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Egypt cruises - differences between Viking and Gate 1

So I know Viking on Nike cruises will do an excellent job and will make us feel safe with escorted tours and group forays around Cairo. BUT FOR A PRICE perhaps $16000 all inclusive with airfare.
Gate 1 specials using their MS Esplanade can be had for maybe $8000-9000 with you getting to New York gateway and flying Egyptair.
Pretty tempting since I had ruled out a $16000 cost of an Egypt/Nile trip.

So what am I giving up with this. Will it be safe?


Posted by
6375 posts

A local friend took the Gate 1 Egypt last year, and loved it. She has mentioned several times how safe she felt, and how security conscious the company was.

She has also said that that was her favorite tour… ever. And I know that she has taken tours with at least four different tours companies.

Posted by
7906 posts

We did Gate 1 Travel's Egypt tour with two three day Nile cruises. It was fantastic, we had a guide with a university degree in Egyptian history. Our lodging were 5 star in Cairo and 4.5 in Aswan.

When I priced both Viking and Gate 1, Viking was almost double Gate 1, so we took Gate 1.

Posted by
894 posts

Wayne F,
We went with Trafalgar, arranged through AAA. It was a little less than Gate 1. We had three days in Cairo, a seven day Nile cruise, flight to and from Abu Simbel, and a final two days in Cairo. Top class hotels. Our guide was a college professor with an incredible knowledge of history. There were 39 people and we never felt like a herd or horde. As on all tours in Egypt, there was a guard with us on the bus and ship. It included our airfare from LA on Lufthansa. Next time we will arrange our own flights as we were very disappointed with Lufthansa. (We used to like them, but they have gone downhill lately.)
We shared our ship with a small Insight Tour group (about 10-12 people) but they debarked after three days. They seemed to be a lot more serious than us. (Didn't see many smiles from them, or dancing with the entertainers, as we did!) We were VERY happy with our tour and recommend Trafalgar highly.
(We had a great Insight Tour in Turkey though.)
I hope you get to Egypt. It is a magical land.
Bonne chance.

Posted by
3339 posts

Thanks Judy! I would have never considered Trafalgar - but now I will have to decide between Gate 1 and Trafalgar. I always assumed that the less expensive Egypt tour operators would not provide a good experience. But thanks to this forum, I see that I was wrong.

Posted by
11368 posts

All tours from US and, I believe Britain, are required by the Egyptian govt to be accompanied by Egyptian military guards. They were all polite, helpful. They kept the touts away! Their guns were always visible. This is Egypt’s attempt to keep down attempts by terrorists to go after US and British citizens.
We went to Egypt with Odysseys Unlimited which included cruises on Lake Nasser( we docked right at Abu Simbel) and the Nile. We liked the Lake Nasser cruise the best!

Posted by
7906 posts

When comparing tours, I always print out each tour's detailed itinerary as well as the lodgings.

Do your own research if there is a difference regarding what is visited to determine which one is best.
You will likely find most tours hit the same high points.

Our Gate 1 Tour included Abu Simbel, which was well worth visiting as was our three day cruise on Lake Nasser.

We did select Gate 1's flight directly from JFK directly into Cairo. No other airlines fly direct from the USA to Cairo.
Egyptair was late departing from JFK for 16 hours due to a maintenance requirement (we were told later by a crew member that once a month the aircraft was late leaving from Cairo because Egyptair scheduled routine maintenance). That delay was a royal pain. The flight itself was OK, but nothing to brag about.