The following are all confirmed and all costs are included and paid for:
● 5-Star Hotel accommodations at the Marriott (breakfast buffet included everyday in
which is quite extensive)
● All tours of antiquities
● Pyramids, Giza, Memphis, Sakara
● Cairo Museum
● Mohamed Ali mosque
● Coptic churches
● Old Cairo
● 4 night Nile Cruise , Karnak and Luxor temples, Valley of the Kings, Valley of the
Queens, Hatshepsut Temple, Temples at Philae, Edfu, Esna, Aswan dam (new and
● All meals on 5-Star Nile Cruise included
All of these optional activities are planned and usually accomplished,
some variables may change (costs not included):
● Drum and/or Music Class
● Dance classes with famous artists
● Visits to famous costume designers
● Elfishawy Cafe
● Dinners at famous Egyptian restaurants like Abou el Cid and Nagib Mahfouz, Abou Tarek Koshary
● El Tanoura show
● Makan Zaar show
● Khan el Khalili
● Oum Kalthoum museum
● Al Azhar Gardens
● Class with Khairiyya Mazen and musicians in Luxor
● Balloon Theatre
● Opera House
● Visit to Farida Fahmy house and Mahmoud Reda depending upon health
● Outdoor photoshoot in exotic locations
…Just to name a few…
You will stay at the Marriott Zamalak in Cairo and the Blue Shadow boat on the Nile – all 5-star Deluxe accommodations.
Please check with your doctor or a travel clinic to see if you need any vaccinations. Bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Travel Health Insurance is highly recommended.
If you are a light packer and need only one suitcase, great. If you need two, please know that on the domestic flight to and from Aswan and Luxor, you can only bring one piece of luggage. Your 2nd piece will be left at the Marriott in Cairo for the duration of the Nile Cruise.
It is hot and female tourists are not expected to be completely covered. However, you save yourself some grief if you do not show a lot of cleavage, full bare legs or bare shoulders, especially if unaccompanied by a male. When on Nile Cruise or in hotels, all is acceptable including bikinis. You will need a jacket or sweater for evenings and good walking shoes. Check weather before departure and pack according to your comfort. Bring dance class wear and at least one dressier evening wear for night club dinners. Where ever we stay, there will be a pool so you will want your bathing suit.
It is advantageous to have US dollars on you. Sometimes you can get a better deal if in dollars. You can only take Egyptian Pounds (EP) out of ATMs anywhere. Canadian dollars will not be accepted anywhere. There is a bank in the hotel that will change your US dollars to Egyptian Pounds. Credit cards accepted most places but not when off the beaten path and can be cumbersome on occassion because of bad internet connections.
You will need $25 US to get Visa upon arrival. Visas ahead of time are not needed from most countries.
Baksheesh (tips) is for everything. This is the main source of income for most Egyptians. It is in little amounts like $1 or a couple of EP but it is for everything everywhere. You will need approximately $150 US for this. In this past it has been about $100 but I am accounting for everything going up in price by 40% in the last few years. Recommend keeping lots of small EP notes on you at all times for tips and taxis.
You will need to cover a couple of your own meals which can be from $25-$100 US in total depending upon how you want to do it. Taxis could total $50 over the 2 weeks.
If you are NOT planning on buying costumes or taking classes but you do plan to buy acouple of small souvenirs, then bringing $500 US will suffice.
Dina show and dinner is $100-120 US including entrance, food and drinks depending upon how much you drink or eat. Sahra Samara or Camelia or Randa Kamel dinner and show is approximately $25-50. If you plan to attend the dinner shows, I recommend bringing an extra $150-200 in total.
Dance class with Khairiyya Mazen is $65 including cost for musicians. Dance class with famous teachers is $100-200. Dina may be $200 or hopefully $100 if we are lucky. If you plan to take dance classes, I recommend bringing an extra $200-300.
Pro Costumes are $150- $1500.
Hip Scarves are $5-25
Dinner at Abu Sid (my fav) $15
Dinner at Naguib Mahfouz $40
Koshary or falafel sandwich $1
Oum Kalthoum Museum $2
Al Azhar Park $2
Recommend bringing half your money in US cash and the other half getting from ATM. Dance teachers and Costemiers will want US dollars.
