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Please check below our clients testimonials / feedback sorted by years.

2014

  • 2012


    • Subject: M.S Darakum (24-31/12/12)

      Dear Kuoni,
       
          We would like to thank you for a completely fabulous Nile cruise over Christmas.  We had particularly chosen the Darakum cruise, out of many that we had researched, because of the slightly different places which it was scheduled to visit: Valley of the Queens and the temple of Dendara.
       
          The Darakum is a wonderful ship and you really spoiled us by having it sail with only 19 of us on board.  What a brilliant idea to do a tour of the behind-the-scenes as I know that many of our fellow passengers felt greatly reassured by the care taken in the kitchens to ensure the safety of the food preparation.  All of your staff were gloriously friendly without being familiar and their attentions to details of service was most impressive: the way that plates were served and removed from the correct sides being a typical example.
       
          The real reason for taking this trip was to see and appreciate the wonderful sights along the Nile.  When I did the equivalent trip nine years ago I rapidly came to realise that our “Egyptologist” was more of a tour guide who had done a bit of reading.  This time was a complete contrast.
          Suzanne Salama impressed from the outset with her incredible depth of detailed knowledge and her ability to convey her enthusiasm and passion for her country’s history.  She had to face the challenge of the members of our small party having a wide range of previous knowledge about Egyptology (one had never heard of the Rosetta stone!) but she was able to speak in such a way as to include everyone within what she was describing and enable everyone to get something out of what she was saying.  This is a very difficult art and one which she has in abundance.
          She really did make the trip such a rich experience for us all by bringing the temples to life by interpreting the stories carved into their walls.  I am sure that we can all now differentiate between similar-looking images of Hathor and Isis thanks to her coaching.
          In addition to sharing her great knowledge about Egypt’s ancient history we had many wonderful discussions with her about Egypt’s current problems, something that would have been much more difficult for her to do with a larger group.  We came away feeling bereft for the country and its wonderful people and will do our best to encourage others to visit.
          In essence, any group that is fortunate enough to have Suzanne as their Egyptologist will get a great deal from their trip with Kuoni and will come back to Britain singing the praises of Egypt and your cruise thanks to her boundless enthusiasm.
       
          Our thanks again for a most wonderful trip,
          yours sincerely,
      Clive Marks




      From: Nigel Foster  
      Sent: 04 December 2012 08:00
      Subject: Ebrahim Sohail
       
      Dear Jane,
       
      During a recent visit to Luxor (15th October 2012 to 29th October 2012) my father died of a sudden heart attack, as you can imagine this came as a massive shock to my mother, sister and myself.
       
      I just wanted to inform yourselves as to the exceptional service provided by Ebrahim Sahail. From the very moment that he was aware of my father’s death he took control of dealing with the doctors, hospital, hotel and the local authorities, constantly keeping us updated and dealing with any questions that we had. He took so much stress away from us at such a difficult time.
       
      Ebrahim went with us to buy the return flight tickets, came with us to the airport where he fast tracked us though check in and stayed with us until we went to the departure gate.
       
      As a family we cannot thank Ebrahim enough for the service he gave us, in our opinion he went well above the call of duty. He is a exceptional person and a fantastic credit to Kuoni.
       
      Regards,
       
      Nigel Foster



      Subject: Egypt Holiday
      Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2012 14:45:21 +0000
      From: Dennis Ollington 

      Zara ,
      Just want to let you know the holiday you booked for us went really well.
      The Nile cruise really exceeded expectation . The crew and restaurant on the M/S Darakum could not be faulted , with top class service on a top class ship. 
      Needless to say Egypt is an amazing place to visit. The Kuoni reps, Hala on the Nile Cruise and Ibrahim at the Sheraton, were first class ; very knowledgeable and supportive, enhancing our visit and ensuring everything ran like clockwork .
      Everything went towards ensuring this special holiday was very memorable  for all the right reasons. 
      I would appreciate it if you could forward our thanks and comments on to your contact at Kuoni . 
      Thanks once again for your advice and guidance.
      regards
      Dennis Ollington



      From: dongyaru 
      Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 10:27 AM
      Subject: Greetings from Sabrina

      Dear Nawar,
       
      How are you?
       
      Thanks for the arrangement in Egypt and we had a good time.
       
      Kamel is very nice and they tried help us during our stay in Egypt, thanks for all the efforts that your team had done for us. Hope you have a cooperation next time. Do you have the scedule for the tourism and exhibition? This time, we just use your car and tour guide, is there other service which a tourism alos included? We will participate the show next time with bigger group, we hope a schedule with a specific arrangement of tourism and a Chinese speaking guide for the concerns of no English speaking of our clients. Waiting for your response.
       
      Thanks for your help and waiting for your reply.
       
      Nice day!
      Sabrina



      From: ejbutton.b 
      Sent: 15 November 2012 10:53
      Subject: Re: 

      Dear Tracey,
      We had a wonderful time. We were met at the airport before we collected the bags.
      On the return we had everything done for us, the paper work and the check in.
       What an amazing place Cairo is. All human life is present in all its forms.
      The staff were  incredible in the hotel and the tour guide Mac. They all went out of the way to help us. 
      Because of my blond hair I caused quite a stir amongst the school girls when we visited the Citadel , they wanted to have their photo taken with me and asked loads of questions it was all rather bazaar.
      It is a really good destination for a short break as it is a short flight. We had not really registered 
      how easy it was.
      Thank you for such a lovely time. We would go again. Egypt Air had plenty of leg room ran on time seemed well organised .
      Thank you very much.
      Jane xx 

      Sent from my iPad



      Name: Nicholas Waterhouse  
      Country: United Kingdom  
      Subject: Exceptional Service.  
        
      Exceptional Service.
      I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know about the exception service my girl friend and I received from one of your representatives..Nadir in Sharm El Sheikh. We have travelled extensively and often 6 stars etc but I must say that the level of service, information and general demeanour of Nadir was superb. I don’t normally send such messages but thought I should as he was by far the best representative I have come across and I wish him all the best for the future and I would love to see him again when staying again at Hyatt Regency.
      Nick Waterhouse 
       




      From: Emma Town née Cockerill 
      Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 3:04 PM
      Subject: Thank you and a request
       
      Dear Traveline, 
       
      First and foremost I wanted to say a massive thank you to you and all of your team. My Mother, Sister and I have just returned from a fabulous cruise on board the M/S Darakum (w/c 15th October), with Ahmed Samir as our Kuoni Tour Manager / Egyptologist. I cannot begin to express what a fantastic holiday we had - which exceeded all of our expectations. All of the crew and Traveline team made our holiday both easy (no logistical problems at all, everything was thought of / done for us) and hugely enjoyable (food, drink and hospitality on board was amazing) and informative (Ahmed was both funny and extremely insightful) - we felt safe and well looked after throughout our whole trip, so thank you so much! 
       
      Due to this fabulous experience, my husband and I are really keen to visit Cairo for a long weekend (in particular the Pyramids, Sphinx etc.). We would probably book our flights directly with British Airways (we have a lot of frequent flyer miles!), but wondered if it would be possible to deal direct with you on hotels, escorted sightseeing tours etc. or whether you would advise us to do this through Kuoni or another UK-based travel agent. We are just investigating possibilities at the moment but it would be great to get your thoughts, 
       
      Many thanks again, 
       
      Best wishes,

      Emma
       


      From: Jennifer Gardner 
      Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2012 16:30:21 +0000
      Subject: Feedback

      Hello
       
      I have just returned from our family holiday to Egypt - where we spent 7 days and visited Cairo and Luxor.  I wanted to take the time to write to you with our thanks at being so well taken care of, and wanted to provide special thanks to our Kuoni representative in Luxor who was Ibrahim Sohaid .  The level of service that Ibrahim provided to us was fantastic, from arranging for much needed treatment from the pharmacy for myself and following up the next day to make sure I had recovered, to spending the time providing information on 'do's and don'ts' and making sure we were happy with our holiday so far, and taking the time to ensure there wasn't anything that we were not happy with.  We were also pleasantly suprised when Ibrahim provided the special touch of arranging breakfast boxes for us on our morning of departure, this was a very welcomed thought!  and then finally his services at the airport was fantastic, and he ensured we had a very smooth check in.  Ibrahim is an asset to your organisation, and really goes the extra mile to ensure the guest is happy and well cared for.  I would be very grateful if you could pass on my kind regards to Ibrahim, and also thank him from ourselves as he well deserves the recognition, and his customer services was above and beyond!!
       
      Unfortunately at our stay within the Meridian (cairo) we had our daughters 'tablet pc' stolen from our hotel room.  I have reported this to our traveline represetative - I believe his name was Sam.  I wanted to also ensure that Sam who both collected us and returned us to Cairo airport is also recognised for his level of service.  From the moment we stepped foot off the plane and into our transport Sam made our journey very memorable with beginning to talk to us about the history of Egypt, and his knowledge was amazing.  He was extremelly reassuring when we witnessed the cairo traffic for the first time.  I can't thank Sam enough for making us so welcome in Egypt, please again pass on my best wishes to Sam.  
       
      We have had an amazing experience visiting Egypt and have very much enjoyed our holiday.  I would recomment the services of kuoni, and I will travel again with you hopefully next year.
        
       
      Best regards
      Jennifer Gardner



      From: "Jason Grey"
      Subject: Return from our trip
      Date: 17 October 2012 17:59:34 BST

      Shem.
      Just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone involved in looking after us on our recent trip!
       
      The Whirlwind crew were absolutely fantastic, so a big thanks to them, and the boat was very comfortable!
       
      Also HUGE thanks to your exceptionally capable local representative Nader. Please make sure you pass on our thanks to him! He was unbelievably smooth at getting us checked in without fuss or queues! 
       
      Are you at the Birmingham dive show?
       
      Cheers
      Jason & Julie Grey
       


      From: Caroline Worley 
      Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2012 10:40 AM

      Have just returned from a week on board MV Mistral organised by Carol Tipping. A good holiday was marred by delays both ways by Monarch. I'm aware that this is beyond your control but perhaps you would be kind enough to pass on my thanks to your agent/representative, Mr. Nader in Sharm for the efforts he went to to keep us informed and for he's calm and patience in a deterioting situation.  He is a credit to your organisation.
      Many thanks Willy Pledger



      Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 10:26 AM
      Hi Georgie / Tony,
       
      As part of the group recently delayed in Sharm over the weekend I would like to comment on how it was handled by your staff here and your representatives overseas.
       
      ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING.
       
      While in Sharm your guy Nada did everything that could be asked, while under pressure from some he kept cool and polite and did work exceptionally hard. Previous dealings with him over many trips have been similar, he is a really good guy to have on side.
       
      On the UK side we had missed connection flights to Guernsey to move and new overnight accommodation to sort out, both of these I would consider to be outside the remit of Scubatravel as they were not part of any arrangements made by Scubatravel.
       
      However Georgina was on to it instantly and did a great job in assisting us form new bookings - on a weekend, again I think that this goes well beyond the level of support that was required and again deserves our thanks.
       
      If you can pass this email on to Nada (and I am sure I have the spelling wrong) I would really appreciate it, I saw him take quite a bit of flak from some guests and he did such a great job.
       
      Many are quick to write to complain about service received, many often to not write at all to congratulate outstanding service, I am often guilty of that, but this time it got done!
       
      Paul C

      From: "Mann, Nick" 
      Subject: FAO Mr Tony Backhurst
      Date: 15 October 2012 15:11:12 BST

      Dear Mr Backhurst,
      I am writing to express my gratitude for the service that I and my friends received after our week on Whirlwind was over. The week’s diving was great, as was the experience on the boat, but this message is intended to highlight the service that we received after the diving was over.
      The Monarch flight on which we were due to return was delayed,  sufficiently so that it was necessary to remain in Sharm El Sheik for one extra night, 13th October. Your ground agent there, Nadir I think, worked hard for us on Saturday and Sunday, and he did a great job of making sure that everyone knew what was happening. 
      When I first heard the news that we have an overnight delay I called the Scuba Travel office and got through to Georgie Bartlett. Our group had to travel onward from Gatwick to Guernsey and We were concerned about how the delays would affect this onward connection. I was expecting to be told that the onward travel was outside of Scuba Travel’s responsibility, but instead Georgie set about contacting airlines and hotels for us.  This was 8pm on a Saturday night. Once she had prepared some options for us we were able to decide what we wanted to do, and she then made all the bookings for us.  She kept in touch over the weekend to make sure that everything was going smoothly, and even checked with me this morning to make sure we had arrived safely.
      Your ground agent could have left us in Monarch’s hands, as the delays were their responsibility.  Georgie could have told me that Scuba Travel’s booking and responsibility for us ended at Gatwick. Neither of them did that, and the result was that we felt we were really being looked after. Delays are miserable at the best of times, but when you are tired and hot and you want to get home then it all adds to the frustration.  Your staff provided top-class customer service when it counted.  
       
      I hope you can pass on this message to those people who should know about it. As I do not have a direct email address for you I have sent this message to the general  Scuba Travel address, so I should be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt
      Regards
      Nick Mann


      Subject: Booking Ref: 9712282 - Praise and Feedback
       
      Dear Kuoni, 
      I would like to write to you with regards to the extraordinary holiday that my partner - Mr Daniel Potts and I have just returned from. 
       
      A few months ago we were desperately seeking a luxury holiday in the sunshine. We both work very hard and after more than a year with no respite, we decided to look into a Kuoni holiday for the very first time.   Booking 10 days in Egypt, Hurghada, we were pleasantly surprised with the level of care and attention to detail that came from all the correspondence from Kuoni. 
       
      Upon arrival at Hurgahda, though it was very late, we were met by our very own Kuoni representative. Mohamed was just fantastic. He ensured we travelled comfortably in the luxurious Travel Line coaches to the hotel. He informed us that a late dinner had been laid in our room as it was almost 2am, and that he would meet us later the next day once we had had a good nights sleep. 
      I cannot say enough kind words about Mohamed, throughout our stay he called before and after each of our excursions, arranging our wake up calls and breakfast boxes. It really was superb service and I would urge his superiors to pass on this praise as he made us feel incredibly well looked after. We had absolutely no need for anything during our stay as it was all quite perfect, but I imagine if either of us had fallen ill, or if we had reason to complain - Mohamed would have assisted us at any time of the day or night. 
       
      We chose to purchase the Luxor Tour from the Kuoni excursions Mohamed presented us with. We travelled to Luxor on Saturday 22nd September. Our guide - Mohamed (it's hard to differentiate people by name in Egypt!) was the most intellectually delightful man we have ever encountered. As we visited Hurgahda in the low season, we were the only two guests on the day trip, and what a treat it was. Mohamed toured Karnak with us, delved into the Egyptian history and gave us fascinating insights based on his knowledge (he studied Egyptology for 4 years in Cairo). Being just the four of us with the driver, we were able to ask many questions, discuss politics and religion - quite interesting for two western visitors such as ourselves. Really Mohamed made our holiday, and it was an excursion that could not have been rivalled. If you are able to track down Mohamed, the guide who went from the Citadel Resort to Luxor on Saturday the 22nd of September, please do enter him into some sort of 'Employee of the Year' programme, he's simply a fantastic man. 
       
      When the day came to leave - we simply did not want to go. It was 10 days of utter luxury and the service we received before, during and after our trip was unrivalled. I certainly won't be booking my future holidays with anyone other than Kuoni, and I hope that my little bit of feedback is of some use to your prospective customers travelling to Egypt. 
       
      Thank you very much. 
       
      Kindest Regards
      Lucy & Danny 




      Sent: 09 October 2012 16:36
      Subject: Booking reference 9649907 Nile Cruise - letter of praise for our tour guide
       
      Hello
      We have just returned from a 1-week Nile cruise, Kuoni booking reference 9649907. Our original booking was on MS Hamees but we were transferred to MS Darakum.  
       
      Our tour guide was Raafat and he acted as guide for us as well as guests travelling with Jules Verne and Kirker.  Although our itineraries were similar, there were variations and he had an unenviable job, dovetailing all three together so that we all saw what we were expecting to at the correct time.
       
      Raafat was extremely knowledgeable and explained things very clearly, and answered all our questions.  His schedule must have been quite exhausting as he had so many sites to visit as he was meeting the obligations of three different itineraries but he was pleasant, patient and good-humoured at all times.  I cannot praise him enough and would be very happy to have him as a guide on any future holidays with you.
       
      Shirley Dale 




      From: sylvia evans 
      Date: 1 October 2012 12:03:07 GMT+01:00
      Subject: Thank you - Cruise ref: 2045214

      Dear Sophie (01206-719100),

      I am writing to express my thanks for another great holiday with ROL.

      The service given, before during and after my holiday, was exceptional.  The boat and hotel were first class and I must mention the Tour Guide and representative of Traveline Egypt, Khaled Fangary, who was particularly knowledgable, helpful and approachable.  He was extremely informative and went above and beyond his remit to ensure that all in our party had a very unforgettable holiday.

      I must also give a mention to Ahmed_Kamel, the courier at the Sheraton,  The Representative who met me and delivered me to the airport whose name escapes me, and Noa who was my Tour Guide on my excursion to Cairo.  They were all very professional and helpful and all smoothed my way from the moment I stepped foot in Egypt to the moment I left.  I thank them all.

      As a single traveller I appreciated the feeling of security wherever I went, which is very important to me.

      Last but not least, thank you, Sophie, for your regular telephone calls, your efficient service and your very pleasant manner in all my dealings with you at ROL.

      I am looking forward greatly to my next cruise in January, 2013 and I will have no hesitation in recommending ROL to my friends and family.

      Regards,     Sylvia Evans



      From: barry powell 
      Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 18:46:15 +0200
      Subject: nile cruise

      We have just had a nile cruise with your company through readersoffers. Our guide was Khaled Fangray. We would like to say this was one of the best holidays we have ever had. Khaled was extreemly knowledgable and organised all our tours to give us the best viewings of egypts temples and tombs. the ship ms sunray was also very comfortable with helpful staff and excellent food. Once again to you and Khaled thank you for an unforgetable holiday.
       
      Margo and Barry Powell



      Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 12:30 PM
      Subject: Thank You
       
      Dear Hany
      I flew back from Luxor on 27 Aug but this is my first day back in work and I just wanted to thank everyone at Traveline for helping me and my family have a fantastic time in Luxor.

      We stayed at the Steigenberger Nile palace for 7 nights and you kindly organised for the hotel to upgrade us to a Nile View Room. This was fantastic and we also got the interconnecting rooms that we wanted. I think this is a fantastic value property and the Half Board supplement was well worth it.

      With regard to all the other arrangements Traveline made for us everything was perfect. Please pass on our special Thanks to Sameh who I was in regular contact with throughout the week and made sure that we knew exactly what was going on with tours and transfers. He is a real asset to Traveline and so is Yousef, the guide we had for our East and West bank tours and the drivers that we had. It was also appreciated that Ibrahim took the time to introduce himself to us and make sure that everything was OK. In fact everyone we met from Traveline was great which reflects well on Traveline and therefore also Trailfinders when it's our mutual clients who you are dealing with.

      I'm sure we'll be back sometime in the future.

      Thanks again and Kind Regards
      Paul Nixey
      General Manager
      Trailfinders Newcastle


      From: Stephanie Varvell
      Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 4:16 PM
      Subject: RE: Additional on site services

       Hi Mohamed and all the Traveline Team

       I just wanted to drop you a line to pass on my sincere thanks for all of your assistance with our shoot. I know it has not been easy and there have been lots of issues and changes to deal with. Thank you for dealing with everything with such professionalism.

       Kind regards,

       Stephanie

       Stephanie Varvell

      Production Coordinator

      BBC Earth Enchanted Kingdom

      BBC Broadcasting House Bristol

      Whiteladies Road




      From: Dave Picton 
      Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 12:05:00 +0100
      Subject: RE: SUN 30 May 12 evaluation forms

      Hi Karim
      I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say a very big thank you for the service our clients have been receiving while onboard Sunray and Hamees in the last 12 months. I can honestly say that in nearly 30 years of working in the travel industry I have never received feedback as consistently good as I have seen in the last 12 months. The one attached for clients who have just returned is truly outstanding!

      I don’t believe I have had the privilege of meeting Ahmed the Tour Guide as it has been a good few years since I have been to Luxor and staff have moved on (Waleed, Sherif and Khalid of course to name 3..!) Please can you pass on my sincere thanks for all his dedication to our clients this year, he is clearly a credit to the company as indeed are you Karim.

      All the best and I hope to see you all in Egypt soon…

      Best regards as always
      Dave Picton
      Commercial Manager
      Product & Marketing

      Reader Offers Limited



      From: Bowden, Lynne
      Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 1:11 PM
      Subject: Thank you

      Morning Magy,

      First I want to say a very big thank you for the lovely Papyrus that you gave me and my husband and the beautiful scarf. It was really very sweet of you.

      I do hope you and Rania got the biscuits sent to you via Ebtisam and that they arrived in one piece!

      A second thank you is for the excellent holiday we had on the Darakum. I cant tell you how impressed we were with everything, both the standard and condition of the boat to the excellent staff that ran it. I am so pleased to have decided to do this this time rather than staying in a hotel.

      We were given truly V.I.P service throughout our stay and cant thank you enough.

      As always the Traveline reps that met us at the airport were friendly, professional and a credit to you.

      Please pass on my thanks to all those who made it such a wonderful trip,

      Kind Regards
      .................................................................................
      Lynne Bowden
      Special Needs Dept
      .................................................................................
      Kuoni Travel Limited



      Sent: 10 April 2012 13:40
      To: UK KUO MBX - Website
      Subject: Nile Cruise
       
      Dear Sir,
       
      re booking reference 9501647
      my sister and I have just returned from our 10 night Egyptian holiday: 2 nights at the Movenpick Cairo Pyramids, followed by a 7 day cruise. After our original placement on a Presidential ship, we were transferred to the Hamees and then, shortly before our holiday to the Darakum. I would like to express my utmost appreciation at the level of service provided on this holiday by all staff involved.
      The Kuoni representatives from Traveline in Egypt were faultless in their efficiency and courtesy; nothing was too much trouble. In particular I would like to single out our particular guide and Egyptologist on the Dakarum George (Beser?) who was the soul of knowledge and helpfulness. Another Traveline guide Yasmin Refaat was also superb.  I would also like to say that the standard of care on board the Darakum itself was outstanding: decor, cabin, food and service were higher than our already high expectations. Every single crew member I encountered was friendly, attentive, charming and efficient. One of the highlights of each day was discovering what 'towel sculpture' had been created by our unknown cabin boy!
       
      This was a long-planned holiday and a large financial commitment for me so I can only thank Kuoni and all your representatives in Egypt for making it the holiday of a lifetime. This has been my first trip with Kuoni, and I will recommend you unhesitatingly thereafter.
       
      yours faithfully
       
      Elisabeth Hutchinson



      " Thank you for your reply on the 3rd February and good wishes. I have now been on the Seven Days on the Nile trip and want to say how yet again everything was excellent. As before the help that I had from your London office was very good, Debbie being very helpful and patient as I kept adding another person. The journey to Egypt went well and on time and a very pleasent surprise to find the tour manager was the same one as I had in December so being met by Anwoir was like being welcomed by a friend.

      My friends and sons were impressed by the standard of the MS HAMEES, especially the quality and variety of the food. The restaurent staff were courteous and very helpful and the soups delicious. ( I love home made bread and soup!). My group was also reassured by the standard of hygine in the kitchen when they did the tour around it and felt confident in eating anything that was on offer. The cabinmen also kept the rooms beautifully clean and their towel art was fun. I am glad to say that my group found no fault with anything. We appreciated that we had been given cabins near to each other and that we had been upgraded on the decks. Thank you to all involved there.The warm welcome from reception and hot towels always made it lovely to return to the boat after excursions.

      Regarding the excursions they were well organised and Anwoir was a very good guide, explaining things well and making sure that he did not lose any of us. He was always willing to answer questions both on the trips and on the boat. The other tour manager was very friendly and helpful but I was not in his group so did not have a lot to do with him.( There were a few on board that had enjoyed the visits and were keen to see more so I recommended your Secret Nile tour to them expalining how interesting it had been and they did seem quite keen to do it).

      The bird watching cruise was wonderful ,being so low on he Nile and in the nature reserve,hidden away from the noise of the road it was another world. The amount of bird life and the enthusiasm and knowledge of the man who runs the trip was infectious and the Nubian coffee at the end of it all was delicious and interesting! The trip was quite a highlight for a few people for which I was grateful because I recomended it from my trip in December.
      My sons and I particulaly enjoyed the carridge city tour of Luxor -to be right inside the food markets and surrounded by people was so interesting, especially when we got in a traffic jam with other horse and carts, it gave us a really good chance to obsorb the atmosphere and relate to the people My sons found it a little harrowing to see how little other people have and I think it probably does us all good at times to take stock of how we here in England have so much that we take for granted.

      My own personal holiday was enhansed by the warm welcome that I recieved from the staff of the SS MISR, I checked if it was OK to go and say Hello and was given such a warm reception that it made me feel really special. When we were moored next to the Misr at Luxor at the end of our trip, the boat manager of the Misr, Mr Rafik ,invited my group for a tour of the ship and a drink in the lounge. I think that we all enjoyed that very much, it made us feel very special and it is such a lovely boat that it is always a pleasure to be on it. I think sitting on the sun deck of the SSMisr taking in the peacefulness of the view will be a memory I will long hold on to.

      I would like to thank all the staff involved both in London and Egypt that helped make our holiday so special. I know that there are cheaper tours on offer but my friends were more than happy with every aspect of our holiday and were very glad that we had chosen VJV. I know that the tourist situation in Egypt is very critical at present but please be assured that I am doing my best to get people to visit Egypt and us your company. "

      Yours sincerly
      Sandra Martin
      ( Seven days on the Nile- 27thFeb-5thMarch)




      From: norris robert
      Date: 6 March, 2012 5:18:27 PM GMT+01:00
      Subject: Our Holiday

      Dear Traveline.
      We have recently returned to England from an amazing holiday in Egypt which involved your company. It was an ROL cruise from Luxor to Aswan and back on the ship MS Hamees, but we also took the opportunity to fly to Abu Simbel and back from Aswan. I have to say that this has probably been the best holiday I have ever had, both because of my long interest in Egyptology and the extraordinary welcome shown to us by all concerned; from bus drivers, cabin staff, catering staff, management staff and above all by our wonderful tour guide, Khaled Fangary. The superb organisation and planning that had gone into this trip and its smooth running was marvellous. Everybody we met was brilliant but Khaled is an exceptional man, devoted to his job and extremely knowledgeable. He is friendly and very helpful and made every trip out a memorable one; he even tried to make the highly complicated and involved mythology of the ancient Egyptians more interesting and understandable by getting some of us to be the characters in the story he was telling, and to act out little plays! I was especially impressed by his ability to read out the ancient hierolglyphs and then translate them for us. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been in his group.
      On behalf of my partner, Angela Revis, and myself I would like to offer our very sincere thanks to all concerned, and would be grateful if you could please pass on our thanks, especially to Khaled.

