A Nile River Cruise has always been my mom’s dream vacation, so when she spotted a packaged deal, she sent it our way as a not-so-subtle hint. The 8-Night “deal” cost $2200 per person and included round trip flights from Dallas, a couple of days in Cairo, and a 4 night Nile cruise. Sensing we could do better, Shane started looking into what it would cost to book it all ourselves. He was able to put together a two week trip including everything from the packaged deal as well as a week in Turkey for not much more, about $2500 per person. So much for those “deals!” The reality is, flights are always the biggest cost, so once you’ve crossed the ocean, it doesn’t take much more to extend your trip. Something to always keep in mind when you’re planning!
In this post, we’re going to breakdown what the cost of the trip would have been if we had only gone to Egypt and compare that against the original Nile Cruise packaged deal. The only thing not included in the prices below are a couple of meals we had to pay for out of pocket in Cairo and a few other miscellaneous costs like tips for our tour guides.
ItineraryDay 1 – Arrive in Cairo, dinner cruise
Day 2 – Dahshur pyramid, Saqqara pyramid, Giza pyramids, Sphinx
Day 3 – Egyptian Museum, Al-Azhar Mosque, Bayt al-Suhaymi House, Khan el Khalili, Coptic Cairo
Day 4 – Fly to Luxor, board Sonesta St. George, Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple
Day 5 – Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple, Colossi of Agamemnon, Esna Lock
Day 6 – Horus Temple at Edfu, Kom Ombo Temple
Day 7 – High Dam of Aswan, Unfinished Obelisk, Philae Temple, Nubian Village, Old Cataract Hotel
Day 8 – Fly to Istanbul
Houston > Cairo $900pp roundtrip on Turkish Airlines connecting in Istanbul
Cairo > Luxor $114pp one way on Egyptair
Aswan > Cairo $129pp one way on Egyptair
Cairo Hotel: $180 ($90pp) for three nights at Guardian Guest House – included airport transfers
Cairo Tours: $155pp, included private driver to pyramids, Egyptian museum, Nile dinner cruise, and lots more attractions, all arranged for us by Guardian Guest House.
Cruise: $470pp for five nights on the Sonesta St. George booked through Memphis Tours (included all meals, entry fees, and airport transfers)Eight days in Egypt: $1858 per person
Overall we saved nearly $700 by booking it ourselves, and got to fly out of the airport of our choice, choose which dates we wanted, and book the cruise, hotel, and tours on our terms instead of that being dictated by a prepackaged vacation “deal.” We were even able to make arrangements that the packaged deal didn’t include, such as a dinner cruise on the Nile when we arrived in Cairo, which was a surprise we planned for my mom.
It truly was the trip of a lifetime, seeing ancient sites and relaxing on a luxury ship—plus we got to do it all with my parents which was very special. Stay tuned to the blog for the next few weeks as we recap our experiences in Egypt!