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April/May 2011 Egypt/Nile/Hurghada??

14 Jan 2011 Explorer1227613 asked

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Hi, my husband and I are looking into the April 30th departure tour and we are really interested in doing a dive in the Red Sea while in Hurghada.......does anyone know how much time is spent there and if we can do a dive? The itinerary doesn't say much.
Also, is Sakkara included in this trip still or do they not go anymore?
Thanks Again!
  • 14 Jan 2011 gator717 said

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Explorer1227613:
    Hi, my husband and I are looking into the April 30th departure tour and we are really interested in doing a dive in the Red Sea while in Hurghada…….does anyone know how much time is spent there and if we can do a dive? The itinerary doesn’t say much.
    Also, is Sakkara included in this trip still or do they not go anymore?
    Thanks Again!



    Hello.

    I took this tour in Oct/Nov and I noticed the itinerary change when I returned. I have no idea why they took out the Citadel and Saqqara from the tour but Saqqara was one of the highlights. I have spoken to a few tour mates and they are confused as to why Contiki changed the itinerary. On Thursday morning, you are to visit Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Karnak as well as having one final lunch in Luxor. During my tour, we finished sight seeing at around 12:20pm and lunch at around 1:00pm. Then those that were doing the optional West Nile Tour did that at around 2pm. The way it is showing on the Contiki website, you visit Hurghada Thursday afternoon and head back to Cairo Friday morning. I really suggest you contact your travel agent and try to get as much information possible as to when you will be arriving in Hurghada and how much time you will have for activities. By bus, the trip is a little over four hours. I am not sure if trains run between those two cities but 4 hrs is quite the drive time. But there is also the possibility that you will fly to Hurghada since that will definitely save some time!

    Another thing I noticed is that now all of the temples are optional, no longer included in the price. The temples themselves are rather inexpensive but I don’t understand why they are no longer included. Also, the visit to the dam and the unfinished obelisk are also optional.

    If you are interested in diving, I had a few tour mates visit Sharm El Sheikh after the tour for diving and other water sports. They all enjoyed the resorts and beaches in the city!!!

    I too will be contacting Contiki because I am interested as to why they changed the itinerary and at what time one arrives in Hurghada. If you have the chance to talk to a travel agent that can clarify our questions, that will be great!!!

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask or check out my info thread on these forums or my blog. Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 14 Jan 2011 Explorer1212572 said

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    Contiki told me that we are driving to Hurghada and then driving to Cairo from Hurghada. The drive to Hurghada is 4hrs 35 mins and the drive to Cairo is 6hrs 11mins. That’s a lot of driving and Egypt is known for its bad roads and car crashes.

  • 14 Jan 2011 gator717 said

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Explorer1212572:
    Contiki told me that we are driving to Hurghada and then driving to Cairo from Hurghada. The drive to Hurghada is 4hrs 35 mins and the drive to Cairo is 6hrs 11mins. That’s a lot of driving and Egypt is known for its bad roads and car crashes.



    Wow, that’s a lot of driving!

    But saying Egypt is known for its car crashes is not all true. I am one that has spent my whole life studying Egypt (history, culture, religions, life etc) and I am currently planning several return trips to the country and will hire a private guide and driver while there. In my 8 days in Egypt, I never witnessed an accident. The streets within the major cities (Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Aswan, Luxor) are rather safe albeit the crazy driving. You start encountering problems when you leave said cities and head out on the narrow rural roads. The most problematic road is the one that leads to Abu Simbel from Aswan; the one that has the most accidents. One reason for the accidents is not so much the condition of the road but the fact that these trips usually take place between 3am and 6am when it is pitch black and you have obstacles in the road (like livestock and camels). Most tour groups including Contiki fly to/from Abu Simbel.

    With that said, in Egypt, Contiki is run and managed by Spring Tours, Egypt’s largest and one of the country’s most respected tour companies. Any decision to change the itinerary I’m sure had more to do with them than with Contiki. Spring Tours’ buses are extremely new and modern and the drivers are safe and very well trained. I worked for a private bus company for three years here in the states and I can assure you I can tell the difference between a skilled and unskilled driver. I’m positive that Spring Tours will not allow a bus trip to Hurghada if they thought it was unsafe.

    What amazes me is how packed that schedule for Thursday is! You visit the Colossos of Memnon, the Temple of Hatshepsut at Dier El Bahari, the tombs at the Valley of the Kings, and then the Temple of Karnak. When I did the tour a few months ago, we did the above minus the Temple of Hatshepsut and we finished sight seeing at around 12:20pm. You obviously have lunch after that and then I guess you’ll head out to Hurghada. Thing is, if you are driving and the ride is that long, you will be getting to the city sometime after 5pm. In the Contiki website, it says that you can do some tanning or water sports in Hurghada but if you arrive after 5pm, I don’t know how feasible that will be. By April/May the sun will be setting later so maybe you can do some diving but I am not 100% sure. When I was there in Oct/Nov, the sun set at around 5:30pm.

    But if you are really interested in diving and water sports, you can visit Sharm El Sheikh for a day after your tour. Like I said, I had some tour mates that went there and absolutely loved it!!!

  • 13 Feb 2011 Alex said

    Alex

    are you still going after that whole spectacle? i might go on the 15th of April but i’m not sure yet.

  • 14 Feb 2011 Explorer1227613 said

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    Hi, yes my husband and I are booked for the April 30th tour. We haven’t bought plane tickets yet because we are monitering what is going on right now, but we are still planning on going and hoping that Contiki doesn’t cancel the tour. I hope things are settled by that time enough to enjoy egypt! I’m wanting to purchase plane tickets before Mar.1, before they get more expensive than what they are now. Hoping by then we’ll have a better idea of what it’ll be like over there – the protesting should die down alot and people getting back to work – they can’t afford to not have tourists.
    Thanks,
    Kaci

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