      Yours sincerely
      Bob Norris.



      From: "Carpenter, Philip - Oxford"
      Date: 4 March, 2012 5:26:18 PM GMT+02:00

      Dear Traveline
      I recently returned from a holiday in Luxor and wanted to thank you for your excellent work. Your representative Sameh was a perfect host. He was extremely attentive to our needs, gave excellent advice and was careful to check up that all was well with us. He also arranged for us to visit various sites with the guide Milad, who I cannot recommend too highly. He is an extremely knowledgeable and well-informed teacher, always kind an courteous, and a pleasure to be with. No doubt you have many excellent guides, but I am sure Milad is the best.

      With all best wishes
      Philip and Katherine Carpenter



      Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 4:50 PM
      Subject:Feedback
      Importance: High

      Hi May & Sherif

      I hope you are very well - I would like to share the feedback from our
      clients the Carpenters who recently visited the Al Moudira hotel.

      "Dear CV

      We are just returning from our holiday in Luxor (ref 8642153). The El
      Moudira hotel is exquisite, a real oasis of calm and tranquillity with
      the most charming and hospitable staff. Traveline is a really excellent
      agent for you, very efficient, highly attentive and extremely courteous.
      The guide Traveline booked for us, Milad Mieckeal, was knowledgeable,
      kind and respectful. Just to add to all this, Egypt is almost empty of
      tourists right now, all stupidly scared off when now is precisely the
      time to go.

      Philip and Katherine Carpenter"


      This is brilliant, thank you to you both, Milad and the rest of the
      Traveline team!

      Kind regards

      Kevin

      Kevin Sillwood
      Product Head - Spain, Portugal & Great Britain



      From: Ibi Selim
      Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 12:18 AM
      To: 'Mervat'
      Subject: FW: EVANS

      Dear Mervat
      Many thanks for Traveline service which is always outstanding , please see clients comments below .

      Regards

      Ibi Selim
      Owner/Manager
      Harvey World Travel - Miranda

      From: Glenn Evans
      Sent: Wednesday, 22 February 2012 2:35 AM

      Hi Ibi,
      Well our Egypt part of the trip has come to an end. In the airport now waiting for our flight to Dubai, then to Singapore.
      Been a very interesting 9 days here. Saw so much! We have enjoyed it, only thing we don't like is the men making comments about the girls in the streets, but I guess that's just the way they are here......
      Also caught a guy trying to steal my wallet in Aswan! Had his hand in my pocket on my wallet and I caught him out.

      Traveline were a great company, very organised and always were helpful and friendly. Would definitely recommend them to others coming here!

      See you when we get back.
      Regards,
      Glenn



      From: Arthur Keith Amor
      Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 3:18 PM
      Subject: Cruise on MS Darakum 23rd to 30th January 2012

      Dear Sir, My wife and I have recently returned from a Nile Cruise on your
      boat MS Darakum which we booked with Virgin Holidays. I felt I wanted to
      write personally to thank you and also to tell you what an excellent time we
      had. The boat was immaculate and very well run. Our cruise was rather
      unusual in that we were 2 of just 6 passengers! We were initially rather
      disappointed that we were so few but your staff looked after us so well and
      we were treated like royalty and they did everything they could to make our
      cruise memorable. Special mention must go to the manager who did all in his
      power to look after us. The kitchen and restaurant staff were also
      exceptional. Our tour guide Milad Ayad was excellent and was on hand
      throughout to make sure things went smoothly and was very knowledgable on
      all the temples and tombs etc and always willing to answer our questions on
      all aspects of Egyptian life. We were sorry we could not visit the temple
      at Edfu as this was one of the anticipated highlights. Sadly we were caught
      at the lock at Isna on the Saturday and could not complete our cruise on
      Darakum as you will know. I realise this was beyond your control and your
      staff did all they could to make a smooth transfer to Sun Ray.
      We gather that you might be considering running a different cruise from
      Cairo to Luxor next year and we would be interested in returning to do that.
      We also saw your boat SS Misr which we would also be interested in as it
      looks beautiful.
      Once again many thanks and congratulations for running such an excellent
      service. We hope that soon more tourists will return to Egypt. We will
      definitely recommend MS Darakum.

      Yours Arthur and Miranda Amor

  • 2013
    • From: Sutherland, John
      Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 12:59 PM
      Subject: The Original Nile 08-Jun-13
       
      Dear Samah,
       
      Ms Russill on the above tour was a Kuoni employee who does not show up in our system. However she wanted me to pass on her thanks for a fantastic tour where everything worked like clockwork. The staff on the Hamees were excellent and she asked me to pass on a special thanks to the tour guide Bassam who she said was simply excellent – the best tour guide she has ever had. Please pass on these compliments to Bassam – excellent feedback.
       
      Kind regards
       
      John Sutherland
      Customer Service Co-ordinator
      Voyages Jules Verne




      From: Cynthia Collier 
      Sent: Friday, May 31, 2013 5:15 PM
      Subject: Contact

      For Mr. Ahmed Sabry.

      Hi Sabry,
      Julia and I arrived safely at Heathrow last Sunday.   Your colleague was very helpful at our check-in and insisted that we had boarding passes for our onward journey in Cairo.   No delays at all.
      Thankyou for making our stay in Sharm so enjoyable;   it made a lot of difference to our first time impression.
      I am persuading John (my husband) to decide on when our visit is to take place and I am looking forward to my return.   I will be in contact with you when a decision is made.
      I can assure you that if by an off chance you travel to this country;  you can be sue of a welcome from either Julia and myself.
      Hope you have had an enjoyable home stay.
      Very best wishes.
      Cindy



        Name: Jean Stables   
        Country: United Kingdom  
        City:         High Wycombe    
        Subject: Coach drivers  
        
      Dear Traveline
      Can I congratulate you on your drivers of your coaches as I have just returned from a Nile cruise on MS Sunray from Cairo to Luxor and your coach drivers were fantastic in getting all our groups around the various sites we saw in MISR.  I had a fantastic time, bar the noise in the rear cabins, having had to swop to another one at the rear but your drivers especially Magdy never once gave us any concern about the danger of the roads in MISR (Egypt).

      Thank you once again.  



      From: pauline
      Sent: 02 May 2013 09:20
      Subject: RE: Kuoni - trip to Egypt (ref 9804130) - feedback

      Hi Sammy,

      Just wanted to say thanks for all your organising for the Egypt trip.
      It was an enjoyable trip.

      The main reason for this e-mail is to give special praise for one of the Kuoni reps in Abu Simbel - Ahmed (don't know his surname).  He was brilliant and sorted out what was for me a major problem that non-one could have foreseen.

      I was collected from Abu Simbel last Friday for the transfer by mini bus to Aswan for my flight (basically a lift on a bus taking some cruise passengers back to their boat in Aswan).  About 10 minutes out of Abu Simbel there was a problem on the road as an Egyptian family in a dispute with another had blocked the road and the police were there.  Many buses were backing up in the chaos.
      Obviously I had a flight to catch.

      The rep on the bus (not Ahmed) told me that Egyptair were trying to sort it for me and Kuoni. Fast forward 2 hours and were we still stuck as the police had not opened the road! ( I will ignore my tears).  Ahmed got a taxi (many buses had turned back by this time) and came with me to Abu Simbel airport (I didn't know there was one!!).  Ahmed got me a boarding pass (don't know how as I had no ticket of course) and got me on the plane to Aswan which I stayed on, as
      instructed) as it became the plane from Aswan to Cairo so I got to Sharm on time, very tired.  He got all my boarding passes and the luggage arrived too

      Without Kuoni I don't know what I would have done.

      Many, many thanks to Ahmed.

      So my adventure was a bit more adventurous than I thought as I was on 7 flights in total - one more than I had expected!

      Hopefully trains in India with Kuoni in October will be less fraught!

      Needless to say I will travel with Kuoni again - exceptional service

      Best wishes

      Pauline Hodgson




      Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2013 2:55 PM
      Subject: FW: Johns: The Golden Age Cruise
       
       Dear Janet
      What can I say???  To say that this was a special trip would be totally inadequate.  It was an EXCEPTIONAL trip taken with a delightful group and served by an unstinting, charming and totally marvellous crew on the Misr.

      When I have fully come down to earth, I shall be posting some of my memories on my facebook wall, but since my return I have had a full programme which included a hospital appointment and the birthday party of my three-year old grandson, plus the usual shopping to re-stock the larder.
      Sincerely
      Derek J



      From: Peter Allingham - AWT
      Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 4:47 PM
      Subject: 'The Golden Age' The Long Cruise - from Diana Weston
       
       
      Dear Janet,
      So sorry Lew and I missed you at Heathrow to express our sincere thanks for a truly wonderful cruise.  Perfect in every respect and reflecting the very hard work in putting it all together so well.  Lew and I are missing the Nile, the Misr,the sites, the attentiveness of the crew, the excellent company of fellow travellers and, of course, Medhat and Ehab. I do hope that all those who served us so well find work in the days and months to come.
       
      Lew and I are unable to attend the conference as we'll be on another cruise, this time on the Rhine.  It'll certainly be different but we'll try not to make comparisons.  The best was first so what more can you say?
       
      Best wishes to you and Mike and thank you again for the very hard work you did in making it so enjoyable.  I hope you're feeling a lot better now.
       
      Diana



      Sent: 22 February 2013 00:40

      Subject: Website e-mail Comments Form Request

       Name: Portia omo-bare

      Country:       United Kingdom

      Just wanted to say we have just come back from a holiday in Luxor (Nile Palace Hotel)and the holiday was extremely good value and service. Our tour guide Ibrahim was very good, attentive, helpful and reliable, I cannot praise or recommend him enough! The hotel although quiet at times was also excellent, the staff very helpful and facilities very good...except the pool was mostly too cold to use although heated!

      Thank you




      Sent: 19 February 2013 17:12
      Subject: Website e-mail Comments Form Request

      Name:Ms Felicity Haywood
      House No./Name:52
      Country:United Kingdom

      Just wanted to send my appreciation of our tour guide - Ibrahim - on a visit to Luxor 11th-18th February at the Nile Palace Hotel. He was very efficient, helpful with all sorts of issues big and small, and friendly.
      We were slightly apprehensive going to Egypt at this time but Ibrahim made us feel totally safe.



      From: Edward Smyth 
      Sent: 07 February 2013 15:17

      Subject: Egypt 2013
       
      Ted
       
      You may remember two years ago when on a Kirker Holiday to Egypt we got caught up in the revolution. At that time I was full of praise for our Traveline Guide Kemal and Kirker staff who got myself and my daughter safely evacuated to Istanbul after 3 days being confined to the Mena House Hotel in Cairo.
       
      I have just arrived back from Egypt where we repeated the trip that "never was" to Cairo and Alexandria. I have to say that the Traveline Guides again excelled themselves and I would like to bring to your attention Mansour who oversaw the whole trip, Jasmine who was our Cairo Guide and Muhammad who looked after us in Alexandria.
       
      Kirker has an excellent team in Egypt and I trust that the current situation will resolved quickly to allow more people to take advantage of it.
       
      Regards
       
      Dr Ed Smyth




      From: Chris West 
      Date: 3 February 2013 22:21:36 GMT

       
      hi Caroline
      Thanks for that, that's really great
      I will try and give you a call tomorrow, but if I miss you will catch you when you are back in the office later in the week
       
      We also wanted to give some feedback about our trip, as we really were incredibly struck by how professional and well organised everything was:
      In terms of Scuba Travel, including communication and support, from the moment we booked, and continuing right up until we reached the departure lounge the service we received was second to none, the attention to detail at every stage was absolutely brilliant.  
      With regard to the Whirlwind, including the team, we were very impressed with how spacious and comfortable the boat was, and the staff team, in particular Val and Yasser were incredible, they are clearly highly skilled diving instructors who were so friendly and supportive, making us feel relaxed and welcomed from the moment we stepped on the boat.  This was really significant for both Steve and I, as we are both relatively new to diving.  
      We were taken to some of the top diving sights in the world, and guided around them, ensuring that we saw all the best of all the sights.
       
      Our trip ended with a lovely day at the Marriott hotel, where the food was excellent.  Also of particular note was the gentleman who picked us up from the boat, and later took us to the airport, who ensured that each step went smoothly, and couldn't do enough to help.
       
      All in all an incredible trip, without doubt the best we have had so far, and we wanted to extend a huge thank you to everyone for this
      Best wishes
      Chris



      From: Olive Brennan
      Sent: 11 January 2013 11:03
      Subject: RE: Your TRip to Egypt

      Hi Imelda / Lisa,

      Just a quick note to say thanks for all your help again re. our trip to Egypt. Everything was fantastic and exceeded my expectations, Egypt is just so amazing couldn’t believe what I was looking at half the time. It’s so quiet there at the moment, it’s a pity for them but was great for us as no queues anywhere and trips etc. are cheaper, we did the hot air balloon over the valley of the kings and it was one of the highlights. So thanks again, and if anyone is having second thoughts about Egypt tell them to go, there is no problems at all!

      Will be in touch later in the year hopefully!!!

      Olive


      From: Sachin.Bapat
      Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 9:55 AM
      Subject: Thank you-Egypt trip Dec 2012

      Good morning, 
      Hope everything is fine at your end. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for a wonderful trip and time I had with my family and friends in Egypt during my Dec 2012 trip. All the arrangement's were very good (resort, food, cruise, sight seing etc)and every effort was made to make us comfortable. Special thanks to Mohamad Mohsen who made extra efforts to help us in every possible way.  Our overall trip experience was very good and we have come back will lot of fond memories to cherish. 

      Ankur- Hope your marriage went well and our heartily congratulations and best  wishes for your happy married life. Thanks a lot for arranging such a wonderful trip and overlooking all arrangements. 

      Egypt is a very nice place, full of cultural heritage. I liked it very much and would definitely recommend it to all my friends. 
      Hope that Egypt as a country would survive its politics and would continue to attract more tourists and bring more business for you all. 

      Look forward to see you all again 

      Kind Regards 
      Sachin 


  • 2011


    • Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 2:48 AM
      Subject: DNNJ091111: Feedback from Janette Matthews

      Hi Mohamed
      I hope that you are well.
      I am passing on complement received from the Matthews on your most recent DNNJ tour. It is always nice when the guests make the additional effort to send an email or letter in addition to their survey feedback.

      Thank you again for your efforts on this tour, and on all of the tours. We have an excellent team based in Cairo which has lifted our program to new heights.

      We wish you a Merry Christmas to you and your family.

      Cheers
      David Gilford
      Product Delivery Manager



      From: Jan Matthews
      Sent: Wednesday, 14 December 2011 7:09 PM
      To: Information
      Subject: Egypt trip

      Dear Sirs,

      My wife Jan and myself have just returned from a Scenic tour of Egypt and would like to express our congratulations and thanks to all staff concerned. During difficult tourism times we were most impressed with the professionalism of the staff from the time we were picked up from Cairo’s airport, until our departure.

      Our tour commenced on the 8th November and concluded on the 25th November. The accommodation was excellent, with a special mention to the hotel Kempinski at Soma Bay (Hurghada).

      It would be remiss of me not to mention our Egyptologist Mohammed Wahba. This gentleman has so much knowledge on Egyptian history some nights we went to bed with information over-load. His passion was something to be admired and his eye for detail in all aspects to ensure the members of the touring party enjoyed his country, and what it has to offer.

      As an Occupational Health and Safety professional I was most impressed with the way Mohammed ensured that our safety was of prime importance during traumatic times especially in Cairo.

      I would also like to mention the support given to us from Ahmed Azam (Traveline). Ahmed also went above and beyond the call of duty.

      We have been on Scenic tours before and would thoroughly recommend Scenic’s Egyptian tour to our friends.

      Should you require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.

      Thank you again,

      Regards Ollie Matthews

      Alan (Ollie) and Jan Matthews
      "Wiljakali"



      From: Colleen Durham
      Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2012 9:50 AM
      Subject: Re M/S Darakum
      Hi everyone at traveline.

      First of all I would like to say thank you to everyone at Traveline and to wish you all a happy and safe year.
      My husband and I travelled with you in April last year and had a most amazing time. A special thanks to Ahmed who helped us when we had the problem of our flight being changed by Singapore airlines and not finding out until the day before we left to return to New Zealand. He was so helpful and I know it couldn't have been easy for him as he was running all over the place and had other visitors to see. So again thank you Ahmed and everyone at traveline as you put our minds at rest.
      The next question is are you able to provide me with a couple of photos of the Darakum as I was unable to get any before we left.
      Again thank you for a wonderful stay in Egypt and hopefully we will be back again some day and if any of you get to NZ let us know we would love to met you.


      Colleen and Stuart Durham
      New Zealand



      Date: 3 January, 2012 9:12:32 PM EST
      Subject: Thank you
      To the management of Traveline
      We were so fortunate to be picked up at Cairo airport by Mohamed Mouhsen, and driven to our hotel last November.
      Mohamed was the perfect host to introduce us to your wonderful country.
      He was professional, friendly and so easy to talk to.
      He made us feel welcome and answered all our questions with care and attention.
      It was a pleasure to spend time with him.
      He is the perfect ambassador.

      Thank you for sending Mohamed Mouhsen to pick us up.
      Kind regards
      Inta and David Yates
      Australia



      From: Ruth Hall
      Sent: 27 December 2011 17:50
      To: Peter Allingham - AWT
      Subject: RE: Daughters of Isis feedback

      Dear Peter
      One disadvantage of a late November holiday is that when you return Christmas is upon you before you know it – so apologies for not writing earlier.
      On reflection we find we have very little to say. Despite the warnings about the need to be flexible, in fact all of the arrangements worked like clockwork. I am sure Lucia and Youssef were often working hard behind the scenes, but really the holiday was a miracle of organisation. We saw some fascinating places, quite a few that we would never have thought of visiting ourselves but which were absolutely wonderful – e.g. Beni Hassan, we did not know of the tombs there but found it a very interesting place in a superb location.
      I can’t identify highlights (other than Nefertari of course) because the whole programme was superb, it was such a privilege too to meet Barry Kemp, and I should also mention Lucia’s lectures, which were fascinating. The whole team did a wonderful job, including Lucia, Youssef, and we just wanted to mention as well what a superb driver Yasser is, we felt completely safe and marveled at some of his feats of manouevring.
      We don’t very often go on group tours (this was only our second) but we must congratulate AWT on the good class of traveler you recruit! With one exception, this was a pleasant and interesting group of people, and incredibly knowledgeable. I think we were almost the only people not fluent in hieroglyphics!
      So, many thanks indeed to all concerned (including the office staff, always helpful on the couple of occasions we rang). We will certainly recommend you to any friends looking for a stimulating trip to Egypt, and hope we ourselves may travel with you again one day.
      Finally all good wishes for 2012 and beyond. Although we had no problems we realise that this is a difficult time for travelers to Egypt, we hope that things will stabilize and that you and your excellent Egyptian colleagues will flourish.

      Kind regards,
      Ruth Hall & Alistair Lewis



      Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2011 20:08:30
      Subject: FAO Ramy

      Hi Ramy from a cold and wet UK.
      We met you in Luxor a couple of weeks ago when we were staying at the Nile
      Palace following our cruise on the Hamees with Bassem.
      You may remember you sorted out two tours with Horus for us.
      If you have chance can you send him our best wishes and thank him very much
      for guiding us on those two days which we enjoyed very much.
      If he wants to email us we have a photo in which he appears which we will
      send onto him.
      Please can you also pass to all the staff on the Hamees our thanks, we had a
      great time, as well as to Iman in Cairo - he was a star.
      Finally thank you very much for all your time and effort and in particular
      your help in extending our stay in Luxor - we are really glad that we did.

      May be see you all next year!
      With best wishes
      Mandy & Richard
      Sent from my iPad



      Date: 05/12/2011
      Name - Christine Taylor
      Booking Reference - 9226194
      Comments - Having just returned from a multi centre holiday in Egypt, I would just like to say what a wonderful job your local agents Travel Line are doing for you. Very pleasant, reliable and always there to enusre that everything went without a hitch. They are to be thoroughly commended



      From: UK KUO MBX - Destination Management
      Sent: 24 November 2011 11:43
      Subject: FW: Davies - 9227888
      Good morning Magdy,
      I hope you are well.
      We received the email below from a Travel Agent on behalf of their customers Mr and Mrs Davies and Mr and Mrs Down who recently returned from their holiday to Egypt.
      Please could you pass on a huge thank you to Jasmine and everyone else who contributed to making their visit to Egypt so special.
      Many thanks and very best regards
      Elaine Foster
      Destination Management Co-ordinator
      Kuoni Travel Limited

      Hello,
      We have just had some clients return from a holiday in Egypt, they did a Nile cruise on the Presidential, stayed at the Hilton Hurghada Resort and the Le Meridien Pyramids.
      They just wanted me to let you know that they had a fantastic time and that they would also like to say a big thank you to Jasmine who was their guide on the cruise and also in Cairo. She made their holiday.
      They told me that, all the hotels and the Presidential were very clean and all the people were lovely, The only problem they had was that the first night at the Hilton Hurghada the food was not up to standard, Mr Davies had a talk with the manager and he could not do enough for them.



      From: Mike Canter
      Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2011 1:48 PM
      Subject: Recent Holiday

      Dear Sirs,

      We have recently returned from a seven night stay at Mena House. (29/9 to 6/10)Booked though Voyages Jules Verne but organised in Egypt by Traveline.

      Excellent throughout.
      Mansour organised all the logistics in a gentlemanly and effective manner, inspite of the hassle of the Air Traffic Control strike.
      Also our thanks to Ayman for checking on our progress on 6/10/11

      We particularly enjoyed the company of our old friend Mohammed Younis as Tour Manager.
      He was of course as knowledgeable about the Giza, Saqqara, Fayum area of Egypt as he has been about the Luxor-Aswan area in the past.
      He also took good care of his two elderly clients on our "solo" excursions to Saqqara, Dashur, Meidum and Fayum.

      We have already booked another trip on S.S.Misr in Feb-March 2012 followed by a week at the Winter Palace, and look forward to meeting up with Traveline friends again, God willing, at that time.

      Best wishes from
      Michael & Kathrine Canter



      From: Gary & Marilyn Beltrame
      Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2011 15:42:29 +1000
      Subject: Our tour.

      Dear Sherif,
      On the 3rd September we were met at Cairo Airport and transferred to the Meena Oberoi by “Ahmed”. During that transfer we asked Ahmed to see if he could arrange a guide so that we could visit Coptic and Islamic Cairo during our free day as we had chosen to go to the Saqqara Pyramid during our tour. Not only did he arrange a tour for us the next day, he arranged Mrs Reda Fouad as our personal guide. Reda was absolutely wonderful and she made us feel like part of her family. Though we were supposed to spend only four or five hours with her, we spent all day and it was both informative, personal and a real delight. Should you have any cause to use a guide in the future, Marilyn and I would recommend her without hesitation and we would ask you to pass on our appreciation again.
      Also, please pass on our thanks to Ahmed for his assistance and to Kamal for his support and generosity later in the tour. At all times both these gentlemen were courteous,helpful and available and a credit to your company In fact all your staff we came in contact with deserve praise. Their assistance certainly made our tour with Scenic a wonderful experience and one we will be recommending to all our friends.

      We finally arrived home to Hervey Bay, Australia, last night and felt it was important that we pass on our appreciation as soon as possible.
      Gary and Marilyn Beltrame
      Australia



      From: Nile Trade Fairs
      Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:43 PM
      Subject: thank you for your exerted efforts

      Dear Mohamed,
      It was really my pleasure and honor to work with you this year
      Thank you for your hard working and quick response
      Hope to have this experience again in Glass World 2012 

      your sincerely
      Marwa Sherif
      International Sales & Marketing Specialist

      --------------------------------------------------------------------

      On 8/2/11 2:12 PM, "Davis, Vanessa" wrote:
       
      Dear Tarek,
      I am writing to thank you for the wonderful, excellent week my daughter and I have just experienced onboard the MS Darakum.
      I was very impressed with all aspects of our stay in Egypt.
      I would like to thank Ibrahim for his excellent service on transfers and help at the airport.
      Amro was an excellent tour manager and looked after us exceptionally well. He is the best tour manager I have ever met in my 26 years of working for
      Kuoni Travel. Thank you Amro.
      The MS Darakum is a very impressible boat. The staff were excellent and made our stay truly memorable. Special thanks go to Osama in the restaurant
      And bar wh0 kept us all entertained and to the chefs who prepared wonderful food and cabin boys for their incredible art towel work.
      I will certainly be recommending the MS Darakum cruise to all our Kuoni clients and wish to thank you for the opportunity I was given to experience
      This wonderful holiday.
      Thank you again.
      Kind regards
      Vanessa.

      Vanessa Jayne Davis
      Travel Expert
      .......................................................................................
      Kuoni Travel Ltd

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Mr.Mrs.McCallum
      Mr.Mrs.Jennifer
      Travelling date from 25 June to 29 June 2011

      I must also say that the tour organized for us in Egypt by World Journeys was brilliant, we couldn’t have asked for better service. They couldn’t have been more helpful, the guides were extremely knowledgeable and fun. You were right it is very safe there after the revolution. They still really value their tourists in Egypt and this was obvious from both the army and the average people. We were constantly told and shown that we were welcome in their country. On the last day when we when out into the oasis and desert we were met by a police/army escort who accompanied us into the desert.

      The sad thing is that the media portrayal of affairs in Egypt at present doesn’t really reflect the calm reality over there. We were in Tahrir square on Wednesday evening when the media last showed demonstrating at the square and we thought it was very peaceful. My only worry was trying to cross the road. Their driving is terrible. Because of this there are no tourists. They usually have thousands of visitors per day at the pyramids at any one time, we were nearly there alone, there was one other group from Russia and us four. Our photos are amazing because there is no one around. They told us at the heritage site in the desert that we were the first group they had taken in since the revolution in January.


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Dear Sirs,

      I have just returned from my 9th trip to Egypt (with my partner). Three of the trips were with your company Kuoni.

      May I say, that during our, second, stay at the Mena House Hotel (incidentally, where my Albanian cousin's uncle (King Zog I of the Albanians), lived, during the 1940's with his wife Queen Geraldine their son Crown Prince Leka Zogu, and their family, as guests of His Late Majesty King Farouk I of Egypt and the Sudan); we had the good fortune to have the guidance of one of your reprasentatives in Cairo.

      The reprasentative in question is called Mr. Ahmed Elshafai. My partner and myself got along extremely well with him. We found him to be of the highest professional standard. His knowledge of English is second to none, and we communicated on a level that put both my partner and myself at our ease. He was very informative, with regard to flight and departure information, as well as informing us of the places that were within a convenient range, to visit. He greeted us with a pleasant smile, and stayed with us, until we had settled in, and answered allour questions succinctly and in a professional way. I have to stress, also that his appearance was VERY smart. I told him this upon our first meeting.

