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Egypt: Nile Cruise with children (9 and 11) - what travel company?

(24 Posts)
roisin Sat 01-Dec-07 15:03:34

Has anyone done this? Some of the boats won't take children under the age of 12.

I'm wondering how 'welcome' children will be on the boats that do take them. But I don't want to be somewhere that's overrun with rowdy kids!

I fancy a week on a boat sightseeing and a week on the Red Sea.

Bluestocking Sat 01-Dec-07 20:26:27

TBH, I think most kids would absolutely die of boredom on a Nile Cruise!

sarah573 Sat 01-Dec-07 20:53:36

I think if you are blessed with exceptionally well behaved children then you will probably have a great time. If you have normal children who like to make a noise and not sit still for too long then DON'T DO IT!! I have been to egypt twice in the last year with my 3 (5,7+9), but wouldn't dream of taking them on a cruise. The majority of people cruising are 50+ and not too keen on children 'running' around the cruise boat. You will end up stressed out trying to make sure the kids don't annoy anyone, and they will hate it too.
Egypt is a fasinating place, my 3 loved the bustle of Cairo and the more laid back Luxor. Egyptians love children, they are very welcoming and helpful.

roisin Sun 02-Dec-07 09:06:13

Oh, OK. My two are definitely not exceptionally well-behaved. But they are happy to sit quietly with a book or DS for hours on end. And they are fascinated by history and ancient history. They love museums and so on.

So Sarah, what company did you travel with or did you organise it independently? How easy is travel around/between sites in Egypt if you're not going by boat?

Blandmum Sun 02-Dec-07 09:28:11

When are you thinking of going?

Dh and I went (before Kids) at Christmas and it was fantastic 75 degrees, very nice. It would be v hot in the summer holidays

roisin Sun 02-Dec-07 09:32:40

I don't like hot at all, and was thinking maybe Christmas next year.

It's just a dream atm though.

sarah573 Sun 02-Dec-07 20:05:54

Roisin, we went to Luxor in May 07 with Thompson - got a last minute deal - lovely hotel etc etc.
We went to Cairo Oct 07, we did this independantly, and stayed in a hostel for 2 weeks.
December is a good time to go heat wise. When we were in Cairo in oct it was about 30 degress, about as hot as out hottest summer day. Luxor in May however was above 40, and unbearable. You would be looking high 20s in Cairo and low 30s Luxor/Aswan in december.
Getting between towns is fairly difficult due to the georgraphical distance and egyptian public transport system. Luxor to Cairo is an overnight train ride. As tourists you are only allowed on the 'carridges lit' services which are guarded. You can take an internal flight between to two quite cheaply.
I've not been to Aswan or the red sea area so Im not sure about that.
Personally I loved Luxor with the children. You have Karnak and Luxor temples, several small but good museams, souks and plently more to keep you occupied.
I LOVED Cairo, but I think the kids were a bit overwealmed at times. Its huge and it has to be the maddest, dustiest place in the world. Theres cars, people and everything everywhere all the time. I though London at rush hour was bad, but it has nothing on Cairo. We stayed downtown and the traffic noise just went on ALL night!! Type 'Cairo taxi' into You Tube, and watch a few of the films - it's scarry!!!
You have the pyramids in Cairo, and the egyptian museam, but thats really it as far as history goes. Luxor is much better if you want to explore ancient egypt.
If you're after a beach holiday then you need to look at the resorts around the red sea - but I have't been down that way, so can't really say anything about that part of the country.
As you can tell Im in love with the place!!

Bluestocking Sun 02-Dec-07 20:07:51

I think you would have a nicer time if you spent a week in Luxor and maybe had one day on a Nile boat. Luxor itself is facinating and you can do lots of interesting day trips from there; all the big hotels do organised day trips which are fine. Definitely agree that Christmas hols would be pleasanter weather-wise but also much more expensive than summer!

roisin Sun 02-Dec-07 20:12:19

That's really helpful, thanks Sarah.

Where's Abu Simbel, is that near Aswan, or is it further?

DS1 quite fancies hiring a boat and retracing the travels of Giovanni Belzonni!

We have never done a beach holiday, but both the boys swim like fish: and I would love them to be able to do some snorkelling somewhere other than the local baths! But I'd probably only do this if there was some kind of an all-in package.

Bluestocking Sun 02-Dec-07 20:19:33

Abu Simbel is near Aswan. I haven't been to Aswan since I was a teenager (have been to Luxor more recently) but I remember it being smaller and quieter than Luxor, with less to see, but still very nice and picturesque. There's an island in the Nile by Aswan called Elephanta which I remember being really lovely. I also distinctly remember my clothes being pinched in a swimming pool changing room (I suspect the German hippies) and my mum having to go back to the hotel to get me another outfit!

nymphadora Tue 30-Dec-08 18:55:03

Reviving this to see if anyone has any more info or recommendations, we are limited to school hols so tips on that too

bluesky Wed 31-Dec-08 21:43:55

my friend went with the, they were great and they had a wonderful time. It's geared up for families, they spent time in Cairo, then a few nights on cruise, then some time in Luxor.

when we went, we flew to Cairo, did 2 nights there, then got an internal flight down to Sharm and had a week by the sea with all the lovely fish!

nymphadora Thu 01-Jan-09 20:17:29

We fancy the cruise/cairo or Luxor and then a week at the Red Sea

MollieO Sun 11-Jan-09 22:08:41

I went with Adventure Company at Easter. We did the Cairo/Luxor/Cairo trip. I would check and recheck what they promise in their brochure.

