River Nile Cruise - Your Path To The Sun
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Before you go on holiday

Travel Insurance

Airport Parking & Airport Hotels

Airport VIP Lounge

UK Airports by Coach

UK Airports by Rail


In Cairo outdoor pools located in some hotels may have to close for maintenance during the winter months, please check when booking.


If you are a qualified diver and have no proof of a dive logged within the last 6 months you will be required to do a refresher dive. Please take your diving qualification card and logbook on holiday with you.



It is generally accepted that you may take pictures from the outside of many of the monuments; it is not acceptable to use a flash when taking pictures inside. Some museums and historical sites may not allow any photography whereas for others there may be a chargeable fee (around E£5-E£10). There is a restriction on the use of video equipment and you will be asked for a larger, additional fee. All photography of military or government buildings and public works is strictly prohibited. Always ask permission before photographing local people and expect them to ask for a tip.


The Middle East is an extremely hot, particularly in the summer so you will find the most comfortable clothing consists of loose fitting, light cotton garments. Sunglasses and sunhats are a must and it is recommended that you take comfortable shoes. Dress conservatively so as not to offend.

Local Customs

Egypt follows the Muslim tradition and it is expected that you respect this. It is not acceptable to wear the usual western holiday clothing and swimwear in public places but is acceptable around the pool or sundeck areas.

Women are expected to cover their arms and not to wear any revealing shorts or tops in public places, particularly when visiting religious buildings. It is advisable for men to wear long or short sleeved shirts and long trousers in public places. Egyptian men greet their male friends with a hug and kiss on both checks; however this is not acceptable for female friends. For travellers and holiday makers it is advisable to use a handshake.


Ramadan is the Holy month of fasting when the Islamic culture refrain from smoking, eating, and drinking during the hours of daylight. Visitors should refrain from smoking, eating and drinking during the hours of daylight in public. Hotels make provision for their visitors during these times.

Currency and Credit Card information

Currency is Egyptian pounds (E£) approximately 10 to £1.00 sterling. The Egyptian E£ is made up of 100 piastres, other notes include 25 piatres upward. The most common will be E£1, E£5, E£10 E£20, E£50 and E£100 note. Be careful to check which note that you are paying with as they are very similar and are easily mistaken, check if its 50 piastries or 50 Egyptian pounds.

Generally credit cards and traveller cheques are widely accepted in Egypt, and also on Nile Cruises. (Service charges can be approximately 2%) When exchanging money you will be provided with an official receipt, which you should keep. Some of the resorts and hotels provide cash machines but they shouldn’t be relied upon. Speak to your hotel to find out their location.

Please note - Although the cafe in Luxor airport accepts Egyptian currency many of the shops don't.


It is advisable to hold on to small notes E.g. E£1 and E£5 for tipping or for buying cheaper items as small change in Egypt seems to be in short supply.


It is necessary to use an adaptor in Egypt (usually a two pin plug). Voltage is 220/240.


English is widely spoken in Egypt however the official language is Arabic.


Generally the food in hotels and on board the River Nile cruise boats is International and European style cuisine.

There are some Arabic dishes which visitors may want to try such as:

Tahini - this is a sesame seed past, with garlic, spices and olive oil, and is served with bread as a dip.

Baba Ghannouogh - this dip is made from mashed aubergines and tahini

Falafel - this is a fried pate made from chick peas, broad beans, spices and parsley

Stuffed vine leaves - this is minced meat mixed with rice and served in vine leaves.

Karkade - this is a local drink made from hibiscus petals served either hot or cold and sweetened to your taste. It can be sweetened with 7Up to make a long cool drink - burgundy in colour.

Fresh Fruit Juices - Orange and mango juices are widely available and freshly squeezed. Sugar cane juice is the local specialty.


Wine - As Egypt is a Muslim country alcohol has a limited interest so production is not high. Spirits and wine however are readily available but may not be of the standard to which you are used to. Drinks also tend to be expensive.

Beer - There is a limited choice of beer however, local beer is good and better value. Beer designated as export tends to be in smaller bottles and is expensive. Imported beer e.g. Heineken come in cans in some hotel bars but again can be expensive.

Coffee and Tea

Turkish style coffee is generally served so don’t forget to ask for a Nescafe if Turkish is not to your taste. Most hotels have coffee machines and can supply espressos and cappuccino etc but they are not universal.

Hot beverages in Egypt are generally served without milk and contain lots of sugar. Tea is often flavoured with mint; milk is not automatically served so you will probably have to ask for it.

Safety Deposit Boxes

Safety deposit boxes are widely available in most hotels and on board most cruise ships and often at no extra charge.