      Believe me, Sirs, Mr. Elshafai is indeed a golden credit to your company - something that is a rarity these days. I'm a firm believer that credit should be given where credit is due. This man does your company proud. I would definitely book another holiday with Kuoni, just because of Mr. Elshafai's professional and smart attitude alone.

      Perhaps you would be kind enough to pass our comments on to him?

      Thanking you, and Alhamdulillah!

      Sheikh Sayyid Daoud Abdurrahman El-Qenawy, BSc(Hons), Dip TP, MRTPI, GCDA, CDA
      (formerley David Brasier)

      Shukran.

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Sent: 31 May 2011 12:44
      Subject: Recent Holiday to Sharm El Sheikh

      Dear Sir/Madam
      My name is Hemant Kantak and I recently travelled to Sharm El Sheikh through Kuoni travels for my Honeymoon. I just wanted to let you know that it was the best Holiday of my life and Kuoni along with traveline had done everything they can to make it a success. The attitude of everyone was brilliant and very professional.
      This was my first holiday with kuoni and i am already planning one for this year december to florida. The Traveline guys was just brilliant and a special thanks to Nader who was kuoni rep in sharm el sheikh and Amr for making this a special success

      Thank you so much

      Regards
      Hemant

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Holiday booking ref 9274512
      Date of departure 1st May 2011.

      I have just returned from a holiday to Egypt and wanted to write and express our thanks at the brilliant service extended by Kuoni and your Ground Arrangements company Traveline. I did fill in your comment cards while I was in Egypt but also felt compelled to write. Often people are very quick to write and complain, however they rarely write to express thanks or to praise so I am re-addressing the balance!

      I did the same holiday 2 1/2 years ago, again with Kuoni, and had such a fabulous time I wanted to return with my partner.

      Upon arrival we were not happy with the hotel we had booked in Cairo, The Meridien, and to be honest I had chosen this at the recommendation of your reservation staff at time of booking as she stated this was comparable to the Mena House where I had stayed before and would afford us a good pyramid view. This was not the case and although The Meridien staff did their utmost to satisfy our requirements they were not going to be able to as the hotel, rooms and views were not in the same class to those at the Mena. However once I asked for us to be transferred to the Mena the Kuoni / Traveline staff were brilliant and we were taken to the Mena within 15 minutes of our request. We were also not charged the Pyramid view supplement at the Mena as you had negotiated an upgrade for us free of charge.

      From then on everything was superb and special thanks must go to

      Cairo
      Kuoni representative Mohammed & Ahmed
      Traveline guides – Islam (Specially requested as he was our guide on my first visit) and Deena.

      Luxor
      Kuoni rep Ibrahim
      Traveline guide – Milad

      Hurghada
      Kuoni rep - Ahmed.

      We were dealt with by all staff in a courteous but friendly manner and felt safe and well looked after at all times. The hotel staff were also superb and could not have done anymore to help us enjoy our stays with them

      We were always collected promptly for transfers and met on all occasions upon arrival. For our return flight via Cairo we were even met in transit, escorted to a different floor for our connecting flight and had our immigration cards completed for us!

      I used to work in travel and in my opinion Kuoni have always been a reputable, quality company, especially for tailor made and long haul travel. I have travelled with you on a number of occasions both while I worked in travel and since leaving the industry. I now work in the service sector and appreciate more than ever the importance of good customer service and value for money, both of which I believe Kuoni represents. In this day and age it is actually very rare. Things can always go slightly awry but it is how they are dealt with when they do which is equally important, whether it was a puncture crossing the Sahara on our way to Hurghada or a huge cockroach in our bathroom in Luxor, issues were resolved quickly and without fuss.

      This was a very special holiday for us as we got engaged the day before we left and I am looking forward to booking our honeymoon with Kuoni for next year. It was also my partners birthday while we were in Luxor and my request for a cake was met with a response of ‘consider it done’ by Travelline and followed up by Kuoni upon our arrival. It is touches like this that take a company into a different league.

      Once again please pass on my thanks to those mentioned specifically but also to the drivers and hotel staff, whom are too numerous to mention individually.

      Kind regards,

      Julie Rose

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Allan Davies
      Sent: 19 May 2011 09:32
      To: Jacka Susanna
      Hi Susie and thank you for the 'e' mail welcoming us back.

      First off, I cannot begin to express my pleasure with regards to the wonderful holiday we had in Egypt. My wife and I agreed it rated as one of the best ever and we are so so glad we decided not to cancel as we would have missed the best chance of seeing such a wonderful place.

      As for the organisation, The service, the food, the guides, the hotels, the people, in fact everything was first rate and went well above our expectations.

      I would like to mention in particular Your representatives out there who have to be congratulated for their brilliant help and service with nothing being too much trouble.

      The Meridian hotel and Cairo was amazing, and i would have to especially single out and recommend the one day private tour with guide as being the hilite of that part. Emi was a brilliant guide taking us everywhere and explaining so much in one day, well worth the time and money.

      Again, the Royal Winter Palace in Luxor was absolutely marvellous. I upgraded the room to a luxury suite which made all the difference, and again, the service and accomodation was impeccable.

      As for the boat and cruise, well, it pays to choose the best boats as this was definitely the icing on the cake for my wife who especially enjoyed the 'Darakum', including once again a recommend for the upgraded suite. (The only suggestion for this part of the holiday would perhaps be the inclusion of soft drinks, water, tea/coffee, etc as signing for everything became a little time consuming sometimes, even if it means adding cost to the price).

      All the tours were fantastic if a little tiring, (Ha) and the Egyptologists were brilliant.

      All in all, as i said, a fantastic holiday overall and I can only say well done and thanks to you and your team at Kuoni for making it so.

      Kind regards

      Mr and Mrs Al Davies

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Name: S.Willett
      Country: United Kingdom
      City: Plymouth
      Subject: Amal tour guide.

      We were very lucky to visit your country for a week from the 1st of may to the 8th of may 2011 and stayed in Cario (booked through Kuoni staying at the Movenpick hotel Giza). We had a fantastic guide for the 2 trips we did one to the museum on the 5th of may and a second trip to the pyramids on the 6th of may. Our guide Amal was fantastic and we took some photos which we promised to send to her she gave us her e-mail address but unfortunatley we can't find it and were wondering if you could please pass our message to Amal with our e-mail address so we can contact her with the photos.

      Many thanks in advance for your help

      Elise & Steve Willett


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Kate Gohar
      Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 6:57 AM
      Subject: World Journeys North Africa group

      Dear Hisham,

      Just a quick note to say how much my group enjoyed their time in Egypt. I am particularly grateful for the care, attention and assistance Hany and Karim provided for us throughout. It was very thoughtful of them to meet the group at the airport on arrival. The group was very impressed at the army of Traveline staff waiting to greet us.

      Your transfer reps and drivers are also excellent. Careful and helpful, we appreciated them all. The Darakum was lovely – but I think the real attraction on board are your staff. They are, without exception, kind, friendly and exceedingly charming. I am sorry I missed Tarek in Kom Ombo. It is a very long time since we have seen each other.

      Eslam Zaghloul, although not a direct employee of Traveline, is a true credit to you as well. He made my job easy taking over the role of tour leader and providing the group with comprehensive answers to their many questions on all aspects of Egyptian life from hieroglyphics to modern day marriage!

      I will be honest and say a number of the group were a little nervous travelling to the Middle East in light of current events. But after just a couple of days they were already telling me Egypt was the highlight and how safe, secure and welcomed they all felt. They will be singing Egypt’s praises to anyone who will listen.

      I have media releases and articles scheduled for the next few weeks. I will try to send copies through to you for your information.

      With thanks and kindest regards

      Kate

      Kate Gohar MNZITT Director

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Emma Barden
      Sent: 21 April 2011 15:18
      Subject: BKGREF: 9246963

      Comments - Just to let you all know that our recent cruise up the Nile was without doubt one of the best holidays ever. Suzanne our Egyptologist, was superb, the ship and crew sensational and the care taken for all aspects of the holiday were amazing. It is so difficult for them...I am a journalist and will try to spread the message. Get your press office to ask Simon Calder to do a piece in the Standard...he has just joined them


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Ingledow, Steve  
      Sent: Mon Apr 25 11:52:50 2011
      Subject: MS Darakum
       
      HI
      I would just like to thank everyone at Traveline and especially the staff on MS Darakum for giving us one of the most enjoyable weeks we have ever had on holiday. The staff could not do enough for us from the manager to the waiters and a special mention for Ayman out tour manager how gave us some entertaining moments.

      Once again thanks for a great time and hope to see you all again soon.

      Steve & Sally Ingledow.

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Larman, Katie
      Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2011 10:28 AM
      Subject: Carrier Visit

      Hi Sherif,
      I just wanted to send you an e-mail to say thank you so much to you and all your team who made our Egypt fam trip so enjoyable- it was so lovely to meet you all and please send our thanks to everyone.

      Thank you also for all you do for our guests,
      Hope to see you again in the near future,

      Many thanks,
      Katie and Carole

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Alan Schofield
      Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 10:08 AM
      To: sharm@traveline-eg.com
      Subject: My thanks.

      May I take this opportunity, on my return to U.K. to express my sincere thanks to Amr Farid for the very great help he gave to my wife and myself when we were stuck at the Hilton Sharks Bay because of a flight cancellation by BA on Sunday 3rd April.

      We were unable to receive any positive information from BA and their agents in Sharm el Sheikh, Midland Travel, until Mr Farid, who overheard our problems, was able to help us and reassure us.

      He relaxed us, and let us enjoy the additional days without worry, and we are very grateful.

      Yours sincerely

      Alan Schofield
      17CT21 6AA, Hythe, UK

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Pat marriott  
      Sent: Mon Apr 04 18:57:56 2011
      Subject: Ms Sherryboat Nile Cruise
      To whom it may concern.

      I thought that I must make time to e-mail andthank you for our wonderful holiday that my friend and I had aboard the Ms Sherry Boat,We arrived on the 21st March and stayed until the 28th, the crew made us welcome from the moment we stepped on board and remained that way until we left. May I also congratulate you on the choice of guide Melad you arranged for us ,his knowledge of the sites that he took us too and professional manner that he conducted himself . all in all he was a pleasure to be with and answered all our questions without hesitation. We would definitely travel with your company again.Yours Sincerely.
      Mrs P Marriott & Mrs I Larkin (Cabin 216)

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Name: Barbara Bonnie
      Country: United Kingdom
      City: London
      Subject: Vacation

      To whom it may concern.I would like to thank everyone concerned in making my vacation in Egypt the most amazing time I have ever had.I have traveled all over the world,but the experience I had with traveling with your company was exceptional. All members of your staff where ever we were could not do enough for us and worked so very hard to ensure our stay in your beautiful country was a trip never to forget.
      Of all the countries Egypt is the one country I would return to.

      I must also take a moment to say that our stay for 7 nights on the Darakum was amazing the manager and staff were so kind and considerate and never stopped making our time rememberable. Recognition and praise should be given to them for all there. hard work. Not forgetting the Nubian Sea amazing.
      I will ensure that I will let all in the UK know about our time in Egypt. I will also let Kuoni know how amazing it all was.How everything was on time,and run efficiently etc etc .
      Thank you
      Many thanks for taking the time to read this E/mail.
      Kind Regards B.A.Bonnie.

      P.S. Love to have news letter sent to e/mail address.


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Name: Victoria Gee
      Country: United Kingdom
      City: Bristol
      Subject: Recent Visit

      Hello
      I thought I would send you a quick email after a Kuoni trip to Egypt visiting both Cairo (Le Meridian Pyramids) and Luxor.

      I would like to commend the service we received in Cairo from start to finish were above our expectations. The representative who greeted us at the Cairo airport (Ahmed) could not do more for us throughout our stay, and all guides (and rep who took us back to airport) we had on our excursions were both informative, polite and friendly.

      A special mention to Ahmed, who made myself, my sister and mother very welcome in Egypt and should be highly commended for his service.
      Regards
      Victoria Gee, Deborah Penrice, Mary Thomson


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: marrians
      Sent: 25 March 2011 11:14
      To: Stephen Cooper
      Subject: Egypt

      Dear Stephen
      I have put off communicating with you since returning from Egypt thinking that you would be asking us for feedback. That has not happened so I thought that I would give it to you anyway!
      We had an excellent holiday made all the more memorable by the lack of other tourists. For instance the 6 of us plus one other woman were the only people in the large temple at Abu Simbel at one stage of our visit there.
      The Rihana was a beautiful boat although we were somewhat surprised to find that she was not powered by sails but by two tugs. However watching the tugs manoeuvring us was fascinating. The crew were delightful and looked after us with great panache. I suspect that they were somewhat surprised when the Scots and thee Danes drank them out of white wine! Only slight complaint was the use of Nescafe for breakfast coffee.
      The Egyptologist, Abram, on the Rihana was a very interesting man and great fun to talk with. He was extremely patient with all our silly questions which no doubt he had heard so many times!

      Your agents, Traveline, were absolutely brilliant. Their organisation throughout the trip was immaculate and their people were all extremely welcoming and helpful.

      So there you are, we are very glad that you didn’t allow us to cancel the trip. Otherwise we would have missed an experience of our lives, including armed guards and tanks all around u! The Egyptians were, for obvious reasons, very welcoming to what they called ‘New Egypt’
      With many thanks again.

      Ian


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


      From: Peter Allingham - AWT
      Sent: 14/03/2011
      Subject: Fwd: Journey to Amarna - Comments

      Our first two comments from this tour.
      Thank you so much for all you hard work. Please pass this on to Murad and Everyone else involved.
      As ever,
      Peter

      From Rhian Hallett
      "Journey to Amarna trip was a great success. Had a great time and we all
      felt very welcome in Egypt. Very safe and very quiet too. Best time to visit
      Egypt"
      And fro the Pizeys.


      From: Amanda Pizey
      Sent: 14 March 2011 11:38
      Hi,
      Wonderful trip to Amarna.
      Impeccably organised throughout.
      We really enjoyed every moment of it.
      Thanks.
      Best wishes,
      Amanda and Jim Pizey


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Name:Ms Genevieve Bridgeman

      Comments:
      Dear VJV, I have recently come back from your 'Return to Egypt' trip - Jan 17-29.
      I'm just contacting you to say how impressed we were with the way in which the Traveline team- tour manager Ayman, driver Ali, and 2 colleagues at the airport- managed to get us from the hotel at Giza to the departure lounge at Cairo airport in time to catch our flight to Heathrow on Tuesday. Their efficiency and skill in the face of curfew, traffic jams, roadblocks and airport chaos was quite remarkable and deserves recognition.
      Sincerely, Genevieve Bridgeman


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Elaine Stoddart
      Sent: 22 February 2011 09:38
      Subject: Return to the Nile - UKLP6317-02 BOB-MOD
      Dear sirs,

      I have recently returned from the above holiday in Egypt and given the circumstances of the curtailment, was not expecting to receive a refund for cancelled trips. It was therefore a very pleasant surprise to receive a cheque from you this weekend and would like to thank you for pursuing this matter on behalf of your customers without being requested.

      I would also ask that, if possible, you could make Traveline aware of the highly professional attitude of the crew of The Hamees over our last weekend in Egypt. They took every step to ensure our safety and continued to run the ship efficiently at a time when I am sure many of them were worried about their own future and about the safety of family members in the bigger cities.

      Yours faithfully,

      Elaine Stoddart


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Sandra Bryce-Smith
      Sent: 16 February 2011 17:04
      Subject: Incredible Egypt

      Dear Robert
      Our trip to Egypt was indeed incredible from the very moment we landed in Egypt where we were met by Traveline Agent Achmed who could not have done more for us,we had 2 fabulous days in Cairo escorted by Aslem who made the past become real,our trip down the Nile was amazing again with another wonderful guide Maged it all passed too quickly, a delay in taking off from Cairo meant an overnight stop in Heathrow again very well organised, Achmed was extremely efficient at getting us through the airport in spite of the chaos caused by cancelled flights on the previous day
      All through our trip every person we came in contact with especially the crew on the boat

      Yours Sandra Bryce-Smith


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Donald Clegg
      Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 06:55 PM
      Subject: Message from recent passengers to all on board SS Misr

      Hi, can the following be passed on to the manager of SS Misr please?
      Having been with our friends and family on Jules Verne Cruises on board the SS Misr three times in the last four years, most recently 3rd January 2011, we would like you to pass on our best wishes to you, your staff, the guides and tour managers on board.
      We have watched the unfolding events in Tahrir Square in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt with great concern and we hope you and your families are all safe and that the outcome is all that you would wish for.
      This is also a chance for us to once again thank Hanay and his staff, Sherif our tour guide/manager and indeed everyone on board who helped to make our trip unforgettable. Our love of Egypt and its people makes us want to return again and again.

      Donald and Lynda Clegg

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: G & S Hendry
      Sent: 13 February 2011 17:11
      Subject: egypt tour ref 8629627
      Dear Jane Yianni


      We would like to thank you all at Go Touring for all your help during a very frightening stay in Cairo and for arranging our safe return home,we had been looking forward to the holiday but were quite distressed on return due to all the trouble. Please pass our heart felt thanks on to our guide Islam and all the hotel staff who did everything possible to help in a difficult situation.We would alo like to confirm reciept of the total refund of the holiday and hope to travel with you again in the future.

      Yours Faithfully Mr and Mrs GP Hendry


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      3rd February 2011

      Dear Ms Fenton

      Booking for 10 persons – 7 night Cruise - MS Sherry
      Plus 3 days (8 persons) in Cairo – 17 January to 27th January 2011

      I booked for 9 friends and myself for a Nile Cruise and Cairo on the above dates and what can I say – SUPERB, everything superbly handled. I have tried to think of any small problem, no matter how small just to say you could improve on this, but there was absolutely nothing, no problem whatsoever even though we were in Cairo on the Wednesday morning, at the museum where there had been demonstrations that morning.

      I would like to start with Joyce Buxton, who handled my bookings, was always helpful and sorted out problems with tours, invoices etc.. Only problem I had with Kuoni was the accounts/invoices and payments which again Kuoni handled and understood what my problem was. It was difficult with 10 people being booked separately and different itineraries and tours in Egypt but handled by Joyce in a nice and efficient way, never blaming me. This was excellent customer service.

      Nile Cruise – MS Sherry – 17th Jan to 24th Jan 2011

      Hanan was our tour guide on the MS Sherry. What a gem she is. We were a group of 12 ,10 my booking + 2 others who we all became very friendly with and will keep in touch with them. All 12 of us could not compliment her too highly. I have been on a nile cruise with Kuoni before and again the tour guide was excellent but Hanan was exceptional. I am speaking for 10 of us but also know that the other 2 were just as complimentary. She went out of her way to please the whole group; she listened to us just in conversation whilst on the cruise having tea or whatever. Even though she was not on duty she came over and chatted to us. She got to know what we were interested in and arranged to suit us without us even asking. She realised some of us were interested in birds and arranged a different guide on our way to the Botanic gardens who knew about birds and this was a highlight for all 12 of us. Superb. We asked about the spice market, she arranged taxi’s for the 12 of us and came herself to the spice market (she was not on duty) with us. There is so much more but I would be writing pages. Suffice to say she was superb in every way and if I go again, I would make a point of asking for her as a guide or when she would be the guide. We all now feel she is a friend, that’s how good she was.

      Cairo – Movenpick Pyramids

      I was worried about the hotel after looking up some comments on the internet. I was extremely impressed with this hotel. Again everything went well, rooms good and clean, food, customer service everything superb. I will be leaving a note on the internet to say how good it was.

      Kuoni Reps etc

      I had four American friends with me, who were apprehensive about going to Egypt and said they would love to go to Egypt but would only go if I went with them – so I arranged it and Kuoni did not let me down. They and of course of all us were impressed with Kuoni. We were met on time everywhere we went, on arrival, on departure, all our tours booked in the UK and extra booking which we did locally. Nothing was a problem. They were all superb, friendly and efficient.

      Egypt Air

      Again – on time, service good.


      I am a retired British Airways employee and believe me, if I there was anything I could comment on, I would have picked it up. I can only highly praise Kuoni for their exceptional service.

      I will be booking, hopefully, next year Cairo and Alexandria with you with some of the same group next year. Lets hope Egypt settles down as we wish to go again.


      Yours faithfully

      Suzanne Avoth


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Egypt / Nile Cruise - C&V Freestone 07/01/2011 ref: A17534

      Dear Trailfinders, especially the Cruise Department at Kensington , Martin Johnson and Hannah ?
      Once again I must compliment TrailFinders on providing me with a faultless and outstanding tour of the Nile. Every aspect of this trip was well organised and continued to show us the high standard that you have always maintained during the many trips we have used you as a travel company. It was thanks to Martin Johnson who offered us numerous possibilities and kept in constant touch with us together with Hannah who finally took the payment from me during Martin’s time off….. the trip was beyond all our expectations, not only did we come back laden with photographs, Egyptian outfits and pictures on papyrus !!!!, - but met some fascinating people that we continue to correspond with.
      The Hotels were better than described, the trips perfect in every detail and as usual, your organisation of everything was impeccable. Never the less, considerable credit must go to Egypt Traveline who you obviously liaised with. With their two outstanding tour guides, Marco and Mohamed, we had possibly one of the most informative, fast paced and exciting trips ever. We were looked after from the moment we arrived at Cairo and feel thoroughly conversant with all aspects of Egyptology, well almost – as we seemed to have visited every temple and ancient ruin we passed on the Nile !!
      On our return, after our arrival at Luxor airport, we found that our flight was delayed due to the closure of Cairo airport – this disturbed us considerable as we had a connecting flight – as it turned out, we met the Traveline rep, Marco who was also returning to Cairo,. Even though his time as tour guide had finished, he still continued to assist us and made us feel very secure during quite a concerning time. There was a certain tenseness when we arrived a Cairo the following day, but once again, a Traveline rep found us and assisted us through security onto our London bound flight. As experienced travellers, we felt quite capable but never once did Traveline staff treat us if we didn’t know what we had to do – they were both supportive and reassuring throughout the entire trip. Please do not lose your relationship with this company – it adds that perfect touch when arriving in Egypt.
      On our return, we now look forward to our next trip with TrailFinders and will continue to recommend you as the best UK tourist company. ( Oh – the boat was excellent - MS Darakum, just a pity the Kuoni customers didn’t quite get the standard of service that Trailfinders customers seemed to get !!! - although I might be slightly biased on that comment !)
      Please do forward this email to the staff concerned and if you find time, please could you also forward it to Egyptline.

      Many thanks again ….. from two unbelievably satisfied customers,
      Dr.C. & Mrs V . Freestone.

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Sent: 07 February 2011 19:20
      Subject: Website e-mail Comments Form Request
      Name:Mrs. Theresa Moore
      Comments:
      My husband and I went on the Treasures of the Nile tour 14-24 January
      2011. I'd just like to let you know how much we enjoyed the whole
      experience and we were very well looked after. The staff on The Hamees
      were wonderful as were the tour guides in Cairo and on the Nile trip.
      Couldn't recommend it highly enough. Thank you.

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Dennis Tao
      Date: Sun, Feb 6, 2011 at 10:12 PM
      Subject: Message of Appreciation

      Hi KC
      After a few days back home, I thought I would take the opportunity to write to express my appreciation for the assistance that you, the Gohagen staff, the local Traveline staff and the local guide Ahmed provided in helping our group evacuate out of Cairo last week.
      Firstly, many thanks to you, Bob and Tom for working around the clock to help us secure alternate arrangements when our original flights were repeatedly canceled. I know that was a very difficult situation with limited options and with very fluid and ever-changing scenarios. As well, thank you for making the necessary arrangements for ground transportation and hotel accommodation while we were in limbo - it was a blessing for us to have this service available and a luxury that many other travelers in the same situation as us did not have. This certainly helped to relieve some stress as well as fatigue, knowing we had a place to rest our heads rather than sleeping at the airport.
      Kudos also goes to Nagwa and her Traveline reps who never left our side and went well above the call of duty. They not only bused our group to the proper Canadian evacuation meeting point, but also called for a larger bus to transport our fellow Canadians as well. They also provided us with food and water while we waited on the first day for 10 hours in the terminal, and we realized how fortunate we were when we were able to help a mother by giving her some much needed food for her kids while they, too, waited for hours in the airport terminal. The reps also helped us to navigate through customs when we were held up by an official who was trying to extract a bribe as we were leaving to board the plane.
      And I cannot say enough about Ahmed who kept our spirits high and helped to keep the flow of information to us. We are truly indebted to him.
      Lastly, the evacuation from Egypt has by no means dampened my enthusiasm for the trip I experienced with Gohagen - it is one of the best trips I've ever been on. I believe the way the situation in Egypt was handled certainly reinforced the quality of your program, the staff and your commitment to the safety and well-being of your customers. All those examples above made those traveling with us realize that they were provided with the best service possible, especially given the extraordinary circumstances.
      Please feel free to forward this message onto anyone you deem appropriate. I hope that I will have the opportunity to travel with you once again in the near future.

      With much appreciation.
      Sincerely
      Dennis

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Sent: Sun Feb 06 17:24:39 2011
      Subject: Leaving Cairo
      To the Management of Traveline

      I was one of the UK tourists due to leave Cairo on Saturday 29th January however BA cancelled their flight to Heathrow leaving us stranded.
      We then remained at the Movenpick Hotel until Tuesday.
      I would like to inform you that the hotel staff went out of their way to ensure we were well looked after, and their service to us was exceptional. This was greatly appreciated during this uneasy period.
      I would also like to commend and thank Ayman and his team including our driver Ali.
      Under these extraordinary circumstances these guys were absolutely committed to our safety and worked with great speed and efficiency at Cairo airport on Tuesday 1st Feb to ensure that we got on the BA flight home.

      Thank you Traveline for getting us home safely.
      Fiona May

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Ron Morris
      Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2011 4:40 PM
      Subject: Greetings from Tennessee
      Hello Wessam:
      I hope this email finds you and your family safe and doing well, considering all the events playing out in Egypt.
      We enjoyed our trip with your company, and we hope that all of your people are safe. All your guides and drivers that we met were first class people. They were the reason that we enjoyed our trip so much.
      We know that these events are having a devastating effect on tourism, and hurting your business. We just hope that things will improve, and that your business will not only get back to previous levels, but improve in the future.

      Best regards,
      Ron and Judy Morris

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: joan jest
      Sent: 04 February 2011 16:04
      Subject: Booking refernce 8629136
      I feel I must write to express our appreciation of the efforts you and your company went to " the ends of the earth" to return us safely to the uk. We were in Cairo from Friday p.m. to Wednesday 2nd Feb and down to you we had a good flight back. We were kept very safe the whole time we were in the hotel sadly we didn't see what we went for but that's life isn't it? I must commend too, the efforts made by our tour guide who did so much for us - his name ISAM .

