Many people considering booking a holiday to Egypt may have some concerns and questions about visiting the country at the moment. We have made some notes below which will hopefully be informative and helpful. We have intentionally not gone into great detail about current political events which may be subject to rapid change. Links are provided to further resources at the end of the page.
Please contact us if you have any specific questions relating to an existing tour booking, or a tour itinerary that you are interested in.
Since we started taking travellers back to Egypt back in March 2011 after the Arab Spring revolution, up until the end of June 2013, we had to make very few revisions to our travellers’ itineraries either before they travelled, or while they were in Egypt. Following the second ‘revolution’ and the removal of President Morsi, we did not run any tours in Egypt at all from July to December 2013, but re-started operations again in 2014 following a significant improvement to the situation on the ground and a relaxation of official UK Foreign Office travel advice. Through 2014 and 2015 we took more and more tourists to Egypt, though some itinerary amendments were required, specifically avoiding the overnight trains between Cairo and Luxor/Aswan, and not visiting the Sinai Peninsular or the western desert regions. The current situation is as follows:
Our travellers’ safety is absolutely our top priority, and we will re-arrange itineraries, cancel sections of a tour, or cancel an entire booking if we feel that we can not run your tour safely. Over the last five years our UK and Egyptian teams have gained a lot of experience in both analaysing the situation on the ground and reacting to developments and making adjustments to itineraries. We will continue to act on and build on this experience.
As a company that specialises in travel to Egypt, we also have a responsibility to our Egyptian team of office staff, guides and representatives. The last few years have been a very tough time for the tourist industry in Egypt, and we want to support it as much as possible. We therefore need to strike a balance between providing flexibility to our customers, and also ensuring we try to send as many travellers to Egypt as possible. Our visitors to Egypt since the 2011 revolution have almost unanimously returned with rave reviews about their experiences and the reception they have received by the Egyptian people.
We understand that cancellation rules can sometimes be confusing, and have made some notes below that will hopefully be helpful. All bookings are covered by our standard booking conditions though we do try to be flexible with these, and often relax cancellation/rebooking rules in exceptional circumstances. As a UK company, we make decisions based on our local team’s knowledge of the situation on the ground, and also always follow the travel advice provided by the UK Foreign Office…
“No restrictions”. Under this standard advice, we will run our tours as normal, but may make minor adjustments to itineraries based on our own decisions about the situation on the ground. Our standard cancellation fees will normally apply if travellers wish to cancel their own tours due to personal concerns about visiting the country, or if they are not happy with the minor amendments we may be making.We will try to be flexible and offer alternate destinations or dates wherever possible.
“Avoid all but essential travel to part(s) of the country”. Under this raised level of advice, our decisions will depend on the part(s) of the country affected. We may well consider that there is no reason to make any changes to your tour (for example, if the travel advice only specifies Alexandria, and your tour does not visit that city, then no changes are required). If we re-arrange a small portion of a tour itinerary then we will make similar alternative arrangements for that portion without extra charge (for example an amended city tour in and around Cairo that may miss the Egyptian Museum but take in some other sites that may otherwise not have been visited. Or, the use of an alternate Red Sea resort such as Hurghada instead of Dahab). Where overnight train travel may need replacing by a sleeper train upgrade or by internal flights, you will need to pay for these upgrades one month before departure at the latest. A clear guide on possible costs will be provided at the time of booking so you can budget accordingly. If you do not want to accept theses itinerary changes or pay for the sleeper train or flight upgrades then our standard cancellation fees will apply if travellers don’t wish to travel, but we’ll offer alternate destinations or dates if possible. If we have to make significant changes (eg. missing out or changing over half the itinerary), then our travellers will be given the option to cancel and receive a refund if they wish, or to transfer to a later date or another tour in Egypt or elsewhere.
“Avoid all but essential travel to whole country”. If the Foreign Office travel advice reaches this level, then we will cancel our tour departures to the country. We will offer people booked with us to travel during the period covered either a full refund, a transfer of the same booking to another date, or an alternative tour to another destination.
Customers who have or have not booked their flights with us.
Throughout the process, we aim to stay in touch with our customers as much as possible. We will balance your concerns with our commitment to support tourism in Egypt, and will always try to be as fair and flexible as possible. This may include reducing cancellation fees, extending booking transfer arrangements, and discounting re-booking costs.
We understand that travellers booking from outside the UK may be receiving slightly different travel advice from their own government’s Foreign Office or State Department, and that their travel insurance cover may depend on that advice. In situations where conflicting official advice is causing concern, we try to be as flexible as possible. This may mean offering reduced cancellation fees or amended or no cancellation charges for changes of date that may not be required for UK customers. We do ask our non-UK customers however, to understand that we are a UK company and operate under UK law, and can not have completely separate policies and conditions for every nationality that travels with us.
Non UK residents may purchase their travel insurance us (via Endsleigh Insurance) that will provide cover that is based on UK government advice.
If you are looking for a tour and not finding what you are looking for, have a look at our best other related tours to check out for your travel plans. At Encounters Travel, we offer a variety of tours to suit your needs. So sit back, relax, and let us help you plan the perfect getaway.
This classic 10-day tour is a great introduction to the main sites of Egypt. Spend time in Cairo then head to the Nile Valley for a 1-night felucca cruise down the Nile from Luxor to Aswan, and finish with some time by the Red Sea
This tour is a comprehensive introduction to Egypt, staying in some of Egypt's best hotels. Visit the Pyramids, Sphinx & Egyptian Museum, enjoy a luxury Nile cruise between Luxor & Aswan, and finish with time at a Red Sea resort.
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