Explore Egypt & Jordan

Trip Code: XEKJC

Why we love it

Set sail down the Nile River on a three day cruise. Relax in comfort and watch scenes of everyday Egyptian life stream by from the deck., Explore the marvel and mystery of Ancient Egypt with tours of the Pyramids at Giza, the Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel, the labyrinthian tomb catacombs in Alexandria and more., Cairo's Khan al-Khalili Bazaar is an essential Egyptian experience; lose yourself in the colours and aromas of this fascinating marketplace., Be awed by the towering, windswept rock formations at Wadi Rum on a 4WD tour, then spend night star gazing in your Bedouin desert camp., Discover the otherworldly beauty of Petra on a guided tour of this ancient city, which was carved from the pink-hued cliff at least 2000 years ago.

Is this trip right for me?

Egypt can get very hot, particularly in the summer months of July and August. Where possible we try and visit sites in the early morning before it gets too hot. While the heat is generally dry and easier to cope with than humidity, please consider your suitability to the time of year you wish to travel.

The best (and only) way to explore many of the region’s ancient sites is on foot. The walkways around ruins can be uneven, dusty and rocky, so be sure to bring sturdy walking shoes. At major sites such as the Pyramids, Petra and Wadi Rum, you will be exposed to the elements at length, so be prepared with a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water. A reasonable level of fitness is required to enjoy exploring these sites.

One of the benefits of a Comfort-style trip is that we use private transport where possible. As the traffic in Cairo and surrounding areas can be chaotic, we ask that you come prepared with patience.

Accommodation aboard the Nile River cruise is full board, but all drinks you purchase on board are at your own expense. An evening entertainment program is also available on board.

Accommodation on the overnight train is in two-berth cabins with bunk beds. All bedding is provided on board and western-style toilets are located in each carriage. Keep in mind general train cleanliness may not be to the same standards you are accustomed to. An included dinner and breakfast are served on board. You may want to purchase something extra beforehand to supplement your meal, particularly if you're a vegetarian.

In Wadi Rum we stay in a permanent tented camp with shared bathroom facilities. While the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night. Warm clothes and a sleeping bag are highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 13 (Wadi Rum Camp) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
3. Flights indicated within the itinerary are included. We use Egypt Air for this service. Baggage allowance is as follows: Checked-in - 1 Bag, max 23kg; Hand luggage - 1 bag, max 7kg
4. The flight from Cairo to Amman is unaccompanied. There will be a representative to meet you on arrival at Amman airport and as this is a combination tour the Visa Fee on arrival will not be payable as a group arrival.
5. Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Egypt before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

GENERAL PACKING LIST
• Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance,
   air tickets or e-ticket receipts and a copy of this document.
• Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets.
• Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild          pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
• Daypack
• Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both.
• Power adaptors
• Insect repellent
• Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
• Earplugs and eye mask (you might be sharing with a snorer!)
• Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an              enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a    1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or      discarded in waterways and natural environments.
• Warm clothes including hat and gloves - When travelling in cooler climates
• Wind and waterproof rain jacket
• Toiletries/travel wipes/ hand sanitizer 
• Travel Towel
• Closed in, comfortable walking shoes. As most of our trips include some walking elements, we highly          recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. 
• Camera with spare memory cards and batteries
• Clothing - The staple travel items but consider the time of year.  We recommend a fleece/jacket any time    of the year and a scarf for women for visiting religious sites
  Cold Weather• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater• Scarf• Warm gloves• Warm hat• Warm layers / thermals
  Warm Weather:• Sandals/flip-flops• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)• Sun                    hat/bandana• Swimwear

LUGGAGE LIMIT
On this trip, you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and, although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage, we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 15kg. If your itinerary includes a flight, please keep in mind that some domestic airlines have checked luggage limits of 15kg.