      Your sincerely and with thanks Joan Jest and Mavis Holland

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Subject: cairo hell
      DEAR VIRGIN CUSTOMER RELATIONS
      WE HAVE JUST GOT HOME AT 3 0 CLOCK THIS MORNING 1/2/2011—WE HAVE BEEN CAUGHT UP IN THE TERRIBLE TROUBLES AT CAIRO. WE WERE DUE TO FLY HOME ON 29/1/2011 AND OUR BMI FLIGHT WITH YOURSELVES WAS TURNED AROUND 1 HR AWAY FROM CAIRO AND WE HAVE BEEN STUCK THERE IN A TERRIBLE SITUATION FOR 3 DAYS.
      PLEASE WILL YOU ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING POINTS
      1-OUR REPS IN WERE WONDERFUL IN PARTICULAR MOHAMMED IBRAHIM WORKING FOR TRAVEL LINE WE NEED SOMONE TO WRITE TO TO SAY WHAT A KIND AND HELPFUL MAN HE IS –HE EVEN STAYED WITH US ALL NIGHT AS THE TANKS AND GUNS SURROUNDED THE HOTEL AND HE EVEN PAID OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET FOR AN EMERGENCY TAXI 5 MINS BEFORE CURFEW BEGAN TO DASH US TO SAFETY.HE WOULDNT TAKE A PENNY FROM US NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE INSISTED. SO WE NEED APOINT OF CONTACT SO WE CAN WRITE IN OFFICIALLY TO PRAISE THE COMPANY ESPECIALLY MOHAMMED.
      2-HE TOOK US TO SAFETY BUT WE HAD TO PAY THE RADISON BLU ABOUT £400 IN TOTAL AS WE GOT THE LAST AVAILABLE ROOM IN THE PLACE, AGAIN DOWN TO MOHAMMED PLEADING ON OUR BEHALF –THAT INCLUDED ALL FOOD AND DRINK AND WE HAD ABSOLUETELY NO OTHER ALTERNATIVES AS WE COULD NOT LEAVE THERE DUE TO HIS INSISTANCE ON OUR SAFETY.GUNFIRE WAS DIRECTLY OUTSIDE HOTEL AND PEOPLE WITH EVERY KIND OF WEAPONS AND MACHETEES.
      THE HOTEL STAFF WERE ALL DEPLOYED ALONG ROUTE TO HOTEL SO THAT WE COULD RUN DOWN A TUNNEL OF STAFF. IT WAS TRULY FRIGHTENING AND WAS EVEN WORSE THAN YOU COULD SEE ON THE TV.
      SO PLEASE CAN YOU ADDRESS THIS E-MAIL ASAP

      MANY THANKS LIZ MELTON
      BOOKING REF 1519333

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: D PORTER  
      Sent: 03 February 2011 19:57
      Subject: Best of Egypt Tour commencing 27th January 2011 (Ending 1st February 2011)
      Dear Ms Brereton,
      We are writing to express our thanks to Journeys of Distinction for the professional and helpful manner in which all your staff handled the recent situation in Egypt.
      I don't believe any of us has previously lived through a major revolution.
      I can only commend our Tour Manager and the local representatves in Cairo for handling the developing situation in a calm and supportive fashion. (I would particularly highlight our local specialist Guide, Mahmood, who made our brief visit to the Giza Pyramids informative and entertaining - I trust Mahmood is well, given everything that is going on).
      I cannot speak too highly of Jenni Brown and the local support staff in Cairo, especially during the nightmare trip to Cairo Airport. We returned to the UK unscathed on Tuesday evening via Athens. This was entirely due to the efforts of Jenni and the JOD team who arranged the flights to repatriate us.

      Thanks once again for arranging our evacuation.
      Kindest regards
      David & Evelyn Porter

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Kelly, Laura  
      Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 1:15 PM  
      Subject: RE: Pyramids to Abu Simbel clients due to fly to Cairo on Monday 31 January 2011
      Hi Samah
      Thank you for your email and for your continued support throughout this situation
      As always our passengers safety and welfare is of paramount importance and we are confident in the knowledge that with yourself and Traveline our clients are in trusted hands and so we have complete faith in your judgement and decisions in regard to our clients safety
      Thank you for all your assistance in repatriating our passengers so quickly and efficiently and for the assistance provided to passengers still in resort
      We hope that the situation can be speedily and peacefully resolved.
      Our thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.

      K rgds
      Laura Kelly
      Operations Manager
      for Voyages Jules Verne

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Kathleen Callahan
      Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 1:15 PM
      Subject: from Kathy
      My dear Nagwa,
      How are you? your family? I just see that you may have internet and I try to write because my heart is heavy that I could not call you back to say goodbye. I tried to call a few moments ago on Skype but cannot reach you...I am sure you are crazy busy.
      My admiration for you and the job that you did is incredible. Traveline could have left us and went to your families that needed you more, but instead Traveline stay with the Gohagan Group until we were all safely on our way home while your homes and city was being destroyed and your families needed you. I have constant tears in awe of this unselfish act.
      I finally slept last night...I cannot imagine how tired YOU MUST BE!!!
      I wait to hear from you , my friend.
      Kathy

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Ann Kelly
      Sent: 02 February 2011 10:51
      Subject: Feedback
      Hello Vicki
      I was given your address by a colleague of yours when I phoned to give feedback on the holiday in Egypt from which I recently returned [just in time!]. She was unable to access the reference because of all your changes.
      THT-B27998
      We were on the Sherry Boat from 10th to 17th January then flew to Cairo for three nights at the Movenpick with half day trips to the Pyramids and to the Egyptian Museum included then flew back to Luxor for four nights at the Sheraton.
      I need to tell whoever needs to know that the whole experience was wonderful. Your associates in Egypt, Traveline Egypt , are SO good. The reps meeting us airports and delivering us to our hotels and back to airports are so efficient, nothing is too much trouble for them. I am afraid my travelling companion was a total embarrassment to me but our rep in Cairo, Mohamed, after looking a bit shocked/surprised at her questions, dealt with her with the most graceful good manners. He, like Yousef at Luxor,could not have been more helpful, kind and concerned. The staff on the Sherry Boat were all excellent - friendly, helpful and efficient. The freelance guides, too are excellent. In Cairo we had Doaa who is lovely, knowledgeable and good at her job.
      However my highest praise must go to our Egyptologist/Guide, Khaled Fangary. He was unbelievably efficient in fitting in the expected tours with the wishes of different people in the group [a group of eight, which is about the best size both for participation and for teaching and managing, in my experience]. He is an inspiring and inspired teacher, the whole trip being vastly enhanced by his knowledge, teaching skills and personality. Most of us knew a fair bit already but I, at least know so much more now. There was no repetition by rote, or apparent gaps in knowledge. He used role-play to demonstrate matters, involved us, drew diagrams in the sand, translated, explained, answered even the dimmest questions with kindness and patience. He really knows his stuff! Furthermore, from my own observations and from conversations with people in other groups, it would seem Khaled is one of a kind and anyone who gets him as Guide will be fortunate to have their visit to Egypt greatly enhanced.
      [Have I gone a bit overboard here?]
      The whole holiday was most certainly one of the best I have ever had. Everything ran so smoothly and efficiently and was a pleasure to behold. I strongly approve of and like, efficiency!

      Many thanks
      Ann Kelly

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      From: jenni brown
      Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 8:40 PM
      Subject: RE: JOD Group 27 January 2011
      Hi Suzy!
      I hope that you are now receiving messages on the internet? I just wanted to say thank you so much to Traveline for helping us during our stay in Cairo - the guys at the airport were absolutely magnificent, getting us through the crowds to safely check-in, and we could not have done so without them. I know all your staff are working very hard for all the pax affected, and we are eternally grateful to them for their professionalism and hard work.
      Mohammed, Nour, Ahmed and the other Mohammed were wonderful, as are you and Magdy, and anyone else I may have missed out in the chaos!
      I hope there is peace soon in Egypt, and that I will return with another group. I hope too that you, the staff and all your families are safe! Please pass my message on to everyone who helped with the JOD escape group!

      Very best regards,
      Jenni Brown

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: "THOMAS FEE"
      Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2011 16:21:37 -0000

      Subject: Ahmed, your rep at Sharm El Sheikh.
      My wife and I have just returned from a weeks holiday in Sharm El Sheikh, staying in the Kiroseiz 3 Corners hotel.
      We had a wonderful time and we would like to express our thanks to our fantastic rep, Ahmed.
      He is a most courteous gentleman and he did everthing in his power to ensure that our holiday was trouble free and enjoyable.
      Our room at the hotel was not what we expected (single beds not double!) and he arranged for us to be moved to what was a more superior room.
      We booked two trips with him, to the Beduoin tribe in the desert and to St. Catherine's Monastry. Both were fabulous and went without a hitch.
      He got in touch practically every day to see if everything was ok.
      He accompanied us to the airport on our departure and guided us safely through all the procedures.
      We have never, in all our travels, had a better rep and we hope you appreciate the treasure that you have in Sharm El Sheikh.

      Thanks again.
      Thomas and Maeve Fee

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: Emma Barden
      Sent: 13 January 2011 09:25
      Subject: BKGREF: 9155340

      Many thanks
      We are now home after our holiday in Egypt and I write to congratulate Kuoni on the organisation of our stay there and ask you to send our thanks on to Travel Line who actually looked after us there. Their efforts were well appreciated and deserve a mention. The tour guide – Hausain Bayad was excellent.

  • 2010

    • From: Chris Lyons - World Journeys
      Sent: Monday, November 28, 2011 12:02 PM
      Subject: Report from my trip
      Dear Hany,
      As promised I thought I would send you a report on my tour.
      Everything Traveline did for this group was excellent. From Ahmed who looked after the meet and greet and farewell at CAI airport (please let him know I have thanked you for his services), through to the hotels and of course the services of the excellent guide Salah (who was outstanding and if Eslam is not available we would like you to allocate Salah to our FIT’s whenever possible).
      Hany, there is no doubt that the favourite country of the 3 we visited was Egypt. I really cant fault the services there and please pass on my sincere thanks to all concerned. A special thanks to you personally for making it all happen....I know it was a difficult and rather messy group. My understanding of Egypt is much improved now and I hope we can secure the Allen group for next October. I will let you know for sure in the next couple of weeks.
      Let us pray that the elections all pass without too much more violence as this is what will scare off potential visitors. Of course I know that visitors are made to feel very welcome in your country and will try and pass this on to anyone interested.
      Kind personal regards,
      Chris



      From: World Discovery - Roy Davies
      Sent: Wednesday, 29 December 2010 11:58 AM
      Please see below the e-mail I received from Karen Power regarding her visit to Cairo and Sinai.
      Thanks to everyone at Traveline for making this such a good holiday!
      Best wishes and Happy New Year,
      Roy

      From: Karen V Power
      Sent: 29 December 2010 07:33
      Subject: a huge thank you

      dear Roy,
      once again you pulled the rabbit out of the hat. what a fabulous trip! thank you so very much. as usual, everything ran like clockwork. the drivers were superb, the guides were excellent and the service was just wonderful. as you know st Catherine's was just magical. Maggie and I got up to see the sunrise. it really was everything and more than expected.and the guest house was great! scalding hot water, lovely food and heating!
      there was some problem with the transport back from st Catherine's but the guide was super efficient and sorted it out without a fuss.
      the pick up in dahab was great, again with a super rep. we arrived from sharm into Cairo airport and had to change terminals. the rep had booked our luggage in to London and had told us how to re check-in so all was fine. imagine our surprise when, as we were coming down an escalator, a voice came out of nowhere "hello Mrs. power." the rep from sharm had called another rep who was at Cairo waiting for another passenger, described me to him (people say I'm quite distinctive as I often wear huge earrings and bright colours!!!!) and asked him to check us in at Cairo. if you have the opportunity to pass on our thanks and compliments, please do.
      we timed the journey home just perfectly! in fact we arrived early! I will probably go back in 2011 as there are still many things to do, it will be a really odd itinerary so gather your strength! if I went to dahab again, and I did like it better than sharm, I'd stay at the nesima as it's right in the middle of dahab and the meridien, whilst gorgeous, is a cab ride away.
      still planning to do Syria in either February or may. also thinking about Cuba, do you have any contacts there? I'd want to do the Hemmingway trail.
      I hope you had a fab Christmas. on to new year now! time seems to be galloping on!
      have a great new year's eve and let's hope 2011 brings us all joy!
      with very best wishes and thanks
      Karen



      From: "Mark Robson"
      Sent: 28 December 2010 23:35
      Subject: Fw: from the happy Carson family

      Thank you to all the people at Traveline who looked after this group and have made them respond so favourably below. A special thanks to Islam who stars once again!
      I had concerns about this group as I mentioned when I visited your office,and Islam registered that and made sure it all went so smoothly.
      Thank you to Magdy for finding them such a good deal to win the booking at the outset.
      Best regards
      Mark Robson
      Travel Beyond Ltd

      Forwarded Message
      From: stephanie carson
      Date: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 5:40 PM
      Subject: from the happy Carson family
      Dear Mark,
      A hugely successful trip. From the moment we arrived at Cairo met by a charming elegant 'greeter', I knew we were in safe hands.
      The hotel in Cairo was comfortable, and we had quiet rooms. Our guide Eslam - knowledgable and passionate. The Cairo museum was a highlight.We ate at Felfellas, and it was wonderful.We all agreed their falafel was the best we had ever tasted.Thanks for the recommendation.An Egyptian friend of our daughter suggested "Andreas". It was full of atmosphere, and their mezzes delicious.
      So glad the Admiral turned out to be so pleasant.Comfy cabins, and a surprisingly large bathroom. All very clean.The meals were a highlight. It turned out that the Egyptian chef was himself a vegetarian, so with 7 of us not eating meat, and one vegan- we were really impressed by the food.
      After several of us squeezing in a late-night visit to the charming soukh in Aswan, we returned to the boat at 1a.m to the smell of their baking bread. Delicious.
      Our only carp was getting upon the boat at 5.30a.m and finding out that a tour to an alabaster factory or a perfume factory had been inserted in the day's tour. We would have all rather have had that extra hour in bed.
      So THANK YOU from us all. We will certainly recommend Travel Beyond to others.
      Stephanie and Frank Carson, Cha and Amy, Greg and Adriana and the Levins




      From: Margaret Byrne
      Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 16:31:00 +0200
      Subject: Re: excursions

      Hi to everyone at Traveline

      We got back from Cairo last weekend and its been so busy since I got back BUT I have GOT to mail you to say how absolutley amazing your company is --- also Kuoni.
      We had personal service from arriving at Cairo- We have never felt so looked after!!!

      BUT I must give a special mention to three people...

      Nahed - who was totally amazing through the two days she was with us. We feel we had a special relationship with her and she was so proud of her fantastic heritage- a true ambassador of Egypt.

      Then our driver for three of our days -- Ayman (???) - what a driver!!!! you need a medal to drive in Cairo!!!- what a lovely happy man - very henpecked with me, my daughter Emma and Nahed!!!!

      And then Mohamed Anwar?? again a fantastic man - lovely to be with - just a wonderful man to have as your escort - a true gentleman. Saw us all the way through the airport system - fantastic.

      So thankyou once again - please will you give these three my regards- I have always wanted to visit Egypt and the Pyramids and Sphinx and the Museum - then also to get in Ramesis statue etc etc - plus Sakarra -- just absolutley fantastic.
      I will definately come back one day and stay fro a week in The Mena House Oberoi -- which was THE BEST!!! We felt like Queens in there and woke up each morning to the view of the Pyramids! Just brethtaking!!! My dream come true!!!

      Thankyou again so much.
      Can I wish you all a very happy Christmas and all the very very best for 2011

      Margaret and Emma Byrne




      On 11/22/10 2:32 PM, "Maureen Sykes" wrote:

      Hello Hany, we returned from our amazing trip to Egypt and Jordan. Many thanks for all your efforts in making the trip so enjoyable and memorable. (Amal told us that you go to great lengths to make sure all the arrangements are as planned). It was great to talk to you over the phone after emailing for such a long time. I understand the Cairo traffic now and it probably would have been difficult to meet us.

      You probably would have received a copy of the feedback forms we completed for Samy. We were so surprised to have a tour person (Samy), plus a guide and a driver so ensure that our trip went smoothly. We felt really spoilt and well cared for. We loved our driver Emad, delightful person, all our guides took good care of us and had a thorough knowledge of the areas we were visiting. Samy spent so much time travelling back and forth to our hotels to ensure that everything was alright. We enjoyed his company travelling down the Sinai Peninsula.

      The hotels were above expectation except for St Catherine Plaza which was very basic and in need of much maintenance. I guess the location of St Catherine is isolated and not easy to have repairs done there. The Oasis Resort was comfortable. The only problem with the location of the hotel is that it is isolated from other facilities, few shops near it and getting money changed was an issue. The small bank outside was rarely open when we needed it and very reluctant to change money into smaller notes. (The hotel reception would not change any money).

      We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise with the cabin above expectation, much larger than we expected. The food was great and all staff were very friendly and helpful.

      For the Jordan trip we had a driver only except for two of the sites where we had guides. We had planned to have one and a half days at the Petra site so we could really see more of it but due to the elections being held that day, our driver decided that it would be safer to stay in the hotel. Then next day, we only had the guide for two hours instead of 3 as in the itinerary. The Movepick hotels were certainly above our expectations and enjoyed our stay in them. The Belle Vue hotel in Amman has certainly seen better days, good location, near restaurants but in need of maintenance. The windows were so dirty that you could not really see out of them which was a pity as we were on the third floor. Enjoyed our stay at Wadi Rum, even though it was very short, arrived late at night due to the ferry into Aqaba being 3 hours late. We did not know who the tour operators were in Jordan nor did we receive any feedback forms. One annoying habit the driver had, was to tell us to tip everyone we dealt with. We are used to tipping when we travel to Asian countries but we have never been told to do it all the time.

      Besides the small issues with Jordan, once again Hany, many thanks for all your efforts in making our trip so enjoyable. We would certainly recommend Traveline to our friends.
      Regards
      Maureen




      From: Chapman, Mark
      Sent: Friday, November 12, 2010 3:19 PM
      Subject: Kuoni UK strategy conference: Cairo, Egypt

      Marḩabā Hala, Amira !

      (Does Marḩabā make sense? I can’t work out how to type Arabic… yet.)

      Finally, I have found time to write to you and say many thanks for our conversations and time we shared in Cairo.
      As you probably saw, the Kuoni UK team worked and played hard on our trip to see your city.
      Thought you would be interested to read my Cairo review that appeared on Trip Advisor and our Kuoni

      Facebook pages - http://bit.ly/djxYwI

      Thank you for the excellent hospitality that was shown by yourselves and people from your city.
      Do drop me a line to let me know how life is with you…


      Kind regards,

      Mark.
      .......................................................................................
      Mark Chapman
      E-Business Manager
      .......................................................................................
      Kuoni Travel Limited


      Name * - Cheryll Tarr

      Comments - I am writing to you on behalf on myself and my sister in law Maureen Tarr.We have just returned home after spending two weeks in Egypt. We had the most amazing time which was in no small measure due to two of your excellent tour Reps. The first week was spent on the 7 day Nile Cruise. This was brilliant . Ayman, the Egyptologist on the cruise was great. His enthusiasm and passion for his country was infectious and he was only too willing to pass on as much information as he possibly could in the time we spent in his company. He made his talks interesting and informative. He worked very hard to ensure that everyone in his group were looked after and we wanted for nothing. He was very thoughtful and he was more than willing to go that ‘extra mile’. He was in fact a true gentleman.In Hurghada we were lucky to have Michael Gerges to look after us. What a lovely person he was. Again nothing was too much trouble for him. He arranged three trips for us which all went very smoothly. If this is the standard of all your Tour Reps and Guides I would have no hesitation in using your Company again and would recommend you to family and friends. Regards Cheryll Tarr,



      From: John Holliday
      Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2010 06:55:42 +0200
      Subject: John & Lynne Holliday Cairo & Nile Cruise ex Trailfinders

      Sirs
      Just a brief notes to say Thankyou for the help you gave us during our recent visit to Egypt.

      Your couriers, drivers and guide were courteous, efficient and looked after us superbly. Knowing that they would be waiting for us at Arrivals and would take us to our hotel was a great relief. In particular we appreciated the service in the Departure halls which removed all the stress from check-in etc.

      Our thanks will be copied to Trailfinders
      Again Thankyou
      John & Lynne Holliday



      Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2010 8:05 PM
      Subject: Egypt 2010

      Dear Wessam
      I am writing this email to say a huge thank you. All the arrangements that you made, the attention to detail and for giving us such wonderful guides really made our holiday an unforgettable one.

      We were so excited and pleased to see familiar faces when you appointed Amel and Khaled to be our guides. During our first visit to Egypt we had the pleasure of them taking us round and we knew of their great expertise and were thrilled and delighted that we were having them again.

      We were also very happy with the guide that took us by road from Aswan to Luxor, he made the long journey so interesting and the time flew by and we learnt so much.

      All in all it was an amazing holiday and one that we will be talking about with our friends for months to come!!

      We hope that one day we will get to contact you again and arrange another visit to Egypt.

      With Best Wishes and many, many thanks
      Sam




      From: Arnaldo Azevedo
      Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2010 00:52:06 +0200
      Subject: RE: Arnaldo (Zegna Harrods ) Holiday in Cairo and Luxor

      Dear Hisham
      I would like to thank you for the wonderful time in Egypt, everything was more than perfect.
      I have no words to describe such great experience by far the best holiday.
      I would like to take the opportunity to highlight the excellent customer service provided by Traveline team in special Miss Nick ( consierge in Luxor) and Mr Tarek (airport assistante in Luxor) I work with really high quality customers and I was amazed with the service provided not only for me but to all traveline customers, they are very welcoming, friendlies and made me fell like I was at home and last but certainly not least Mr. Mohammed Ali (Cairo guide) this particular gentleman is extremely professional and made me understand better about muslim religion and huge knowledge about egyptian history.
      I make sure that all my special customers they will know about Traveline services because I want them have a wonderful experience on their holidays.

      Kind regards
      Arnaldo Torres




      From: David Blair
      Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 22:32:42 +0200
      Subject: Mr & Mrs Blair Cairo 19-21 sept 2010 and 28 sept 2010.

      dear sirs
      I want to thank you for the meet and greet service you provided during our visit to Cairo.
      Your representative Ahmed was exceptional.
      However the reason for my email is to thank one of your staff whose name we did not
      get who met us at Terminal 3 to facilitate our transfer to the BMI flight to London.
      The baggage from the Aswan flight was delayed and delayed and when it arrived we
      had only 15 minutes to get from the domestic baggage hall to International check in
      and board our aircraft.
      Your representative was amazing - he grabbed our largest suitcase and raced up stairs
      and took us through a security cordon by dealing with the police. He communicated
      effectively with the check in staff who raced off with our baggage which remarkably
      made the flight.
      We could not have done it without your man. We had no time to thank him in the usual
      way but believe he should be richly rewarded.
      Please thank him and let us know his contact details so we can write personally!
      regards
      David Blair



      I just wanted to thank you for our wonderful holiday in Egypt. From the moment we arrived at Heathrow for our Egypt air flight on 20th September 2010 until we arrived back on 30th September, We were treated with amazing understanding and kindness. We travelled with my 82 year old father who is mostly wheelchair bound. At heathrow your rep rushed us through and we did not have to wait in line. We were given good seats near the toilets on the plane, which was good for my dad as he did not have to walk too far. He is a nervous flyer and Air Egypt certainly calmed his fears. We stayed at the Nile Palace in Luxor for 7 days and we cannot recommend that hotel highly enough. The surroundings, staff and general setting was great. Your representative Nicky Rutherford was wonderful and arranged for us to have wheelchair assistance all the way through even at Cairo. My fathers wheelchair broke after about 3 days and the hotel kindly let us borrow their wheelchair for the remainder of out stay., and tried to mend his wheelchair but it was past redemption. They were absolutely marvellous. At Luxor airport we had an assistant to help with my father and the seats on the plane to Cairo were very good. At Cairo we had a little trouble with the wheelchair in the Meridien Pyramids but Mohammed your representative helped us keep the hotel's wheelchair for the 3 days we were there. It was fantastic.
      If I had to choose a hotel between Nile {Palace and Meridien Pyramids, I would definitely choose the Nile Palace, I think their attitude was great and they seemed pleased to see you there. The Meridien is a City hotel and so they have a different ethic and they see so many people it must be hard to form relationships. But a good hotel and will be even better when it is completed.
      Our seating on the way back from cairo was good and we were assisted at HEathrow all the way through until we picked up our luggage.
      What more can I say! It was a delight, my father has lost his fear of flying, he has also realised he can do more than he thought was possible. Thanks to Kuoni.
      Thanks to Nicky Rutherford she was so nice and Mohammed who acted immediately when we started having difficulties in Cairo.

      We travelled with you last year on a Nile cruise (just my husband and I) and we suggested Kuoni because your service was so good. Well this time your service was even better.

      Many thanks again, I hope to be using you in the future.

      kind regards

      Lesley Waller



      From: Enticknap, Louise
      Sent: Monday, October 04, 2010 1:44 AM
      Subject: Thank You

      Magdy

      It was lovely to meet you over dinner the other night.

      This is just a quick email to thank everyone at Traveline for everything they did to make the Kuoni Management weekend such a success. I know that everyone had a great time and really enjoyed their time in Cairo.

      Many thanks

      Louise Enticknap
      Sales Support Manager
      Kuoni Travel Ltd



      From: Flynn, Samantha
      Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 2010 8:44 AM
      I Just wanted to say a big thankyou to you all for organising our management trip last weekend.

      I had a fantastic time but most of all I enjoyed catching up with you both.

      Many Thanks, Sam


      Kind Regards,
      Samantha Flynn
      Overseas Payments Executive
      Kuoni Travel Limited


      From: Ian Bullions
      Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2010 10:29 PM
      Subject: RE: Holiday
      Hi Mervat,
      Back home and back to reality now.
      Once again we thank you for all your help with our honeymoon, everything was excellent and well organised, we were looked after every step of the way and help was always on offer with anything if required, all the reps and transport were great and micheal was fantastic,
      we will definitely use you again for other trips to Egypt and recommend to friends
      Thanks again
      Ian & Linsey



      Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 5:28 PM
      Subject: Thank you!

      Good afternoon
      I just wanted to say thank you so much for looking after me last week when I visited Luxor with my husband. It was lovely to meet some of the reps, Ebraheim took us to the cruise and made sure we got a good cabin which was great. I am not sure if he had anything to do with the upgrade at the Nile Palace but that was very much appreciated too. Thanks to Salah as well for letting me have a look at the MS Sunray and Darakum on the return transfer.

      We loved Egypt and hope to return again (inshallah).

      We were very impressed with the service from Traveline, everything worked very smoothly and efficientlyyou’re your staff are all very friendly.

