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Poll For Viking Travel Rate your experience

Poll: Please Rate Viking Travel (3 member(s) have cast votes)

Rate according to your experience with this Business

  1. Excellent (2 votes [66.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

  2. Very Good (1 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  3. Good (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. Below Average (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. Poor (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 User is offline   Spark_man 

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 03:48 PM

A poll for this Tour Operator. Please also feel free to post your comments about this Tour Operator.
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#2 User is offline   GlenP 

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  Posted 15 June 2008 - 05:27 PM

Having just returned from my first visit home, to Egypt in 6 years &, having seen that there are no reports for this tour operator, I thought I would be the first to submit one.

Let me start by saying a huge thank you to Mummy Lucille & everyone at Viking for having arranged such a wonderful trip at such short notice. I'll be quite honest & admit that I'd been having second thoughts about the whole thing, from about the 30th of May onwards. The thought of not being in the routine of work & sleep was just so frightening; added to which there was the worry that returning to somewhere I'd previously been so happy might shatter the treasured memories. It really did take a lot of effort to make myself get to the airport & board the flight.

Needless to say, I shouldn't have worried.

The flights out to Egypt were great & I'd recommend Czech Airlines to anyone looking to travel to Cairo from the UK.

Once I arrived, I immediately saw what Lucille meant when she told me that so much had changed; just from the new terminal at Cairo Airport. Thankfully some things are always going to be the same, such as The Ramses Hilton Hotel, which is still very special to me, even though I first stayed there 20 years ago. I must at this point thank Lucille so much for the upgrade to a Nile view mini-suite, on all three nights at the hotel. There's something about being able to walk out on to a balcony, even at 5 am, & see the Nile, that really let's you know you're back home. Much as I feel daft to admit it, I didn't get much sleep that night, due having been dancing round the room, saying, "I'm back! I'm back!" Yet there I was, 10:30 the next morning ready to get out & back to Giza.

Giza was pretty much as I remembered it, apart from there being fewer souvenir sellers, but Memphis was much changed; the new exhibits at the Open Air Museum make this site much more worth a visit than when there was only the statue of Ramses II & the alabaster sphynx. The restaurant where Rania Akl, my guide, & I had lunch was very nice &, although I'm out of the habit of eating lunch, the food was delicious. Then there was Sakarra, which has always been one of my favourite places to visit in the Cairo area & which I could spend hours wandering round.

Rania was a wonderful guide, immediately putting me at ease; we ended up talking more in one day than I've probably talked to anyone, outside of a working environment, in years.

I always enjoyed the Egyptair internal flights & both that to Aswan & then the one back to Cairo, from Luxor, were perfectly comfortable & thoroughly enjoyable, having passed off very smoothly.

Aswan will always be Aswan. Calm, peaceful & relaxing, especially after the hustle & bustle of Cairo & will always be somewhere I love returning to. There's something magical about sailing in a felucca at sunset on this beautiful stretch of the Nile, with its boulders & islands that I can never grow tired of, whilst the sunsets are a delight to behold.

The MS Al Kahila; a Sabena cruise boat, was as luxurious as Lucille promised it would be & I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 days I spent on her; although I'm determined that one day I will have the privilege of travelling on one of Viking's own fleet.

A special thanks must go to Radwan, my guide for the cruise & in Luxor, who remembered me from my last trip in 2002, for having adapted his guiding style to suit someone who'd been to all of the sites we visited 13 times before. He adopted a policy of providing a quick talk on what had changed since last time I visited & then leaving me to wander about & see those things I wanted to in my own time. I do hope that he's feeling better, after having suffered a touch of heat exhaustion when doing the West Bank, on Monday; it really was very hot & he didn't have the option of getting out of the sun inside a tomb.

The tours in Luxor were wonderful. I especially enjoyed seeing the improvements to the approach to Karnak, being able to visit the Open Air Museum, whilst there & the changes to Luxor Temple, on Sunday, whilst the new Visitor Centre at the Valley of the Kings is a simply marvellous enhancement to making the site understandable; even though the no photography policy, in tombs & museums, was a bit disappointing, but the rules are there to be obeyed & as it's intended to protect the monuments, then I guess it's understandable.

In fact, I was quite fortunate, in the King's Valley, in that I managed to get KV 43, Thothmoses IV, all to myself; even the ticket collector having wandered off for a chat with some workmen who were replastering the walls along the footpaths. It was lovely & cool, whilst I was able to spend my time lingering over the small amount of wonderful decoration to be found there & the restoration grafitti of Maya & Djehutymose; I promise to bring along a picture of the tomb's decoration for Radwan to see, next time I'm in Egypt, as he's never seen this tomb & it was very difficult explain it to him in words.

After having stayed at The Old Cataract so often in the past, I had very high expectations of Sofitel's historic properties & I'm happy to say that The Old Winter Palace more than lived up to these. The lobby was beautiful, full of old world charm, the decor gave a chance to see so many images from Luxor's past as a tourist destination & my room, which seemed huge, had a lovely high ceiling, antique furniture & an oblique Nile view from the balcony, was marvellous. When you add to all this the immaculately kept gardens, which were great for walking exploring in an evening, you have everything necessary to ensure this hotel will almost certainly become a regular feature of future visits to Egypt. I will admit at this point to having only sampled the delicious buffet breakfast in the restaurants here, as I decided to walk down to the King's Head Pub & watch the European Football Championships.

