Egypt, Syria, Jordan highlight tour agendas

NEW YORK -- Ancient cultures and living history continue to be the leading attractions drawing travelers to Middle East destinations, and tour operators offer a bevy of programs to the region.

A sampling of tours, with rates that are based on per person, double occupancy, follows:

  • Insight Vacations of Boston scheduled weekly departures of its seven-night Wonders of Egypt program.
  • Clients begin the trip with a three-night stay in Cairo before flying to Luxor to board a deluxe Nile cruise boat. Four nights are spent on the boat en route to Aswan, and the final night is spent in Cairo.

    Priced from $1,365 for land and from $2,370 with land and air, the program offers features such as a camel ride to the Great Pyramid of Cheops and the Sphinx, a sound and light show in Karnak and a felucca ride in Aswan.

    A longer Egypt program also is available, as are tours that visit Israel and Jordan.

    Insight Vacations
    Phone: (800) 582-8380

  • Foreign Independent Tours of Fort Lee, N.J., introduced Nile & Red Sea Treasures.
  • It includes four nights in Cairo, three nights in Hurghada by the sea, one night in Luxor, a trip to Abu Simbel by air and a four-night Nile cruise with junior suite accommodations on the ship.

    Deluxe hotels, 32 meals, private car excursion to Denderah temple, guided sightseeing and admission to the Solar Boat Museum are some of the features covered in the air and land cost of $2,995; departures are on Fridays from New York aboard EgyptAir.

    The operator also has tours covering Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

    Foreign Independent Tours
    Phone: (800) 248-3487

  • Sunny Land Tours of Hackensack, N.J., combines Jordan and Syria in a 13-night Ancient Civilizations itinerary, starting in Amman.
  • The plan includes day excursions to the Dead Sea, ancient Pella and Umm Qais, Jerash and Ajlun. The itinerary continues on the desert highway to Petra for an overnight stay and exploration of the Nabatean city.

    In Syria, tour members will visit, among other places, Palmyra, Deir-ez-Zor on the Euphrates, Aleppo and Damascus.

    Rates include air on Royal Jordanian from New York.

    Using first class hotels, the cost is $3,575; using deluxe class, $3,975.

    The operator also offers an eight-night program to Jordan and Syria, as well as a seven-night tour of Jordan only and an eight-night visit to Egypt only.

    Sunny Land Tours:
    Phone: (800) 783-7839

    JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI