Review left 3/15/2020
This trip exceeded our expectations in almost every way. The hotels varied from adequate to outstanding. All hotel meals were buffet style with excellent variety and quality. The meals that we ate away from the hotel were always interesting and tasty. The riverboat, Legacy, is a bit worn and tired, but the food and service were great.
The pyramids, tombs, temples and museums were all fantastic. Egypt is indeed one of the most unique places in the world and we were filled with wonder and awe at the accomplishments of the ancient Egyptians. Modern Egypt is not as impressive, however, as the traffic congestion is horrendous, the streets and riverbanks clogged with plastic trash, crumbling & incomplete buildings everywhere, and the air (particularly in Cairo) thick with a polluted haze. At every venue we had to run the gauntlet of aggressive vendors plying their mostly made-in-China souvenirs. There was no way to avoid them, and we just kept our eyes straight ahead and said "no thank you"
(la, shukraan in Arabic) a lot!
The program manager, Hosam El Din Amer, really went above and beyond the call of duty to make every moment of the tour exceptional. He was always friendly and concerned about each one of us, and knew all our names by the 2nd day. His knowledge of Egyptology was astonishing, and his enthusiasm for his country was unquestionable. Travel and weather delays necessitated a change in the program which he handled skillfully and quickly, such that we did not miss any of the site visits, though our last day was incredibly long.
The expert-led lectures at various venues were all interesting and educational.
The trip is rated "Keep the Pace" (3 out of 4 on the RS scale), and it's definitely challenging - uneven terrain, many steps, frequently no handrails, steep slopes, etc. The daily estimates of amount of walking were usually under-estimated. Many of us wore Fitbits and found that a day might add up to 3-4 miles, though the estimate was 1.5 miles !