Written on: 05/04/2012
We spent 7 nights last week cruising the Nile between Luxor and Aswan on the MS Farah booked through Fleetway Travel, and flew to Luxor on the efficient Egypt Air where we were met by a driver and guide at the airport.
The whole experience was fabulous and it ranks as one of the best short break holidays we have ever taken. The staff on the MS Farah could not have been more professional, discreet yet friendly, from the General Manger Captain Nile Ghanem down to the chaps who cleaned our room and each day created a new piece of towel art. Cleanliness and hygiene were of the highest standards and nothing was too much trouble. Every time we returned to the boat we were given hot towels and a refreshing drink of hot local tea. The food, which was all-inclusive, was fresh, varied and extremely good with a wide choice whether it was for a buffet or a la carte menu. If anything there was too much and general consensus was that the soup chef should be awarded a star. Wine and drinks, which are not included, are relatively expensive. The bedrooms are as described by the tour operator and we were delighted to find comfortable beds with feathered pillows which provided a good nights sleep. The furnishings are contemporary and elegant with all appliances needed in the bathroom.
The small gym was regularly used and the masseur was not to be missed – excellent food massage! There is a little gift shop on board to buy your souvenirs and stunning Egyptian jewellery. There is also a little boutique where you can buy your "galabeya" the inexpensive traditional Egyptian dress for the party that the boat organises for guests, although we bought ours from sellers throwing their wares in plastic bags onto the boat from below. We spent most of our time on the fabulous sun deck with pool, sunbeds and bar where drinks are served all day plus on one day a lunchtime BBQ. You can retreat from the sun under canopies to gaze at the gorgeous scenery, smell the scents in the balmy air and listen to the call to prayer from the minarets. I could wax lyrical about this experience for pages!
The boat was only a quarter full and this contributed in part to making the time on board even more special but we would have loved it even if it had been three quarters full. Due to adverse concerns about the stability in Egypt, the tourism business has taken a massive hit which is such a shame as this area has not been affected by the upheavals seen in the north. We felt safe at all times and found the local people dignified and friendly plus the way to deal with the sellers was walking quickly through them with a firm ‘no thank you’ which was respected. We recommend visiting Egypt sooner to benefit from less tourist queues at temples and tombs.
Finally a word about our guide Gamal Nasser who is an Egyptologist and teacher. We were told he was one of the best and this proved to be the case. He spoke fluent English and not only was he knowledgeable on his subject, he was charming and ready to talk about any subject that we cared to raise. He presented his information with infectious enthusiasm and made the past come alive. Well done Gamal and well done Spring Tours, the agent in Egypt, who made it all flow seamlessly without a single hitch.
The brochure says it is a 5-star experience which does not always mean a European 5-star but in this case we certainly think it deserves the rating. We also felt it was good value. A wonderful juxtaposition of luxury and antiquity – the perfect way to see the sights.
As rated by real users
"Quick and easy" Read More
"Nice evening programme" Read More
"Everything ran smoothly" Read More
"No word from ref" Read More
"Best deal ever" Read More