Did you know Tauck is returning to Egypt in 2020?

I don't know how many folks noticed, but while the forums were read only, Tauck resurrected the Jordan and Egypt tour, "Jordan & Egypt; Petra to the Pyramids" https://www.tauck.com/tours/petra-to-pyramids-jordan-egypt-tour?tcd=ep2020 (the forum is using the old tour name) and started a new Egypt/Nile-only tour, "Egypt; Jewels of the Nile" https://www.tauck.com/tours/jewels-of-the-nile-egypt-tour?tcd=ey2020.

As you may know Tauck stopped running the Jordan and Egypt tours and held them in abeyance during the Arab Spring uprisings. Obviously some of you noticed because most of the 2020 departures are sold out. We are going on the Jordan & Egypt tour in March. It promises to be epic!!

Comments

  • I want to go to Egypt, but I'm waiting until the new Grand Egyptian Museum is open. It was supposed to partially open this year, but now it is delayed until 2020 (don't know the month). The full opening is now scheduled for 2022. So I'm thinking 2023. I also have to convince my wife that it's safe (working on that).

  • I'm shooting for an opening no later than 1 April 2020. We are on the 22 March departure so don't get to Cairo until 31 March. Keeping my fingers crossed. What concerns me is that they have started moving everything to the new site, mostly to the restoration labs where they have been working feverishly with the help of a team from Japan to get it all ready. I believe most of the Tut stuff is already there, so . . . . if the new museum is not open, there may be little to nothing to see at the old museum either. That would be a worst case scenario :s . Their plan is to eventually re-purpose the old museum.

  • We’re on the late December 2020 tour and fingers crossed the museum will be up and running.

  • mcmaj - I am also booked for the Egypt and Jordan trip in later December 2020. Really looking forward to it, and my fingers are crossed that the new museum will be open!!

  • edited August 13

    My latest research says the GEM may not open until the end of 2020 at the earliest- could be 2021 or as some naysayers predict, 2022, on the 100 year anniversary of Howard Carter's discovery of Tut's tomb. Back in January they were saying early 2020, but recent statements by Tarek Tawfik, the museum's director general, Director General of Archeological Affairs at the GEM, Dr. Tayeb Abbas, Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani, and others indicate it might be late 2020. On 1 May 2019 the Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat said that the Egyptian Grand Museum (GEM) will be inaugurated in the last quarter of 2020. One article stated, "The opening date has been pushed back over a year, but we have heard (by Presidential decree, no less) that it will definitely happen in 2020 - at least a soft opening." A number of recent articles have also used the term "soft opening." Many items have already been transferred from the old museum to the GEM's restoration labs where over 42,000 have been processed. Museum officials claim there are more than enough for the old museum and the GEM.

    A 30 July report stated when Egypt’s Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouli visited the site near the Giza Pyramids to review the progress, he announced, "Construction work on phase 3 of the Grand Egyptian Museum project is 90% complete."

    Laurens Schokking, the Project Director explained to the Minister that concrete and steel works had hit 98% and 99% progress respectively. He added that mechanical, engineering, and plumbing works at the museum, including the main building, the central square and the Ramses hall as well as the 3,200-year-old statue of King Ramses II that weighs 75 tons, stands at 84%."

    In a related bit of (possibly disappointing) news, King Tut's sarcophagus was removed from his tomb in the Valley of Kings for restoration and repair in the Gem labs. Sterilization and restoration will take nearly 8 months,. It will not be on display until it and Tuts two other nesting coffins are on display together for the first time ever at the GEM- they are to be moved to the GEM just before the opening. Unless they install a copy, our after-hours visit to Tuts tomb will evidently only get to see the tomb walls, but no sarcophagus.

    If the GEM is not open, maybe Tauck can schedule a visit to the labs. Tarik Tawfik, the general director of the GEM, previously told Daily News Egypt that the museum’s restoration labs are open for visits for EGP 200 ($12?), with a maximum 10 people at a time to enter the lab.

    Yup, I've been trying to follow developments!

  • Ksolliday — we’re coming in one day early but can’t decide whether to stay an extra day in Cairo. Our tour ends on Jan. 1st and I was thinking that flying that day might not be a good idea. I’d be interested to know what you’re planning.

    AlanS — thank you for the update. I’ve been trying to keep up as well, but I think you’ve identified better sources than mine. 😄

  • edited August 20

    mcmaj, 7:06PM. . . . . we can’t decide whether to stay an extra day in Cairo. Our tour ends on Jan. 1st and I was thinking that flying that day might not be a good idea. I’d be interested to know what you’re planning.