CLOTHING & CLIMATE
Please note that as a desert region, the Middle East can have extreme weather. Temperatures are generally hot with little rain. This can become extreme during the summer months of June to August. In the months of December to March it can be very cold, particularly next to the river or the ocean and out in the desert where night temperatures can drop dramatically. Even in the hot months, it can get cold in the desert at night. Consider bringing a sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period, especially on itineraries which include camping such as on a felucca, in a desert camp, or at a Red Sea beach camp. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat is essential.

VALUABLES
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safes to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

BATTERIES/POWER
Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras regularly. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Charging of batteries is advised before checking out of your hotel rooms. Please bear in mind there may be some nights were electricity may not be as readily available as you might be used to – home stays, beach and desert camps etc.

RESTRICTED ITEMS
Generally drones are not permitted into any Middle East destination or they require registration and pre approval please refer to your airline carrier if you are considering taking a drone on your travels or check out drone laws by country on line.
We have had some reports of binoculars being confiscated or causing delay in customs if carried in hand luggage.  

Physical rating

 
2

Despite the 'off-road' nature of this trip, it can be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. Please be aware that any visit to Petra requires a fair amount of walking. The amount of energy you expend there is largely up to you. The program in Wadi Rum involves a mixture of camel riding and a jeep safari.

Joining your group

Barceló Cairo Pyramids Hotel, 229 Al Ahram Street, Gizah - El Cairo, Cairo, EGYPT, Phone: 002 0235823300, Fax: 002 0235823700

Just off Sharia Al Haram avenue, this upscale hotel offers elegant rooms that feature satellite TV and safes. Room service is available. Hotel facilities include three modern restaurants; one serves Italian fare and another has a terrace with panoramic views. Other amenities include a 24-hour bar, as well as a shisha bar next to the heated outdoor pool. There's also a gym, along with a sauna and a spa where massages are available.

Wifi is available in the Hotel Lobby and does incur a fee, please check with reception.

The Barcelo Cairo Pyramids is located 30kms from Cairo International Airport - around a 45 minute traffic permitting. It is a short 15 minute drive to the Giza Plateau.

Joining instructions

A private arrival transfer is available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Please speak to your booking agent for more information. If you have pre-booked an arrival transfer, please ensure you have provided Intrepid with your arrival flight details at least 15 days before the departure of your Intrepid trip.

On arrival at Cairo International Airport, you are met by a transfer guide (or our local representative) holding a sign with your name on it. You are then transferred to your start hotel. Please make sure you have informed us of your flight arrival details well before you travel. If for any reason you don't make contact with the transfer officer by the time you have cleared customs, as can occasionally occur as many flights tend to arrive at the same time, please call Ramadan Shedid on the following number: (+20) 12 2100 5565.

The Barcelo Cairo Pyramids Hotel s located 30kms from Cairo International Airport. The drive should take around 45 minutes traffic permitting. Cairo is notorious for its busy traffic, so it may take much longer.

Finishing your trip

Toledo Hotel Jordan, 37 Al Razi Street Jabal Al-Hussein, Amman, JORDAN

Toledo hotel is situated in the heart of Amman, 30 minutes from the Airport and on the edge of the old downtown. The property is within walking distance to the new city center, major historical and biblical sites, the citadel and The Romanian amphitheatre and “Jabal Al Hussein“ one of the biggest shopping areas in Amman.

The rooms at Toledo Hotel are fitted with air-conditioning, sound insulated windows, satellite channels in several languages, WiFi and a mini bar. All rooms face the famous King Abdullah Mosque and several historical churches. The hotel also offers 24 hour room service, a coffee shop, safety deposit boxes and laundry services.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 18

Lunches included: 4

Dinners included: 7

Your group leader or representative will endeavor to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible. Please note that Gluten Intolerances and Vegan can be more challenging in some parts of the Middle East, you may wish to speak to your trip leader at the group meeting to alert them of this so they can help you throughout the trip in planning suitable meals.

Your group leader or representative will endeavor to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

Climate & seasonal information

SUMMER IN EGYPT
As the days get warmer, temperatures can start to soar, particularly in Upper Egypt (Luxor and Aswan). From April to October, to avoid the midday heat, some days start very early (for example - 5am). Please be prepared for this - our schedules are designed to make touring as comfortable for you as possible.

