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Begin Your Journey In The Swedish Capital Of Stockholm And Make Your Way Up North To Experience The Raw And Unspoiled Nature Of The Northernmost Sweden. Continue Your Nordic Adventure To The Magnificent Lofoten Archipelago And Enjoy The Unique Landscape And Animal Life Before Heading Towards Lapland, The Homeland Of The Indigenous Sami People. The Aurora Borealis Will Be Your Guiding Light.
Day 1: Thursday - Arrival - Stockholm
Arrival to Stockholm Airport, meet and greet by Borealis Destination Management English-speaking representative for regular arrival transfer service to the hotel for check-in. Please consult the Via Hansa & Borealis welcome letter, which you will receive upon check-in to your hotel, and kindly note where and when to meet your tour leader. A short welcome meeting will be held at 18:00, where you will receive information on the upcoming tour program. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at Scandic Anglais.Stockholm Evening Walking Tour: Join us for a walking evening tour of the beautiful Swedish capital. Meet your Tour Director at 19:45 hours at the lobby of your hotel to explore this beautiful city regardless of the time of the year. Your hotel located in the very heart of the capital gives easy access to the main sights such as the walking street Drottningsgatan, the beautiful Kungsträdgaarden and the emblematic Old Town with the Royal Palace.
Day 2: Friday - Stockholm - Lulea (1h20m Flight)
Breakfast at the hotel. Meet with local guide and depart by private coach for a 3-hour city sightseeing. The city of Stockholm is built on 14 islands and connected by 57 bridges. The city embraces the unique character of the 13th century Old Town and modern high-tech architecture. Stockholm's islands are bordered by Lake Malaren in the west and the Baltic Sea in the east where the archipelago, with its 30.000 islands awaits exploration. The capital is a big city with a small town personality. Stockholm is proudly called "Beauty on Water" and a sightseeing tour, which includes a walk in the Old Town makes for a memorable morning tour. Discover a city of contrasts. Go back 750 years in time and feel the medieval atmosphere of the Old Town "Gamla Stan" as you wander through its narrow streets. The seven-hundred year old cathedral of Stockholm, Seat of the Archbishop, will be seen during your stroll through Old Town, where you will also get a chance to see Stortorget, where the Stockholm Blood Bath took place. The tour ends at Arlanda Airport where you will board a flight for Lulea (included). Upon arrival in Lulea transfer to your hotel for check-in. The evening is at leisure. Overnight at Clarion Hotel Sense.
Day 3: Saturday - Lulea - Kiruna (340km)
Breakfast at the hotel and enjoy a bit of free time to explore the city of Lulea, the largest city in Swedish Lapland located at the mouth of the Lule River. Meet in the hotel reception at 11:00 and board the private coach towards Kiruna. The scenic ride across the top of Sweden gives you time to relax while taking in the beauty of nature. We will stop for lunch (not included) along the way. Arrive in Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, and check-in to your hotel, where you can enjoy an early evening meal (not included) prior to the extraordinary experience of the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko. Overnight at Camp Ripan.Visit To The Aurora Sky Station In Abisko (98 Km): Meet up at the hotel at 19:15 and board your private coach towards Abisko. From 21:00 - 01:00 the unique Aurora Sky Station offers the possibility to gaze at the Northern Lights and the stars from a large, outdoor terrace and lookout tower. Inside you find a Northern Lights exhibition with a comprehensive presentation of the Aurora Borealis and in the warm cozy café you may treat yourself to "fika" (coffee break) and cake or browse around for a souvenir.
