Frequently Asked Questions
We get asked a lot of different questions about Nile Cruises so we have created this page to list the most regular questions we've been asked. If you have any questions you might want to see if the answer is included below. If not then why not submit your own question to receive answers not found in the FAQs below.
"This is an "ongoing" task that will be added to on a regular basis. At the time of writing (14 December 2010) we've only just begun the task but if you pop back in a regularly you'll find a whole list of questions".
Q: What travel documents are required to travel to Egypt for a Nile Cruise?
A: You will need a full British Passport that is valid for travel for at least 6 months after the date of your return travel. You will also need to purchase an Egyptian Visitor's Visa on arrival in Egypt. (Please see the question below). You should also ensure to take out sufficient travel insurance as you will not be covered for medical expenses should you fall ill in Egypt. Travel Insurance is an essential.
Q: Do I need to purchase an Egyptian Visitor's Visa in advance?
A: No. In fact we recommend that you dont' do that as it will be a waste of money for you. You can purchase your Visitor's Visa on arrival at the airport. On most flights you will be handed a short form that you will complete by entering all of your passport details. (TIP: Dont' leave your passports in the overhead lockers!). On arrival you simply hand in the form with your passport and the fee (usually ?15 sterling) and they will stamp your passport with your visa.
Q: Do I any vaccinations to visit Egypt?
A: Currently there are no compulsory recommendations for any vaccinations for visitors to Egypt and there hasnt' been for some considerable time. However you can consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's website "Egypt Travel Page" for their latest recommendations.
One health precaution that we recommend to our clients is that they purchase the small liquid soap dispensers (that are readily available from UK chemists and at the airport) and that you carry them with you at all times. The Egyptian currency can be quite grubby so it's best to avoid the chance of picking up any bacteria by washing your hands each time you handle money.
Q: What is the suitability of a Nile Cruise for disabled persons?
A: We are often asked by clients about the suitability of a Nile cruise for disabled persons or those with walking difficulties and we try to be totally honest and answer that it will be pretty difficult. However it really depends on the mobility of the person.
There are no Nile Cruise ships that we know of that have elevators and as all ships have at least 3 decks it will mean that the person involved will have to walk up at least three flights of stairs to access the sundeck. Plus to actually board the ship he or she will need to be able to walk up the very narrow gangplank.
With regard to the excursions to places like the Valley of the Kings, etc, there is a fair bit of walking involved and often over rough or uneven terrain so walking can be difficult if you have any sort of walking difficulty. Using a mobility scooter would also mean having to ask people to help you now and then to lift it onto varying levels of ground and up and down steps. So it really does depend on how mobile the person is as to how they would cope.
There is one ship that has been specially designed to take travellers with disabilities and they also have sufficient numbers of assistants to help when visiting the various sites but I know it's very expensive in comparison to normal Nile Cruise prices. We can let you have details if you would like to know more.
On the Viking Princess, the Royal Viking and one or two other ships we can arrange for "private tours". These tours are arranged to help disabled clients to enjoy a full excursion programme and include assistance to enable clients to proceed at their own speed. There are some conditions involved in "private tours" but if you would like to know more please do not hesitate to call us.
Q: Would you recommend staying in "downtown Cairo" or in Giza, near The Pyramids?
A: We've stayed at the hotels near the Pyramids and we also send clients to most of the hotels in Giza each week. The distance is about 8 miles or 13 kilometers but we usually recommend people stay in Giza rather than downtown Cairo if they are only staying for 2 or 3 days. The reason is because the traffic is so busy that it can take you between one and a half to two hours to get out to the Pyramids from downtown Cairo.
We think that you really need a full day to get the most of your time at the Pyramids as there is a full day excursion that takes in Memphis, Sakkara and the Pyramids that starts around 8.30am. So if you've stayed downtown you are going to have to leave your city centre hotel really early to get out to the Pyramids in time. Whereas if your staying in Giza it's much easier to start your day on time without sitting in a huge traffic jam. The second day you could book a half day excursion to visit the Egyptian Museum and downtown Cairo.
We recommend a number of hotels at Giza most of which have great views of the nearby Pyramids but double check before you decide which hotel to book as a number of them currently have extensive building work going on which might spoil your stay. One we would recommend, which doesn't' have building works at the moment is the Mercure Le Sphinx which is pretty much opposite the Pyramids and is good value. You can read more about various Giza hotels on our Cairo Hotels page or you can download our FREE Nile Cruise Guide which will give you more advice.
** More Q&A's to follow