      Thanks again and kind regards

      Nicky Banin
      After Sales Consultant
      Kuoni Travel Limited



      From: Lillew, Sabrina (COR)
      Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 6:36 PM
      Subject: Thank you

      Hello,
      Picked up Dad last night from the airport and he has not stopped talking about his trip. He said his group tours were absolutely wonderful and that everyone was so extremely friendly and helpful to him. His arrangements went off without a hitch – I cannot thank you enough for ensuring that!

      I am hopeful that I too will be able to visit your part of the world one day!

      Many thanks again,

      Sabrina Lillew
      Director, Loyalty Marketing
      Fairmont Raffles Hotels International



      From: Kitching, Alison
      Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 10:40 AM
      Subject: Traveline Reps on Recent Visit to Sharm.

      Hi,
      I just wanted to say thank you to both the Traveline Reps I had contact with on my recent holiday in Sharm who did a great job.

      Amr was our Airport and Hotel Rep. On arrival he was bright and welcoming (which can’t be the easiest of things at 4am!) and gave us clear instructions of where to go; he checked on us in the Queue for Immigration and again once we had located our luggage. On arrival at the hotel he made sure we were being looked after before going on with the other guests to the next hotel drop off. We met him at the hotel the next day and he was there ahead of time so we weren’t kept waiting and I found him to be very professional and helpful, he was happy and able to answer the various questions I had and provide me with additional information requested.

      We did a day trip to Ras Mohammed National Park with your rep Beshoy. I noticed how well he interacted with all the Kuoni clients along with making time for the other people who where on the trip. He was friendly, fun and was spending time with everyone, especially the Kuoni clients making sure we were all OK, had plenty to eat and drink and helping us with our snorkelling equipment and making sure we were safe in the water. I spent some time asking him some general questions about Egypt and about our hotels and he showed great enthusiasm for his country as a tourist destination. He really went that extra mile to make the day trip memorable.

      Many Thanks
      Alison Kitching
      Personal Travel Consultant
      Kuoni Travel Limited



      From: Marie Sheerin

      Sent: 16 July 2010 14:32
      To: Yvonne Knott
      Subject: RE: Holiday in Egypt

      I just wanted to let you know that my daughter Laura and myself had a marvellous holiday in Egypt, it was a fantastic experience. The hotel was lovely and all the staff were so friendly and helpful and made our holiday very memorable, they couldn't do enough for us

      Our Rep with Traveline Egypt, Amr was a real gem and looked after us so well from the time we met him and his colleague Sabrino, at the airport - they looked after us so well and made our entry to Sharm El Sheikh and our transfer to the hotel so easy. Amr and some of his colleagues came out with us at night to show us around and to make sure we were safe and we felt so at ease having them with us while walking around the town at night. We would not have felt at ease if were went out on our own at night in Nama Bay and the Old Market, so we really appreciated the care they took of us.

      Our trip to Cairo was absolutely wonderful too and our guide Mac (short for Macmoud) was such a pet and we had a terrific day because of him. We had him all to ourselves and we felt like royalty for the day. Compliments to Traveline with having such great staff! Mac was a lovely fella and had excellent english and a wonderful sense of humour, he made the day very memorable and Mohammad our driver was such a pet too. We are so glad that we went the extra mile on this trip and went to Cairo to visit the pyramids, sphynx and egyptian museum - what an experience - we would have regretted not going and the flight was only one hour compared with travelling for seven hours on a coach to Cairo and another seven on the return journey, which would have travellers going for 24 hours - you would need a holiday after that trip!
      Thank you Yvonne for arranging our holiday to Sharm El Sheikh and Cairo, we will never forget it and would love to go back again and next time please God, visit the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

      Kind Regards,
      Marie Sheerin



      Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2010 5:26 AM
      Subject: thankyou

      Dear Sirs
      My husband and I have just returned from a visit to Egypt.
      We would like to thank all your staff for the very professional, kind and friendly service we received the whole time we were in your beautiful country. We would like to say a particular thankyou to our Cairo guide Mansour and driver Aman – they were just magnificent and we formed quite a friendship with them. Would it be possible to keep in touch with them through your office ? Another special thanks goes to guide Ramy (Sharm El Sheikh) who was able to locate my lost camera through Egypt Air and was kind enough to arrange for its return. Well done Ramy ! And to Beeshur (excuse the spelling) in Mt Sinai - what an entertainer he was !
      We hope to visit your beautiful country again and will most certainly use your services. Once again, thank you for everything. Kind regards.

      Joan Church and Dennis Blom



      Sent: 04 May 2010 14:28
      Subject: BKGREF: 8986608

      I can not praise highly enough kuoni and the staff at Cairo Egypt. My husband, daughter, grand daughter and myself were staying at the "Movenpick Resort Cairo Pyramids" at the time of the resent disruption to flights because of the volcanic ash. The Kuoni representative Ahmed El Sharif (not certain that I have his last name right) was excellent in his care and devotion to all us stranded holiday makers. He remained calm and polite even when one person lost his temper and began shouting because of the situation outwith his control. This young man worked very hard to keep everyone informed of what was happening and did his utmost to help everyone. I am certain that he worked many,many hours in excess of his normal duties as he always seemed to be at the hotel with his phone in hand making arrangements and getting updates and information for us all. I would also like to mention the "Traveline" reps who were also very helpful and one in particular who was with us when we went to the airport in the early hours of Wednesday 21st April for our flight to Amsterdam. I think this young mans name was Anwan, he was instrumental in defusing a very difficult situation brought about by KLM who behaved disgracefully. I will certainly travel with Kuoni again and will recommend you to my family and friends.

      Yours sincerely
      Caroline deVoy


      From:
      DEREK CARVER 
      Sent: 21 April 2010 16:59
      Subject: Our booking reference 8912425

      We have just returned from a holiday I booked with you for 9 of us (my family) to celebrate my 80th birthday - little did we visualise the ending!
      Whilst I have to say that your reps all along the route behaved with the total efficiency one always hopes for, the team had to deal with something beyond anybody's experience, and they coped superbly.   Of course, they were as bereft of information as the rest of us but the moment Heathrow opened they contacted us at midnight last night and said they were doing everything possible to get us on the first London bound plane this morning.   And in this they succeeded admirably.   

      We have nothing but praise for them and for the Kuoni organisation.

      Yours sincerely
      Derek Carver



      From: Angela Southall
      Sent: 26 April 2010 09:22
      Subject: RE: Egypt

      Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your help in organising our holiday. We had a fantastic time despite the additional week! Glad to be home, but it will certainly be a holiday to remember.
      The tours were excellent particularly in Cairo with Hanan.
      Also, I just wanted to say what a fantastic job the reps did in the last week with all the chaos. In particular Ahmed who seemed to spend his whole time at the hotel with little sleep but still managed to keep everyone's spirits up.

      Regards,
      Angela Southall
      Marketing Manager
      Owners Direct Holiday Rentals Ltd



      From: Szteinduchert, Leszek
      Sent: Monday, April 26, 2010 2:30 PM
      Subject: Thank you

      Dear Tarek and Staff,
      Firstly, we at VJV would like to thank you for all your help your assistance and understanding over the last week during the extraordinary disruption to our flying programme to/from Egypt. This has been a difficult time for us all, our passengers and of course all our trade partners.  The commitment, hard work and sheer persistence that has been demonstrated by you during this time has been remarkable. We are very proud of the way you have all responded to this challenge and worked together to ensure the wellbeing of our customers and the reputation of our business.

      We are all incredibly proud to be associated with you all.

      Thanks again
      Leszek Szteinduchert
      Commercial Manager
      VOYAGES JULES VERNE



      From: Edmunds, Joanna
      Sent: 25 April 2010 13:28
      Subject: Thank you

      Dear Magdy,
      I just wanted to send you a personal thank you for being such a star, You are now famous in Dorking!  We are beginning to get the situation under control elsewhere but the fact you and your team were so swift to react and to get people home has been a massive help and has allowed us to focus on other areas of the world, thank you for being so proactive and for all your care for our customers.
      Unprecedented times call for an unprecedented response but you excelled yourselves. It makes me incredibly proud to work with Traveline.
      Thank you to you and all your team for your hard work, commitment and sheer tenacity!

      With very best wishes
      Joanna Edmunds
      Managing Director
      Kuoni Travel Limited



      From: Diethelm, Tamara
      Sent: 21 April 2010 18:17
      Subject: THANK YOU

      Dear Hisham, Dear Magdy,
      I do not actually know how I can possibly begin to say thank you to you and every member of your teams for their incredible support in this crisis.
      You have been absolutely incredible at looking after our clients, negotiating with suppliers and re-booking our clients.  THANK YOU so much.
      We are of course having regular leadership team updates and have all agreed that no other agent has been as great as you!

      Thank you so much gentlemen!
      Best wishes,  

      Tamara Diethelm
      Head of Commercial & Market Management
      Kuoni UK


      From: Angie Curtis
      Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 12:30 PM
      Subject: Ahmed Nagui - Aswan

      Dear Traveline,
      I would like to compliment you on the fine service you provide to travellers in Aswan, particularly the work done by your representative, Ahmed Nagui. He has looked after us on two separate holidays there and both times he was excellent but on the most recent occasion (16th. February in the Movenpick)he was superb. Some of our luggage failed to arrive and Ahmed did everything he possibly could to a)retrieve it for us and b)to help us acquire the essentials which were in the lost luggage, such as prescription eye-drops.
      He kept us informed throughout and his patience and good humour made us feel that we were valued and honoured guests. We unintentionally woke him up on his day off and still he was patient and still smiling when we saw him next.
      And he still looked after his other guests while working on our problems.
      The list is too long to include here of all the things he did for us but by the end of the two weeks we felt he was a real friend.

      Please let him know how much we appreciate him and how much we enjoyed his calm and friendly help. And his sense of humour! He is a great asset to your company and you can be very proud of him.

      Yours sincerely,
      Angie and Tom Curtis



      From: Emma Barden

      Sent: 01 April 2010 11:21
      Subject: BKGREF: 9128963

      Hello Victoria,
      I have returned from my holiday to the Stella Grand at Ain Soukhna on the Red Sea. I have completed the usual questionnaire in Egypt with Traveline.
      I always like to give a my personal account to Kuoni, as you know so that it may influence your clients to visit Egypt.
      This was my 19th Kuoni holiday and 7th visit with Kuoni to Egypt.

      The usual efficient and courteous service was received on my arrival at Cairo International Airport. Although I did not see 'Mohamed' of Traveline on this occasion we did speak and text each other. I hope to see him next month on arrival in Cairo and before going to Aswan and the Movenpick.

      I must mention two most courteous and charming young men who escorted me to the hotel and return: 'Sameh' & 'Mansour'. Perhaps Kuoni will send my compliments toTraveline through official channels? As you well know we never have a second chance to make a first impression. So the first impression is so important. Having now meet various members of your agent: 'Traveline' when in Egypt I am convinced that any Kuoni client will be looked after and treated like a V.I.P from the moment they arrive until their departure.

      Now about the hotel:
      Exceptional in all aspects of its performance.
      The spacious and impressive lobby filled with plants and flower arrangements together with the polite and efficient staff makes a fine welcome. I was upgraded to a 'superior' room with a garden / sea view (3064). The quality of the furnishings was one of the best I have enjoyed in visiting many hotels in Egypt.
      The restaurant / bar staff are exceptionally friendly in a genuine way, there is no expectancy of a 'tip' which can in some countries can make ones visit irritating. I always feel where good service is given I will personally tip appropriately. Not like in the USA where a 15-20% is expected even if the service is rubbish!
      Two members of the bar staff in particular deserve mention: 'Sharif & 'Ayman' always anticipated my requirements with a smile and courteous service.
      The quality of the food at all mealtimes was tasty and inventive. Buffets are sometimes regarded as 'boring'. This was not the case. The dining areas are immaculate. As soon as one finished a course the plate and utensils were removed immediately.The dining area is spotless. Ibrahim the restaurant manager was always checking to make sure his guests were enjoying their meals.
      The pool areas / beach are immaculate. I have never seen such cleaning activity going on everywhere. I sat for a few hours in the bar and saw at least four staff cleaning non-stop.
      Security is quite evident but not obtrusive both with the Tourist Police and private security.
      To give you an example of the care the hotel have for their guests:
      I noted that my suitcase have developed a serious 'crack' which I had not noticed when I arrived at the hotel. It must have happened during storage in the aircraft hold. If the crack went unchecked it may have split open during the flight back to the U.K. I spoke with a member of the Front Desk Staff: 'Mohamed Fathy' who immediately came with me to my room and inspected the case, he then summoned a member of his maintenance team. He then insisted I return to the lobby and relax whilst he remained in my room and personally supervised the 'operation'.
      Having successfully applied 'surgery' to my case, he came and reported all was well. (My case survived the return journey and the split did not re-open).
      I thought, lest I bore you, this is an example of the commitment to customer satisfaction from the Stella Grand.
      May be it is possible to also send my official thanks to Mohamed Fathy who was most reluctant to receive any praise, only saying that it was part of his job to make sure the hotel guests were well looked after! I think you will agree he went beyond what it 'normally' expected of his role?
      So Victoria, I trust you will pass on my comments to whom you feel would appreciate them. I consider myself a 'well traveled person', not only my holidays with kuoni but many other places I have been on a personal basis. I feel therefore 'qualified' to identify a premium property when I stay in one. I certainly will be making a return trip, maybe next year or sooner. Incidentally 'TripAdvisor.com' speak very highly of this property! I intend to add my own comments.
      I can now look forward to my next visit to Aswan- Egypt ( 20 - 27 April 2010).
      As you know I will be traveling alone, I will have just celebrated my birthday on the 15th April so I will regard this trip as a birthday 'special'.

      I look forward to hearing from you sometime. Kind regards and sincere wishes,

      Paul R.Thomas


       

      Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 9:02 AM
      Subject: RE: Blom

      Tracey,
       

      Would you please pass on my sincere appreciation to all the Traveline staff and Management who assisted me to return home early from Luxor, due to my sister’s passing away.

       

      It certainly made me aware of the need to have a reliable operator when these situations arise. I could not get into Luxor airport, without a ticket for the day of travel and therefore negotiate a flight to Cairo.  The staff and assistant Manager were persistent in obtaining a flight even though they were constantly being told by all airlines there was no way travel we could fly out that day. On my arrival in Cairo, at 1.30am, the Traveline staff were there to assist me and they also followed up  how we were going the next morning. I apologise for not contacting them on that day of departure.I did look for a staff member, but  as I had to spent an hour at the Etihad office sorting out my ticket,  I think we must have missed each other.   

       

      Prior to the emergency we thoroughly enjoyed the Egypt experience and cruise, the culture and history.  All guides were very knowledgeable and passionate about their area and it’s history.  The hotels could all be recommended.  Only exception was the Iberotel Cairo airport hotel. This was recommended by the Traveline staff – no water from 2.00am – 5.00am which I guess is normally not a problem as most pax’s would not be checking in at that time.  I am aware that we did not have any choices and that also airport hotels are never great options.      

       

      Thanks once again for making my travel arrangements , we do have some great memories I think we will just have to go back at a later date to complete the Luxor arrangements and more time in Cairo.

       

      Regards

       

      Joyce and Marinus Blom




      From: Steel, Mark Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 2:44 PM
      Subject: Feed back

      Dear Sirs

      We have recently returned from a Nile Cruise aboard the MS Darakum and I felt compelled to write and say what an excellent holiday we have had. Recently on returning from a holiday I always seem to have a complaint of some sort but I can honestly say that I could find no cause for complaint on this holiday. 

      The company you use to represent you in Egypt 'Traveline' gave a remarkable service we were most impressed by their attitude, smart appearance and general friendliness we had nothing to do for ourselves they took care of everything.  The guide on the MS Darakum (George Basher) was very imformative (I only wish I could remember all he told us) he made the trip most enjoyable as he not only explained all about Ancient Egypt he also took the time to tell us all  about present day Egypt he presented all the facts most clearly and was also amusing,  everytime we had completed a trip the coach was there ready to take us back to the ship  we had no waiting around for transport,  food and cleanliness onboard was second to none and again the staff were great.  We also spent three days in Cairo at the Sofitel El Gezirah which was also excellent.  We booked a day with a guide from Traveline (Ahmed) he was also very imformative we visited the Pyramids and the Museum and he made sure that we packed everything into the day.

      All in all an excellent holiday and I will certainly recommend Virgin holidays 

       Best regards  Rita and Robert Rawson


      Sent: Sunday, March 21, 2010 12:18 PM

      Sunday, March 21, 2010 12:18 PM
      Subject: MISR, March 1st 2010

      Dear Mr Hisham Imam    ,
       
      On behalf of myself, and my 22 friends, I would appriciate if you could convey my thanks to the crew of the MISR.
       
      In 2008 my sister and myself did the Nile cruise on the MISR, booked through Noble Caledonia. We had such a lovely trip and the staff was just superb (Mohamed Jounis our guide, Rafik the boat manager etc) that we then decided to do the trip again but ask some friends along. 
      Planning started beginning of 2009 and we ended up with 22 friends and once again booked through Noble Caledonia and boarded the MISR on March 1st, 2010.
       
      We all flew in from Cairo and were met by Bassem, our guide, and had a special transfer to the MISR. 
      On board it felt like coming home!
      Rafik was there, Hanay the restaurant manager, Arpet the bar manager, the cook, I knew them all.
      They made my life so wonderful I am having trouble adjusting at home!!
       
      Please say a big big thank you to first of all Bassem who was just extraordinary. He went out of his way to make our stay and change our tours as we requested, added transfer, rebooked schedules, he really went far beyond his duty. And of top of all that he is a very very knowledgeable guide.
       
      The staff on board also please convey my thanks. I miss the smoothies Arpet made for me and the chocolates the cook made and were in my cabin.
      All in all everybody loved it.
      Thank you so very much and Inshallah I will be back again and then have 40 friends with me!
       
      Warm regards
       
      Veronica Quarles van Ufford  



      Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 8:59 PM
      Szteinduchert, Leszek Monday, April 26, 2010 2:30 PM Thank youFrom: Edmunds, Joanna 25 April 2010 13:28 Thank you From:
      Diethelm, Tamara 21 April 2010 18:17 THANK YOU
      From: Emma Barden Sunday, March 21, 2010 12:18 PMSent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 8:59 PMWednesday, March 17, 2010 8:59 PM
      Subject: MS Darakum Cruise March 08 - March 15 2010

      Wow!  This cruise was absolutely fabulous (booked via Kuoni).  It was a wonderful experience especially for a lone traveller.  The ship exceeded expectations – the staff were fabulous.  My special thanks to the restaurant manager and the tour manager (Rania) who went the extra mile to make my holiday perfection – please let them know. 

      Many thanks
      Sally Hardy



      From: Foley, Ignacio [mailto:ignacio.foley@kirkerholidays.com]
      Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010 12:20 PM
      Subject: WALDEN feedback!
      Foley, Ignacio [mailto:ignacio.foley@kirkerholidays.com] Monday, February 08, 2010 12:20 PM WALDEN feedback!
      Wednesday, March 17, 2010 8:59 PM
      Foley, Ignacio [mailto:ignacio.foley@kirkerholidays.com] Monday, February 08, 2010 12:20 PM WALDEN feedback!

      FYI our loyal clients were most impressed
      Dear Ignacio
      Just a quick note to thank you for organising such an excellent trip for us to Egypt.  We had a really good time and all the arrangements worked well – we were impressed by Travel line and all the hotels were good.  The Philae was special  - only half full - and we are so pleased we were able to get to Abu Simbal.  Many thanks for setting this up.  Also v pleased we couldn’t get the original date – it is the Egyptian half-term and much busier than late Jan.

      Best wishes
      Janet
      Kind regards. 
      Ignacio Foley
      Senior Sales Consultant



      From: sonia
      Sent: Sunday, January 24, 2010 11:45 PM
      Subject: Thank You to staff

      I just wanted to write to say thank you to your staff for making our tour of the Nile such an enjoyable and memorable experience. Our holiday was booked through Virgin Holidays.
      Following a delayed flight from Cairo to Luxor on 08.01.10, it was comforting to have someone meet and greet us at Luxor airport at 4:00 a.m 09.01.10 (he had waited there since 11:00 p.m. the night before).and then made sure we were booked into the Sheraton Hotel.
      We then spent a week on the M/S Darakum, which was one of the most enjoyable holidays I have ever experienced and I have to say that Ahmed Samir ( for Kuoni) is quite simply an excellent tour guide. With his vast amount of knowledge and sense of humour, he made our holiday an experience never to be forgotten.
      Following our time on the ship we spent another day at the Sheraton before flying from Luxor to Cairo and then from Cairo to London. At all venues we were met and escorted through to check in, which made it all so easy and relaxing for us.
      Once again, thanks to your professional staff for making our holiday such a fantastic one.

      Sonia and Ady Farrow

  • 2009
    • Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 11:52 PM
      Subject: Thank you for a wonderful Trip


      Please forgive my delay in writing to you to tell you what a fabulous trip we all had. You may have heard from the other "Queen's" by now......
      I was in the Tour Operating Business for 30 years in a Management capacity for a long time (until a few years ago) and have planned and escorted many trips along with marketing and selling to Travel Agents.
      Therefore, as a professional, not just a traveler, I wanted to tell you how perfect everything was. Your Escorts, and Guides and Drivers were all very professional and accommodating and I am sure went way overboard for us to be sure we felt welcomed and comfortable. Additionally, the service they performed ie. checking us into the Hotels and airports was over the top. I have to say though, that the best part was the itinerary itself. It was a perfect combination of everything, planned very well.

      Best regards, Melinda Sprague

      Bye for now, Linda



      Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2009 8:20 PM
      Subject: Cadogan holiday A006910 - Paul Durigg

      Hi Kamel,
      Now that we are back in Wales and fully recovered from our journey
      home, I thought I would let you know how much we enjoyed our time in
      Cairo and El Sokhna. We knew straight away that the service was going
      to be good when we first met you and within no time we were on our way
      to the Mena House. Throughout our stay in Egypt it was reassuring to
      know that you were always on hand and there to provide that extra
      service that lifts a holiday from enjoyable to truly memorable.

      Thank you once again for the professionalism and courtesy you showed
      us during our holiday, you are a credit to Traveline an we wish you
      every success in your future endeavours.

      Kindest regards,
      Paul & Sarah Durigg

      P.S. We wish you the best of good fortune for your wedding next year.



      M/S Darakum
      Sep 04, 2009, 7:34 AM

      I have just got back from a niole cruise on the MS Darakum... FABULOUS!!! In every way, it was wonderful. Staff were attentive and helpful without being obvious, the food was superb and catered for every taste, the trips were well organised and very interesting and the Egyptologist was wonderful. the boat was fully air-conditioned and spotlessly clean. No complaints at all. Go for it... have a wonderful time.
      Sharon.
      West Mids


      Sent: 04 October 2009 20:29

      Back from Cairo this afternoon after a really wonderful visit.
      Mr Traveline looked after us with great care.
      When we arrived at midnight their representative was waiting, but poor thing a jumbo load of Hajj pilgrims has also arrived from Saudi with pots and pans and you can just imagine the Zoo!! He fought to get us through and then off to The Sheraton with ease.
      Our day in Islamic Cairo was wonderful and I want to particularly bring to your attention the guide for the day. I have travelled far and wide and I can tell you he was excellent. Articulate, polite, charming, perfect English and very knowledgeable. He told me when he was advised he had to look after AWT clients he rushed to brush up on all his knowledge. I thought that was a super pat on the back for you. His name is Walid Ali El Nawasany.I know you are going to Egypt soon and certainly he would be very suitable for your other clients.
      The ride back to the airport this morning went without a hitch.
      Thank you for all you have contributed to a special visit.
      regards,
      Neil.



      bumblebeeKent
      kent
      MS Darakum
      Sep 02, 2009, 3:35 AM

      Hi I have just returned from a Nile cruise on MS Darakum.The trip far exceeded our expectations.
      The boat is very modern and spotless. The staff are very friendly and fun.Cabins large with great windows with views of the Nile.Only 29 people on board so like a private yacht!Met great people onboard and there was a great family atmosphere with guests and staff mixing together.Food was very good; good choice and would cook anything extra if asked.
      Booked with Oli at Dialaflight and travel was with kuoni who were great.Anwar the guide was amazing. Only 11 people in tour group. Traveline did all pick ups etc and were very professional.A truly great trip. ps. also cakes were made for birthdays and staff did a dance to celebrate.Must add that all done very tastefully!



      leicester
      Re: MS Sunray
      Jun 03, 2009, 4:26 PM
      Just returned from a cruise on MS Sunray. we were extremely delighted, the staff just couldn't do enough. We were a party of four, all vegetarians but found the chef and catering staff very obliging and prepared different asian vegetarian meals on top of the choice we had from the buffet. Would highly recommend the ship.



      Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 13:21:59 +0000
      From: janethardware@yahoo.co.uk
      Subject: Message for Laurent Chauvin
      To: egyptvjv@hotmail.co.uk

      Dear Laurent Chauvin,
      My husband and I were part of the group that you accompanied from Cairo to Alexandria on the 16th February. We enjoyed talking to you when you revealed yourself on arrival. I have your card.
      The following morning, my husband was taken ill, and our guide, Waleed, called us an ambulance and forewarned the hospital of our arrival. After taking our group to their next stop, he returned to the hospital and helped me to negotiate the admission systems.
      Later that afternoon, he returned to see David and to reassure me that my hotel room had been secured for a further night. He also helped to sort out a few more admin. problems.
      On Thursday morning, when Waleed and the others set out to return to Cairo, two representatives of Travel Line appeared at the hospital with lovely flowers, a car to take us back to the hotel, and an arrangement for transport to catch up with our tour on Friday morning.
      We were so impressed with VJV's response to this problem. We commend to you Waleed and Travel Line who did so much to help us under these worrying circumstances.

