Is anyone from the first departures back?

Hello, my dearest travelers ...
Has anyone heard anything from the first groups about their trip? It has been dead silent..... I would like to hear a review, something. :((
We're waiting

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Comments

  • milmil
    edited February 7

    Thank you so much Virginia_Travelers , yes... I read the review, it sounds amazing , I had to change my trip from Nov.2020 to May 2021 :( I hope the Museum is open by then.
    Thanks again.

  • Forgive my ignorance, but could someone please point out the link for the reviews of any of the Egypt trips? I am also very interested in the type of aircraft being used on the charter flights. We were on a cruise to Alaska several years ago and eight passengers were killed on an excursion flight, so I'm afraid, I'm a little leery about small aircraft.

  • edited February 20

    Exlandlubber
    11:38AM

    Forgive my ignorance, but could someone please point out the link for the reviews of any of the Egypt trips? I am also very interested in the type of aircraft being used on the charter flights. We were on a cruise to Alaska several years ago and eight passengers were killed on an excursion flight, so I'm afraid, I'm a little leery about small aircraft.

    Ex- the formal "Reviews" section of the website is still not up and running. The information there was limited anyway.

    Your best bet is to check travel forum posts. Look to the right of this screen and click on the area/trip/event you are interested in. If you click on an area you will be shown a list of trips in that area. When you click on the specific trip you will be shown the forum archives of all posts about that trip (could be many pages). If you don't want to scan or read all the posts, you can also do a search on a particular topic. (See search window at the top right of this page). You'll need to carefully phrase your query or else you'll get tons or almost no hits.

    It will be a charter for sure for the Aqaba to Aswan leg. I did some digging but could only find scheduled commercial fights that take the long way around- from Aqaba to Amman to Cairo, to Aswan and can take up to 24 hrs!!! I would think if Tauck were to use that route we would return to Amman from Petra (or Wadi Rum) instead of going all the way to Aqaba. Tauck has been using charter flights in Australia for years! It is a totally different environment than Alaska. The flight from Aswan to Abu Simbel and back is likely on Egyptair flt 409/412 in a fairly new, 60 - 130 seat Airbus A220-300 or similar 76 passenger Embraer 170, both commercial jets. Flight schedules/times make it look like we spend only 2 hours at Abu Simbel which is probably just fine. The flight from Luxor to Cairo is also via commercial flight, probably on Egyptair and on a similar aircraft.

    As far as Jordan & Egypt, Petra to the Pyramids, the previous version of this trip ceased in 2011 because of the Arab Spring uprisings. The new trip is slightly different and it is doubtful there is much useful information in those old posts. A number of us have been eagerly waiting, but unfortunately, no one on the early 2020 departures has posted to the forums. :/ The way it is going, it looks like you will need to wait until we get back from the 22 Mar departure to read my report and ask questions. :)

  • Hi Exlandlubber,

    As always AlanS is on point!

    Here's details I received from the tour manager regarding the internal flights.

    For the flight on Day 10 Luxor to Cairo it is with Egypt Air, a commercial airline. They use Airbus 320s or 330s.
    For the flights Aqaba to Aswan and then Aswan-Abu Simbel-Aswan we fly with Petroleum Air Services, a charter flight company. They use twin engine Dash-8 planes with 50 seats that are flown by 2 pilots, these are common planes used for smaller flights in the U.S.

    Hope this helps,
    Tauck Emily

  • edited February 22

    Tauck_Emily
    3:28PM

    Hi Exlandlubber,

    As always AlanS is on point!

    Thanks, but not quite. I was close, but my guess missed the mark on the flight to/from Abu Simbel- the initial tour map showed a green dotted line (commercial flight) on that leg. It is always fun to try and second guess. We are all still waiting for a traveler to report back!! I leave in just over a month.

    Ex,

    If you take the Kenya & Tanzania tour you may fly in a Dash 8 and/or other smaller aircraft.

    Here are photos of two PAS, Dash 8 in two different company liverys (PAS has 5 Dash 8's):

    The De Havilland Canada DHC-8, commonly known as the Dash 8, is a series of turboprop-powered regional airliners, introduced by de Havilland Canada in 1984. DHC was later bought by Boeing in 1988, then by Bombardier in 1992; then by Longview Aviation Capital in 2019, reviving the de Havilland Canada brand.

    PAS also has two CRJ900 NexGen: :) . Since they are almost twice as fast as the Dash 8, it would nice if they used one on the leg from Aqaba to ASWAN.

  • milmil
    edited February 20


    we flew in one of those on our K&T classic safari tour from Amboseli, easy flight felt super safe.

  • Just returned from Jordan Egypt trip and it was an absolutely incredible trip! Our Tour Director was phenomenal as were all the Local guides. Be prepared to be tired as you will be moving on this trip!

  • Thanks so much for all the information. It’s very helpful.