Although there have been several noticeable changes to Luxor; such as the calleche drivers seeming to only come out near sunset & souvenir salesmen having become less pushy (not to mention the traffic lights along the corniche); which does make me wonder whether those who complain about such things on the various Internet travel sites have actually visited Luxor at all,

Luxor Museum remains an absolute must see feature of any visit to the city. Even though there is the disappointment of not being able to take photos any longer, the new gallery; which includes from Cairo that would be overlooked in the standard guided tour of that museum, such as Nakhtmin & Tjay's bust & statue (shame that they had to leave the stunningly beautiful statue of the former's wife in Cairo though), is absolutely delightful & I spent the best part of 2 hours of sheer bliss there on Tuesday.

Having returned to Cairo, I braved the traffic & wandered across to the museum. Thankfully, despite the fact that some displays have changed; with several objects that have been on long term display having disappeared, many old favourites have returned from loan & so a most enjoyable 4 hours wandering round & enjoying myself there.

My only complaint is that I really should have learned from past experience that anything less than a full 2 weeks is nothing like enough time to devote to such a holiday; & this complaint is firmly directed at myself for not having been confident enough to take such a break from work. Still, I'll know better for next time (yes,Lucille, you can take this as advanced warning that I'm already planning for a return, next year).

Sorry if this has turned into something of a travelogue & again, huge thanks to Lucille & everyone else involved for having provided me with the best experience I've had in far too many years.
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#3 User is offline   Goldie 

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 04:16 PM

"Sorry if this has turned into something of a travelogue & again, huge thanks to Lucille & everyone else involved for having provided me with the best experience I've had in far too many years.[/quote]"

Thank you Glen for your "travel log". It made me feel so good to read it. I suppose only a few of us understand what it feels like to return "home" after being away.
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#4 User is offline   GlenP 

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 03:06 AM

View PostGlenP, on Jun 15 2008, 05:27 PM, said:

The flights out to Egypt were great & I'd recommend Czech Airlines to anyone looking to travel to Cairo from the UK.


Just to advise UK travellers that Czech Airlines cannot provide a Manchester - Cairo service for, at least June & July this year; as they really are an excellent airline, offering cheap fares with great service on all flights for my last trip home. Checks on prices show that they will divert you via Amsterdam or Paris on the return leg & this adds a vast amount to the fare.

Due to this I would recommend Air France; but watch out for transfer times at Charles De Gaulle, BMI or BA; depending on what time you want to arrive in Cairo - they run from late afternoon (BMI) to early evening (Air France) through to just after midnight (BA)), but BA are the cheapest.

However, this is outside the tour operator's control & the flights are a minor part of the trip; bearing in mind that, once in God's own country, you are in the hands of a most professional tour company.
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#5 User is offline   Mary Kay 

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  Posted 06 April 2009 - 12:38 AM

View PostGlenP, on Jun 15 2008, 01:27 PM, said:

Having just returned from my first visit home, to Egypt in 6 years &, having seen that there are no reports for this tour operator, I thought I would be the first to submit one.

Let me start by saying a huge thank you to Mummy Lucille & everyone at Viking for having arranged such a wonderful trip at such short notice. I'll be quite honest & admit that I'd been having second thoughts about the whole thing, from about the 30th of May onwards. The thought of not being in the routine of work & sleep was just so frightening; added to which there was the worry that returning to somewhere I'd previously been so happy might shatter the treasured memories. It really did take a lot of effort to make myself get to the airport & board the flight.

Needless to say, I shouldn't have worried.

The flights out to Egypt were great & I'd recommend Czech Airlines to anyone looking to travel to Cairo from the UK.

Once I arrived, I immediately saw what Lucille meant when she told me that so much had changed; just from the new terminal at Cairo Airport. Thankfully some things are always going to be the same, such as The Ramses Hilton Hotel, which is still very special to me, even though I first stayed there 20 years ago. I must at this point thank Lucille so much for the upgrade to a Nile view mini-suite, on all three nights at the hotel. There's something about being able to walk out on to a balcony, even at 5 am, & see the Nile, that really let's you know you're back home. Much as I feel daft to admit it, I didn't get much sleep that night, due having been dancing round the room, saying, "I'm back! I'm back!" Yet there I was, 10:30 the next morning ready to get out & back to Giza.

Giza was pretty much as I remembered it, apart from there being fewer souvenir sellers, but Memphis was much changed; the new exhibits at the Open Air Museum make this site much more worth a visit than when there was only the statue of Ramses II & the alabaster sphynx. The restaurant where Rania Akl, my guide, & I had lunch was very nice &, although I'm out of the habit of eating lunch, the food was delicious. Then there was Sakarra, which has always been one of my favourite places to visit in the Cairo area & which I could spend hours wandering round.

