While it is a long drive to Petra, and the walk is long and dusty, the site is worth the effort. We were advised that we could take an independent tour by friends, but chose to go with the cruise line because of the distance from the port and the number of sea days following should we be late getting back to port. There were two cruise ships in port the day we were there so Petra was busy, but it was fine. This was the only port where the tour operator did not offer us bottled water and the only tour where we actually really needed it.
Excellent tour well worth the trip. Petra is far from the port. The walk from the entrance to the Treasury and to the end is all down hill. There is a slight grade walking back to the entrance. The distance both ways is over five miles. The road way is loose gravel in spots and cobble stone in over spot. There are pot holes along the way and the road is uneven. On the way to the Treasury and return there are carriages and horses traveling on the same single lane road. The sites and historical marking are outstanding.
Ridiculously expensive. Our guide wasn't very good and we ended up leaving him and wandering on our own. Petra has to be felt, not just seen. But I did appreciate the "safety" factor of knowing that the ship wouldn't leave without us. That's the only reason I didn't book a private tour.
Well organised. Brilliant guide. Great sense of humour. Guided us well. Good lunch. Petra lived up to the hype. We were warned about the amount of walking involved, the clothes to wear and how gruelling the walk was so we were prepared although the return uphill walk was arduous!
Petra, Jordan – We did the Thomson excursion and it was worth every penny of the £120pp we paid. The bus ride took 2 ½ hours with one 15 minute stop off and you get 3-4 hours to view the site which is amazing, but a very long walk down to the main areas. We made it to The Treasury, Hadrian Gate and the Theatre and we walked for nearly 2 hours! There was lots more to see, but it would take us 2 hours to get back up to the entrance/exit, so we had to turn around and go back. If you stay with the guide it takes longer as they stop often to talk about everything. We followed another couple who’d been there before. You can get a horse or a pony and trap, but we slugged it out. The horses are whipped to death both up and down the hill and I didn’t trust the pony/trap drivers as there was a collision on the day we were there between 2 of these. You get a meal on this trip at a local hotel before you return home. It’s AI and satisfactory (but not a patch on the ship’s food).
Petra is the highlight of the trip. It takes 2 hours to get there. Wadi Rum is interesting but compared to our Arizona and Utah National Parks, they are not that magical. I would rather spend more time in Petra than combining the tour with Wadi Rum jeep tour. The cruise excursion only offers limited time in Petra even though it does not combine with Wadi Rum.
We were picked up at cruise port and transported to Petra. Our tour guide was good with history of Petra and various information. After Petra, we went to a buffet lunch, which was very good, freshly cooked and plentiful. Well done all around.
There were only 7 of us on our tour of Petra and it was much easier to get around with such a small group. Expect to do a lot of walking on this tour! Petra is a must see site and was on my "bucket list" for a long time. From Petra, we did a tour of Wadi Rum where they filmed Lawrence of Arabia and recently The Martian.
Walking tour was hot and quite a walk in and our. Anyone considering this that has problems with heat and walking on uneven ground or for a distance would best take a carriage or donkey in and out. Our guide was great, knowledgeable and was very understandable.
Really good guide, loads of info given on the coach. Difficult to hear him at Petra as not only are you a part of a group of 50 but its really really busy. Loads of walking, ok on the way but the way back is up hill. You can pay for a carrage ride, but I felt sorry for the horses, donkeys
A late lunch was included at a hotel and was very good
A very informative talk on the way to Petra and then walking about Petra so much information about what is and is nt known about the builders and residents of the area as well as the Bedouin tribes who inhabited the area prior to it becoming a World Heritage site.
It took approximately 2 hours to drive to Petra, approximately 80 miles from the port. There was a short stop for restrooms and to take advantage of the store where the restrooms were. The prices seem awfully high;it was mostly typical souvenir stuff. Once we arrived in Petra, the bus parked in the parking lot and we walked down through the gate past the Visitor’s Center along a gravel road toward some hills and finally into the Siq. a thin split in the mountain almost a mile in length but only 10 to 20 feet in width with walls on either side that rise hundreds of feet to the sky. The colors of the rocks were wonderful. There were many carvings along the path including tombs and niches with carved representation of their gods. When we exited the Siq and had our first glimpse of the Treasury. You first glimpse it through a narrow opening. It is as wonderful as photos make it seem but add in at least 300 tourists, assorted camels and donkeys plus postcard and trinket sellers into the photo if you arrive early in the day. It only adds to the magic. One interesting fact which we had not heard before is that the image of the Treasury everyone knows from the Indiana Jones’ movie is that there is actually another level to it which has been recently discovered. Although you can no longer go inside, you can walk to the area near the steps and look down into an excavation which has uncovered more doors and columns below. From reading a non-fiction book called “Married to a Bedouin”, I learned that the Siq and the areas around the Treasury were subject to frequent flash floods once the first inhabitants, the Nabateans, left the area. The sand and debris left by the floods eventually built up high enough to cover the lowest level.
After a pause for photographs of the incredible Treasury, the camels and even just the tourists, we continued walking until we reached the Royal Tombs and could see many more tombs higher up on the cliff faces in all directions. We also passed a Roman-style amphitheater which held 6,000 people. It was then time to leisurely walk back on our own to the Visitor’s Center and continue about a block farther to a Movenpick hotel nearby for a typical Egyptian buffet lunch. Total distance walked was about 6.5 miles according to a friend's GPS. While the walk to Petra was downhill to the end of the tour at the Royal Tombs, it was uphill to coming back. There were plenty of offers for camel rides back as far as the Treasury and then it was possible to take one horse carriages through the Siq but the asking prices were about $50 for the carriage ride and I had no problem walking. One caution: they tell you a 10 minute, 1 mile horse ride is included from the ticket entrance to the Siq opening but they do not mention that the horse owner expects a $5-10 tip. Not exactly free.
The Movenpick Hotel was immediately next to the gates and everyone from the ship had a nice buffet lunch of Egyptian foods including wine and beer. The tables were arranged very close together so it was warm and crowded. We finished earlier than some and enjoyed time sitting in the airy atrium adjoining the restaurant.
Wonderful tour guide, although sometimes I felt he spent more time on the water system than necessary. He was very well known, not sure if that is a good sign or not. Gave us great information. Lunch was included, which was a nice buffet. I felt the bathroom stop at a store was a bit of a shakedown, charged us to use the facilities and we spent time there to browse--if that is the case, pay for the facilities get to Petra faster.
Petra is a long way from the port, so decided to do a ship's tour. We had an excellent guide, who if anything gave too much information to take in! Petra is amazing, everything we had hoped for. It is quite strenuous to walk in the heat but absolutely worth it - it is unforgettable. The tour was expensive but for a once in a lifetime experience, worth it.
Very long Day but new this before we booked. No visible RCI guide on board just the Bus tour guide and tourist police. The tour was amazing and was an easy walk down through the the Gorge to Petra. They provide a horse and two person cart for anyone and the price has to be negotiated for the return journey before you board the cart. Around40$. The walk back uphill in the heat is a killer so take plenty bottled water
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