Day 4: Sunday - Kiruna
Breakfast at the hotel and the morning at leisure. Meet up at the hotel reception at 11:00 to prepare for a day full of adventure. Your private coach takes you on an 18 km ride to Jukkasjarvi where you will enjoy a guided tour of the world's most well-known Icehotel, the first in the world dating back to the late 80ies and learn the history of the impressive ice construction rising out of the snow and ice - every year in a new form. Following the visit to the ICEHOTEL our coach drives you 1 km down the road to the Jukkasjarvi Church with its striking interior. Right next door Nutti Sami Siida awaits you. Here you will have a chance to mingle with reindeer and a enjoy a traditional Sami lunch (included). At approximately 15:00 transfer back to the hotel. Overnight at Camp Ripan.Guided Tour Of The Icehotel (18 Km): The story of ICEHOTEL begins in 1989, when it became the world's first and largest hotel of ice and snow. It is also Sweden's most unique and probably most comprehensive private art gallery. Every year, it is built up in a new shape, carefully designed and handmade by some 70 artists from all over the world. With the opening of ICEHOTEL 365 you can now experience ice art all year round. The tour starts outside.JUKKASJARVI CHURCH (The oldest wooden church in Swedish Lapland)A traditional sight awaits at the end of the dead-end Marknadsvagen: an old wooden Sami church, parts of which date from 1608, making it the oldest surviving church in Lapland. Check out the richly decorated altarpiece by Uppsala artist Bror Hjorth, depicting the revivalist preacher, Lars Levi Laestadius, alongside the woman who inspired him to rid Lapland of alcohol, Maria of Aasele. The triptych was given to the church in 1958 by the mining company, LKAB, then celebrating its 350th anniversary. Under the floor are the mummified remains of villagers who died here in the eighteenth century (not on display). The sandy ground and frost are thought to have been responsible for keeping the bodies, including that of a woman dressed in a white wedding dress and high-heeled shoes, so remarkably well preserved. The organ above the door is made from reindeer horn and birch wood; the artwork in the center of the organ, suspended over the pipes, symbolizes the sun rising over the Lapporten, the two U-shaped mountain-tops near Abisko which are one of Lapland's most enduring images.NUTTI SAMI SIIDA - Meeting Place And Cafe: Markanbaiki is an easily accessible, vibrant meeting place in Jukkasjarvi for visitors from near and far who want to engage their senses to experience Sapmi. You will find grazing reindeer at the banks of mighty river Torne and outdoor exhibitions covering nomadic and modern Sami life. Stroll around on your own and explore the area. Enjoy a traditional Sami lunch at Café Sapmi (included) and warm up near the fire. Check out some local handicraft in the shop and have a chat with the staff. All this and more are found on the old market and assembly place that is origin for the village of Jukkasjarvi. At some point during the visit you will be allowed into the reindeer enclosure (together with a guide) for an up-close encounter with the friendly animals.
Day 5: Monday - Kiruna - Narvik - Svolvaer - Train From K
Breakfast at the hotel and meet up at the hotel reception to depart by private coach towards Kiruna train station. Board the Arctic Circle Train (09:29 - 12:54) with only your hand luggage as your other belongings are transported by coach. The next 3,5 hours all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the absolutely most beautiful train ride in the region. This trainline, part of the Iron Ore Line, played a central role during WWII, supplying the Germans with iron critical for wartime production of steel. Disembark in Narvik and enjoy a casual lunch (not included) before continuing towards Svolvaer by private coach. Arrive in Svolvaer and check-in at your hotel. Enjoy an evening meal of your choice in town (not included). Your guide will be more than happy to help you find a restaurant to match your expectations. The town has an age-old history as a fishing village and the fishing tradition remains one of the most important economical foundations of the town. Asides from the proud fishing culture, Svolvaer offers magnificent nature, a culture scene with many galleries and the well-known Lofoten War Memorial Museum. Overnight at Svinøya Rorbuer.
Day 6: Tuesday - Svolvaer - Borg - Leknes - Reine - Nusfj
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart from the hotel by private coach at 09:00. The first stop on our journey will be the Viking Lofotr Museum, where you can see the excavation of the largest known Viking house. Arrival at the museum around 10:00. Open all year this museum offers several permanent exhibitions with audio guides, the state of the art in museum technology. Upon arrival you will be taken on a guided tour of the museum. Following the visit to Lofotr the trip continues through the idyllic village of Leknes, before reaching Reine at approximately 13:30 for lunch at the local restaurant (included). After lunch we continue via Nusfjord and return to Svolvaer at the end of the afternoon (approximately 18:30). The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at Svinøya Rorbuer.