The weather in Jordan can get quite extreme. Overall, it tends to be hot during the day and cold at night (in desert areas, expect it to be extremely hot during the day and freezing at night). Yet during winter it can get bitterly cold, with snowfall occurring in some parts of the country.

Travelling during the summer months (June, July and August) can be challenging for those not accustomed to the heat, so visiting Jordan during spring and autumn is recommended for those who wish to escape the hotter temperatures.

Consider your travel dates when packing for your adventure. Whilst the camps in Wadi Rum do have blankets you may want to consider packing some thermals and carrying your sleeping bag if travelling in the winter months.

RAMADAN
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 22 March - 20 April 2023 and 10 March to 08 April 2024, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +201096811067

Intrepid's Local Operator: +962 79700 4051

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

ACCOMMODATION STYLE
Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, three and four star accommodation in the Middle East (with the exception of Israel)  is often not equal to same star facilities in some western destinations. Rooms are clean and comfortable, however you may note some small maintenance issues that have been overlooked, please assist us by bringing these to the attention of your Leader so that we can follow up with our hosts. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws. Breakfast is included in 95% or our hotels, pleaser refer to our daily itinerary for meal inclusions.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multi share basis. 

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.  Standard check in time is 1400 hours.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

SHOWERS
Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.

HEATING AND AIR-CONDITIONING
As a desert region, this part of the world has extremes of weather. Winter months (approx December to March) can be very cold. All of our hotel accommodation contains suitable bedding, and simple light bedding is provided during camping activities such as an overnight felucca, desert camps or at the Red Sea Beach camp stay. Most of our travellers find the bedding provided here adequate, but for your own comfort and if you are particularly sensitive to the cold, consider bringing your own sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket. Some of our guesthouses / hotels don't supply heating. In many cases this would be a major financial and environmental strain on our hotels and the local towns. Summer (approx June to August) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning.

ROOM ISSUES
If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

Transportation

There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. Windy roads, rough surfaces and cramped conditions make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.

SECURITY WHILE TRAVELLING
Occasionally you may experience a Tourist Police Escort in your vehicle and whilst not common convoys between select towns or regions are possible. This practice has been implemented by local authorities to monitor the safety and security of visitors to Egypt.

OVERNIGHT TRAIN
On this itinerary, you will be travelling by overnight sleeper train. The sleeper cabins are about 2x1.5 meters and are 2 berths. There are 2 beds on top of each other. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. There is also a compartment next to the upper bed for luggage storage and a small sink. Toilets are located at the end of the carriage. Each carriage has 10 cabins which are all lockable from the inside. If you have booked a single supplement you will be assigned to your own berth.

During your journey dinner and breakfast are provided however the meals are very basic and you may wish to bring along your own fresh fruit, snacks and water to supplement these.

NILE RIVERBOAT
You will be staying on a riverboat for the Nile River section of this itinerary. The company we work with has a large fleet of boats and the actual boat can’t be confirmed until 30 days before departure. However you can expect the following facilities; restaurant, bar & sundeck. Most boats will also have a small swimming pool and in that instance, swimming towels will be available for use.

All cabins have ensuites, air conditioning, and windows to enjoy the views of the Nile. Accommodation during the cruise is on a full board basis, often in the form of a buffet. Drinks can be purchased from the bar or restaurant. Bottled drinking water and tea and coffee are available but are not included so please ensure you check prices on board.

Internet is mostly charged at an additional fee. We recommend purchasing a local sim card for your data requirements, please refer to the Communications section of this Essential Trip Information document.

You will have the opportunity to disembark the boat each day as we explore some of the ancient sites included on the itinerary. The boat will also be anchored at port each evening. Only on the odd occasion would it sail at night depending on the water traffic at Esna Lock.

Most often when in port there can be many boats and you may be berthed side by side with another ship. Riverboats have anywhere from 50-70 cabins and you will be sharing the facilities with other travellers not on your tour.


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