      With many thanks from us both - Jan Hardware



      andyrobertsEs...
      Essex UK
      ss Misr
      Jan 28, 2009, 1:40 PM
      Hi there,
      We have just returned from a week's cruise down the Nile on the SS Misr. I'm going to start with the positive points.
      The boat itself is a lovely vessel to be aboard for a week - it has all the facilities you would expect to find on a boat of this size which accommodates 46 people maximum. The staff are VERY attentive, especially the waiting staff in the dining room. For instance, on buffet sittings once you have filled your plate, the waiters insist on taking your plate from you and carrying it back to your table. A bit over the top, but they really do mean well, and people did love the top service.
      Our guide for the tours, Mohamed, was absolutely faultless and as an Egyptologist was so knowledgeable about all the places we visited. He brought all the temples and tombs to life, and by the end of the week, we felt as though we'd learnt a lot about ancient history in the Nile Valley area. He will be there "imshallah" for many years to come.
      We had a nice cabin (405) on the top deck, which was smallish, but very well furnished in a period style, with stylish fittings. The bath was small but the shower was excellent. Towels were replaced twice a day and bedlinen was replaced daily. There was a nice but narrow balcony outside with two small stools to sit on (with a gin and tonic and a ciggie in hand), and a nice Nile view. As has been said in previous reviews, you need to request a Nile view cabin at the time of booking, otherwise you end up with your cabin looking out on another boat which it will be moored against some of the time, thus making your balcony unusable.
      Now the negatives.
      On our first evening we looked at the bar tariff - if you want a gin and tonic it will cost you 74 Egyptian Pounds (60 for a gin and 14 for a tonic), which in English pounds at the moment is £10. Also a regular size bottle of Stella will set you back £4.25, and a bottle of Egyptian ordinary wine will cost you £30 approx. Champagne worked out into the £100s. A lot of our fellow guests who'd paid a lot of money for this cruise were flabbergasted at these extortionate prices, and the real shame is that most people who'd wisely bought duty free at Gatwick went back to their cabins after dinner to have a couple of drinks, instead of which if the prices had been reasonable, we'd all have been socialising in the beautiful bar/lounge area they have for you to enjoy. Obviously if you're not a drinker then it's not going to affect you, but I saw no comments to this effect before I went so think it might be useful to others to know this before they travel. Also there was no tea or coffee offered after dinner, and you have to pay for water on board, £1.75 a bottle. If you buy it off the ship it's 20p. The food we would describe as fairly good, but do not expect fine dining western style, for example their description of fillet beef could only be described as braised beef. Other dishes were good though, lots of chicken and fish dishes, a variation on a theme. We always found something nice to eat every mealtime. Nice omelettes cooked for breakfast while you wait.
      Also to mention that the two single cabins on board are tiny to the point of being miniscule. You don't even get a wardrobe because there's not enough headroom for one - you get a kind of "tallboy" cupboard, and that meant that clothes got squashed up because it wasn't long or deep enough to adequately house jackets or trousers.
      Overall a lovely relaxing week, I would advise anyone to go if you are into the history of Egypt, but remember there are lots of early (4-5am) starts for some of the trips to the temples.


  • 2008
    • Rough Guides Travel Talk
      Posted December 15, 2008 12:12 PM

      Dear Sirs,

      We have just returned today from a two week "stay and cruise" trip to Egypt arranged through Timelinx.

      All aspects of the trip, from the initial arrangements through all the internal transfers, to the guides and company representatives, were virtually flawless, and both companies can take credit and praise for helping make our holiday so memorable.

      You may well be aware that there was a problem with our plane just prior to departure from Egypt and we had to stay over for an additional night while alternative arrangements were made. Even though we had already said "goodbye" to the Traveline representative, Waleed, and over three hours had gone by before the decision to disembark was made, we were very surprised to see Waleed return and take very positive steps to cater for "his" group.

      I can only guess at the efforts needed to find accommodation for us at such short notice, and to find ourselves at the very luxurious Sonesta St. George was even more impressive. Even though we'd arrived quite late, about 23:30 I think, there was a fine meal laid on for us, and again lunch the following day.

      Waleed worked very hard to keep us informed during what could have been a very stressful time, and is to be commended for his professional attitude and keen desire to see that his Traveline group is given the best treatment.

      Yours Sincerely,
      Sheila and Arthur Bufton



      travelferm
      bristol,engla...
      30. Re: MS Darakum - Nile cruise
      Sep 22, 2008, 3:58 PM

      We have just come back from a fabulous holiday in Egypt, 1 week on the Darakum and a week at the Marriott in Hurghada.
      The Darakum is lovely, we were on the 3rd deck and had a great view (superior rooms are on the higher decks) the cabins aren't massive but they are really nice and have a compact but quite contempory bathroom. The food is very good with plenty to choose from and plenty of it (the soups are really tasty) something for everyone, we would always look forward to our meals as the staff (waiters, chefs etc) are such good fun. Always a cake when it was someones birthday. Lots of fun on the Egyptian night. I'm not one for dressing up but we all joined in and had a really good night. We went with Kuoni, our Egyptian guide was Youseff and he was brilliant, he made our trips so much fun and was full of interesting info, we all spoke so highly of him. We had a full itinery but to be honest you do get a bit templed out. We flew down to Abu Simbel, this is a magnificent temple but the weather was so hot we just wanted to get in the shade, well worth the trip though. Afternoon tea is served around 4pm and was all in with the price. You have to be quick with the sun beds (those with shade) not enough shade really for when the weather is too hot to sit out but the small pool is great to cool off in. Do go to the night market in Aswan, it is quite safe and good fun, one man said "I don't know what you want but I've got it in my shop" just say no and smile if you don't want to buy anything. We took lots of 50ps to tip and left a good tip at the end of our cruise in the envelopes provided at reception. We settled our bill with our credit card, this was no problem but I will say that the drinks are on the expensive side so be prepared for this. We just took Egyptian pounds for everything else.



      dragonslayerh..
      northants
      26. Re: MS Darakum - Nile cruise
      Aug 26, 2008, 12:45 PM

      We have just returned from probably the best holiday we have ever had. I would say that the boat is decorated in neo-egyptian style which involves a lot of glass, mirrors and stainless steel. A lot of the other boats are more classically decorated with more "Agatha Christie" styling - I would say that they all are beautiful, just different to each other.
      The staff were friendly and helpful and just knew how to provide good service. The boat was impeccably keen with our rooms being serviced twice a day.
      Food is great. They dont offer ice as a norm and the coke, beer etc is from cans and bottles (£3.20 for beer, £1.20 for coke)
      The sights are breathtaking
      Anyone who is travelling with Kuoni, Trade Winds or Virgin are looked after by TravelLine Reps who are incredible. If they say they will collect you at 5.05am then that is the time they will be there. They look after you in a way we are not used to - Ahmed met us around midnight at Cairo to get us on a connecting flight that left in less than one hour due to a delay at LHR, he had got us our visas in preparation and pushed our baggage whilst we ran behind him, bundling us into the right building. He was amazing.
      Down points - none that are important. The street vendors are a pain, you have to just act like you can't see them and they go away eventually. Tipping is a nuisance - but you just do it and get used to it.
      It is HOT in August but there are no queues!! By 9am it is too hot to be outdoors in comfort.
      There are a lot of early starts but this is ok because you are back to the boat early and can sleep if you want and at least you avoid the heat of the day.
      Oh and be warned - the salt is in the pepper pot and vice versa on the tables in the restaurant on board!
      I took half Egyptian pounds and half dollars - I didnt use the dollars at all.
      And if you know someone that has already done a Nile Cruise and has a galebeya they can lend you - you could borrow it for the galebeya night and save yourself a bit of cash!
      Oh and someone asked about the laundry service on board. I had a pair of shorts washed and ironed - returned same day and cost the princely sum of 35p!!



      GRIFFYGB
      Wirral
      MS Darakum - Nile cruise
      Aug 02, 2008, 3:52 PM

      We have just come back from 7 days on the Darakum and here are my thoughts.
      I thought the boat, service and guide in general were excellent. I was not aware of any "teething problems" and whilst the decor may not be to everyone's taste, we sure some much worse examples on the Nile!
      Now some specifics. We did not discover what a superior room entailed. I would guess it typically means "on a higher deck", but how busy the boat is and other logistics, seems to be just as important for cabin allocation. We were on deck 2-and had no complaints, though I think deck 1 might be a little too low. Most rooms are on decks 2 and 3 with a few on 1 and 4. It is worth knowing that there are twin and double cabins.
      As for drinks, bear in mind that this is a Muslim country and therefore are taxed to hell. Local beer is around £2.50 a bottle (which is OK) but wine is a crippling £15 a bottle. That said there is little else to spend your money on the boat. To clarify no cash changes hand until the end (except in the shop).
      Also be aware that not all the people on the boat are likely to be from the same country and some may be half way through their cruise when you start (ie they are going Aswan to Aswan rather than Luxor to Luxor).



      rakh1
      Near London
      MS Darakum - Nile cruise
      Jul 17, 2008, 9:05 AM

      Hi all,
      Just come back from a week on the Darakum. The ship was not full so cannot comment on how crowded it may be when fully loaded. However, it was a FANTASTIC holiday. The ship is well decorated, the food is first class and ALL the staff friendly. Drinks are reasonably priced - our Luxor hotel was more expensive.
      I would avoid rooms 210 and 211 as they have the ladders covering the lower 50cm of their windows (we moved here for one day after our bathroom started to leek).
      Of all the boats we saw along the Nile the Darakum was certainly one of the best - if not THE best. Our independant guide agreed it was the best he had seen.
      Would go again in a heartbeat! We are very fussy but we loved it.



      Leselee
      Witham, Essex
      MS Darakum - Nile cruise
      May 19, 2008, 2:12 PM
      We have recently returned from a fantastic week on the brand new Nile cruiser MS Darakum maiden voyage.
      The boat is very modern, contemporary egyptian in design. Lots of glass, chrome and mirrors. Exceptionally clean. The staff were brilliant and did everything to give us a pleasant cruise.
      Rooms are of a reasonable size, with a lovely bathroom and they are cleaned and towels changed twice a day.
      The food was excellent with a buffet breakfast and lunch and set dinner, usually 3 or 4 course, and the deserts were to die for.
      There is a small indoor gym with treadmill weights and a bike, overseen by Amir who gave a very relaxing massage.
      Our Egyptologist was very knowledgable and we visited several fantastic temples as well as tombs in the Valleys of the Kings and Queens.
      The culture of Egypt is one of tipping, drivers, guides etc, but it is very difficult to get small denominations of Egyptian pounds so take a supply of 50p and £1 coins as most people will accept these.


      S/S Misr
      campseat
      Arran
      Apr 15, 2008, 10:31 AM

      We cruised on the nile on the ss Misr in the last week in March 2008. There is a lot of space on the boat, inside and out. The pool is only really a plunge pool. There is only two rooms with outside seating (front panoramic suites), the balconies do not have the space for a chair but then most of the other boats do not have any balconies. The boat and the crew are excellent. Nothing is too much trouble.Extremely clean, great food and a incredibly attentive crew. This boat is far superior to the Hamees, the other Voyage Jules Verne boat and is certainly worth the upgrade, even walking through (which you do when docked).



      S/S Misr
      DJBCambridge...
      Cambridge...
      Apr 10, 2008, 5:30 AM

      Just got back from a cruise on the SS Misr. Absolutely excellent in every respect; there were just 40 passengers. Outnumbered by incredibly efficient and pleasant crew. It may be a more expensive vessel to travel on but it has got to be the best in the business. The boat is bookable through Voyages Jules Verne only.
      A tip; if you want the very best views from the Misr, specify a cabin on the starboard side when you book-you will be facing out into the river when moored. Port side is acceptable as you don't spend much time in your cabin but you will be moored up against other and larger boats on occasions, and you could end up feeling a bit like a troglodyte.
      Also, if you want a double bed, specify this when you book, as about half the cabins have twin beds.


      mollyKentUk
      kent uk
      s/s Misr
      Mar 28, 2008, 9:49 AM
      I know its a bit late but we have just returned from our trip down the Nile on SS Misr booked through VJV. Wow! what a fantastic steam ship. It was truly first class and we were thoroughly overwhelmed by the ship, the crew, the food, the guides and the whole itinerary. There were over 60 staff for 45 guests and we were royally treated, nothing was too much trouble. If you are looking to 'do' the Nile in style SS Misr is the only way to go. Absolutely fabulous!


  • 2007
    • Published on www.birdwatch.co.uk

      Birder on the Nile
      Against a backdrop of antiquities, the desert, the Red Sea & Africa’s greatest river, Egypt is one of the wonders of the birding world.
      Dominic Mitcell reports.
      Amid the noise and bustle of early morning in one of the world’s largest cities, I awoke to watch the sun rise over its mighty river. Against a backdrop of minarets and the Cairo skyline, with the call to prayer as the soundtrack, parties of Cattle Egrets made their way back and forth across surging water that would have started its long journey as a cloudburst far to the south in tropical Africa.
      From the ground or from the air, the Nile is an impressive sight to behold. The first time I saw the river, many years previously, it was from more than 30,000 ft up, on a flight to Luxor. Having crossed high over an azure Mediterranean Sea and seemingly endless miles of golden dunes and desert, we had eventually descended towards the long, thin ribbon of blue, edged either side with verdant green, that is the Nile Valley. From the air it’s easy to appreciate the importance of this life giving river in a country which is more than 90 per cent desert.
      On this latest trip, though, our arrival after dark the previous evening had offered a different take on Egypt’s landmarks, with the looming shapes of the Giza pyramids easily discernible on the edge of Cairo’s illuminated nightscape.
      Nile high
      From the delta to Upper Egypt, the importance of the Nile to the country’s birds cannot be underestimated. In the north, where our own journey started, the countless channels, ditches and marshes that the river feeds have created an extensive mosaic of wetland and farmland rich in exciting species. In the vast delta region you need to know where to look, but with somewhere approaching 30 trips to the country already under his belt, this was not an issue for Andrew Grieve, leader of the forthcoming Birdwatch reader holiday and my traveling companion in the country.
      Delta birding was particularly memorable at Abassa, where the fish ponds and marshes were teeming with extraordinary numbers of birds. Cattle Egrets were omnipresent, sometimes in their thousands, while one particularly productive marsh produced dozens each of Squacco and Night Herons and a trio of kingfisher species – a rare hat-trick in the Western Palearctic. The impressive White-breasted Kingfisher, an Asian speciality here at its westerly limit, was both the most numerous and the most noisy, but hovering black-and-white Pieds were a frequent sight too; the so-called ‘Common’ Kingfisher was the rarest.
      In such habitats waders are also abundant, with Spur-winged Lapwing, Wood and Marsh Sandpipers, Ruff and Little Stint the most numerous. Careful scanning of the rank vegetation produced small numbers of Common Snipe, but it took a while longer to find one of the country’s most wanted waders, Greater Painted-snipe. Eventually we located a single bird, although as I discovered the hard way on this trip they are much easier to flush than to watch on the ground!
      While waterbirds dominated, there were other distractions. Raptors find no shortage of prey here, and as well as the ubiquitous Yellow-billed Kites (now widely split from Black Kite) and Marsh Harriers, we enjoyed views of Black-winged Kite, Montagu’s Harrier, Steppe Buzzard and a brief Barbary Falcon. Out in the damp fields the commonest passerine was often Red-throated Pipit, flocks of which constantly picked their way along furrows and through rank grass, and an interesting assortment of wagtails included several of the local Eygptian form of Yellow, pygmaea. Stands of reed held Clamorous Reed Warblers and the occasional Bluethroat, while both Streaked Weaver and Red Avadavat are also possible in the delta. We weren’t in luck with the former here, but succeeded with good views of the latter species at the productive oasis of Fayoum, to the southwest of Cairo.
      Mention should also be made of two other specialities for which Egypt is famous. The delta region is home to the Western Palearctic’s only Senegal Coucals, a skulking species best searched for in spring when it is more vocal and easier to locate. Hopes were not high for our October visit, so it was with great delight that we enjoyed views in the open of this large but unobtrusive bird at Gebel Asfar. We also managed to find the equally sought-after Senegal Thick-knee, a species I hadn’t seen on my previous trip to the country, though the handful we saw in the north would soon be eclipsed by our experiences in Upper Egypt.
      Great lake
      It doesn’t take too long to fly from Cairo along the Nile to Abu Simbel, on the shores of Lake Nasser in the extreme south of the country. The position of the lake not far from the border with Sudan explains its long-standing attraction to birders as well as Egyptologists, for whom Upper Egypt holds treasures in abundance. Several Afrotropical species regularly occur here but nowhere else in the Western Palearctic, although seeing them all in one trip is a tall order.
      Having checked into our hotel and scoured the grounds for migrants, which included several handsome Masked Shrikes as well as the resident White-crowned Wheatears, we headed for the lake shore on the edge of the town to begin the search. It wasn’t long before the first speciality, African Pied Wagtail, gave itself up, and several of these handsome black-and-white birds showed very well as they flitted around the water’s edge.
      More frustrating were the views out across the water, with a stork on a distant island arousing strong suspicion that it was a Yellow-billed. Unfortunately, in the high temperatures and heat haze, it was just not possible to resolve enough detail on the bird, and we had to resign ourselves to only a ‘probable’ for the trip list. Compensation quickly came in the form of another African speciality, however, when careful scrutiny of the wader flocks on the shore revealed no fewer than 10 Kittlitz’s Plovers.
      Eventually, with the sun beginning to drop in the late afternoon sky and the temperatures cooling, we decided to try a nearby marsh for Greater Painted-snipe. Pre-roost gatherings of more than 10 each of African Pied Wagtail and Senegal Thick-knee seemed like good omens, as did a Spotted Crake stalking through the edge of the reeds, but the light was rapidly fading. Further searching failed to come up with anything until there was a sudden shout from Andrew, standing on higher ground some yards behind me. “Egyptian Nightjar!” I spun around just as a pallid, falcon-like shape shot past, chasing insects along the edge of the marsh into the twilight. It was a brief but euphoric encounter with a lifer I had not really expected to see on the trip.
      Our birding appetites sated, that evening we relaxed by enjoying what most visitors come to Abu Simbel to see: the temples of Ramses II and Nefertari. Moved from their original location when the Aswan Dam was built and Lake Nasser flooded, these imposing monuments of ancient Egypt draw tourists in large numbers from around the world. Floodlit after dark, they are also the backdrop for a spectacular ‘sound and light’ show enjoyed by hundreds of visitors each evening.
      We duly took our seats among the English contingent, put on our headphones and sat back to enjoy the audio commentary as images of the pharaohs were projected across the temples and rock face in front of us. As the audience listened and watched, the occasion was dramatically interrupted when, for the second time in several hours, Andrew exclaimed “Egyptian Nightjar!” at the top of his voice. As startled tourists looked in our direction, I briefly glimpsed the bird’s ghostly silhouette as it hawked moths in the powerful beams of the floodlights.
      Beyond the valley
      After Abu Simbel, our route took us back down the Nile to Aswan, where from our base at the magnificent Old Cataract Hotel – where Agatha Christie is said to have written Death on the Nile – we took a superb trip in a small boat exploring the reed fringed backwaters of the river. Here, Striated Heron, Greater Painted-snipe, Little Bittern, Purple Swamp-hen and numerous other waterbirds gave exceptionally close views, unfazed by our presence on the water.
      We parted company with the great river at Luxor, in the shadow of the Valley of the Kings, and after birding the hotspot of Crocodile Island struck out across the desert towards the Red Sea coast – a long but essential drive if some of the country’s most exciting species are to feature in your plans. Few western visitors travel down the Red Sea coast as far as Wadi Gamel, but the birding rewards are well worth the journey. We found sought after species like Greater Crested Tern, White-eyed and Sooty Gulls and Crab-plover, all high on birding wants lists, and autumn is also a good time for the hard to-find Sooty Falcon – another lifer I was lucky to see several times in the area. This dashing raptor and Lanner Falcon both appeared occasionally around our hotel at Wadi Gamel, no doubt hunting the abundant migrants which take cover in the gardens of this otherwise barren landscape. Every stroll around the grounds brought interesting birds: Red-throated Pipits, Common Redstarts and Willow Warblers were among the more numerous migrants, but others included Short-toed Lark, Sardinian Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher. On two occasions we watched a Corncrake feeding in the flower beds at close range, while on another it was an exhausted Namaqua Dove that gave confiding views.
      From Wadi Gamel, it is possible to reach the edge of the Halaib triangle – the disputed territory in the extreme south-east of the country currently under Egyptian control (see Birdwatch 122: 25-28) – and find Lappet-faced Vulture at just about its only likely location in the Western Palearctic. A number of these impressive scavengers were on the wing when we arrived at the border town of Shelatein, where camel carcasses provide ready meals for this species and Egyptian Vulture, as well as that ubiquitous corvid of the desert, Brown-necked Raven. Shelatein’s other speciality is African Collared Dove, yet another species at the edge of its range here.
      It was barely more than a week since we had arrived in the country, but this camel-stop in the desert felt a world away from Cairo. Such contrasts are part of the appeal of Egypt as a destination – dramatic and different landscapes, from the lush greenery of the delta and the blue waters of the Nile itself to the barren emptiness of the vast deserts and imposing mountains. Add the antiquities and the avian attractions, as well as the hospitable people and hot climate, and it is a winning formula for a memorable holiday.
      Acknowledgements
      Birdwatch travelled to Egypt courtesy of Kuoni Travel. Special thanks to Andrew Grieve, Pierre Tartari and the staff of Traveline.



      Egypt, Nile River Cruise, 19 - 26 Mar 07, Mark Easterbrook


      References:
      1. Collins Guide to the Birds of Britain & Europe with N. Africa & The Middle East.
      3. Trip Reports posted on the Web.
      This report conforms to the following format:-
      1. A brief introduction.
      2. A table of common species seen along the Nile.
      3. A day-by-day account of the sites visited with birding highlights.
      4. A selective species trip list.
      5. Summary.
      Introduction
      This was a family holiday selected by my wife, travelling with Voyages Jules Verne on one of the more “up-market” vessels (The SS MISR – King Farouq’s refurbished steamer), currently sailing on the Nile River.
      Having previously travelled widely in the Middle East, there was only really one target bird; the Nile Valley Sunbird, with an outside chance of Kittlitz’s Plover.
      The River cruise produced some good birds in a relaxed atmosphere, unlike the usual rushing around that I achieve whilst abroad.
      Common Species
      The following table contains a list of common species that can be easily seen in good numbers from Luxor, South to Aswan along the Nile River.
      Scientific Name Common Name
      Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant
      Ardeola ralloides Squacco Heron
      Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret
      Egretta garzetta Little Egret
      Ardea cinerea Grey Heron
      Ardea purpurea Purple Heron
      Circus aeruginosus Eurasian Marsh Harrier
      Falco tinnunculus Common Kestrel
      Gallinula chloropus Moorhen
      Porphyrio porphyrio madagascariensis Purple Gallinule
      Fulica atra Coot
      Himantopus himantopus Black-winged Stilt
      Vanellus spinosus Spur-winged Plover
      Larus ridibundus Black-headed Gull
      Streptopelia senegalensis Laughing Dove
      Ceryle rudis Pied Kingfisher
      Upupa epops Hoopoe
      Hirundo rustica savignii Egyptian Barn Swallow
      Motacilla alba White Wagtail
      Corvus (carone) cornix Hooded Crow
      Passer domesticus House Sparrow
      Day by Day Itineraries with highlights
      19 Mar 07
      We flew from Gatwick at 0945, although this was delayed by an hour, which appears to be the normal state of affairs. The flight can hardly be recommended but achieved the desired aim after many queues for a number of reasons. We arrived on board our vessel the MS MISR at about 1930 local time (2 hours in front of UK time), settled in and enjoyed dinner on board.
      Day 1 – 20 Mar 07
      The boat had sailed from Luxor to Esna barrage overnight and in the morning light continued to Edfu. Two Garganeys, several Whiskered Terns and five Purple Gallinules were noted. Further down the Nile, the only Slender-billed Gulls, five Spoonbill and several Glossy Ibis made an appearance.
      At Edfu – Temple of Horus, two Blue-cheeked Bee-eater and two Brown-necked Ravens were noted amongst the impressive buildings.
      We re-boarded the boat after some hectic haggling (Life of Brian style), with some zealous vendors and journeyed to Kom Ombo. Whilst on route along the river the only Ruff of the trip, a Night Heron, another Spoonbill and several more Gallinule were noted. The only two Egyptian Geese were also noted on this leg of the journey.
      Day 2 – 21 Mar 07
      Today saw an early morning visit to Kom Ombo. From the boat a small long tailed bird was seen it was surely a Nile Valley Sunbird, although better views were required. We were not disappointed and the gardens under the Temple revealed two pairs of these superb little birds, the males in full breeding regalia. With migration well under way, several Lesser Whitethroats flitted about whilst the local Graceful Prinias and Common Bulbuls were in good voice. A familiar Reed Warbler like song from a bush was soon identified as an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler with its typical tail pumping action.
      The boat then sailed from Kom Ombo to Aswan with the target bird safely secured on day two, which was a relief. The now familiar riverside birds continued to show and were complemented by several flocks of wildfowl, one of which contained three Ferruginous Ducks.
      Day 3 – 22 Mar 07
      We awoke in Aswan and set out to visit the Temple of Philae. A White-crowned Black Wheatear was seen by the jetty and a cracking male Masked Shrike also showed well. A Little Green Heron was seen on a rocky outcrop and several Gull-billed Terns circled the boat. On the Island, at least another four Nile Valley Sunbirds entertained us, an Osprey put in a brief appearance as did five Red-rumped Swallows and about sixty White Pelicans roosted on a nearby beach. We viewed a thermal full of Black Kites from the temple some of which were of the Yellow-billed sub-species.
      Later in the afternoon we took a Felucca ride to Kitchener Island which produced another two male Nile Valley Sunbirds, a male Bluethroat (red spot), ten Ferruginous Duck and the usual common migrants.
      Day 4 – 23 Mar 07
      A 0315 wake-up call and an early departure saw us heading for Abu Simbel. Our arrival was greeted with a White-crowned Wheatear, another Hoopoe was seen as was a Graceful Prinia but the only new bird was a very pale grey coloured Crested Lark.
      After lunch, we set sail north for our return to Luxor. Between Aswan and Kom Ombo the only Senegal Thick Knees were noted, along with two more Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters and a White Pelican. Numerous Pied Kingfishers and the Egyptian sub-species of Barn Swallow continued to circle the vessel as we sat in the sun and enjoyed a beer or two.
      From Kom Ombo to Edfu, a Clamourous Reed Warbler was heard and the only Ringed Plover of the trip was seen.
      Day 5 – 24 Mar 07
      The usual and common birds were seen on this leg of the journey between Esna and Luxor with no new birds for the trip being added.
      Day 6 – 25 Mar 07
      The group briefly stopped at the Colossi of Memnon but not before adding two Black-shouldered Kites on route. These striking birds appear to be present in small numbers around the cultivated fields of Luxor. At the statues three displaying Fan-tailed Warblers were seen, another Masked Shrike and two Stonechat.
      The Temple of Hatshepsut was next and we added Trumpeter Finch and two Brown-necked Ravens here whilst Pale Crag Martins continued to be present at all Temple sites and several authentic Rock Doves were seen.
      Later in the Valley of the Kings, at least fifteen Trumpeter Finches came to a bowl of water and some seed which allowed some close photos to be taken (by my wife) of this at times difficult bird to connect with. Whilst departing the site a Little Green Bee-eater perched on a rock.
      An short afternoon walk by the Traveline moorings produced good views of a Clamourous Reed Warbler and another Night Heron.
      Of interest during an evening visit to Luxor Temple was a noisy roost of Godfrey’s Tomb Bat.
      Day 7 – 26 Mar 07
      On route to the Temple of Karnak another Black-shouldered Kite sat on telegraph wires and a Hoopoe fed along the roadside.
      The journey to the airport produced several of the ubiquitous Pied Kingfishers, several Pallid Swifts overhead and one more Black-shouldered Kite, a species that appears to be quite common around the cultivated farmland of Luxor.
      Selective Species List
      Scientific Name Common Name Remarks
      Tachybaptus ruficollis Little Grebe 2 seen on the southerly journey between Esna and Edfu
      Pelecanus onocrotalus Great White Pelican A flock of circa 60 seen roosting from Philae Temple and later migrating North with 1’s along the river
      Ixobrychus minutus Little Bittern 1 along the river between Kom Ombo and Aswan
      Nycticorax nycticorax Black-crowned Night Heron Singletons seen along the river but not numerous
      Butorides striatus Little Green Heron 3 birds seen 2 on the river between Kom Ombo and Aswan, 1 whilst approaching Philae Temple
      Egretta alba Great White Egret Only 2 birds seen between Kom Ombo and Aswan on the 21st
      Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis 1s & 2s along the river with a large flock of c60 between Kom Ombo and Aswan
      Platalea leucorodia Eurasian Spoonbill 5 birds seen on a river island between Esna and Edfu and 1 seen between Edfu and Kom Ombo
      Alopochen aegyptiacus Egyptian Goose 2 were seen on a river island between Edfu and Kom Ombo
      Anas penelope Eurasian Wigeon Small groups seen along the river
      Anas crecca Eurasian Teal 8 birds seen in 2 groups
      Anas acuta Northern Pintail 2 drakes at Aswan with Northern Shoveller and 1 with the same species between Edfu and Kom Ombo
      Anas querquedula Garganey 3 birds seen, 2 drakes and 1 duck along the river with Northern Shoveller
      Anas clypeata Northern Shoveller Large flocks seen all along the river
      Aythya nyroca Ferruginous Duck 3 between Esna and Edfu. 10 from Kitchener Island
      Aythya fuligula Tufted Duck Small parties (mostly drakes) along the river between Edfu and Kom Ombo
      Elanus caeruleus Black-shouldered Kite 2 near the Colossi of Memnon, 1 over the fields near Luxor and 1 on the way to the airport on the final day
      Milvus migrans Black Kite Numerous over Philae Temple with singletons seen elsewhere
      Milvus migrans parasitus African "Yellow-billed" Kite Birds contained within the thermal at Philae were of this Ssp
      Pandion haliaetus Osprey 1 at Philae Temple
      Burhinus senegalensis Senegal Thick-knee 11 seen on the return journey between Aswan and Kom Ombo on a “beach”
      Charadrius hiaticula Ringed Plover 1 seen during the return journey up-river between Aswan and Kom Ombo
      Philomachus pugnax Ruff A group of 8 were seen on an river island between Edfu and Kom Ombo
      Gallinago gallinago Common Snipe 1 at Edfu – flushed by a Marsh Harrier and one along the river between Aswan and Kom Ombo
      Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 2 were seen feeding between Esna and Edfu
      Tringa totanus Common Redshank 1 seen between Aswan and Kom Ombo
      Tringa stagnatilis Marsh Sandpiper 1 seen between Aswan and Kom Ombo
      Actitis hypoleucos Common Sandpiper Singletons seen throughout the trip along the river
      Larus genei Slender-billed Gull A group of 5 seen between Esna and Edfu
      Gelochelidon nilotica Gull-billed Tern Common around Philae Temple with 1s along the river
      Chlidonias hybridus Whiskered Tern Good numbers seen all along the river
      Chlidonias leucopterus White-winged Black Tern Small numbers mixed with the above and a group of 20 heading North between Esna and Edfu on the 20th
      Columba livia Rock Dove Authentic birds seen at the Temple of Hatshepsut
      Streptopelia turtur Turtle Dove 1 bird seen at Philae Temple
      Apus apus Common Swift Good numbers migrating in the second half of the week
      Apus pallidus Pallid Swift Probably mixed with the previous species but 5 positively identified on the return to the airport
      Merops orientalis Little Green Bee-eater 1s & 2s seen at Kom Ombo, Abu Simbel and Valley of the Kings
      Merops persicus Blue-cheeked Bee-eater A flock of 18 seen between Esna and Kom Ombo, with a pair at Edfu Temple and several around Luxor
      Galerida cristata Crested Lark 2 seen. 1 at Abu Simbel and 1 at the Colossi of Memnon
      Ptyonoprone fuligula Pale Rock Martin Seen regularly in small numbers at all Temples
      Hirundo daurica Red-rumped Swallow A group of 5 seen over Philae Temple
      Motacilla flava Yellow Wagtail Singletons seen along the river
      Mortacilla (flava) feldegg Black-headed wagtail 1 seen between Edfu and Kom Ombo
      Pycnonotus barbatus Common Bulbul Fairly common - 1s & 2s seen in suitable habitat
      Luscinia svecica Bluethroat 1 male seen on Kitchener Island
      Saxicola torquata Stonechat A male and female at the Colossi of Memnon
      Oenanthe leucopyga White-crowned Black Wheatear 2 at Philae Temple, 2 at Abu Simbel and one at the boat jetty to Philae Temple
      Cisticola juncidis Zitting Cisticola Several seen in grasslands bordering the River
      Prinia gracilis Graceful Prinia 1s & 2s heard and seen in reeds along the river
      Acrocephalus stentoreus Clamourous Reed Warbler Heard along the river and 1 seen in reeds near Luxor
      Hippolais pallida Olivaceous Warbler Migrants seen and heard in suitable habitat
      Sylvia curruca Lesser Whitethroat Good numbers seen at Philae Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and singletons seen throughout in suitable habitat
      Anthrepetes metallicus Nile Valley Sunbird At least 8 seen in pairs, including stunning males in suitable habitat at Kom Ombo Temple, Kitchener Island and Philae Temple (nest seen)
      Lanius nubicus Masked Shrike 3 at Philae Temple and 1 at the Colossi of Memnon
      Corvus ruficollis Brown-necked Raven 2 at Edfu Temple of Horus and 2 at the Temple of Hatshepsut
      Bucanetes githagineus Trumpeter Finch 4 at the Temple of Hatshepsut and common in the Valley of the Kings (photographed coming to water)

