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.
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.
Tips for drivers, tour coordinators, guides, staff on board Nile cruise vessels and Egyptologists are usually not included in your tour price.
We hope that the following guidelines will be helpful to you:
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.
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 cold.
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 area.
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.
For more information on Egpyt travel please visit http://www.egypt.travel/