I allow myself to add to these numerous testimonies my experience with the Terra-Trip agency. As it is very recent (February 2016) this will allow you to have an up-to-date point of view.
We were, I think, a very complicated setup for an agency to manage. A group of 11 people, coming from 4 different countries.
In addition, combining two languages (part of the group spoke only English and the other only French). In addition, three different nationalities, and having very complex schedule requirements (delayed arrival and departure, several days apart, etc.).
In fact, we had planned to take advantage of our family trip to Egypt to meet up with the family. Although we live in distant places on the planet.
But seeing that we all had different schedule constraints. We could not choose a trip with an already planned program. Above all, with classic formulas as offered by many agencies.
Therefore, we needed “tailor-made” so that the members of the group could come and go on the desired dates. These many constraints did not scare the Terra-Trips agency, which was able to adapt to each of our requirements.
The program has been designed, thought out together, so that each member of the group can discover the most beautiful sites of ancient Egypt while enjoying family reunions.
It certainly took a lot of time for the agency (many exchanges of emails with us) but for a perfectly adapted result.
In addition, the program was able to combine the cultural aspect (unforgettable beauty of ancient sites and discovery of contemporary Egypt). Also, the relaxation aspect (irreproachable comfort of the cruise ship and hotels, ranging from the most luxurious to the most typical -like a charming Nubian house in Abu Simbel-).
In addition, the convivial aspect (large tables in good restaurants, evening between us on the boat).
We visited in 7-10 days (depending on group members)
– Cairo, (Sakkara, Pyramids of Giza, Cairo Museum, Coptic Cairo, Islamic Cairo)
– Luxor (Valley of the Kings, Temple of Hatshepsut, Karnak, Temple of Luxor)
– Cruise between Luxor and Aswan (Edfu: temple of Horus, Kom Ombo: temple of Sobek) in this magnificent boat: http://www.nebyt.com/
– Aswan (Philae temple, and felucca sailing)
– Abu Simbel
WhereasWe were just between us on the boat, with many relaxation areas and a jacuzzi on the deck. Between us as a family, it was very pleasant! As well as we were able to choose the dates of departure and arrival of the boat to adapt to our program requirements. In addition, the team on board was very caring, both friendly and professional.
I end with the most important part of the trip: the choice of the guide.
In fact, we were treated to a guide in French and several guides in English (for each site) as we did not all have the same native language. I will talk about the guide in French because I was one of the French speakers.
However, she was truly exceptional. It was an Egyptologist in her sixties, a former professor at the Faculty of Cairo. In impeccable French, she made us discover ancient and contemporary Egypt thanks to her immense knowledge.
Whereas, we were far from guides who content themselves with reciting a learned text without passion… On the contrary, she knew how to captivate us with a thousand and one stories which made us appreciate each of the visits all the more. As we saw the other groups quickly visit the temples with some sketchy explanations.
On the other hand, our guide took us to the nooks and crannies, to see the tastiest details of each site. As well as giving us the possibility of imagining the life of the Egyptians several millennia ago.
I recommend that you choose your guide carefully if you plan to go to Egypt. I think that determines a trip! And I can only advise you to ask Ms. Nadia if you are traveling with Terra-Trips. Exciting and passionate!
Finally, if like many French people, you are afraid of going to Egypt because of the security aspect, I can only reassure you with our experience on site. We had no problems. The Egyptians gave us a very warm welcome. In addition, the country is very policed, the sites and the hotels seemed very secure to us.
The Egyptians are surprised by the sharp drop in French tourists, they ask us about the reason for this drop (our media more virulent than other European or Asian countries?)
This decline seems to Egypt travel is very damaging to the Egyptian people and the tourism industry.
But with a selfish resonance, if you are the type to fear the abundance of tourists on the ancient sites, or to come across a Frenchman on every street corner, now is the time or never to organize a trip!!!.
In fact, what a luxury to visit sublime temples without anyone around… The Valley of the Kings was almost desert, in Abu Simbel we were alone with 2 Taiwanese… Unthinkable 10 years ago!
Only negative point of the trip: traffic in Cairo… We lost a lot of time in traffic jams (sometimes more than two hours to go from one place to visit to another!) The city really suffers from this chaotic traffic.
The program in Cairo would have benefited from reducing travel as much as possible (restaurants closer to places of visit). But that's the only downside, moreover leave with confidence with this agency. The costs advanced at the start of the trip are well used!