There is a lot of poverty, especially these days. Egyptians will be extremely helpful and truly enjoy making you happy but if you can offer them a couple of pounds, then you will make them very happy too. It is mandatory to tip the tour guides and Cruise boat staff. I will let you know a reasonable amount and we will all chip in to give one envelope with a large sum together at the end of a particular excursion. Having said that, it is good to learn the skill of not engaging unnecessarily. It will seem innocent and sociable at first but will inevitably end up with many more people swarming you, trying to engage you to buy something.
Travel insurance is your own responsibility.
All of your meals on the Nile Cruise are included. Breakfast included everyday in Cairo is a very large buffet with plenty of food to load up on. This buffet ususally suffices as lunch as well for some. Other meals are your own expense. These will mostly be at times when you are on your own adventure and you can find a $1 falafel sandwich or similar.
Please let me know which dancers you would like to study with so I can try to accommodate. When I secure a teacher, I will let you all know their price. If it is a group price, then we will divide it among the people who want to attend the class. Warning… Egyptian dance teachers will not be cheap. You will need about $100USD cash per person per class (some more, some less).
Egypt is an Islamic country with conservative values. Alcohol is only available for tourists in tourist restaurants and hotels. It is illegal for males and females to be in the same hotel room unless related or married so basically, no dating etc. Unfortunately, the actions of one female being too friendly with men will reflect on the whole group and put all of the group in jeopardy with the moral police and other men in the hotel will start approaching all the females in the group expecting friendships etc. The tourist representative men within our group are considered in a different category and are exempt from these rules. Everyone knows everything. There are undercover moral police everywhere. Tourist police are around to make sure that tourists have a safe a pleasant time.
Everything in Egypt is Inshallah, meaning God Willing or Hopefully. Please know that the exact details of what is done which day WILL change. Sometimes, some appointments may never happen like a class with Dina because she suddenly took off but then another magical appointment will happen in its stead. We will try to cram in the Cairo sightseeing such as pyramids, museum, citadel etc. before we go on the Nile Cruise so that when you come back, you will have more free time. I will take you to my favorite hang-out, Khan Kahlili on the first day so you will know how to go on your own later. That is one place you can not go only once. We will arrive early morning the first day but after getting through the airport mayhem and actually into hotels rooms, it will be midday at least. It is best to rest for the early afternoon and then go to Khan El Khalili out for dinner.
Your passport will be taken from you by hotel management in Cairo and again on Nile Cruise. A copy is submitted to local tourist police in each location. Then it is returned to you and best to keep in your safe in your room.
You will have more fun if you leave any controlling and planning tendencies at home. When you surrender to the electric crazy flow of Egypt, everything becomes magical and adventures are around every corner.
Cairo Itinerary is only meant to give you an idea – only day 3 and 5 are confirmed as well as Nile Cruise. Other days are constantly changing. Dance teachers will not confirm until they know we have arrived.
Day 1 Arrive, check in to hotel, rest, go to Khan El Khalili and dinner
Day 2 Activities from above list
Day 3 Pyramids, Saqqara, Memphis, the Sphinx
Day 4 Activities from above list
Day 5 Cairo museum, Mohamed Ali Mosque, Citadel, Old Cairo, Coptic Church
Day 6 Activities from above list
Day 7 Leave for Nile Cruise and Luxor by Egypt Air
Day 7-11 Luxor and Nile Cruise to Aswan
Day 11 Return to Cairo from Aswan by Egypt Air
Day 12-13 2 free days (possibly more activities not covered in first week)
Day 14 Travel back to Toronto
$2995 CDN ($2260 US)
● 5-Star Deluxe Accommodations
● 5-Star Deluxe Nile Cruise
● Domestic Air: Cairo/Luxor/Aswan/Cairo
● Extensive sightseeing with English-speaking Egyptologist
● All Buffet Breakfasts and most dinners and lunches
● All entrance fees, taxes and transfers for antiquities