WASHINGTON – On August 23, the U.S. State Department lifted a travel alert for Egypt that was issued on March 29. The alert was issued as a response to the possibility of political unrest in the run-up to Egypt’s presidential elections in May and June.
The State Department has issued several travel alerts and travel warnings for Egypt following the revolution in January 2011, which caused the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak. Currently the State Department does not advise against any travel to Egypt, although it reports updates on the political and security situation on its Egypt travel page.
Mohamed Hegazy, Egypt Tourist Authority’s spokesperson for the U.S. and Latin America, stated that although there have been some incidents of unrest on the northern Sinai Peninsula on the country’s border with Israel, those incidents were both isolated and far from where tourists typically go. He hopes the lifting of the travel alert will convince travel sellers and buyers that Egypt is safe for travel.
The lifted alert comes news less than a week after Egypt’s announcement that the portion of the Nile River between Cairo and Luxur had reopened to cruise ships. The 465-mile stretch of river has been closed to cruise ships since the 1980s, according to the Egyptian Tourist Authority.
“Now, after lengthy irrigation projects and a consensus that it is safe, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism has reopened this route, offering access to an unprecedented array of Egypt’s ancient wonders,” said a spokesperson for tour operators Abercombie and Kent.
Abercrombie and Kent plan to offer the entire 600-mile river cruise in 2013. Previously, passengers have normally taken a one-hour flight from Cairo to Luxor. The newly opened stretch of river allows for new stops at Beni Hassan’s tombs carved into limestone cliffs, Amarna’s capital site built in 1350 B.C., and Sohag’s Red and White Coptic Monasteries.