I booked on the basis of what they offered re children and unfortunately discovered it was puff - no seat belts, tour guide who didn't like children and had never taken a tour with our age children, sightseeing at the heat of the day (guide couldn't be bothered to get to our hotel before 9 or 10am despite us saying all the children were up and keen to go at 6am - usual leaving time for valley of kings etc). Hotel room on high floor with unsecure balcony door. Felucca trip without life belts being available, dinner at a restaurant on the roof of a hotel with a low wall around (one child nearly fell over the side!).

I was amazed at quite how bad they were as I'd booked on a recommendation. Whilst the company acknowledged their failings and said they would make various alterations to their trips and offered me a substantial discount for future trip, I would never travel with them again. This was Easter 2008 so they may have improved and we have been unlucky but there were too many safety issues for me to recommend them to anyone with children.

I didn't do the Nile cruise option as I was worried about the early starts for sightseeing trips (when I did it pre-chidren we were up and out at 5am every morning). Knowing what I know now I'd definitely do it as it is preferable to be sightseeing early in the day than carrying a heavy 3 yr old in temps of 40+!

bigTillyMint Fri 03-Sep-10 11:44:25

Reviving this thread as we are planning to go to Egypt next Easter.

Roisin if you are still around, did you go?

Has anyone else done Luxor / cruise with 10 / 11 yearolds?

GloriousGoosebumps Sun 12-Sep-10 07:46:23

Hi Big Tilly Mint, we spent a week on a Nile cruise this summer and returned on 30 August. Our 11 year old son loved it. Most of the excursions have a very early start in order to avoid the hottest parts of the day but it‘s not really a problem. The Egyptians really do love children and he received a lot of attention - which he lapped up, in fact, they clearly fixed it for him to win a couple of games at the Galabaya party one night! He enjoyed the temples, particularly as they had studied Egypt in year 5, but the highlight for him was probably the swimming pool. Our DS was the youngest for the first part of the week but a group with children joined the boat in the second half of the week and he made friends with one of the boys who was tri-lingual and spoke excellent English. The rest of our group, which was mainly British plus an American couple and Canadian family quickly learnt his name and started speaking to him and they looked out for him and made sure he could see things which were being pointed out. In fact, he got to know people in our group faster than we did. We treated ourselves to a balloon ride, which was fantastic. The balloons can’t fly over the valley of the Kings but they can fly along side it and the views are spectacular. The only disappointment, which obviously can’t be helped, is that you now can’t take photos or video in the tombs at the Valley of the Kings or even outside the tombs nor can you video or take pictures inside the temples at Abu Simbel.

So I’m surprised at the earlier comments made by Bluestocking and sarah573, our experience is very different and I’d say it was an excellent holiday for children,

GrimmaTheNome Fri 15-Oct-10 16:10:29

reincarnating again as we too are thinking of Egypt next easter. DH has been doing the research so far, started by thinking cruise so we could do Cairo and Luxor, now thinking maybe would be better just to stay in Luxor and do trips from there. Apart from the cruise there doesn't seem a very reliable way to combine cairo and luxor which is a shame.

Acanthus Mon 10-Jan-11 20:40:29

Yes there is - one of the Exodus family tours. We had a fab time with DCs aged 9 and11 .

waily Fri 14-Jan-11 13:17:32

We went to Egypt with Explore in 0ctober - had a great time with DCs aged 10 and 14.

ATPtravel Fri 13-May-11 13:13:49

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

NerfHerder Fri 13-May-11 13:20:04

erm- the thread was started in 2007- I think roisin might have solved her problem by now!

roisin Tue 24-May-11 19:14:24

Ha ha! We haven't actually!
ds2 is now 12, so can go on a Nile Cruise.
We were all poised in January to book for this Christmas/New Year, then it all blew up in Egypt and surrounding countries.

So we've postponed plans AGAIN. Hoping to go Christmas/New Year 2012/13.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Tue 24-May-11 19:28:45

Hi - we went in 2008 at Easter with the Adventure Company - me and the DC who were then 10 + 8. Did Cairo/Luxor/Hurgahda, mix of travel, including a night on a felucca (open boat) which was the highlight of DC2's trip, the lowlight of DC1's grin If we did, we would book our own flights and not bother with Cairo as apart from the Pyraminds there is nothing there of interest to the DC. The tour guide was okay, but a bit too keen to get us into carpet shops etc, eg stopped off at one unscheduled when the DC were desperate to get back to the hotel for the pool, and made us sit around on the bus for an hour while someone endlessly chose some paypyri, so the pool was shut when we got back sad I and although the company stressed there was no 'local payment' suprise, surpise, turned out there was when we go there...( and he preferred it in dollars, not Egyptian currency hmm)

bigTillyMint Sun 12-Jun-11 07:34:29

Just re-found this thread!

We did an independent trip to Egypt at Easter - DH arranged it all on the net before we went, and thanks to Mubarak, fantastic value!

We did a Nile Cruise with DC 10 and 11 and there were other younger children on it, so not sure why you couldn't take an under 12?

PM me if yo want any links, etc.

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