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Tailor made travel in the Middle East

24th July 2009 Print

Travel company Cox & Kings, has launched its new Middle East brochure for 2010, featuring a comprehensive programme of escorted group tours and private tailor-made travel to the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and the Gulf.

New for 2010 are a group tour to Lebanon, travel in the United Arab Emirates, and tailor-made travel ideas for Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Central Asia, Oman, Morocco and the UAE.

Cox & Kings has announced record figures to the Middle East for the second year running, with a 35% increase in passengers to the region in the last twelve months; last year’s figure was already up 38% on the previous year. Most noticeably, tailor-made travel to the Middle East is becoming increasingly popular, and the new brochure has significantly increased its coverage of the flexibility provided by tailor-made travel.

“Cox & Kings offers one of the most comprehensive programmes in the Middle East” explains Mark Stacey, Cox & Kings’ Middle East Product Manager. “We have the experience and the expertise to offer complete flexibility in the region and there’s actually very little we can’t arrange”.

Bookings to Syria in the last twelve months were up 53% on the previous year, with nearly a quarter of all passengers travelling on tailor-made tours. A new Tailor-Made Syria section (page 53) outlines the possibilities of tailor-made travel to the country.

The suggested nine-night Euphrates & The Desert itinerary begins in Aleppo with visits to nearby St Simeons and Serjilla, before travelling east towards the Euphrates to Deir ez-Zour and on to Palmyra before ending in Damascus. From £3,695 per person including flights, accommodation, and all transfers and excursions on a private basis.

Lebanon has re-entered the brochure for 2010 after being designated ‘off limits’ by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for almost three years. Lebanon: Land of the Phoenicians (page 54) is a new six-night group tour that takes in the country’s highlights, visiting the Phoenician ports of Byblos and Sidon, the bustling cosmopolitan capital of Beirut and the spectacular Roman remains of Baalbek. From £1,045 per person including flights with bmi, accommodation with breakfast and one additional meal, transfers and all excursions. The tour can also be taken on a private basis from £1,495 per person.

“We are very excited to be offering travel to the United Arab Emirates for 2010, for the first time” says Stacey. “There is so much to see beyond the glitzy hotels and casinos of Dubai, and our new private journey, Emirates Explorer, and tailor-made travel suggestions focus on the history and culture of the country. Visitors benefit from first-class hotels and facilities while also seeing some magnificent cultural sites.”

Emirates Explorer: This eight-night private journey explores the historic and cultural sites of the United Arab Emirates that exist beyond the luxurious hotels and malls. Starting in Abu Dhabi, the capital, with a visit to the Grand Mosque, the second largest mosque in the Middle East, the itinerary continues to the other Emirates by private chauffeur-driven car. Highlights include the Hafeet and Hajar mountains and the oasis of Al Ain. From £1,595 per person including flights with British Airways, accommodation with breakfast, transfers and all excursions.

Tailor-Made Central Asia: Following increased passenger numbers throughout Central Asia in the last 12 months, Cox & Kings has introduced a selection of travel ideas for visitors to Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkistan. Kazakhstan Explorer is a suggested six-night itinerary that begins in Almaty, with day trips to Big Almaty Lake and Charyn Canyon. The trip continues to Shymkent and visits Turkistan before returning to Almaty. From £1,725 per person including flights, accommodation and all transfers and excursions on a private basis.

Tailor-Made Oman: Amongst the new tailor-made content in the brochure is a double page spread on Oman, a country that lends itself well to independent exploration. A suggested itinerary, Muscat, Salalah and Musandam, travels from the mosques and souqs of the capital city to the isolated Musandam Peninsula, separated from the rest of the country by the UAE, and Salalah in the southern Dhofar province, where desert gives way to lush green landscapes and cooler temperatures. An eight-night tailor-made trip costs from £1,595 per person including flights, accommodation and all transfers and excursions on a private basis.

Dahabeyas on the Nile: Cox & Kings’ extensive travel programme in Egypt has been further expanded for 2010 to include Nile cruises aboard a traditional Dahabeya. With just six air-conditioned cabins and two suites, the Sonesta dahabeya offers an intimate cruise experience. Combine four nights in Cairo with a seven-night cruise that includes visits to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, the Temples at Kom Ombo and Edfu, the Aswan High Dam and the Temple of Philae. From £2,295 per person including flights with BA / Egypt Air, seven nights’ all inclusive on the cruise and four nights’ luxury accommodation in Cairo, with all excursions.

Tailor-Made Egypt now has four pages in the brochure, including long weekends in Cairo and traditional Nile and Lake Nasser itineraries as well as Alexandria and El Alamein, Sinai and the Red Sea, and the Western Desert. The suggested 10 night Western Desert itinerary travels into the desert from Luxor, spending a night at each of the oasis towns of El Kharga, Dakhla, Farafra and Bahariya. After three nights in Siwa, it follows the coastal road back up to Cairo. From £1,895 per person.

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