Read our interview with the Charles H. Wright museum’s staff and families about their 2019 private group trip to Egypt
Your group consisted of members of the Charles H. Wright Museum of Detroit. Can you tell us a little bit about your museum?
For over half a century, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has dedicated itself to exploring and celebrating the rich cultural legacy of African Americans. Through dozens of permanent and visiting exhibitions plus over 300 annual public events and programs, as well as education and research opportunities for adults, children, and visiting scholars, The Wright inspires visitors toward greater understanding, acceptance, and unity by reflecting on the triumphs and tragedies of African American history.
It is home to the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, the Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, and the Sheffield Collection–a repository of documents regarding the labor movement in Detroit–among many other notable materials. The Wright houses more than 35,000 artifacts pertaining to the African American experience.
Why did you offer a trip to your members? Was Egypt a good choice for your group?
The Wright recognizes that history provides proof that there has been an African-American influence all over the world. We therefore began offering tours that we hope to be educational in learning about the African-American experience in other parts of the world.
Egypt was a good choice because not only is it part of Africa, but the Nubians, known to be some of the darkest “black Africans” of Egypt and Sudan, reside there. While visiting Aswan, we were able to take a tour through streets where Nubians lived as well as visit the Nubian Museum.
The turnout on this trip was quite strong, especially since that was the first time you offered an international trip to your members! Why do you think members were quick to sign up?
People in general are interested in history. For years, the museum has been asked by the community to sponsor international trips that are educational and relate to the African-American experience.
In addition, smarTours’ price point for Egypt is unbeatable! I actually had a traveler tell me that when she saw the advertisement, she thought she better pay right away because she envisioned a mistake had been made.
In your view, what were the highlights of the trip? Any favorite memories that you had or that others shared with you?
The biggest highlight of the trip for many was the 3-day cruise down the Nile River. There was even a day that we dressed up like Egyptians for a party to celebrate the culture. That was exciting. Another big highlight for me was the hot air balloon ride over Luxor my daughter and I took with 3 other travelers. It was amazing!
How were all of the services on the ground in Egypt – all executed well?
The services were impeccable! Sahar, our tour guide, is the most amazing and knowledgeable guide I have ever experienced. She’s more than a guide, she an Egyptologist! smarTours’ ground people were also the best. No one needed or wanted for anything. If they did, it was expeditiously taken care of.
Did you feel safe?
Not once did anyone ever feel afraid or in danger. For security purposes, though, an armed guard accompanied our tour bus wherever we went.
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about going to Egypt?
smarTours’ The Splendors of Egypt tour is not to be missed. It is one of those trips of a lifetime!
Your daughters joined you on this trip. What a memorable experience for them! Is this a good trip for young adults?
Egypt is absolutely a trip for young adults. In fact, there were two other young adults who also thoroughly enjoyed the tour.
You decided to plan a second trip for your museum and you depart this Spring. Where are you going and why did you decide to return to smarTours?
The Wright Museum’s next tour is to Spain. We selected smarTours again because of the services we received in Egypt, the hotel accommodations were excellent and the price point is unbeatable. There is another tour to Spain sponsored by another entity from our area whose itinerary is almost identical to ours, but the price is at least $1,600 more.