|July 21, 2010
Adventures by Disney specializes in making the wildest vacation dreams come true – whether it's living a fairytale in Bavaria or experiencing an amazing African safari. These guided group trips turn families into seasoned travelers by providing a chance to see the world in a whole new way with exciting, behind-the-scenes encounters found nowhere else, combined with Disney's famous attention to detail.
And now Adventures by Disney has just announced two brand-new itineraries for 2011 that will give travelers a chance to visit one of the most dreamed-of destinations in the world – Egypt, with its spectacular history and beguiling modern culture. Heather Killingbeck and Bruce Austin of Adventures by Disney told us all about the new trips.
Why Egypt? Heather explains, "Egypt is a hugely popular destination for Americans and one that is on most people's 'bucket list.' For us it was a natural fit. Guests have been requesting it."
Bruce describes the two trips. "We'll be offering two Egyptian itineraries filled with daily activities that are fun for the whole family.One itinerary is a one-week program featuring a journey into the heart of Cairo that includes a privately-guided tour of the mummies and ancient artifacts in the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, an up-close view of the Great Pyramids, and a visit to the tombs of Ramses VI and King Tut, just a few of the highlights. A three-day Nile River Cruise follows on a beautiful ship that sails from Aswan to Luxor."
"The alternate itinerary includes all the same elements, plus an additional two days on the Red Sea in the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh. Sharm is famous for its underwater national park full of coral reefs and arrays of colorful tropical fish, a veritable snorkeling paradise for first-time and veteran snorkelers alike."
No one knows better than Bruce what to expect – as he explains, "I spent five weeks in Egypt split between two trips. The first trip was spent looking at everything from hotels to restaurants, activities, historical sites, museums, and markets. Finding venues that match Disney's standards of family-fun and comfort requires a fair degree of applied due diligence. That level of focus is unique to Disney, and the same degree of attention is applied to every aspect of the trip."
Then the fun begins! He adds, "Once we've done all that, we plan the itinerary in more detail, always with a commitment to maintaining fun, fascination, education, and a natural sense of pacing. Once all those elements are in place, we begin the process of telling the destination's story to engage people's imaginations, whether they're Junior Adventurers or grandparents whetting their appetites for even more stories that our Adventure guides and Egyptologist will share."
Heather joined Bruce for his second, two-week planning trip. She says, "I have traveled much of the world, but had not been to Egypt. It exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I was not expecting the abundance of warmth and hospitality that was bestowed on me by just about every Egyptian I met. I was not expecting English to be as widely spoken as it is. I was not expecting to find Cairo as utterly captivating as it is. And as far as the iconic sites go ... I was thinking before my trip that there was no way they could live up to their hype, but they did and then some! I stood in awe in front of the pyramids, and simply could not stop staring at the Sphinx. And the Red Sea! One of the best seaside resort experiences of my life! There is a feeling of magic when in Egypt, and I really think I had goose bumps the entire trip because I had the sense of being surrounded by so much that is truly ancient but at the same time being in a place that is very much alive today."
Choosing a highlight from such an experience is tough, but Bruce makes a try. "For me it was discovering the astonishing array of the treasures of antiquity, from the pharaonic collections housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to the ancient temples and royal tombs along the banks of the Nile River that we'll see during the cruise portion of our itinerary – not to mention the feelings of astonishment and wonder that come with seeing the great pyramids and mysterious Sphinx for the first time! For others, it may be riding a camel past the pyramids or discovering the amazing cuisine that is unveiled from day to day on our trip. And for the shoppers of the world? Say no more! Come with Disney to the Khan el-Khalili market in Old Cairo, or the colorful souk in Aswan, and I promise that you will get very excited!"
On all Adventures by Disney trips, there are experiences travelers simply can't have with anyone else. Heather shares a few with us. "We bring on an Egyptologist specifically for this itinerary in order to give our Guests more of an in-depth exposure to the country and its bounty of antiquities. We will bring our Guests to one of the most colorful and vibrant markets in Egypt and while we do give them some free time in the market we also give each Guest a small amount of 'purchasing money' to buy a gift for our unique 'white elephant gift swap' activity. This is always a bit of a surprise to our Guests and is an activity that is usually a solid home run. Guests of all ages have fun with it and it also helps to bond the group into one large traveling family. Moreover, we include welcome and farewell entertainment on this trip as well as unique activities such as an Egyptian cooking demonstration and a papyrus-making activity at which Guests make their own souvenir to bring home!"
And, of course, every Adventures by Disney trip, anywhere in the world, has that special Disney touch – and Egypt will be no exception. Heather explains, "We have taken ALL of the guesswork out of planning a family vacation. This is the best itinerary a family will find for an adventure in Egypt. All of the hassle of planning and making reservations has been done for our Guests in advance – their vacation will be seamless. All our Guests need to do after making their reservation is pack and show up!"
Are you ready to show up – and let the adventure of a lifetime begin?
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