the most significant site in the world to demonstrate the evolution of whales, and we take a 2-3km walk here to see several specimens of fossilised whales of different types sitting on the surface of the sand, as well as fossilised mangroves and the remains of crab holes.
Red Sea extension –US$450 (summer/winter)
This option departs Cairo on Day 10 to drive to the laid-back beach resort of Dahab on the Red Sea. There are several optional tours and activities available including snorkelling, scuba-diving, quad bikes, camel rides and a trip to climb to the top of Mt Sinai. Dahab itself has a very relaxed feel to it and there are plenty of options for eating out. Overall this option adds 5 days to the duration of the tour. Note – we may need to add an extra supplement subject to available flight prices at the time of booking – please contact us for details.
Travel Insurance policy - $40
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our tours and having travel insurance in place is a condition of travelling with us.
You may either take out a policy through us, or arrange your own. If you arrange your own insurance, we must receive full details of your policy (policy number, issuing company, emergency telephone number) at least one month before you travel.
Our own travel insurance is offered through Endsleigh Insurance Services in the UK, and is available to citizens and residents of the USA. This comprehensive travel insurance policy has been designed to be suitable for our cultural and adventure tours, including this trip. Key benefits are shown below, and full policy details are available on request and will be provided before purchase.
- Emergency and medical service - Medical expertise to arrange emergency medical assistance or transport home following an accident or illness or if you are informed of a serious illness of a close relative at home whilst on holiday.
- Cancellation or curtailment charges - Cover for costs against unavoidable or necessary cancellation or curtailment of the trip before completion due to, death, bodily injury or illness. The maximum we will pay under this section is £5,000 per person.
- Emergency medical and other expenses – Emergency medical, surgical, hospital, ambulance and nursing fees up to £10,000,000 outside of your home country.
- Hospital benefit - Up to £15 for every completed 24 hours in patient hospital stay up to a maximum of £300.
- Personal accident - Up to £30,000 for death, loss of limb or sight and permanent total disablement, subject to age - Please refer to policy wording for full details of the cover available.
- Personal money, passport and documents – Accidental loss, theft of or damage to personal money including foreign currency up to 72 hours prior to departure - Please refer to policy wording for full details of the cover available. Up to £500 for reasonable additional costs for travel and accommodation incurred whilst obtaining a replacement passport or visa abroad.
- Personal liability - Personal liability for any compensation you become legally liable to pay up to £2,000,000.
- Delayed departure - Delayed departure for at least 12 hours from the scheduled departure time. £20 for the first complete 12 hour delay and £20 for each completed 12 hours following, up to a maximum of £100. Up to £5,000 for any irrecoverable travel and other pre-paid charges if you choose to cancel your trip once 12 hours has elapsed.
- Missed departure - Up to £500 for additional room only accommodation and travel expense should you miss your departure due to the failure of public transport or an accident or breakdown of the vehicle you are travelling in or strike.
- Overseas legal expenses and assistance - Legal expenses and costs in pursuit of a civil action up to £50,000.
We use good quality hotels rated at the Egyptian 4 and 5-star level on this tour. Local star ratings may vary slightly from international standards but we ensure we use some of the very best hotels available at the level stated. All hotels at the 4-star level and higher have swimming pools and a choice of restaurants and bars.
Accommodation is based on twin, triple or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. All couples will be given a private double room. Single travellers may choose to pay a single room supplement to guarantee themselves a single room throughout the tour. Alternatively, they may choose to share a room with one or two other travellers of the same sex. If you are happy to share, then you do not need to pay the single supplement cost, even if you end up with a single room during the tour.
This tour features 3-nights on board the exclusive Nile Spirit Dahabiya. All your meals are included on board and you have your own private en-suite cabin (6 twin cabins, 2 twin bedded suites – maximum 16 travellers on board if all share).
The boats carry sails but a motorised tow boat is also required at times to control the boat and ensure safe manoeuvring around the larger cruise boats on this busy river.
Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you’re really experiencing the country you’re travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. In Egypt we do not use any public tourist coaches, and in particular avoid the 18 hour Luxor to Dahab coach journey. All the vehicles we use are air-conditioned, many are fitted with speed limiters, and all are inspected and checked daily. Some 4WD vehicles used on desert safaris may not always have air conditioning where they are only used for short periods.
We also only use the overnight sleeper train between Cairo and Aswan/Luxor. This is because we know from experience that while the ‘sitting train’ may be approx. US$45 cheaper each way, travellers do not generally get much sleep on the train, and the hygiene standards are very poor with the toilets often becoming unusable near the end of the journey.