Day 7: Wednesday - Svolvaer - Henningsvaer - Kabelvaag
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we invite you to continue discovering the wonders of Lofoten. Departure by coach at 09:30 hours towards Henningsvaer. After an approximate 30 minutes journey, we arrive to one of the most famous fishing villages of Lofoten, inhabited by only 1300 people. Here we will leave you some free time to explore this beautiful town on your own and enjoy a lunch (not included). At 13:30 the coach continues towards Kabelvaag, another important fishing village, for a visit to the North Museum (Nord Museum) where the history of the local fishing industry is presented in one of the best preserved squire farms of Lofoten. On the site of the medieval city you will find the stately main building of 1815, authentic fishing huts and boathouses. The museum also offers exhibitions on Lofoten fishing history, ports, lighthouses and traditional crafts. Return to Svolvaer in the middle of the afternoon and enjoy some free time prior to this evening optional tour. Overnight at Svinøya Rorbuer.
Day 8: Thursday - Svolvaer - Tromso
Breakfast at the hotel and meet up at the hotel reception at 09:00 to continue your journey. You will travel by private coach to your next destination Tromso; a distance of 400 km travelled in 10 hours. Along the way we will make a stop at the famous Polar Park - the world's northernmost animal park. Overnight at Radisson Blu Tromso or Scandic Ishavshotel.Polar Park Visit: Polar Park is home to the large carnivores of the Nordic countries as well as the Nordic deer. The adventure and animal park opened June 18, 1994 and is based upon the vision of presenting animals in their natural surroundings. The park prides itself with having the world's largest area per animal. You will have the unique opportunity to meet the wolves, bears, deer, elk and reindeer. During the visit you may enjoy a delicious traditional Norwegian meal indoors in the cosy restaurant (not included). After the visit to the Polar Park the journey continues to Tromso. Check in at your hotel. Evening at leisure.
Day 9: Friday - Tromso
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning we depart by private coach for a 3-hour city sightseeing tour. This tour will be the perfect introduction to Tromso where you will visit the world's most northern Botanical gardens. Here you can enjoy the views of the mountains to the east and south. Tromso enjoys a subarctic climate, its location corresponding to the northern coast of Alaska. Visit the Tromso University Museum where you will learn fascinating facts on nature and culture in northern Norway. Learn about the indigenous Sami people, their traditional culture and recent history. Following this, you will continue on a tour around the island, passing Lake Prestvatn where the Meteorological Institute is situated. Travel across the bridge to the Arctic Cathedral for a visit to this masterpiece by Jan Inge Hovig. Built in 1965, the cathedral reflects north Norwegian nature, culture, and faith with a monumental stained-glass window. We end the city tour with a visit to the Arctic experience centre POLARIA, where the co-dependency of sea- and land life is both seen and felt. Polaria is located in walking distance from the hotel, should you wish to extend your visit. Overnight at Radisson Blu Tromso or Scandic Ishavshotel.Aurora Husky Visit: Be ready for a pick-up right outside your hotel at 18:30 where you will be met by a representative from Tromso Villmarkssenter and taken on a 25-minute bus ride to the Aurora Camp. At the camp you will be equipped with thermal overalls and boots to keep you nice and warm all evening. 300 friendly Alaskan huskies are waiting to greet you and enjoy some cuddles, followed by an affectionate and playful visit to the puppy enclosure. Once you have filled up on puppy love, it is time to enjoy a traditional Norwegian dinner in our cosy Gamme-hut (turf home). You will be served Norwegian Bacalao, prepared with locally sourced cod and tomato sauce, and for dessert their savoury signature chocolate cake. As it is impossible to predict when the Aurora will appear during the evening, your guide will keep a close eye on the sky for you and the program will be adjusted accordingly. For those of you who wish to sit outside and wait for it to appear, a bonfire will set the mood and keep you toasty.