  • milmil
    edited February 29

    karen1672 Welcome home ! glad you enjoyed the trip. :)
    If you like … once you are rested, please share some more details. How was Jordan , which were the most challenging parts of the trip and why? The charters , things you saw in Petra , Cairo? latest news on the GEM , any xtra info is always appreciated.
    Thanks and have a great weekend.

  • I will be happy to share ... also don't want to spoil the many amazing experiences you will have on this adventure! My perceptions may distort your own so I will limit mine. I was blown away by this trip. I have no complaints. All accommodations were beyond great ... some were unbelievable in true "Tauck fashion". What was challenging for us as older people ( 66 and 75) getting on and off the camels, and some of the excursion boats were challenging for my husband ( he has walking and balance issues ) Pace was steady and strong. Our Tour Guide "Dina.".. was beyond belief... spoke Arabic and knew all of the customs and idiosyncrasies of the cultures... and that was truly helpful. She navigated us effortlessly through all things foreign. Jordan was beautiful and wild. Petra is still unspoiled for the most part. ... many, many tourists... you will definitely go in early to avoid the big groups. Giza ( triple WOW) and Cairo amazing. Our Local guides were outstanding... GEM is still in there... huge in scope and very dependent on tourism and foreign aid... I would be very surprised if it opens this year. From the exterior it looks a long way away...Coronavirus mania is not helping . Came home last night exhausted... and ready to go back today!

  • edited March 2

    Karen, I’m on the road until tomorrow afternoon and away from my laptop so I’ll just ask a few questions- mostly admin and timing related if you can remember. I don’t want to spoil any surprises either. :)

    First, could you answer the questions I asked about Petra dinners, etc. in the “Are you ready for Jordan . . .” thread?

    Could you answer you own question about USB ports on the motor coach(es)?

    Did Tauck or local guides use Whisper / VOX listening devices anywhere on tour- Jerash, Petra , Egypt etc.?

    What times did you leave the Wadi Musa Movenpick Hotel in the morning and arrive at the Treasury in Petra.

    What time did you reach the Basin Restaurant? (I’ve been told by Tauck about 11:30.)

    I suspect you and your husband did not, but did any in your group make the climb to the Monastery? What time did they begin the trek. Any significant reports about the Monastery trek/climb to pass along?

    What time were you scheduled to depart the Hotel for the Bedouin dinner, if the weather had not been bad? When did you learn the dinner was cancelled.

    In my other thread I described my rather ambitious hiking plans which rely on there being enough time after lunch and before dinner)

    Was there any impact anywhere in either country of the COVID 19 situation?

    I guess that does it for now. Thanks

  • Alan - Last fall on the Jordan component of the Israel/Jordan tour the guides used Whisper/VOX devices throughout Jordan.

  • Karen, for people who might not want to ride the camels, is there another way to go?

  • Yes. You can walk back to the Treasury and take a horse cart or ask you tour director as they will make arrangements for you. I think ,not positive, it is a no vehicle area so they are a little limited.

  • milmil
    edited March 3

    Karen1672 Thanks for the info.
    I do have a question, hope you can help. At he Cataract hotel in Aswan did Tauck got the classic wing rooms or the new wing? Also at the Mena House in Cairo, were the rooms facing the Pyramids or the gardens? How was the excursion to the Wadi Rum? are the vehicles in good shape and what kind? was this date an early start one?, also the visit to WR. is it long enough? on the tour description, it says departure to Egypt is early in the afternoon.. How about the hotel arrival? is there any chance to enjoy a sunset or the hotel itself?
    Thanks.

  • I don't want to spoil surprises for you. We were in the newer building at the Cataract and rooms did not disappoint ,but we did not have a corner room.. Sunsets are definitely available every day. Mena house main building is under renovation so we faced some gardens and Pyramids were visible from our room. Again room did not disappoint. Wadi Rum was awesome and it's an early start because the drive is about 45 minutes and very rugged roads(slow going). It was really cold in the morning and I think we had ample time. Don't worry about the vehicles and you won't see any Range rovers . Down time is always limited on Tauck trips ... so be prepared to keep moving. You will enjoy every excursion.

  • edited March 4

    We took the Israel Jordan trip last fall and enjoyed it very much. Regarding Jordan, we did the hike to the monastery. Overall it took longer than expected. I would say one to one and a half hours up and one hour down and then it is nice to sit at the top for a bit and just enjoy. So perhaps 3 hours total if you don’t want to rush. We did the hike after the lunch at the basin. It was all a bit tight as we didn’t have much time to rest before the farewell dinner. I am happy we did it, but it was exhausting. The hike is quite steep in areas and I do have a fear of heights. In some spots, the path is narrow with steep areas on either side. I think about a third of our group did the hike, and our Tauck director also went and made sure everyone made it up and back down, which was great. It is a beautiful sight and worth the hike. It was very hot. Bring water. We are going on the Egypt Nile trip in the fall, which is why I am watching this thread. Safe travels!

