Additional Information About Travel to Egypt
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your tour guide and driver a gratuity. Your WEST tour coordinator will collect the gratuity at any point during the tour (many travelers like to pay ahead of time to get it out of the way). Although it is not required, your driver and tour guides rely on these tips, and work hard to ensure you an unforgettable experience. We recommend tipping the equivalence of $3 USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6 USD/CAD to $9 USD/CAD per person per day for your tour guide. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2 USD/CAD per local guide, payable following the local tour. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
For itineraries including Austria, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps. U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in order to enter Egypt. You can purchase your visa at the airport upon arrival. You can also purchase your visa in advance by using a visa provider, such as our partner VisaCentral. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
The flights for tours beginning or ending in Egypt will arrive or depart from Cairo. On-tour transportation is provided primarily by private motor coach, but may include planes, trains, boats, ferries, or other modes. In your free time, you may wish to explore the main cities by public transportation. Your tour coordinator can provide local transportation information to you for each city visited.
To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers. A sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen is recommended for outdoor activities. A small bottle of hand sanitizer may be helpful when other facilities are not readily available while on the road. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to mosques, churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).
You will use the Egyptian pound in Egypt Better rates of exchange are usually better overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take credit cards and dollar bills in small denominations. Any shipboard purchases are directly added to your room account. Purchases made from on-board shops can be paid in USD or Egyptian pounds. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don't confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges and freeze your account. International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour. Travelers checks are difficult to exchange, and should be used only as a last resort.
Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Per Egyptian Tourism Police, all foreign groups must be accompanied by an armed guard and/or convoy. Be aware of your surroundings, as pickpockets are active at most tourist sites. We recommend leaving your passport in the hotel safe, and concealing credit cards and cash in a money belt or a hidden pouch. Bring photocopies of your passport, credit cards and other important documents. Keep them separate from the originals.
At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov. lease be sure to take proper care with sun exposure, the sun can be especially strong in some of the areas you are visiting. Drink bottled water only. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing your teeth. Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication and any prescription medications in your carry on luggage. Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled. Public restrooms in Egypt can be quite bare. We suggest carrying bathroom tissue and hand sanitizer with you. If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour and any possible delays encountered. Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications may be banned in one or all of the countries on this tour. Importing these drugs can carry severe consequences, including imprisonment. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to departure to ensure that any drugs you may want to bring with you are legal in all countries you will visit. If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify us by calling 855-355-8728 at least 30 days prior to your departure.
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
Egypt operates on 220 volts and uses a Type C or F plugs with two round pins. We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter. The strength of the air conditioning in African hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what one might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel. Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Egyptian cuisine uses the bountiful harvests of the Nile Valley—corn, eggplant, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, chickpeas and citrus fruits are popular in many dishes. Don’t miss out on Egyptian interpretations of typical Mediterranean staples like baba ghannoug, falafel and stuffed grape leaves. Tea is the national drink and is offered at breakfast, after lunch and in most social situations. Meals on board the cruise ship are served buffet-style and provide a wide variety of international offerings. Afternoon tea is offered every day.
Egypt is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and nine hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). When it’s noon in California, it’s 9 pm in Cairo