Rania was a wonderful guide, immediately putting me at ease; we ended up talking more in one day than I've probably talked to anyone, outside of a working environment, in years.

I always enjoyed the Egyptair internal flights & both that to Aswan & then the one back to Cairo, from Luxor, were perfectly comfortable & thoroughly enjoyable, having passed off very smoothly.

Aswan will always be Aswan. Calm, peaceful & relaxing, especially after the hustle & bustle of Cairo & will always be somewhere I love returning to. There's something magical about sailing in a felucca at sunset on this beautiful stretch of the Nile, with its boulders & islands that I can never grow tired of, whilst the sunsets are a delight to behold.

The MS Al Kahila; a Sabena cruise boat, was as luxurious as Lucille promised it would be & I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 days I spent on her; although I'm determined that one day I will have the privilege of travelling on one of Viking's own fleet.

A special thanks must go to Radwan, my guide for the cruise & in Luxor, who remembered me from my last trip in 2002, for having adapted his guiding style to suit someone who'd been to all of the sites we visited 13 times before. He adopted a policy of providing a quick talk on what had changed since last time I visited & then leaving me to wander about & see those things I wanted to in my own time. I do hope that he's feeling better, after having suffered a touch of heat exhaustion when doing the West Bank, on Monday; it really was very hot & he didn't have the option of getting out of the sun inside a tomb.

The tours in Luxor were wonderful. I especially enjoyed seeing the improvements to the approach to Karnak, being able to visit the Open Air Museum, whilst there & the changes to Luxor Temple, on Sunday, whilst the new Visitor Centre at the Valley of the Kings is a simply marvellous enhancement to making the site understandable; even though the no photography policy, in tombs & museums, was a bit disappointing, but the rules are there to be obeyed & as it's intended to protect the monuments, then I guess it's understandable.

In fact, I was quite fortunate, in the King's Valley, in that I managed to get KV 43, Thothmoses IV, all to myself; even the ticket collector having wandered off for a chat with some workmen who were replastering the walls along the footpaths. It was lovely & cool, whilst I was able to spend my time lingering over the small amount of wonderful decoration to be found there & the restoration grafitti of Maya & Djehutymose; I promise to bring along a picture of the tomb's decoration for Radwan to see, next time I'm in Egypt, as he's never seen this tomb & it was very difficult explain it to him in words.

After having stayed at The Old Cataract so often in the past, I had very high expectations of Sofitel's historic properties & I'm happy to say that The Old Winter Palace more than lived up to these. The lobby was beautiful, full of old world charm, the decor gave a chance to see so many images from Luxor's past as a tourist destination & my room, which seemed huge, had a lovely high ceiling, antique furniture & an oblique Nile view from the balcony, was marvellous. When you add to all this the immaculately kept gardens, which were great for walking exploring in an evening, you have everything necessary to ensure this hotel will almost certainly become a regular feature of future visits to Egypt. I will admit at this point to having only sampled the delicious buffet breakfast in the restaurants here, as I decided to walk down to the King's Head Pub & watch the European Football Championships.

Although there have been several noticeable changes to Luxor; such as the calleche drivers seeming to only come out near sunset & souvenir salesmen having become less pushy (not to mention the traffic lights along the corniche); which does make me wonder whether those who complain about such things on the various Internet travel sites have actually visited Luxor at all,

Luxor Museum remains an absolute must see feature of any visit to the city. Even though there is the disappointment of not being able to take photos any longer, the new gallery; which includes from Cairo that would be overlooked in the standard guided tour of that museum, such as Nakhtmin & Tjay's bust & statue (shame that they had to leave the stunningly beautiful statue of the former's wife in Cairo though), is absolutely delightful & I spent the best part of 2 hours of sheer bliss there on Tuesday.

Having returned to Cairo, I braved the traffic & wandered across to the museum. Thankfully, despite the fact that some displays have changed; with several objects that have been on long term display having disappeared, many old favourites have returned from loan & so a most enjoyable 4 hours wandering round & enjoying myself there.

My only complaint is that I really should have learned from past experience that anything less than a full 2 weeks is nothing like enough time to devote to such a holiday; & this complaint is firmly directed at myself for not having been confident enough to take such a break from work. Still, I'll know better for next time (yes,Lucille, you can take this as advanced warning that I'm already planning for a return, next year).

Sorry if this has turned into something of a travelogue & again, huge thanks to Lucille & everyone else involved for having provided me with the best experience I've had in far too many years.


Prof. Glen I think you have fun wherever you go! Very enjoyable comments and it brought back memories of the Grand Tour in '99 ! Happy Anniversary!! ~ MK
~Queen Mary Kay~

No distance of place or lapse of time
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who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth
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#6 User is offline   Goldie 

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 06:35 AM

View PostMary Kay, on Apr 6 2009, 02:38 AM, said:

Prof. Glen I think you have fun wherever you go! Very enjoyable comments and it brought back memories of the Grand Tour in '99 ! Happy Anniversary!! ~ MK



Glen, MK, wouldn't be nice if we could all do it again ! ! :D
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