      Summary
      The trip produced the target bird! A Cruise along the River Nile is an ideal relaxed way to bird watch, whilst keeping the family happy and enjoying the Egyptian historical sites. The excursion to Abu Simbel is a little tiring and a little over-priced, with not many birds on offer (unless you are lucky enough to encounter something like an African Skimmer on Lake Nasser, however, to go that far and not visit the site would be a shame.
      I would recommend a cruise for the above reasons but if you are looking for a large list this is not the trip for you. Take care in selecting a vessel to travel on, as many look tired and not in particularly good order.



      M/S Hamees
      Mark77339 1 contribution
      Houston, Texas
      Nov 29, 2007

      • The Nile cruise ship was one of the best we saw (M/S Hamees).

      The guides were fantastic. Contrary to some comments that I have read, we found them to be 100% trustworthy and honest. Trust them. They know the ropes and will take care of you.



      I just wanted to write to say thank you to your staff for making our tour of the Nile such an enjoyable and memorable experience. Our holiday was booked through Virgin Holidays. Following a delayed flight from Cairo to Luxor on 08.01.10, it was comforting to have someone meet and greet us at Luxor airport at 4:00 a.m 09.01.10 (he had waited there since 11:00 p.m. the night before).and then made sure we were booked into the Sheraton Hotel. We then spent a week on the M/S Darakum, which was one of the most enjoyable holidays I have ever experienced and I have to say that Ahmed Samir ( for Kuoni) is quite simply an excellent tour guide. With his vast amount of knowledge and sense of humour, he made our holiday an experience never to be forgotten. Following our time on the ship we spent another day at the Sheraton before flying from Luxor to Cairo and then from Cairo to London. At all venues we were met and escorted through to check in, which made it all so easy and relaxing for us. Once again, thanks to your professional staff for making our holiday such a fantastic one. Sonia and Ady Farrow Please forgive my delay in writing to you to tell you what a fabulous trip we all had. You may have heard from the other "Queen's" by now...... I was in the Tour Operating Business for 30 years in a Management capacity for a long time (until a few years ago) and have planned and escorted many trips along with marketing and selling to Travel Agents. Therefore, as a professional, not just a traveler, I wanted to tell you how perfect everything was. Your Escorts, and Guides and Drivers were all very professional and accommodating and I am sure went way overboard for us to be sure we felt welcomed and comfortable. Additionally, the service they performed ie. checking us into the Hotels and airports was over the top. I have to say though, that the best part was the itinerary itself. It was a perfect combination of everything, planned very well. Best regards, Melinda Sprague Bye for now, Linda Hi Kamel,Now that we are back in Wales and fully recovered from our journeyhome, I thought I would let you know how much we enjoyed our time inCairo and El Sokhna. We knew straight away that the service was goingto be good when we first met you and within no time we were on our wayto the Mena House. Throughout our stay in Egypt it was reassuring toknow that you were always on hand and there to provide that extraservice that lifts a holiday from enjoyable to truly memorable.Thank you once again for the professionalism and courtesy you showedus during our holiday, you are a credit to Traveline an we wish youevery success in your future endeavours.Kindest regards,Paul & Sarah DuriggP.S. We wish you the best of good fortune for your wedding next year.I have just got back from a niole cruise on the MS Darakum... FABULOUS!!! In every way, it was wonderful. Staff were attentive and helpful without being obvious, the food was superb and catered for every taste, the trips were well organised and very interesting and the Egyptologist was wonderful. the boat was fully air-conditioned and spotlessly clean. No complaints at all. Go for it... have a wonderful time. Sharon. West Mids Back from Cairo this afternoon after a really wonderful visit. Mr Traveline looked after us with great care. When we arrived at midnight their representative was waiting, but poor thing a jumbo load of Hajj pilgrims has also arrived from Saudi with pots and pans and you can just imagine the Zoo!! He fought to get us through and then off to The Sheraton with ease. Our day in Islamic Cairo was wonderful and I want to particularly bring to your attention the guide for the day. I have travelled far and wide and I can tell you he was excellent. Articulate, polite, charming, perfect English and very knowledgeable. He told me when he was advised he had to look after AWT clients he rushed to brush up on all his knowledge. I thought that was a super pat on the back for you. His name is Walid Ali El Nawasany.I know you are going to Egypt soon and certainly he would be very suitable for your other clients. The ride back to the airport this morning went without a hitch. Thank you for all you have contributed to a special visit. regards, Neil. Hi I have just returned from a Nile cruise on MS Darakum.The trip far exceeded our expectations. The boat is very modern and spotless. The staff are very friendly and fun.Cabins large with great windows with views of the Nile.Only 29 people on board so like a private yacht!Met great people onboard and there was a great family atmosphere with guests and staff mixing together.Food was very good; good choice and would cook anything extra if asked. Booked with Oli at Dialaflight and travel was with kuoni who were great.Anwar the guide was amazing. Only 11 people in tour group. Traveline did all pick ups etc and were very professional.A truly great trip. ps. also cakes were made for birthdays and staff did a dance to celebrate.Must add that all done very tastefully! Just returned from a cruise on MS Sunray. we were extremely delighted, the staff just couldn't do enough. We were a party of four, all vegetarians but found the chef and catering staff very obliging and prepared different asian vegetarian meals on top of the choice we had from the buffet. Would highly recommend the ship. Hi there, We have just returned from a week's cruise down the Nile on the SS Misr. I'm going to start with the positive points. The boat itself is a lovely vessel to be aboard for a week - it has all the facilities you would expect to find on a boat of this size which accommodates 46 people maximum. The staff are VERY attentive, especially the waiting staff in the dining room. For instance, on buffet sittings once you have filled your plate, the waiters insist on taking your plate from you and carrying it back to your table. A bit over the top, but they really do mean well, and people did love the top service. Our guide for the tours, Mohamed, was absolutely faultless and as an Egyptologist was so knowledgeable about all the places we visited. He brought all the temples and tombs to life, and by the end of the week, we felt as though we'd learnt a lot about ancient history in the Nile Valley area. He will be there "imshallah" for many years to come. We had a nice cabin (405) on the top deck, which was smallish, but very well furnished in a period style, with stylish fittings. The bath was small but the shower was excellent. Towels were replaced twice a day and bedlinen was replaced daily. There was a nice but narrow balcony outside with two small stools to sit on (with a gin and tonic and a ciggie in hand), and a nice Nile view. As has been said in previous reviews, you need to request a Nile view cabin at the time of booking, otherwise you end up with your cabin looking out on another boat which it will be moored against some of the time, thus making your balcony unusable. Now the negatives. On our first evening we looked at the bar tariff - if you want a gin and tonic it will cost you 74 Egyptian Pounds (60 for a gin and 14 for a tonic), which in English pounds at the moment is £10. Also a regular size bottle of Stella will set you back £4.25, and a bottle of Egyptian ordinary wine will cost you £30 approx. Champagne worked out into the £100s. A lot of our fellow guests who'd paid a lot of money for this cruise were flabbergasted at these extortionate prices, and the real shame is that most people who'd wisely bought duty free at Gatwick went back to their cabins after dinner to have a couple of drinks, instead of which if the prices had been reasonable, we'd all have been socialising in the beautiful bar/lounge area they have for you to enjoy. Obviously if you're not a drinker then it's not going to affect you, but I saw no comments to this effect before I went so think it might be useful to others to know this before they travel. Also there was no tea or coffee offered after dinner, and you have to pay for water on board, £1.75 a bottle. If you buy it off the ship it's 20p. The food we would describe as fairly good, but do not expect fine dining western style, for example their description of fillet beef could only be described as braised beef. Other dishes were good though, lots of chicken and fish dishes, a variation on a theme. We always found something nice to eat every mealtime. Nice omelettes cooked for breakfast while you wait. Also to mention that the two single cabins on board are tiny to the point of being miniscule. You don't even get a wardrobe because there's not enough headroom for one - you get a kind of "tallboy" cupboard, and that meant that clothes got squashed up because it wasn't long or deep enough to adequately house jackets or trousers. Overall a lovely relaxing week, I would advise anyone to go if you are into the history of Egypt, but remember there are lots of early (4-5am) starts for some of the trips to the temples. Dear Sirs, We have just returned today from a two week "stay and cruise" trip to Egypt arranged through Timelinx. All aspects of the trip, from the initial arrangements through all the internal transfers, to the guides and company representatives, were virtually flawless, and both companies can take credit and praise for helping make our holiday so memorable. You may well be aware that there was a problem with our plane just prior to departure from Egypt and we had to stay over for an additional night while alternative arrangements were made. Even though we had already said "goodbye" to the Traveline representative, Waleed, and over three hours had gone by before the decision to disembark was made, we were very surprised to see Waleed return and take very positive steps to cater for "his" group. I can only guess at the efforts needed to find accommodation for us at such short notice, and to find ourselves at the very luxurious Sonesta St. George was even more impressive. Even though we'd arrived quite late, about 23:30 I think, there was a fine meal laid on for us, and again lunch the following day. Waleed worked very hard to keep us informed during what could have been a very stressful time, and is to be commended for his professional attitude and keen desire to see that his Traveline group is given the best treatment. Yours Sincerely, Sheila and Arthur Bufton We have just come back from a fabulous holiday in Egypt, 1 week on the Darakum and a week at the Marriott in Hurghada. The Darakum is lovely, we were on the 3rd deck and had a great view (superior rooms are on the higher decks) the cabins aren't massive but they are really nice and have a compact but quite contempory bathroom. The food is very good with plenty to choose from and plenty of it (the soups are really tasty) something for everyone, we would always look forward to our meals as the staff (waiters, chefs etc) are such good fun. Always a cake when it was someones birthday. Lots of fun on the Egyptian night. I'm not one for dressing up but we all joined in and had a really good night. We went with Kuoni, our Egyptian guide was Youseff and he was brilliant, he made our trips so much fun and was full of interesting info, we all spoke so highly of him. We had a full itinery but to be honest you do get a bit templed out. We flew down to Abu Simbel, this is a magnificent temple but the weather was so hot we just wanted to get in the shade, well worth the trip though. Afternoon tea is served around 4pm and was all in with the price. You have to be quick with the sun beds (those with shade) not enough shade really for when the weather is too hot to sit out but the small pool is great to cool off in. Do go to the night market in Aswan, it is quite safe and good fun, one man said "I don't know what you want but I've got it in my shop" just say no and smile if you don't want to buy anything. We took lots of 50ps to tip and left a good tip at the end of our cruise in the envelopes provided at reception. We settled our bill with our credit card, this was no problem but I will say that the drinks are on the expensive side so be prepared for this. We just took Egyptian pounds for everything else. We have just returned from probably the best holiday we have ever had. I would say that the boat is decorated in neo-egyptian style which involves a lot of glass, mirrors and stainless steel. A lot of the other boats are more classically decorated with more "Agatha Christie" styling - I would say that they all are beautiful, just different to each other. The staff were friendly and helpful and just knew how to provide good service. The boat was impeccably keen with our rooms being serviced twice a day. Food is great. They dont offer ice as a norm and the coke, beer etc is from cans and bottles (£3.20 for beer, £1.20 for coke) The sights are breathtaking Anyone who is travelling with Kuoni, Trade Winds or Virgin are looked after by TravelLine Reps who are incredible. If they say they will collect you at 5.05am then that is the time they will be there. They look after you in a way we are not used to - Ahmed met us around midnight at Cairo to get us on a connecting flight that left in less than one hour due to a delay at LHR, he had got us our visas in preparation and pushed our baggage whilst we ran behind him, bundling us into the right building. He was amazing. Down points - none that are important. The street vendors are a pain, you have to just act like you can't see them and they go away eventually. Tipping is a nuisance - but you just do it and get used to it. It is HOT in August but there are no queues!! By 9am it is too hot to be outdoors in comfort. There are a lot of early starts but this is ok because you are back to the boat early and can sleep if you want and at least you avoid the heat of the day. Oh and be warned - the salt is in the pepper pot and vice versa on the tables in the restaurant on board! I took half Egyptian pounds and half dollars - I didnt use the dollars at all. And if you know someone that has already done a Nile Cruise and has a galebeya they can lend you - you could borrow it for the galebeya night and save yourself a bit of cash! Oh and someone asked about the laundry service on board. I had a pair of shorts washed and ironed - returned same day and cost the princely sum of 35p!! We have just come back from 7 days on the Darakum and here are my thoughts. I thought the boat, service and guide in general were excellent. I was not aware of any "teething problems" and whilst the decor may not be to everyone's taste, we sure some much worse examples on the Nile! Now some specifics. We did not discover what a superior room entailed. I would guess it typically means "on a higher deck", but how busy the boat is and other logistics, seems to be just as important for cabin allocation. We were on deck 2-and had no complaints, though I think deck 1 might be a little too low. Most rooms are on decks 2 and 3 with a few on 1 and 4. It is worth knowing that there are twin and double cabins. As for drinks, bear in mind that this is a Muslim country and therefore are taxed to hell. Local beer is around £2.50 a bottle (which is OK) but wine is a crippling £15 a bottle. That said there is little else to spend your money on the boat. To clarify no cash changes hand until the end (except in the shop). Also be aware that not all the people on the boat are likely to be from the same country and some may be half way through their cruise when you start (ie they are going Aswan to Aswan rather than Luxor to Luxor). Hi all, Just come back from a week on the Darakum. The ship was not full so cannot comment on how crowded it may be when fully loaded. However, it was a FANTASTIC holiday. The ship is well decorated, the food is first class and ALL the staff friendly. Drinks are reasonably priced - our Luxor hotel was more expensive. I would avoid rooms 210 and 211 as they have the ladders covering the lower 50cm of their windows (we moved here for one day after our bathroom started to leek). Of all the boats we saw along the Nile the Darakum was certainly one of the best - if not THE best. Our independant guide agreed it was the best he had seen. Would go again in a heartbeat! We are very fussy but we loved it. We have recently returned from a fantastic week on the brand new Nile cruiser MS Darakum maiden voyage. The boat is very modern, contemporary egyptian in design. Lots of glass, chrome and mirrors. Exceptionally clean. The staff were brilliant and did everything to give us a pleasant cruise. Rooms are of a reasonable size, with a lovely bathroom and they are cleaned and towels changed twice a day. The food was excellent with a buffet breakfast and lunch and set dinner, usually 3 or 4 course, and the deserts were to die for. There is a small indoor gym with treadmill weights and a bike, overseen by Amir who gave a very relaxing massage. Our Egyptologist was very knowledgable and we visited several fantastic temples as well as tombs in the Valleys of the Kings and Queens. The culture of Egypt is one of tipping, drivers, guides etc, but it is very difficult to get small denominations of Egyptian pounds so take a supply of 50p and £1 coins as most people will accept these. We cruised on the nile on the ss Misr in the last week in March 2008. There is a lot of space on the boat, inside and out. The pool is only really a plunge pool. There is only two rooms with outside seating (front panoramic suites), the balconies do not have the space for a chair but then most of the other boats do not have any balconies. The boat and the crew are excellent. Nothing is too much trouble.Extremely clean, great food and a incredibly attentive crew. This boat is far superior to the Hamees, the other Voyage Jules Verne boat and is certainly worth the upgrade, even walking through (which you do when docked). Just got back from a cruise on the SS Misr. Absolutely excellent in every respect; there were just 40 passengers. Outnumbered by incredibly efficient and pleasant crew. It may be a more expensive vessel to travel on but it has got to be the best in the business. The boat is bookable through Voyages Jules Verne only. A tip; if you want the very best views from the Misr, specify a cabin on the starboard side when you book-you will be facing out into the river when moored. Port side is acceptable as you don't spend much time in your cabin but you will be moored up against other and larger boats on occasions, and you could end up feeling a bit like a troglodyte. Also, if you want a double bed, specify this when you book, as about half the cabins have twin beds. I know its a bit late but we have just returned from our trip down the Nile on SS Misr booked through VJV. Wow! what a fantastic steam ship. It was truly first class and we were thoroughly overwhelmed by the ship, the crew, the food, the guides and the whole itinerary. There were over 60 staff for 45 guests and we were royally treated, nothing was too much trouble. If you are looking to 'do' the Nile in style SS Misr is the only way to go. Absolutely fabulous! Birder on the Nile Against a backdrop of antiquities, the desert, the Red Sea & Africa’s greatest river, Egypt is one of the wonders of the birding world. Dominic Mitcell reports. Amid the noise and bustle of early morning in one of the world’s largest cities, I awoke to watch the sun rise over its mighty river. Against a backdrop of minarets and the Cairo skyline, with the call to prayer as the soundtrack, parties of Cattle Egrets made their way back and forth across surging water that would have started its long journey as a cloudburst far to the south in tropical Africa. From the ground or from the air, the Nile is an impressive sight to behold. The first time I saw the river, many years previously, it was from more than 30,000 ft up, on a flight to Luxor. Having crossed high over an azure Mediterranean Sea and seemingly endless miles of golden dunes and desert, we had eventually descended towards the long, thin ribbon of blue, edged either side with verdant green, that is the Nile Valley. From the air it’s easy to appreciate the importance of this life giving river in a country which is more than 90 per cent desert. On this latest trip, though, our arrival after dark the previous evening had offered a different take on Egypt’s landmarks, with the looming shapes of the Giza pyramids easily discernible on the edge of Cairo’s illuminated nightscape. Nile high From the delta to Upper Egypt, the importance of the Nile to the country’s birds cannot be underestimated. In the north, where our own journey started, the countless channels, ditches and marshes that the river feeds have created an extensive mosaic of wetland and farmland rich in exciting species. In the vast delta region you need to know where to look, but with somewhere approaching 30 trips to the country already under his belt, this was not an issue for Andrew Grieve, leader of the forthcoming Birdwatch reader holiday and my traveling companion in the country. Delta birding was particularly memorable at Abassa, where the fish ponds and marshes were teeming with extraordinary numbers of birds. Cattle Egrets were omnipresent, sometimes in their thousands, while one particularly productive marsh produced dozens each of Squacco and Night Herons and a trio of kingfisher species – a rare hat-trick in the Western Palearctic. The impressive White-breasted Kingfisher, an Asian speciality here at its westerly limit, was both the most numerous and the most noisy, but hovering black-and-white Pieds were a frequent sight too; the so-called ‘Common’ Kingfisher was the rarest. In such habitats waders are also abundant, with Spur-winged Lapwing, Wood and Marsh Sandpipers, Ruff and Little Stint the most numerous. Careful scanning of the rank vegetation produced small numbers of Common Snipe, but it took a while longer to find one of the country’s most wanted waders, Greater Painted-snipe. Eventually we located a single bird, although as I discovered the hard way on this trip they are much easier to flush than to watch on the ground! While waterbirds dominated, there were other distractions. Raptors find no shortage of prey here, and as well as the ubiquitous Yellow-billed Kites (now widely split from Black Kite) and Marsh Harriers, we enjoyed views of Black-winged Kite, Montagu’s Harrier, Steppe Buzzard and a brief Barbary Falcon. Out in the damp fields the commonest passerine was often Red-throated Pipit, flocks of which constantly picked their way along furrows and through rank grass, and an interesting assortment of wagtails included several of the local Eygptian form of Yellow, pygmaea. Stands of reed held Clamorous Reed Warblers and the occasional Bluethroat, while both Streaked Weaver and Red Avadavat are also possible in the delta. We weren’t in luck with the former here, but succeeded with good views of the latter species at the productive oasis of Fayoum, to the southwest of Cairo. Mention should also be made of two other specialities for which Egypt is famous. The delta region is home to the Western Palearctic’s only Senegal Coucals, a skulking species best searched for in spring when it is more vocal and easier to locate. Hopes were not high for our October visit, so it was with great delight that we enjoyed views in the open of this large but unobtrusive bird at Gebel Asfar. We also managed to find the equally sought-after Senegal Thick-knee, a species I hadn’t seen on my previous trip to the country, though the handful we saw in the north would soon be eclipsed by our experiences in Upper Egypt. Great lake It doesn’t take too long to fly from Cairo along the Nile to Abu Simbel, on the shores of Lake Nasser in the extreme south of the country. The position of the lake not far from the border with Sudan explains its long-standing attraction to birders as well as Egyptologists, for whom Upper Egypt holds treasures in abundance. Several Afrotropical species regularly occur here but nowhere else in the Western Palearctic, although seeing them all in one trip is a tall order. Having checked into our hotel and scoured the grounds for migrants, which included several handsome Masked Shrikes as well as the resident White-crowned Wheatears, we headed for the lake shore on the edge of the town to begin the search. It wasn’t long before the first speciality, African Pied Wagtail, gave itself up, and several of these handsome black-and-white birds showed very well as they flitted around the water’s edge. More frustrating were the views out across the water, with a stork on a distant island arousing strong suspicion that it was a Yellow-billed. Unfortunately, in the high temperatures and heat haze, it was just not possible to resolve enough detail on the bird, and we had to resign ourselves to only a ‘probable’ for the trip list. Compensation quickly came in the form of another African speciality, however, when careful scrutiny of the wader flocks on the shore revealed no fewer than 10 Kittlitz’s Plovers. Eventually, with the sun beginning to drop in the late afternoon sky and the temperatures cooling, we decided to try a nearby marsh for Greater Painted-snipe. Pre-roost gatherings of more than 10 each of African Pied Wagtail and Senegal Thick-knee seemed like good omens, as did a Spotted Crake stalking through the edge of the reeds, but the light was rapidly fading. Further searching failed to come up with anything until there was a sudden shout from Andrew, standing on higher ground some yards behind me. “Egyptian Nightjar!” I spun around just as a pallid, falcon-like shape shot past, chasing insects along the edge of the marsh into the twilight. It was a brief but euphoric encounter with a lifer I had not really expected to see on the trip. Our birding appetites sated, that evening we relaxed by enjoying what most visitors come to Abu Simbel to see: the temples of Ramses II and Nefertari. Moved from their original location when the Aswan Dam was built and Lake Nasser flooded, these imposing monuments of ancient Egypt draw tourists in large numbers from around the world. Floodlit after dark, they are also the backdrop for a spectacular ‘sound and light’ show enjoyed by hundreds of visitors each evening. We duly took our seats among the English contingent, put on our headphones and sat back to enjoy the audio commentary as images of the pharaohs were projected across the temples and rock face in front of us. As the audience listened and watched, the occasion was dramatically interrupted when, for the second time in several hours, Andrew exclaimed “Egyptian Nightjar!” at the top of his voice. As startled tourists looked in our direction, I briefly glimpsed the bird’s ghostly silhouette as it hawked moths in the powerful beams of the floodlights. Beyond the valley After Abu Simbel, our route took us back down the Nile to Aswan, where from our base at the magnificent Old Cataract Hotel – where Agatha Christie is said to have written Death on the Nile – we took a superb trip in a small boat exploring the reed fringed backwaters of the river. Here, Striated Heron, Greater Painted-snipe, Little Bittern, Purple Swamp-hen and numerous other waterbirds gave exceptionally close views, unfazed by our presence on the water. We parted company with the great river at Luxor, in the shadow of the Valley of the Kings, and after birding the hotspot of Crocodile Island struck out across the desert towards the Red Sea coast – a long but essential drive if some of the country’s most exciting species are to feature in your plans. Few western visitors travel down the Red Sea coast as far as Wadi Gamel, but the birding rewards are well worth the journey. We found sought after species like Greater Crested Tern, White-eyed and Sooty Gulls and Crab-plover, all high on birding wants lists, and autumn is also a good time for the hard to-find Sooty Falcon – another lifer I was lucky to see several times in the area. This dashing raptor and Lanner Falcon both appeared occasionally around our hotel at Wadi Gamel, no doubt hunting the abundant migrants which take cover in the gardens of this otherwise barren landscape. Every stroll around the grounds brought interesting birds: Red-throated Pipits, Common Redstarts and Willow Warblers were among the more numerous migrants, but others included Short-toed Lark, Sardinian Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher. On two occasions we watched a Corncrake feeding in the flower beds at close range, while on another it was an exhausted Namaqua Dove that gave confiding views. From Wadi Gamel, it is possible to reach the edge of the Halaib triangle – the disputed territory in the extreme south-east of the country currently under Egyptian control (see Birdwatch 122: 25-28) – and find Lappet-faced Vulture at just about its only likely location in the Western Palearctic. A number of these impressive scavengers were on the wing when we arrived at the border town of Shelatein, where camel carcasses provide ready meals for this species and Egyptian Vulture, as well as that ubiquitous corvid of the desert, Brown-necked Raven. Shelatein’s other speciality is African Collared Dove, yet another species at the edge of its range here. It was barely more than a week since we had arrived in the country, but this camel-stop in the desert felt a world away from Cairo. Such contrasts are part of the appeal of Egypt as a destination – dramatic and different landscapes, from the lush greenery of the delta and the blue waters of the Nile itself to the barren emptiness of the vast deserts and imposing mountains. Add the antiquities and the avian attractions, as well as the hospitable people and hot climate, and it is a winning formula for a memorable holiday. Acknowledgements References: 1. Collins Guide to the Birds of Britain & Europe with N. Africa & The Middle East. 3. Trip Reports posted on the Web. This report conforms to the following format:- 1. A brief introduction. 2. A table of common species seen along the Nile. 3. A day-by-day account of the sites visited with birding highlights. 4. A selective species trip list. 5. Summary. Introduction This was a family holiday selected by my wife, travelling with Voyages Jules Verne on one of the more “up-market” vessels (The SS MISR – King Farouq’s refurbished steamer), currently sailing on the Nile River. Having previously travelled widely in the Middle East, there was only really one target bird; the Nile Valley Sunbird, with an outside chance of Kittlitz’s Plover. The River cruise produced some good birds in a relaxed atmosphere, unlike the usual rushing around that I achieve whilst abroad. Common Species The following table contains a list of common species that can be easily seen in good numbers from Luxor, South to Aswan along the Nile River. Scientific Name Common Name Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant Ardeola ralloides Squacco Heron Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret Egretta garzetta Little Egret Ardea cinerea Grey Heron Ardea purpurea Purple Heron Circus aeruginosus Eurasian Marsh Harrier Falco tinnunculus Common Kestrel Gallinula chloropus Moorhen Porphyrio porphyrio madagascariensis Purple Gallinule Fulica atra Coot Himantopus himantopus Black-winged Stilt Vanellus spinosus Spur-winged Plover Larus ridibundus Black-headed Gull Streptopelia senegalensis Laughing Dove Ceryle rudis Pied Kingfisher Upupa epops Hoopoe Hirundo rustica savignii Egyptian Barn Swallow Motacilla alba White Wagtail Corvus (carone) cornix Hooded Crow Passer domesticus House Sparrow Day by Day Itineraries with highlights 19 Mar 07 We flew from Gatwick at 0945, although this was delayed by an hour, which appears to be the normal state of affairs. The flight can hardly be recommended but achieved the desired aim after many queues for a number of reasons. We arrived on board our vessel the MS MISR at about 1930 local time (2 hours in front of UK time), settled in and enjoyed dinner on board. Day 1 – 20 Mar 07 The boat had sailed from Luxor to Esna barrage overnight and in the morning light continued to Edfu. Two Garganeys, several Whiskered Terns and five Purple Gallinules were noted. Further down the Nile, the only Slender-billed Gulls, five Spoonbill and several Glossy Ibis made an appearance. At Edfu – Temple of Horus, two Blue-cheeked Bee-eater and two Brown-necked Ravens were noted amongst the impressive buildings. We re-boarded the boat after some hectic haggling (Life of Brian style), with some zealous vendors and journeyed to Kom Ombo. Whilst on route along the river the only Ruff of the trip, a Night Heron, another Spoonbill and several more Gallinule were noted. The only two Egyptian Geese were also noted on this leg of the journey. Day 2 – 21 Mar 07 Today saw an early morning visit to Kom Ombo. From the boat a small long tailed bird was seen it was surely a Nile Valley Sunbird, although better views were required. We were not disappointed and the gardens under the Temple revealed two pairs of these superb little birds, the males in full breeding regalia. With migration well under way, several Lesser Whitethroats flitted about whilst the local Graceful Prinias and Common Bulbuls were in good voice. A familiar Reed Warbler like song from a bush was soon identified as an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler with its typical tail pumping action. The boat then sailed from Kom Ombo to Aswan with the target bird safely secured on day two, which was a relief. The now familiar riverside birds continued to show and were complemented by several flocks of wildfowl, one of which contained three Ferruginous Ducks. Day 3 – 22 Mar 07 We awoke in Aswan and set out to visit the Temple of Philae. A White-crowned Black Wheatear was seen by the jetty and a cracking male Masked Shrike also showed well. A Little Green Heron was seen on a rocky outcrop and several Gull-billed Terns circled the boat. On the Island, at least another four Nile Valley Sunbirds entertained us, an Osprey put in a brief appearance as did five Red-rumped Swallows and about sixty White Pelicans roosted on a nearby beach. We viewed a thermal full of Black Kites from the temple some of which were of the Yellow-billed sub-species. Later in the afternoon we took a Felucca ride to Kitchener Island which produced another two male Nile Valley Sunbirds, a male Bluethroat (red spot), ten Ferruginous Duck and the usual common migrants. Day 4 – 23 Mar 07 A 0315 wake-up call and an early departure saw us heading for Abu Simbel. Our arrival was greeted with a White-crowned Wheatear, another Hoopoe was seen as was a Graceful Prinia but the only new bird was a very pale grey coloured Crested Lark. After lunch, we set sail north for our return to Luxor. Between Aswan and Kom Ombo the only Senegal Thick Knees were noted, along with two more Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters and a White Pelican. Numerous Pied Kingfishers and the Egyptian sub-species of Barn Swallow continued to circle the vessel as we sat in the sun and enjoyed a beer or two. From Kom Ombo to Edfu, a Clamourous Reed Warbler was heard and the only Ringed Plover of the trip was seen. Day 5 – 24 Mar 07 The usual and common birds were seen on this leg of the journey between Esna and Luxor with no new birds for the trip being added. Day 6 – 25 Mar 07 The group briefly stopped at the Colossi of Memnon but not before adding two Black-shouldered Kites on route. These striking birds appear to be present in small numbers around the cultivated fields of Luxor. At the statues three displaying Fan-tailed Warblers were seen, another Masked Shrike and two Stonechat. The Temple of Hatshepsut was next and we added Trumpeter Finch and two Brown-necked Ravens here whilst Pale Crag Martins continued to be present at all Temple sites and several authentic Rock Doves were seen. Later in the Valley of the Kings, at least fifteen Trumpeter Finches came to a bowl of water and some seed which allowed some close photos to be taken (by my wife) of this at times difficult bird to connect with. Whilst departing the site a Little Green Bee-eater perched on a rock. An short afternoon walk by the Traveline moorings produced good views of a Clamourous Reed Warbler and another Night Heron. Of interest during an evening visit to Luxor Temple was a noisy roost of Godfrey’s Tomb Bat. Day 7 – 26 Mar 07 On route to the Temple of Karnak another Black-shouldered Kite sat on telegraph wires and a Hoopoe fed along the roadside. The journey to the airport produced several of the ubiquitous Pied Kingfishers, several Pallid Swifts overhead and one more Black-shouldered Kite, a species that appears to be quite common around the cultivated farmland of Luxor. Selective Species List Scientific Name Common Name Remarks Tachybaptus ruficollis Little Grebe 2 seen on the southerly journey between Esna and Edfu Pelecanus onocrotalus Great White Pelican A flock of circa 60 seen roosting from Philae Temple and later migrating North with 1’s along the river Ixobrychus minutus Little Bittern 1 along the river between Kom Ombo and Aswan Nycticorax nycticorax Black-crowned Night Heron Singletons seen along the river but not numerous Butorides striatus Little Green Heron 3 birds seen 2 on the river between Kom Ombo and Aswan, 1 whilst approaching Philae Temple Egretta alba Great White Egret Only 2 birds seen between Kom Ombo and Aswan on the 21st Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis 1s & 2s along the river with a large flock of c60 between Kom Ombo and Aswan Platalea leucorodia Eurasian Spoonbill 5 birds seen on a river island between Esna and Edfu and 1 seen between Edfu and Kom Ombo Alopochen aegyptiacus Egyptian Goose 2 were seen on a river island between Edfu and Kom Ombo Anas penelope Eurasian Wigeon Small groups seen along the river Anas crecca Eurasian Teal 8 birds seen in 2 groups Anas acuta Northern Pintail 2 drakes at Aswan with Northern Shoveller and 1 with the same species between Edfu and Kom Ombo Anas querquedula Garganey 3 birds seen, 2 drakes and 1 duck along the river with Northern Shoveller Anas clypeata Northern Shoveller Large flocks seen all along the river Aythya nyroca Ferruginous Duck 3 between Esna and Edfu. 10 from Kitchener Island Aythya fuligula Tufted Duck Small parties (mostly drakes) along the river between Edfu and Kom Ombo Elanus caeruleus Black-shouldered Kite 2 near the Colossi of Memnon, 1 over the fields near Luxor and 1 on the way to the airport on the final day Milvus migrans Black Kite Numerous over Philae Temple with singletons seen elsewhere Milvus migrans parasitus African "Yellow-billed" Kite Birds contained within the thermal at Philae were of this Ssp Pandion haliaetus Osprey 1 at Philae Temple Burhinus senegalensis Senegal Thick-knee 11 seen on the return journey between Aswan and Kom Ombo on a “beach” Charadrius hiaticula Ringed Plover 1 seen during the return journey up-river between Aswan and Kom Ombo Philomachus pugnax Ruff A group of 8 were seen on an river island between Edfu and Kom Ombo Gallinago gallinago Common Snipe 1 at Edfu – flushed by a Marsh Harrier and one along the river between Aswan and Kom Ombo Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 2 were seen feeding between Esna and Edfu Tringa totanus Common Redshank 1 seen between Aswan and Kom Ombo Tringa stagnatilis Marsh Sandpiper 1 seen between Aswan and Kom Ombo Actitis hypoleucos Common Sandpiper Singletons seen throughout the trip along the river Larus genei Slender-billed Gull A group of 5 seen between Esna and Edfu Gelochelidon nilotica Gull-billed Tern Common around Philae Temple with 1s along the river Chlidonias hybridus Whiskered Tern Good numbers seen all along the river Chlidonias leucopterus White-winged Black Tern Small numbers mixed with the above and a group of 20 heading North between Esna and Edfu on the 20th Columba livia Rock Dove Authentic birds seen at the Temple of Hatshepsut Streptopelia turtur Turtle Dove 1 bird seen at Philae Temple Apus apus Common Swift Good numbers migrating in the second half of the week Apus pallidus Pallid Swift Probably mixed with the previous species but 5 positively identified on the return to the airport Merops orientalis Little Green Bee-eater 1s & 2s seen at Kom Ombo, Abu Simbel and Valley of the Kings Merops persicus Blue-cheeked Bee-eater A flock of 18 seen between Esna and Kom Ombo, with a pair at Edfu Temple and several around Luxor Galerida cristata Crested Lark 2 seen. 1 at Abu Simbel and 1 at the Colossi of Memnon Ptyonoprone fuligula Pale Rock Martin Seen regularly in small numbers at all Temples Hirundo daurica Red-rumped Swallow A group of 5 seen over Philae Temple Motacilla flava Yellow Wagtail Singletons seen along the river Mortacilla (flava) feldegg Black-headed wagtail 1 seen between Edfu and Kom Ombo Pycnonotus barbatus Common Bulbul Fairly common - 1s & 2s seen in suitable habitat Luscinia svecica Bluethroat 1 male seen on Kitchener Island Saxicola torquata Stonechat A male and female at the Colossi of Memnon Oenanthe leucopyga White-crowned Black Wheatear 2 at Philae Temple, 2 at Abu Simbel and one at the boat jetty to Philae Temple Cisticola juncidis Zitting Cisticola Several seen in grasslands bordering the River Prinia gracilis Graceful Prinia 1s & 2s heard and seen in reeds along the river Acrocephalus stentoreus Clamourous Reed Warbler Heard along the river and 1 seen in reeds near Luxor Hippolais pallida Olivaceous Warbler Migrants seen and heard in suitable habitat Sylvia curruca Lesser Whitethroat Good numbers seen at Philae Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and singletons seen throughout in suitable habitat Anthrepetes metallicus Nile Valley Sunbird At least 8 seen in pairs, including stunning males in suitable habitat at Kom Ombo Temple, Kitchener Island and Philae Temple (nest seen) Lanius nubicus Masked Shrike 3 at Philae Temple and 1 at the Colossi of Memnon Corvus ruficollis Brown-necked Raven 2 at Edfu Temple of Horus and 2 at the Temple of Hatshepsut Bucanetes githagineus Trumpeter Finch 4 at the Temple of Hatshepsut and common in the Valley of the Kings (photographed coming to water) Summary The trip produced the target bird! A Cruise along the River Nile is an ideal relaxed way to bird watch, whilst keeping the family happy and enjoying the Egyptian historical sites. The excursion to Abu Simbel is a little tiring and a little over-priced, with not many birds on offer (unless you are lucky enough to encounter something like an African Skimmer on Lake Nasser, however, to go that far and not visit the site would be a shame. I would recommend a cruise for the above reasons but if you are looking for a large list this is not the trip for you. Take care in selecting a vessel to travel on, as many look tired and not in particularly good order. • The Nile cruise ship was one of the best we saw (M/S Hamees). The guides were fantastic. Contrary to some comments that I have read, we found them to be 100% trustworthy and honest. Trust them. They know the ropes and will take care of you.


