Thank you to our preferred partner Joe Schlipman of Sanctuary Retreats for sharing his “insider look” into Egypt!
My name is Joe Schlipman and I recently started working at Sanctuary Retreats as the Director of North America Sales. While I have been in the travel industry over the last thirteen years, my primary experience has been in mass market cruising. Before joining Sanctuary Retreats, I had no idea regarding what type of amazing experiences I was about to embark on!
In March, I had the opportunity to visit Egypt on the Sun Boat IV and cruise the River Nile with international colleagues. This was a perfect opportunity to experience an incredible destination together as a group and do a little work along the way! I came away from that trip to Egypt realizing that we hands down have the best river boats on the Nile and thinking that it is such a shame that the country’s tourism has not yet rebounded. Then I realized that I probably had such a great trip because it felt like we had Egypt all to ourselves! Upon my return home to the States, the topic of almost all conversations upon my return has been about safety/security and usually one of the first or second questions asked after the obligatory “How was Egypt?” My usual response is that “I never thought twice about the safety once I got there”. Now of course in the major cities there are potential issues, but one of the things that I most enjoyed about the boat was the exclusiveness that I felt while on the river. It felt so safe especially since each of our docks are private docking areas where you do not have other boats tied next to us and using our ship as a boarding area. Nor do you have vendors/markets right next to your ship waiting for you to embark/debark.
(See photo of own private dock in Aswan!)
Everything about the boat was top notch including the Egyptologists or Guides. I had an opportunity to experience three of the four guides and each was more knowledgeable than the next about the country, spoke clearly/loudly and most had doctorate degrees focusing on various aspects of Egyptian History/Mythology. I was told by our teams that our Egyptologist are continuously rated “Excellent” in all areas of our surveys. Now I understand why! Another favorite was the meals on the ship! The food was delicious and this is coming from a cruise guy. The freshly baked breads which would melt in your mouth, the desserts were abundant and fabulous and the wide array of international food selections at every turn guaranteed you would find something delicious to tempt your pallet. I was also impressed that they moved the meals around the ship (including an outdoor afternoon buffet) while sailing down the river. Beautiful!
Finally, I am continually asked which was my favorite boat on the Nile (out of the four we operate). My politically correct answer is all of them…but I did have one that was my favorite. Here is a brief description of each below and my thoughts.
The Sanctuary Zein Nile Chateau
- Which is a small/intimate and traditional Nile boat with sails. It is only available for 7N charters with four cabins and two suites. Prices were much more reasonable than I imagined having your own boat on the river!
Sun Boat IV
– Largest of our three yachts. Very spacious and beautiful décor. 36 standard cabins and 4 luxury suites.
The Sanctuary Sun Boat III
– Smallest of the three yachts sailing short itineraries. This was a favorite for the majority of our female sales members. With only 14 standard cabins and 4 luxury suites.
The Sanctuary Nile Adventurer
– shhh…My favorite! Very modern and comfortable with just the right amount of public space and cabins onboard. 28 standard cabins, 2 deluxe cabins and 2 Presidential Suites..
The photo slideshow includes images of Sun Boat IV (front), Sun Boat III (middle) and Nile Adventurer (back). Finally, I hope you enjoy the photo of the amazing sunsets while sailing the Nile River. (Pamoramic from my iPhone!)
Contact your Admiral Travel advisor to learn more and book your next adventure to Egypt with Sanctuary Retreats: 941-951-1801.