Day 10: Saturday - Tromso - Alta
Breakfast at the hotel. The ride from Tromso to Alta is breath-taking regardless of the time of year. Stunning scenery and magnificent nature ensure that this trip will stay with you for a long time. The distance between Tromso and Alta is about 300 km, a route travelled in approximately 8 hours, and include two ferry crossings. Lunch (included) en route. Arrival in Alta and check in at your hotel. Evening at leisure. Overnight at Thon Hotel Alta.
Day 11: Sunday - Alta
Breakfast at the hotel before departing for the prestigious EMYA award-winning Alta museum. The museum is situated at the site of early settlement of Finnmark dating from around 11,000 years ago and presents exhibitions on local culture and historic industries. A must-see for anyone visiting the area. Afterwards we will pay a visit to the modern Northern Lights Cathedral located in the central part of town. Overnight at Thon Hotel Alta.Alta Museum: Experience the Northern Europe's largest and richest rock carving site, inscribed on the UNESCO's World Heritage List. Here you can walk on pathways arranged around the rock carving area while enjoying a fantastic view over the Alta Fjord. The 2000 to 6200 years old rock carvings show the life of hunters and fishermen. You will have a guided tour at the museum with some free time afterwards to walk around at your own pace.Northern Lights Cathedral: The impressive Nordlyskatedralen is a result of an architectural competition launched in 2001. Designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects in collaboration with architect Kolbjorn Jenssen of Link Arkitektur, the elegant and modern construction features concrete and wood with external cladding of titanium sheets. The central feature being the towering spiral with belfry. Inside the church you will find art work by Danish artist Peter Brandes.
Day 12: Monday - Alta - Kirkenes
Breakfast at the hotel followed by an early departure. You will travel the 465 km east to Kirkenes by coach, an approximately 9-hour journey taking you through the beautiful northern Lapland. Your eyes will feast on breathtaking nature as you sit back and watch the landscape unfold. You will make a stop along the way in Karasjok for a 3-course lunch (included). Arrive in Kirkenes and check-in at your hotel before dinner (not included). Overnight at Thon Hotel Kirkenes.
Day 13: Tuesday - Kirkenes - Saariselka
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out at 08.30 and meet at the lobby at 08.45 for departure at 09.00 for the amazing experience of the "KING CRAB SAFARI". Directly after the King Crab Safari you continue by coach towards Saariselka. Depart Kirkenes travelling south through the northern Lapland landscape to the centre of Sami world at Inari, the capital of Lapland. Here we visit the Sajos Sami Cultural Centre and parliament set in the heart of Sapmi in a unique natural landscape on the shore of Lake Inari, serving as a centre for Sami self-governance, culture, education and know-how. Modern conference premises, facilities and technology go hand in hand with authentic, living Sami culture. After the visit we continue onto the tiny village of Saariselka, the centre of Finland's winter sports. Check-in to the hotel and the evening is at leisure. Overnight at Santa´s Tunturi Hotel.King Crab Safari: One of the highlights of Northern Norway with the chance to taste one of the local delicacies known worldwide. Heading out on the Kirkenes Fjord you will come face to face with this giant of the sea on the King Crab safari. The red king crab found in the Barents Sea can reach up to two meters from claw to claw and weigh up to 15 kilos. Depending on the weather and ice the trip might be by boat or snowmobile drawn sleigh. Once your king crab has been caught, you are transferred to a remote cabin where the crab will be prepared for a delicious lunch. All equipment and clothing will be provided.
