GMT + 2 hours.
The national language in Egypt is Arabic. However, tourists will
rarely find it to be a problem communicating as English is widely
spoken in hotels and shops, with French a close second. Many staff
in tourist areas also speak German or Italian.
The unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound (LE), which is divided
into 100 piasters. Notes are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 20,
50, 100 and 200 pounds. Coins are issued in denominations of LE1,
and 25, and 50 piasters.
US dollars are widely accepted in major tourist establishments,
hotels and souvenir shops. It is useful to have local currency for
tipping or for shopping in smaller souks or local restaurants.
There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or
travellers cheques which may be brought into the country. However,
passengers entering Egypt with Egyptian currency exceeding the
equivalent of USD$1,000 must declare this on arrival.
The following credit cards are accepted on board: Amex, Visa and
MasterCard. Please note that all charges on board are in Egyptian
pounds. Guests can pay in US Dollars, Euros or Sterling but please
note any change will be paid in Egyptian pounds as there is no
currency stock available.
Tips for drivers, tour coordinators, guides, staff on board Nile
cruise vessels and Egyptologists are usually not included in your
We hope that the following guidelines will be helpful to
- - Tour Coordinators: $7-8 per person per day.
- - Staff on board river vessels: Approximately $10-12 per person
per day is suggested as a total tip to be divided among all the
staff on Nile Cruise vessels.
- - Egyptologist/Guide: Approximately $10 per person per day is
flight access & Transfer details
There are daily flights available directly to Aswan and Luxor
local airports via Cairo International Airport. Transfers to and
from the airports to the cruise and historical sites are also
available. All transfers are undertaken in air-conditioned
Egypt has year-round sun, and almost no rain except in
Alexandria, which has a more Mediterranean climate than the rest of
the country. Daytime temperatures range from pleasantly warm in the
winter to very hot in the summer. Northerly cities such as Cairo
and Alexandria are generally about 5ºC cooler than southerly areas
such as Aswan and Abu Simbel. Nights in the desert can be extremely
For up to date information on the latest health and vaccination
recommendations, please contact your doctor. We advise you to
follow the following golden rules while in Egypt: Only drink
bottled water, never tap water. Avoid ice in your drinks. Eat only
vegetables that have been cooked. Avoid salads and all fruit that
cannot be peeled.
Egypt's electrical current is 220V, and sockets take the standard
continental European dual round-pronged plug.
There are a variety of rules governing photography of different
sites and monuments in Egypt. At all open, outdoor historic areas,
photography is unrestricted, such as outside the Pyramids and the
temples at Luxor and Aswan. In some areas a ticket must be
purchased to use cameras and video equipment, and tripods and
flashes are seldom allowed in those museums that do permit
photography. At some museums and tombs you will be asked to leave
your equipment in the care of the door custodian - your guide will
advise you. These restrictions are truly in the interest of
preservation of these fragile sites. Postcards and slides are
available at most sites. Signs are usually posted in restricted
areas but if in doubt, ask your guide.
As in all foreign countries with customs different to your own,
it is polite to adhere to and show respect for local customs and to
be discreet when a religious service is in progress. Women should
not wear strappy dresses, miniskirts, shorts, or low necked dresses
in public places. Modest dress is particularly important when
visiting mosques, synagogues and churches. Ladies should wear
loose-fitting non see-through clothes and shoulders should be
covered. Men should wear short or long sleeved shirts and long
trousers. Shoes are not permitted inside, therefore a thick pair of
socks is useful for protection from sun baked floors. Cloth shoe
coverings are often available for which a small tip is payable.
Shorts and beachwear should be worn only at the beach or hotel pool
Egypt's climate is dry all year round, so you won't require
rainwear unless you are going to Alexandria between December and
February. In winter you will need light woollen clothes with
sweaters, although a light sweater may be useful all year-round in
the evenings throughout the country. Cairo can sometimes be
surprisingly cool during the mid-winter months so layers of
clothing are recommended. From December to February travellers to
the interior of the Sinai can experience extreme cold, so thick
winter clothing is essential. In spring and autumn a combination of
both is advisable for the warm days and cool nights, so pack
accordingly. From May to November, light cotton clothes are
recommended. You will be doing a considerable amount of walking,
and shoes should not be just comfortable, but comfortable to walk
Large brimmed hats that provide not only a head covering but
also a certain amount of shade will come in very handy in the hot
Egyptian sun during summer. In addition, scarves or other apparel
should be taken along to cover shoulders and arms, and again, or
not only important for visiting religious sites, but also to keep
the sun off during treks. In very hot weather, a cloth hat or scarf
that can be soaked will also help keep your head cool.
To view artworks inside dimly lit tombs and temples, you might
want to bring a torch/flashlight.