Egypt is the gift of the Nile, according to the Greek historian Herodotus. The great city of Cairo, the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens, and the unearthed secrets of desert sands are all set on or near the banks of the nurturing Nile. Cruise the river in comfort and style, and sail across Lake Nasser to the monumental statues of Rameses II and Nefertari at Abu Simbel. Touch the pyramids and see the eternal Sphinx, walk through ancient temples and meet the friendly people of today’s Egypt on this fabulous 12-day cruisetour.
DAY 1 | CAIRO, EGYPT
Arrive in Egypt, the “Gift of the Nile” as described by the Greek historian Herodotus, then transfer to the moderate deluxe Sofitel El Gezirah (or similar) on the banks of the Nile for a 3-night stay.*
DAY 2 | CAIRO, EGYPT
This morning we take an excursion to the necropolis at Sakkara to see the world’s oldest step pyramid. After lunch, continue to the Giza Plateau to behold the only Wonder of the Ancient World still standing: the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Kephren and Mykerinus. There, you experience the “ships of the desert” with a brief camel ride. Nearby, see the Great Sphinx, forever facing due east. Return to your hotel for dinner and a free evening to relax or explore on your own. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 | CAIRO, EGYPT
This morning, tour Cairo’s Museum of Egyptian Antiquities and admire its huge collection of artifacts, then visit the famous gallery displaying the riches of King Tutankhamun. Today you see some of the sights of Cairo. A guided walk takes you to landmarks like the iconic Citadel of Saladin and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Enjoy lunch on your own at or near your hotel. Dine on your own in Cairo, or take an optional visit to Khan el-Khalili, a colorful outdoor souk (bazaar) where you can shop for traditional Egyptian goods and have dinner. (B)
DAY 4 | LUXOR, EGYPT
Early this morning, fly to Luxor, the city once known as ‟Thebes,” where history will be brought to life by our expert Egyptologist. Proceed to your Nile cruise ship for check-in and a welcome lunch. This afternoon, visit the Great Temples of Luxor and Karnak, long buried beneath desert sands, and walk through monumental peristyles and examine the hieroglyphics illustrating how ancient Egyptians lived. Return aboard for dinner and a relaxing evening, or attend an optional sound and light show at Karnak Temple. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 | LUXOR, EGYPT
Relax over breakfast, or (weather permitting) take an optional early-morning hot air balloon ride over Luxor’s temples and monuments. Upon arrival, visit the Valley of the Kings and the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s few female rulers and most successful pharaohs, on the Nile’s west bank opposite the city of Luxor. Also see Medinet Habu, the Mortuary Temple of Rameses III. Walk through its monumental peristyle hall decorated with complex hieroglyphics. Proceed to your Nile cruise ship for check-in and a welcome lunch. Return aboard as we set sail for Edfu; lunch and dinner are served aboard as we cruise along the Nile. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 | EDFU, EGYPT
This morning, visit the Temple of Horus in Edfu, built during the Ptolemaic Dynasty to honor the falcon-headed god. Have lunch aboard while sailing toward Kom Ombo. There, you take a guided tour of the unusual double temple dedicated to both Horus and the crocodile god Sobek, a fertility deity thought to have created the world. Return to your ship before we continue cruising up the Nile. We arrive at Aswan during dinner; this evening, attend a Nubian party featuring the evocative traditional music of the region. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 | ASWAN, EGYPT
After breakfast, visit the small, elegant Philae Temple, dedicated to Isis, rescued from the rising waters. This temple is one of the Nubian monuments that comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour the Aswan High Dam, completed in the 1960s, before lunch aboard. This afternoon, take a scenic ride on a felucca, a traditional Egyptian wooden sailboat, on the Nile. Enjoy an onboard dinner and spend the night in Aswan. (B, L, D)
DAY 8 | ABU SIMBEL, EGYPT
After a final breakfast aboard, disembark your Nile ship and take a brief flight to Abu Simbel, then proceed directly to the temples. These magnificent structures, renowned for their four giant seated figures, were built in the 13th century BC by Rameses II and are thought to depict him and his queen, Nefertari. The colossal structures were dismantled and moved to this new location during construction of the Aswan High Dam, which created Lake Nasser, a major engineering feat. After a guided tour, check in to your second ship for your Lake Nasser cruise and enjoy the afternoon at leisure. Tonight, enjoy an onboard dinner and welcome cocktail, then relax or attend an optional sound and light show at Abu Simbel. (B, L, D)
DAY 9 | KASIR IBRIM & AMADA, EGYPT
This morning, we sail past the iconic Kasr Ibrim Fortress. Learn the story of the last Nubian monument remaining in its original location, and see it from the ship’s Sun Deck. Enjoy lunch aboard as you cruise across Lake Nasser to Amada. This afternoon, tour the small but interesting Nubian Amada Temple. The oldest of the Lake Nasser temples, it houses a collection of brightly painted historical carvings. Return aboard and dine as we sail to Wadi el Seboua. This evening, enjoy a Nubian show featuring traditional music, dance and costumes. (B, L, D)
DAY 10 | WADI EL SEBOUA, EGYPT
This morning, disembark for a walk through the Valley of the Lions, a striking avenue lined with sphinxes. Then, tour the Temple of Dakka, dedicated to the ibis-headed Thoth, and the Greco-Roman Temple of Meharakka, both located at the Wadi el Seboua Temple Complex. Return aboard for lunch and dinner as we sail toward Aswan. (B, L, D)
DAY 11 | ASWAN, EGYPT
After a leisurely final breakfast aboard the ship, disembark for a tour of the Temple of Kalabsha, which honors the androgynous Nubian sky and sun god, Mandulis. We also visit the Nubia Museum to view treasures salvaged from temples and monuments flooded by the dam; the museum’s gardens are beautifully landscaped with terraced waterfalls. After a local lunch, head to the airport for your flight back to Cairo. Check in to the superior first-class Citystars Cairo Hotel (or similar) for 1 night, then enjoy free time. Return to your hotel for dinner and an evening at leisure, or attend an optional sound and light show at the pyramids. (B, L, D)
DAY 12 | CAIRO, EGYPT
After breakfast, proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, extend your journey for 4 nights in Jordan to see the ‟lost city” of Petra, the Dead Sea and the capital of Amman. (B)
Enjoy a 4 night Nile Cruise, 3 night Lake Nassar Cruise, 3 nights Cairo hotel.
Call me for more details on this once in a lifetime cruise/tour adventure.
Limited time offer-2 for 1 cruise and 2 for 1 airfare.