  • WendyWB
    9:25AM edited 9:26AM

    We took the Israel Jordan trip last fall and enjoyed it very much. Regarding Jordan, we did the hike to the monastery. Overall it took longer than expected. I would say one to one and a half hours up and one hour down and then it is nice to sit at the top for a bit and just enjoy. So perhaps 3 hours total if you don’t want to rush. . . .

    Wendy, thanks for the additional data point! The fastest I've heard was about 30 - 45 min. up by the 20-something sons of one Tauck traveler. Unless you are unsure on your feet or have issues with height, going down can be much quicker.

    It might be unrealistic, but my goal is two hours for a round trip that includes pausing just very briefly for photos along the way, including a brief stop at the Lion Triclinium, and possibly a short hike past the Monastery to one of the overlook spots for a photo or two.

  • We were on the February 15 departure with karen1672 and I agree with everything she has posted. I've made some of my own notes and put them below.

    • It’s fabulous, wonderful, and stupendous!
    • Local guides / Egyptologists are brilliant! To answer an oft-asked question – we always had our listening devices.
    • Tour is still being refined; don’t count too much on green book or even the app itinerary. And, this is a culture where things might have to be changed even at the last minute!
    • Pace rating should be changed from 3 to 4 – very little down time and several very early mornings. But worth it!!!
    • Jackets are available at the 1902 restaurant so gentlemen don’t have to pack one if space is an issue.
    • I had thought about hiking to the Monastery at Petra but decided not to. Turned out to be a good decision because 3 of our group did it and got caught in heavy rain coming back. Water in the Siq was over their shoes.
    • Camel rides are always optional – but you really should try it once!
    • I had been apprehensive about Wadi Rum but it was a blast! You sit on benches on the back of pickup trucks. It can be breezy and dusty so wear sunglasses and maybe bring something to cover your nose and mouth if that bothers you
    • Charter flights are fine – better than having to deal with commercial flights.
    • Personally, was very satisfied with spending only a couple of hours at the Old Egyptian Museum – our Egyptologists took us to the real “gems”. Any more than that and I’d have been a zombie. Having said that, maybe in a couple of years it would be nice to go back and see the new museum and the renovated Mena House Hotel.
    • Felt very safe - didn’t have a guard with us in Jordan; always had a guy in a suit with a gun with us in Egypt.
    • Never take anything from anyone – they’ll most likely want money for it after handing it to you. If someone offers to take your picture be sure they don’t expect to be paid for it. I had one of the guards at a temple offer to take my picture so I thought that would be OK. Nope, he wanted money. Definitely report anything like this to the tour director.
    • Link to our photos: http://www.fototime.com/inv/F690C49BD3454EC
  • Thank you candy_habich. Great info. Loved the pictures too.

  • Thanks Candy. Your information is greatly appreciated and your photos are spectacular. This is the great thing about the Forum!

    For all those having gone on this trip or just the Egypt trip - who were your Tour Directors? Just curious. We did Israel/Jordan last year and was wondering if it is the same TD doing "Egypt - Jewel of the Nile".

  • candy_habich
    12:34PM

    We were on the February 15 departure with karen1672 and I agree with everything she has posted. I've made some of my own notes and put them below. . . .

    Thanks!!!! I added your post to my info sheet for LOML. Wonderful pics, I'm salivating, but getting really nervous with what is going on with COVID 19 everywhere else. There is still only one case in Jordan and only 2 (one already recovered) in Egypt.

  • Thank you ladies for your very helpful and interesting information! We leave next week and we’re starting to get nervous about getting our act together! We have waited so long for this trip!

  • Safe Travels** Virginia Sue.** I'm sure you'll have a SPECTACULAR trip. We can't wait to read your review. December seems so far far away for me.

  • Virginia Sue
    March 4

    Thank you ladies for your very helpful and interesting information! We leave next week and we’re starting to get nervous about getting our act together! We have waited so long for this trip!

    Don't forget to tell them (warn them??? :D ) we will be arriving two weeks later! :) (I hope)

    We sure have number of "Virginia" folks here. We lived in N. VA on and off for almost 30 yr. :)

  • Where did you live Alan? I grew up in Arlington, live near Fredericksburg now.
    Did everyone get their emails today with opting out info? I hope it doesn’t come to that.

  • edited March 6

    Virginia Sue
    3:18PM

    Where did you live Alan? I grew up in Arlington, live near Fredericksburg now.
    Did everyone get their emails today with opting out info? I hope it doesn’t come to that.

    We lived about halfway between Old Town Alexandria and Washington's Mt. Vernon mansion about two blocks off the GW Parkway in Waynewood. We moved to E. NC in '04.

    If anyone didn't get an email from Dan Mahar, Tauck CEO, here is a link to the new policy: http://www.tauck.com/travel-policy-update

  • Thank you candy_habich. Great info. Loved the pictures too.

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