  • 2006
    • M/S SunRay

      Kerst

      Cheshire

      Oct 05, 2006, 10:55 AM

      Went on MS Sun Ray as part of a 16 day holiday at beginning of September, would recommend this boat to anyone! There were 4 in our party ages ranging from 30's -60's and we all thought it was one of the best experiences ever! On arrival we were taken to the boats private docking place and welcomed on board, despite arriving quite late in the evening the staff served us a full meal. It is apparently one of the newest ships on the Nile and quite contemporary with a marble reception area. I was at first a little disappointed as I felt the room was a little outdated, mainly the bathroom but this impression only inproved during the stay. Compared to the other boats we saw, and there are lots I do not htink it can be beaten. Service was excellent, it was half full when we were there so 2 staff per passenger. All Staff were willing to please and one day when I missed lunch the manager came to check I was OK and not feeling unwell. They will cater to your every dietary requirement and the food was of a very high standard as was hygiene, none of us were ill and ate everything. This was important to us because no bad tummy meant we missed no sightseeing! It was exceptionally clean, room service 3 times a day!! The rooms are of a good size we had upgraded room but I think they were all of a reasonable size and standard! There is nightly entertainment on board including the Egyptian night when you have to dress up! It was a very relaxed atmosphere on board with no strict dress code, smart casual but I don't think anyone felt out of place. I really can not fault this boat or our holiday in general. You can pay with travellors cheques, credit card or cash and it is very reasonable. Tipping staff is at the end guide £1.50- 3.00 pp per day staff and £1.50 pp per day guide. You will need lots of small change as tipping is a way of life and needed daily for drivers, toilets etc.. Take antiseptic hand wash or wipes as money is dirty to avoid tummy bugs! It is v hot even in shade despite not being summer and a hat is advisable. There is no dress code for sightseeing, despite it being a muslim country shorts and vests are acceptable apart from in mosques if you visit any! I would not miss out on extra trips especially Abu Simbel!!!! The light shows are also v good! I never felt threatened and was always treated very respectfully. There are lots of people selling things by the sights but it did not cause me any offense and I felt safe to walk alone! It is excellent, take lots of memory cards you will need them!



  • 2005
    • M/S SunRay
      LolaB

      UK

      Sep 01, 2005, 2:55 PM

      We went first week of Nov 2004. The boat was in very new, clean condition. Good quality furnishings. Food was excellent - we ate everything and didn't pick up any tummy bugs. Service was excellent. I am quite fussy but couldn't fault anything. Thoroughly recommended. Do a search for Sunray (without the space in between) and you'll see my review). We went with Kuoni - highly professional, guides were great.



  • Comments Published On Tripadvisor
    • “CALM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORM!”

      Date of review: Feb 3, 2011
      4 of us girls set off for an exciting long week-end in Cairo!!! Thank goodness we picked the Mena House, Giza and travelled with Carrier/Traveline. The hotel and grounds were an oasis of calm and luxury whilst the outside World was falling apart. We managed our first trip to the Pyramids but had to be returned to the hotel before 1pm.
      Thereafter we were not allowed out until our return home on Monday. Under the circumstances, the high standards set by the hotel never wavered, although some of the staff were understandably nervous, especially during the curfew when they could not get home to ensure the safety of their families. They kept apologizing for the problems and did everything they could to assure us that we were not in danger. So 3 days sat around a super swimming pool in lovely sunshine was actually quite relaxing for us - tanks at the gate and automatic gunfire through the night - well yes we were greatly relieved when told that our flight had actually taken off from London and Carrier/Traveline would get us safely to the airport. Had we have made our own online booking, then a taxi to the airport would probably have been a no no..........Howard Travel, Trowbridge, also kept us fully up to date with events and even had alternative flights ready for us should we have needed them. We can't recommend this hotel/travel agent highly enough - if they can keep us girls safe and happy when all around is in chaos - what more can we say apart from 'we'll definitely be back' and good luck to you all.
      • Date of stay: January 2011
      • Visit was for: Leisure
      • Traveled with: With Friends
      • Age group: 35-49
      • Member since: March 18, 2008



      M/S Darakum

      Sep 11, 2010, 4:17 AM

      My Wife and i just returned from a great cruise on the Nile on the MS Darakum. We booked through Kuoni who were very good. I used their Concierge service to ask questions before we went.
      The Darakum is a beautiful boat; we had the panoramic suit at the front right hand side and i would advise if you can run to it to book this one. There are two panoramic suits on the Darakum and if you take the net curtains down you get a fantastic view as you sail along the Nile. Food is really good especially the beef wellington.
      The staff go out of their way to help, you are even invited to visit the kitchen and Bridge. They take pride in what they do and it shows in the service they provide
      Do book the optional tours the visit by a 30 minute air flight from Aswan to Abu Simbu is worth the money as is the balloon flight over the valley of the kings/ Nile. That is an early riser event (4.30am) but the experience and view far out ways this. Book them both before you go as they are cheaper.
      You have to get up really early to visit the ancient temples but it is worth it as they are breath taking. You are usually back by lunch before it gets too hot. We went at the beginning of September and the temperature got to 47 one day. If you go later the temperature is less but there are more people visiting then so the temples and sites will get busy.
      There were only 30 people on the Darakum when we went (she can take 105) so no problems with sun beds.
      Our guide Marco was informative and great fun, he gave our group the name 'Habibi' which means darling. He did this to get our attention when going round the temples.
      The Eqyptian culture is one of tipping and it is very difficult to get low denomination notes in England before you go. As soon as you can get small notes - 5LE, 10LE and 20LE are useful. We took some English £1 and 50p which we gave out as tips which they did take as tips. The more enterprising of the Egyptians will try to swop these with other tourists for LE so watch for that one. You can, however, get good exchange rates from them.
      Also haggling with traders can be wearing but if you don't want their goods we were advised to completely ignore them; they do go away.
      The Darakum appears to be one of the best boats on the Nile; you see some going past, and well i would have been very disapointed to have spent my time on these.
      The Darakum is more expensive than most and the cost of the panoramic suite certainly bumps the price up but to my mind it was well worth it. The Darakum is in Kuoni's top 10 for culture in the world and i can see why.


      Darakum…

      Date of review: Feb 11, 2010
      My husband & I have just come back from Egypt after staying 3 nights at this hotel before flying to Luxor to do a 7 day Nile cruise aboard the MS Darakum.
      The hotel and staff were very good although we were slightly apprehensive after reading some reviews on Tripadvisor. We paid for a pyramids view room and were not disappointed, the view was fab. The food was excellent and we ate in the hotel both nights. We did however find the prices varied, and on checking out discovered the prices for "room service" were cheaper than if you'd bought in the bar.
      We traveled with Kuoni and have to say that we were waiting around alot for people at other hotels when we were on the 2 organised trips. The local reps were a bit of a joke and seemed to lack any sense of "get up & go" when we were quite obviously on a timed schedule, so much so we were nearly an hour late getting to Museum which cut our time there. The Eygptologist Angie however was excellent and very informative.

      PLEASE BE AWARE - the day we left (1 Feb) we woke to major building work around the pool area, we were told previously that the pool would be shut for maintenance work! This is NOT maintenance work this is MAJOR reconstruction and when the work is finished it will look great. The manangement did offer us another room until we checked out because of the noise levels, it was very noisy!

      Our flight to Luxor was good and we boarded the MS DARAKUM late afternoon - WOW! what a fabulous boat, The staff were fantastic and could not do enough for you, cabins and general decor etc. was great and very clean.
      We were exceptionally lucky to have a fantastic Egyptologist with us Mr Medhat Saad, very knowledgable, informatative and showed us parts of temples etc. that other tour guides were not going to, due to his vast experience. He was very punctual and knew from his many years of doing this job what times to get to the sites to avoid the masses - brilliant!

      The food on the boat was excellent, and my husband & I were lucky not to get the dreaded "mummy's curse". We put this down to obviously not drinking the water, not even cleaning our teeth in the tap water. Another tip which we thinked helped was although they clean all the salad stuff with bottled water we did not any salads.
      If we have to be critical about the boat it would be that they do not provide tea & coffee after meals, you have to pay for all drinks except afternoon tea served at 5pm. The other thing is there is little entertainment, only 2 shows and a Gelabeys party where you all dress up. This turned out to be a "damp squid" as we had some photos and then-nothing, and most people went to bed for the lack of anything happening.

      All in all would I go back and do it all again - yes - tomorrow. Would I recommend it to anyone - you bet. It is one of the best holidays we've had and usually we both like a beach holiday and we don't usually do a "doing holiday".




      3. Re: British Tour companies visiting Egypt
      Jan 13, 2010, 12:35 PM

      We did a nile cruise with Kuoni on the Darakum. It was amazing .The service from picking up at the airport and all the coach trips to the sights were excellent. The guide on the trip was superb. Spoke about the sights with great knowledge and also had a good sense of humour.Trip was helped by meeting some amazing people on the boat. Full marks to Kuoni and I will be booking with them soon to go to Cairo.


      S/S Misr

      If budget allows then look into one of the three steam ships that operate on the Nile (SS Karim, SS Misr, SS Sudan) or even one of the smaller river-going sailboats called dahabiyas - smaller passenger numbers, vintage style luxury, a gentler cruising pace, overnight berths away from the rest of the diesel driven motor ships. We were just on the SS Misr for a week and had an elegant room furnished with antiques and a marble and glass bathroom, a charming balcony with 'New Orleans' style trim, just 40 fellow passengers making up a nice 'house party' set with ages ranging from 20's to 70's, and the food was fantastic (often made to individual order) and served by charming liveried staff onto proper china with silver cutlery and crystal glasswares. As for value then it may cost more at the outset but our peripherals (ie. your 'tab') were half the price of the standard diesel ship we were on Lake Nasser during our second week despite the quality being x100!


       “Superb”

      • Date of review: Sep 9, 2010
      • All in all an excellent experience. We also used Traveline to organise our two day trips, to St Catherine's monastary and snorkling and cannot recommend Beshoy and Sabty highly enough. Beshoy's enthusiasm was infectious


      “A Truly Wonderful Experience of Egypt”

      Date of review: Jan 3, 2010
      Having arrived at midnight, our Traveline Rep was still willing to be helpful and we enjoyed an hours walk along the bank of the Nile and to the gates of Luxor Temple with him. The Hotel staff made us feel very welcome and nothing was too much trouble when we requested a room with a view over the Nile. Our room and meals were more than we had anticipated. We look forward to our next visit.



 
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