This March, we were delighted to launch our 2021 calendar of tours with the Best of Egypt. While some COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, our team has been working hard to make sure that you stay safe while enjoying the signature Trafalgar experience to the full.
International travellers have been welcome in Egypt since 1 July 2020, provided they present a negative PCR test certificate on arrival. Tests must be taken within 72 hours of a flight’s departure, or 96 hours from select destinations including North America and London Heathrow. If you need some help navigating the rules, simply get in touch with Trafalgar.
John and Diana Ramsey, a husband and wife from the US, joined us in the land of the pharaohs. We caught up with the couple about what drew them to Egypt, and how Trafalgar helped them enjoy the silver linings of restricted travel. Plus, they share the story behind a rather memorable return flight…
What made you book the tour, and why now?
We saw an ad for tours to Egypt and, after investigating the costs, safety and itinerary, jumped at the opportunity to visit. We never thought it would be feasible considering the unsettling times!
It seems as though there has been a shift in travel priorities since COVID-19. What’s important to you in terms of experiences and safety?
We want travel opportunities where we can still enjoy the sites and wonders of other countries.
You’ve travelled with Trafalgar before. What has been your most memorable experience?
Our first trip with Trafalgar was to Italy in 2014 for our 30th anniversary. It couldn’t have been better – it was well planned, the tour guide was fantastic and the special activities were top-notch.
What does Egypt mean to you, and what was the appeal of travelling with Trafalgar?
Egypt is a place of wonder, with ancient histories like no other country. We love watching shows about the discoveries of antiquities, and when we saw that Trafalgar was offering a tour, we knew it would be an exceptional travel experience.
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How did it feel to be travelling again?
It was awesome to travel again! COVID-19 had put a dampener on our spirits.
What were some of the highlights of your tour?
Because of COVID-19, there were four of us. It felt like a personal guided tour. Sites weren’t crowded, so we were able to appreciate their grandeur – and take photos without interruption.
How did your Travel Director ensure your experience ran smoothly?
Essam and El Asaba were fantastic guides. They were patient, personable and good at explaining the sites, cultural differences and rules we needed to be aware of. Since we had such a small group, the guides were extremely flexible, giving us extra time and highlighting things we may not have been able to see otherwise.
Was your experience changed at all by the required health and wellbeing measures?
Only during the travel from one country or airline to another. Our time in Egypt was much more relaxed and comfortable. The test for COVID-19 to return to the US was handled flawlessly by the Trafalgar employees.
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We heard you had quite the return flight and that it was lucky you were on board. Can you tell us what happened?
It’s a long story. There was a medical emergency involving a passenger on our flight from Frankfurt to San Francisco, and I was the only qualified medical person on board. The flight crew were anticipating that they would have to divert to Iceland, but I determined it wasn’t life-threatening after examining the passenger. The crew had all the necessary equipment and medication.
With assistance from International SOS, I administered the proper medications intravenously, which greatly relieved his symptoms. For the rest of the flight, I monitored him, gave reports to the emergency personnel that were waiting in San Francisco, and helped with offloading the patient once we arrived.
Where is next on your bucket list, and will you be travelling with Trafalgar?
Our next trip will be within the US, and not involve air travel. In the future, depending on COVID-19 restrictions, we would love to travel with Trafalgar to either the UK or Spain.
John and Diana travelled with Trafalgar on our Best of Egypt tour, in March 2021. If you are interested in travelling with Trafalgar to Egypt, or anywhere else in the world, please visit our website or organise an Explore From Home appointment with one of our Travel Experts.