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  1. #1

    Default Tour Groups Egypt and Jordan - Advice Requested!

    I am planning a trip to Egypt and Jordan (primarly interested in Petra in Jordan) and I am having difficulty in deciding which tour company to use, as the one I was originally going to take has raised prices considerably. I would not feel comfortable doing this part of the world alone, especially with some of the Anti-American sentiment that is around and difficulty to travel alone. I am having a difficult time deciding, and need to determine the best course of action by next week before I book and figured people who have been on similar tours may have good advice to help me decide. I have a feeling I know what the answers are going to be, but I wanted to ask anyway.

    I will be going next August (hot, I know, but itís the only time I can with grad school schedules). I was originally looking at taking Contikiís Egypt tour (http://contiki.com/tours/102-egypt-the-nile), as I had taken one of their Europe trips and enjoyed it, but for the dates I am looking at the prices have gone up almost $300 which is likely attributed to them being American based more than anything. After the tour I was going to purchase an overnight trip from Cairo to Petra in Jordan with City Discovery (http://www.city-discovery.com/cairo/tour.php?id=3266), run by Memphis Tours ($650) for a 30 hour trip out to Petra and back.

    Since the price increase I looked at other companies like Intrepid, Gap, and Imaginative Traveler and found a really good itinerary on Gap (their Egypt and Jordan adventure (http://gapadventures.com/tour/DPJA)) that is roughly the same itinerary as Contikiís, but includes an extra 2 days in Egypt, and 6 in Jordan with much longer time in Petra (by the description) for the same exact base amount. Of course, there are some differences, which is what I am having trouble deciding on.

    Contiki utilizes superior quality hotels with a 3 night Nile cruise that goes to Edfu and Kom Ombo for one stop. GAP utilizes more budget oriented hotels with 1 night on open air Felucca (and one night camping in Jordan) and does not go to Edfu or Kom Ombo from what I can tell. The thought of sleeping on a Felucca with mosquitos from the Nile does not sound as appealing. From what I have read it sounds like instead of the Edfu and Kom Ombo stops there is almost a full 2 days in Luxor vs ĺ a day on Contiki, which I do like the idea of (Luxor is probably my number 1 destination after the pyramids). Also, for the same price there are interesting stops in Jordan other than more time in Petra such as Wadi Rum (with included 4x4 at sunset) and the Dead Sea on the GAP tour. They also go to Sinai and climb the mountain for a sunset which sounds interesting. In either case, I wouldnít be totally upset missing them (minus more time in Petra since the day tour is about 6 hours there vs 1 Ĺ from GAP), but on the other hand for roughly the same cost it is highly tempting.

    My other thing that I am thinking of is basic excursions and included bits. On contiki pretty much every entryway is paid for and guided from what I have read. Most of the entryways are guided on the GAP tour and paid for except for King Tuts chamber in the Valley of the Kings, the mummy room in the Egyptian Museum, and an excursion to the Unfinished Obelisk and High Dam, which are all included in the contiki price. For the pay excursions on both, the hot air balloon ride in Luxor is $70+ more expensive on Contiki, and GAP only appears to offer the driving option to go to Abu Simbel (cheaper but more time consuming). I think GAP offers the Luxor sound and light show while Contiki offers the Pyramids sound and light show. Both sound cheesy, but I would do it anyway, because, hey, I am in Egypt! Contiki also goes out to Saqqara and the Alabaster Mosque with guided tours but GAP does not, which I would possibly do on my own (at least the Mosques).

    When it is all said and done, I believe I will be spending about $150 more (due to food not being provided in Jordan) on a GAP itinerary, and airfare disparities were about the same depending on the day for the various flights. The other big concern, as I have mentioned, is being in Jordan much longer with there being some Anti-American sentiment, although I am not as concerned with it as my family is, which I do take into account.

    Could anyone who has done a similar trip comment on their opinions on some of these differences that I am thinking over? It would really help in me deciding. I am leaning right now to make my reservation with GAP over Contiki, but am still worried about a few things when it comes to accommodations and day itinerary/excursions being different. I just donít want to miss something that is amazing that I may not have as a high priority right now when, in all likelihood, this will be my only time in that part of the world.



    Thanks for any input!
    Middle East Travel

  2. #2

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    I had great experience with that fantastic place.I will definitely recommend you to travelers to take a tour towards this place.

  3. #3

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    I am considering is essential trips and included bits. On contiki basically every door is paid for and guided from what I have perused. The vast majority of the passages are guided on the GAP visit and paid for with the exception of King Tuts chamber in the Valley of the Kings, the mummy room in the Egyptian Museum, and a journey to the Unfinished Obelisk and High Dam, which are altogether incorporated into the contiki cost. For the compensation outings on both, the hot air swell ride in Luxor is $70+ more costly on Contiki, and GAP just seems to offer the driving alternative to go to Abu Simbel (less expensive however additional tedious). I think GAP offers the Luxor sound and light show while Contiki offers the Pyramids sound and light show. Both sound mushy, however I would do it at any rate, on the grounds that, hello, I am in Egypt! Contiki additionally goes out to Saqqara and the Alabaster Mosque with guided visits however GAP does not, which I would conceivably do all alone (in any event the Mosques).

    When it is altogether said and done, I trust I will spend about $150 more (because of sustenance not being given in Jordan) on a GAP schedule, and airfare variations were about the same relying upon the day for the different flights. The other huge worry, as I have said, is being in Jordan any longer with there being some Anti-American assumption, in spite of the fact that I am not as worried with it as my family may be, which I do consider.

  4. #4

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    Egypt tours, Nile Cruises & travel with Kensington Tours. Private guides & custom tours to Cairo, Nile, Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh, Red Sea & Alexandria. Submit a free quote request or call our experts now. 3 streets of Petra to the captivating energy of Tel Aviv, this trip embraces the wonders of Egypt, Jordan & Israel.

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