The tour includes a 24-hour airport meet & assist service in Cairo airport, your arrival and departure airport-hotel transfers and all other transfers.
|GROUP SIZE/TOUR LEADERS/GUIDES|
We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. There’s no point in us providing great guides if you’ve got to peer over 30-40 shoulders to see them! So, we won’t ever put you in a 50-seater coach with 49 other people and just one guide. Instead, we set this Egypt group departure to have a maximum of 16 travellers.
In Egypt we provide fully trained, local English-speaking Egyptologist to act as your tour guide for all of the sightseeing tours in Cairo and the Nile Valley. Our local reps in all the towns and cities en-route are also at your service, and will be handling all the practical arrangements for the tour. We also use local Bedouin guides for tours through the desert.
For some groups of fewer than 4 people, we may use one guide in Cairo, and a second guide for the Aswan to Luxor section.
At Encounters Travel we only use local Egyptian guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing. Please check our website for more details and profiles of some of our most famous Egyptian guides.
The tour price does not include entrance fees to the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary. Please check the Exclusions section above for a guide to the amount you should allow for this tour (50% discount for minors or ISIC card holders). Your guide will be happy to collect payment for all the entrance fees at the start of the tour, and pay them for you as you go along if you wish.
Tipping is very much a part of Egyptian culture and customs. To make our prices more transparent and so it is easier for you to budget and less hassle while in Egypt, we include a ‘Tipping Kitty’ in your tour price instead of adding it on as an additional local payment. This provides tips for a wide range of people you’ll meet along the tour including hotel porters, train and station staff, drivers, local reps etc.
Your Egyptologist guide is not included in this kitty and you may tip them at the end of your tour subject to your satisfaction with and appreciation of the service they have provided. You should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget. We are often asked to provide a guide however, and can suggest that approx. US$3-8 per person per day would be appropriate.
For up to date health information & vaccination requirements for Egypt we recommend that you contact your medical practitioner or a travel clinic. General vaccination recommendations for Egypt include Tetanus, Typhoid, Polio and Hepatitis A.
Many nationalities (including USA, Canadian, UK, European, Australian) can obtain their Egyptian visa on arrival in Cairo airport (cost US$15 or equivalent). All African nationals will need to arrange their Egypt visa in advance.
|LIVING SOCIAL 30-DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE|
Can't find the dates you want? Dog ate your passport? No worries. You have 30 days post-purchase to return your voucher, no questions asked.
Note: After you have redeemed your voucher, your flights will be purchased and no refund will be due in the event of your cancellation.
|LIVING SOCIAL FINE PRINT|
- Limit five per purchaser, up to five additional as gifts.
- Limit one voucher per reservation; vouchers cannot be combined to extend stay.
- Reservations required and subject to availability.
- Not valid on group or existing reservations.
- Vouchers are considered redeemed once you have agreed to the Merchant’s booking conditions, which are available on the Merchant’s website and will be provided for you to check. The Merchant’s cancellation fees apply thereafter; voucher subject to forfeiture.
- Vouchers must be redeemed within 2 weeks of the deal expiry date in order to qualify for the deal price. If the merchant is not contacted and supplied with passport information by this date, a supplement to the price may be charged.
- When purchasing and gifting vouchers please list your name(s) exactly as given on your passport(s).
- Valid for departure dates listed on voucher.
- Minor changes to the itinerary may be made subject to weather and local conditions and events.
- Alternate arrangements will be offered, and if not satisfactory to the customer a full refund will be provided, if the Merchant is unable to fulfill a major portion of the tour due to safety, security or other reasons. This does not apply to minor itinerary amendments. The Merchant follows the UK Foreign Office travel advice.
- Based upon twin or double occupancy. Triple rooms are not available. You may share with other people of the same sex booking onto the tour.
- A single room supplement of $295 is required if you want to guarantee yourself a single room on the tour. If you are a single traveler who is happy to share a twin room with another traveler of the same sex, then we will aim to arrange this for you. In the event that there is not another single traveller of the same sex available for you to share with, then you will need to pay the single room supplement.
- Minimum age of 16 applies.
- Voucher includes all transport and transfers including 24-hour airport arrival and departure services. Preferred flights are with Egypt Air. Extensions are available.
- Entrance fees to sites visited are not included – allow approx. $90 p/p.
- Travel insurance covering medical costs and repatriation for medical reasons is compulsory. Travel insurance covering cancellation and baggage is recommended but not compulsory. A comprehensive policy suitable for the tour providing medical, cancellation and baggage cover is available from the Merchant for $40. If you arrange your own travel insurance, then policy details must be provided to the Merchant at least 1 month before departure (policy number, name of the issuing company, and the policy emergency contact details).
- The deal value is valid only for the departure date purchased and may not be exchanged or redeemed for any other dates.
- Other conditions apply (see Encounters Travel booking conditions).
- PAID VALUE EXPIRES ON (tbc).
- PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES ON December 31st 2012.