    Not Ksolliday, but here is something to consider. If you don't have your flights yet and even if you do (there aren't many), check out the departure time from Cairo. Most flights leave late at night. We are flying Delta between Atlanta and Charles de Gaulle and on partner, Air France, into Amman and out of Cairo. The flight from Cairo leaves around 2:00 am, meaning we had two options- leave (for the airport) a few hours after and on the night of the farewell dinner or spend the last tour night at the Mena House and leave late the next night. We decided to leave the next night which essentially gives us another full day in Cairo to do whatever (still researching options- return visit to Giza and the pyramids, the GEM if it has opened, book a private excursion back to Saqqara, or Coptic Cairo, etc.). Unless Tauck provides a day room or we can book one that will cover us until 11:00 pm, we will leave our bags with the hotel concierge while out touring or just book a room for another night.

    According to the Marriott Mena House website, a room for two for the night in question will cost $252 for their most expensive room- "Grand Deluxe Room, Executive lounge access, Larger Guest room, 1 King, Garden view, The Palace," though the Tauck "Stay later" rate is $310 (taxes or an expensive breakfast? :) ). Even though we wouldn't be spending a full night, if we extend our stay with a room we could tour all day, eat dinner, leisurely pack and rest a bit before the airport transfer. After typing this and thinking about it more, I will probably just book just booked an extra night through Tauck. While I'm at it I'll ask if the Tauck rooms have Garden or Pyramid views. :)

  • I went to Egypt with another tour company during the period that Tauck was not going there, and, on my own, took a full day trip from Cairo to Alexandria. Alexandria has a National Museum (housed in what used to be the U.S. Consulate), Roman ruins, a new library built near the site of the famous Library that was destroyed in 48 B.C., and -- most intriguing to me -- catacombs that date to the first century C.E. I had my travel agent book the trip (including a driver and English speaking guide), but I bet that you could get trips on Viator. In my opinion, it's worth extending your tour to see it.

  • MCD. 7:44AM. I went to Egypt with another tour company during the period that Tauck was not going there, and, on my own, took a full day trip from Cairo to Alexandria. Alexandria has a National Museum (housed in what used to be the U.S. Consulate), Roman ruins, a new library built near the site of the famous Library that was destroyed in 48 B.C., and -- most intriguing to me -- catacombs that date to the first century C.E. I had my travel agent book the trip (including a driver and English speaking guide), but I bet that you could get trips on Viator. In my opinion, it's worth extending your tour to see it.

    Many years ago I "cruised" to Alexandria courtesy of my uncle (Sam) on a very large, gray ship, with a big flat roof :) I just wandered the souk, no guide- it was very interesting. But I remember it was a long drive the next day from Alexandria to Cairo, so I'm not too sure I want to go that far after what will most likely be a very tiring tour.

  • MCDMCD
    edited August 23

    I agree that it's a long day. The drive is a couple of hours each way, but I didn't have to do anything except sit back and look out the window (and explain the US electoral college system to my English-speaking guide, as I was flying back to the states on the day of the 2016 election). I figured that I was not likely to get to Egypt again, so I should see as much as I could while I was there.

  • AlanS, I was thinking of using Royal Jordanian from JFK to Amman and then from Cairo to Amman to JFK. The flight times were so much shorter than anything else from NYC. I’ll check the flight times and then see about an extra night. I’ve read that New Year’s Day isn’t much of anything in Egypt or Jordan, but there did seem to be fewer flights that day.

  • edited August 23

    I looked at them. There were other reasons, but, first and foremost, I didn't chose them because the flight from Cairo home required we fly back to Amman first. It seems like most of the RDA RJA flights are from ORD. Also, we would need to get from and to RDU on a feeder. I wouldn't book the same Delta flights again because the fares have gone up quite a bit (Delta error and upgraded aircraft?)!

  • MCD. August 20. ...make that a LONG day. Don't know how to edit a post!

    Do you have a small gear in the upper right corner of post box? If so click on it and select edit.

  • Thanks, Alan. It's done!

  • Had to fix my post too- had RDA instead of RJA (Royal Jordanian Airlines). The reviews I read said the planes were nice (fairly new B787's) but cabin crew was a bit shaky. But for us another issue is getting out of eastern North Carolina. There are a limited number of flights out of the nearest airport and they only go to Charlotte- it is a two legger to JFK or ORD. A similar situation for the next nearest airport- even though it is served by Delta it only goes to ATL and it is usually a pain getting back there- we would typically have a 7 hour layover in Atlanta first! So, even though we have a 2 hour drive, the best flights/connections for us are out of Raleigh/Durham.

  • edited August 24

    We’re lucky in having the NYC airports so close. I figured going from Cairo back to Amman was offset by having a long, direct flight on one plane and maybe getting some sleep. I’ve been watching the reviews for RJA as well, and was glad to see the new cabins. I still haven’t checked the flight times. Tsk tsk.

Sign In or Register to comment.