Opening Hours

Bank opening hours generally are 8.30am - 2.00pm Monday - Thursday, closed on Friday, Saturday and most public holidays.

Shop opening times generally are 10.00am - 9.00pm in the winter and 9.00am - 10.00pm in the summer. Many of the shops close on Sundays. Hours of opening may be extended in tourist areas and shopping malls.

In Egypt it is customary to be offered tea or soft drinks in some of the larger shops. Bargaining or battering is very common place in the Bazaars in Egypt and can be quite fun. Take advice from your tour guide with regards to the best way to haggle and what you should pay for common souvenirs.


Taxis are widely available in Egypt and are inexpensive. It is advisable to agree the fair before you embark on your journey, and not to pay until you reach your destination. This is also advisable for horse and carriage rides or caliches.


Phoning home is expensive from hotels in Egypt. Phone cards cost E£20 or E£30 for a three to four minute call to the UK. Please note: If the number of rings exceeds 11 you will be charged for the call, even if it has not been answered.


Baksheesh is the Egyptian name for tipping and is frequently heard as tipping is a way of life in Egypt. Generally porters, temple guardians, waiters etc will expect a small tip. Tip approximately E£1 for a porter, coach driver approximately E£2 and E£50 for a cleaner if you are staying in a hotel. 


Health and Safety

Before you travel you may wish to consider how best to protect yourself from illness whilst on holiday. It is strongly recommended you speak to your doctor who is in a position to advise you. No vaccinations are currently required to visit Egypt. Most of the larger hotels can obtain the most common medicines. You should always bring your own prescription medicine on holiday with you as it may be available in local pharmacies but not recognised by the same name. Stomach upsets do sometimes occur and are generally due to the heat and a change in diet, so its is always advisable to bring general preventative medicines with you. It is important to drink a lot of water whilst on holiday even in you don't feel particularly thirsty and this will help prevent against any dehydration. It is advisable to only drink bottled water which is available in most shops and restaurants.

A combination of spicy foods, not drinking enough water and the heat all contribute towards a stomach upset. So follow a few simple guidelines which may save you from any sickness whilst on holiday.


Always wash your hands before you eat.

Avoid ice cubes in your drinks. Drink bottles water and check that the seal is not broken before drinking. Some salads may have been washed with tap water so if you have a particularly weak stomach it may be advisable to avoid foods such as salads.

Ensure that food is hot and has been cooked properly before eating.

Too much alcohol can cause dehydration so avoid drinking too much alcohol during the day.

Travel insurance - it is recommended that you take out comprehensive travel insurance and take your documentation on holiday with you.

A helpful website which we recommend you visit before you travel is www.fco.gov.uk/travel or call the Foreign Commonwealth Office on 0870 606 0290 for any advice for travellers to Egypt. Further advice can be found on BBC 2 Colfax page 470 or contacting ABTA on 0901 201 5050 (calls currently charged at 50p per min).


Airlines may refuse permission for pregnant woman who will be flying when 28 weeks or more pregnant on the day of return travel. Expectant mothers who are 28 weeks or more pregnant should always carry a medical certificate which should confirm the stage of pregnancy for their return flight home and also confirms that they are fit to fly. If you fail to comply with the airline regulations this may result in a cancellation and denial to board and we will not be held responsible for any such incident. Pregnant travellers should also check their insurance policy documentation for any restrictions.

Deep Vein Thrombosis Syndrome

If you have any concerns about this condition we suggest that you speak to your doctor before you travel. Their has been some publicity and concern regarding DVT for some passengers particularly on long haul flights.

Traveling Around Egypt

A Government regulation has been imposed to ensure the safety of tourists in Egypt. On some visits tourists may be accompanied by a police convoy when travelling by road, this is for safety purposes and travellers should not be alarmed.

Passports and Visas

A full 10 year passport is required for all Uk and EU citizens. Passports should have a least 6 months to run from the date of return and the name on your passport should match that on the ticket. (newly weds should bring their proof of name change). A tourist visa is required for all British and EU passport holders to enable them to enter Egypt. A visa can be obtained on arrival at approximately £10 to £15 p sterling. Please note that details may change and it is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is valid and correct.

If you hold a non British passport you should check with the relevant High Commission. Passport information and visa requirements should be checked with the Egyptian Consulate. Telephone: 020 7235 9777.

You’re Holiday Checklist

Before you go


Travel Insurance


Any vaccinations required

Malaria tablets if required

Travellers cheques/credit cards/money


Photography equipment

Camera/film/memory card

Video equipment and film

Battery charger/camera equipment


Prescription medication etc

First Aid Kit - plasters, antiseptic, insect repellant

Sun protection









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