Day 14: Wednesday - Saariselka - Sinetta
In the morning after breakfast, the adventure continues as you make your way to Sinetta, located in the outskirts of Rovaniemi. Along the way, you will experience one of the highlights of the tour. Overnight at Arctic Snow Hotel & Glass Igloo.Sami Reindeer Farm Visit & Sleigh Ride: Meet the traditional Sami farmers who will tell you about the reindeer, the Sami and teach you how to throw Suopunki (Sami lasso). Sitting in a two-person sleigh, pulled by your reindeer, you will experience a short ride in this traditional and peaceful way of moving through the white landscape where the only sound you will hear is the melody of reindeer bells. A typical three course lunch is included at the farm.Overnight In A Glass IglooThe journey continues south to Sinetta following the winding roads through the snowy forest and arriving at the unique Arctic Snow Hotel, where you will check-in to your private Glass Igloo. Enjoy the warmth of your Glass Igloo and weather permitting you will have the opportunity to marvel at the amazing Northern Lights (Aurora Boreal) and the millions of stars from the comforts of your bed. In the evening, you are invited for a traditional Lappish three course dinner in a magnificent wooden "Kota" where fresh salmon is slowly grilled over the fire on a huge fire pit in the center.
Day 15: Thursday - Sinetta - Santa Claus Village - Rovanie
Breakfast at the hotel and depart late in the morning for the next step on the winter adventure. Heading towards Rovaniemi, you stop on the banks of the Kemi-joki river to enjoy one of the most idyllic Husky Safaris of the region. Overnight at Santa's Hotel Santa Claus.Husky Farm & Safari: The barking of enthusiastic dogs will welcome you to the most genuine Husky farm in Rovaniemi. The head musher will talk about the life and training of these Arctic animals and you will also have the chance to take some great photos. After brief instructions you embark, riding in pairs, on a run through the forest behind your pack of huskies (3 km). After the ride there is time to visit the farm and enjoy a traditional outdoor lunch of Lappish sausage grilled on the campfire followed by Lappish pancakes & coffee. The day continues with a visit to the world-famous Santa Claus Village, built right on the Arctic Circle and home to Santa Claus. Stop by his busy post office where you can ask Santa to send a letter to your loved ones just before Christmas. Take a step into the magical world of Santa´s home and meet Santa himself. No words can describe the emotions of this fairy-tale-like moment. It is something you will always remember. An absolute must for any visit to Lapland. After the visit to Santa Claus Village, enjoy a 15 minutes ride by bus to Rovaniemi. The rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure.
Day 16: Friday - Rovaniemi - Kemi (Ice-Breaker Cruise)
Breakfast at the hotel and meet up at 08:45 in the hotel. Time for a swim as you head to the town of Kemi for a full day of activities. First a visit to the Snow Castle* with its special snow slide. Enjoy the snow sculptures and complex. Later you will experience one of the highlights of your winter adventure as you board the Sampo Icebreaker and spend 4 hours on this unforgettable vessel breaking though the ice of the northern Gulf of Bothnia. Overnight at Santa's Hotel Santa Claus.Sampo Ice Breaker & Ice Swimming: This extraordinary experience includes a guided tour of the ship with its massive engine room, communications room and bridge, ice swimming and a three-course meal at the on-board restaurant. In the middle of the largest ice field in Europe, you have the opportunity to jump in the sea and float! You will of course be fitted with a warm survival suit and those of you who dare will receive a certificate by the ship authorities to attest your courage. An unforgettable experience. Return to Rovaniemi with early evening arrival at your hotel.December 5th departure will include a visit to the Ranua Wildlife Park instead of Sampo Icebreaker cruise.
Day 17: Saturday - Rovaniemi - Departure
Breakfast and the rest of your day at leisure until your regular transfer to Rovaniemi airport in good time for your departure flight.
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Madagascar is a hard place but the folks made it a pleasant visit.
Affordable tours did a remarkable job on our trip to Italy. The itinerary was very detailed and, although there were a couple of minor changes during the week, we were extremely satisfied with the accommodations, the level of professionalism and knowledge of the tour guides, and would not hesitate to recommend them for your next vacation.
Guides were good, especially Gin.
While the hotels were rated 3+ stars, they are group travel hotels - fair rooms and buffet breakfast and dinner. It's OK as an experience and the food was adequate.
1. We were never informed that this would be a bilingual tour! Very disappointing and annoying! We could not bond with 3/4 of the guests or understand their questions and answers. We were the only Americans on most of the trip. 2. We were totally unaware of the fact that we could have upgraded our hotels. 3. 50% of the buses provided did not have Wi-Fi available. Some didn't even have overhead lights. 4. Buffets provided in Morocco's hotels were almost inedible. Very few choices and actually hardly anything was palatable. 5. The tour guide for Morocco (Idame ?) was unenthusiastic and did nothing extra to make this more enjoyable (doing his job-"phoning it in")One problem was the optional tour on April 16, Fantasia, was 65 but he was charging US$83. By any account I could find this was not a fair and equitable exchange rate.
Three nights in Queensttown at the Rydges was more of an economy motel than a first class hotel. The intra-country transportation was on passenger buses with many stops and pickups encounter from one location to another. Also I thought transfer back to airport would be private like the meet and greet but was a shared airport shuttle with several stops.
I know that the price was right for the tour that was offered, but the accommodation were not that great. I had done several tours before. even one in the Germany- Hungary area just a few days before, and I was always in a group where we all started together with a meeting the night before at the first hotel and the whole group stayed together for the whole tour. In this occasion there was people s joining the group and leaving all the time, And we were separated in two hotels, the nicer hotel for some of them and the second grade hotel for the rest of us. That made us feel discriminated and divided into two groups. Yes, you may think that we were being able to afford this tour, but I still think that for the price we paid, we did not get the value.
I have been traveling once or twice a year and so far this is the WORSE!!! Never imagined this kind of tour can still exist with so many choices around. Kanesia who booked us was wonderful. She was very professional and courteous but the tour itself was a nightmare from start to finish!! When we arrived at the airport, when we notify the lady holding our name card she just pointed to the driver and walked away without any word of assurance and explanation not even an eye contact! WOW! Next the driver dropped us off the hotel and that is it. No receiving party nor the hotel desk knows anything. Our daughter arrived later in the evening and nobody picked her up from the airport. She has to take a taxi alone in the middle of the night, a young lady in an unknown city. Paid extra to the driver for being grateful. All these times we tried contacting the local operator many times, NO ANSWER!!! Our schedule given to us (refer to page 3/10 on the attached documents, it says we are free the next day. Day 3 (Saturday) in Rome. The next day, we were suddenly awakened by the front desk saying that somebody is picking us up for a 3 hour Rome walking tour. We panicked and dressed so fast hardly able to comb our hair. During that time, the person who picked us up gave me the paper about today's schedule please refer to Italia Gartour page A indicated attached. The hotel had a very tight shower and not even a soap dish inside the shower.The trip after Pompeii was chaotic. Transferring from one bus to another. The guide was so disorganized exchanging passengers with another bus and we looked after our own luggage and wheel them to another bus. The hotel in Sorrento was a breather to be fair. Grand Hotel Vesuvio was nice quite and great location. Good food and staff. The brochure description of the trip from Sorrento to Amalfi was that we will be passing through breathtaking views and what happened we were separated from the other parties and we were driven through the highway and into the mountains then dropped off in a hotel in Maouri. We were on our own confused thinking we were in Amalfi itself. Again no receiving party at the hotel. We towed our own luggage and checked in and not knowing what is next!!! We have to inquire from the front desk how to get to Amalfi. Good thing he was very helpful even in broken English. The worse part is going back to Rome where our service voucher and revised itinerary showed we were booked with the Building Hotel. We were dropped off by the bus near the taxi station and it was raining so hard and we dragged our luggage in those cobble stone falling in line at the taxi line. We have to beg the taxi to take us in since there are 3 of us with luggage and it cannot fit in a regular sedan. When we arrived at the hotel another surprise that our name is not in the list and they are fully booked. Refer to the attached documents. We have to take another taxi to the proper hotel. THIS IS A TOTAL NIGHTMARE instead of a dream vacation. NEVER AGAIN!!!!!! I will spread the word and I hope you better drop this tour operator. SO DISORGANIZED and INCOMPETENT!!!!
1. The guide is making us take taxis and meeting them places since others are staying at different hotels. Definitely not what I have experienced in the past, I am used to the tour bus coming for us, when it says "transportation provided" 2. So far Day 2 and 3 are not as advertised. 9/29: Had to provide own transportation. Met group at 1030 at BMW Welt, left at 11, drove to Marienplatz, watched the glockenspiel. At 1215 we were dismissed, no tour of Munich did not visit the city's main attractions. Had to provide our own transportation to Dinner. 9/30: Had to take a cab to other guests hotel, did not leave until almost 9, did not get to Berchtesgaden until 11, after Eagles Nest I had to complain, because they were going to skip the lake, we were only allowed to go for 40 minutes, no possibility to take the boat trip. Had to get own transportation back from other hotel. Dinner was supposed to be provided but was not. She said it is not included but our itinerary says dinner and breakfast 9/30 10/1 Did not leave until after 9 did not have enough time in Rothenburg Ober Taber, Itinerary says "tour" of well perserved castle-but we did not tour it, we walked up to one gate and took pictures, 10/2 Bamberg was OK, should have skipped Bayreuth and had more time in Nuremberg 10/3 Wurzburg: was very nice, could have used more time, needed to get going earlier each day. Would have been nice to have a driving tour of Frankfurt upon arrival. Tour should have advertised this was a National Holiday, most all shops were closed. The guide did not seem to know much about each stop, could have benefitted from a local guide at stops, and or side excursions should have been available.
It said it included: "Holy Land crafted to CATER to Catholic individuals. Daily Holy Mass included." The guide was not Catholic nor the other couple which made things uncomfortable. I got to go to one Mass. I considered cancelling after the first day but felt it would not be fair to my grandson who was traveling with me. I do not blame the guide, he was great considering, but I feel I was miss lead. I could not recommend this trip to any Catholics. I have made Sita World aware of my opinion.
It was an amazing expererience
We had a wonderful experience and all of the local guides were top notch. Having a personal guide allowed us to see so much more in the limited time we had. Also, we saved so much time not having to wait in line for tickets, not getting lost and having to find transportation. It made our trip so much more enjoyable and relaxed. In addition, we learned so much about the local way of life. My children benefited from this greatly. For the slight additional amount of money you pay, you gain so much more value in your travel experience.
We had local guides, drivers and even an armed guard accompany us to all the sites. The guides were very helpful and knowledgeable and wanted us to feel completely safe and happy at all times. Abeer was our guide in Cairo and she was absolutely fantastic!! She helped us to understand the local customs and was very proud of the world class tourist sites we visited. Loay was our guide on the Nile cruise and he was equally helpful to teach us the history of the Pharohs. Both were proud of their country and proud to show it to us. One downfall was the constant prodding by the locals to sell us everything and anything. Also we had to pay to use the local restrooms and some locals were not very friendly about the amount of money offered!! Another problem was that our boat did not have 'working' wifi. We needed to stay in touch with business emails and reliable wifi is to be expected. Luckily Loay let me use his personal phone as a hotspot to obtain service - very generous of him! We travelled as a family of 4 and felt safe at all times. The drivers would drop us off at the sites and were always ready when we were to depart, no waiting at all!
SITA was not the operator of the tour, it was the tour of Baltic Visions from Riga. Unfortunately, the real tour operator was not professional enough. The tour manager even left the tour half way through. From that point it was the local tour guides only. On top of that, 90% of what was promised turned out to be optional, to be paid cash only!
The itinerary was not always correct. Messages at hotels was very helpful.