9 days (8 nights): 3 nights Cairo + 1 night Luxor + 4 nights Nile cruise
Experience Egypt as the Pharaohs did, sailing along the glorious River Nile. Featuring a brief sojourn in Luxor, this Nile adventure concludes in the vibrant and historic city of Cairo.
As you arrive at Cairo International Airport, one of our English-speaking representatives will guide you through all the necessary immigration and visa procedures and take you through customs. You will then await your connecting flight to Luxor. Once you’ve arrived in Luxor, you will be driven to your hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle.
Enjoy a tasty breakfast at the hotel as you kick off your first full day in Luxor. First on the list is Dendera, a small town on the West bank of the Nile, about 60 kilometers north of Luxor. Dendera’s temple complex is home to some of the world's best-preserved temples. These were hidden beneath the ground several centuries, and only rediscovered by the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette 150 or so years ago. Famous among them is Hathor Temple. In Ancient Egyptian mythology, Hathor was the daughter of Ra and the goddess of love, fertility, and joy. Here you will find a perfect replica of the Dendera Zodiac, a sculpture 2.5 meters high ornamented with beautiful illustrations of Taurus and Libra. The original sculpture was moved to the Louvre in Paris.
Once you have thoroughly explored Dendera, you will return to Luxor. After a short lunch break onboard the boat, you will have the opportunity to delve into the wonders of the ancient city. The temples of Luxor and Karnak are historically renowned for their majesty; it takes just 45 minutes to walk from one temple to the other, and on your way, you will observe several sphinxes and hear a number of stories about the pharaohs responsible for their construction. After this exciting day, you return to the boat for dinner and rest in your cabin.
Your next day kicks off energetically with a hearty breakfast. Crossing to the other side of the Nile, your first stop will be the Necropolis of Thebes, which is among the most important symbols of Egypt’s ancient civilization.
Next up is a true archaeological treasure and one of the great wonders of Egypt: The Valley of the Kings, commissioned by Pharaohs of dynasties XVIII, XIX and XX and home to tombs of Tutankhamen and Ramses IV. Travelers will later proceed to the Valley of the Artisans, a tribute to those who built the tombs of the Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings. Next, you will visit the mortuary temple of Ramses III, known as Medinet Habu Temple, which is notable for its use of polychromy and is an exemplary piece of architecture from the New Kingdom.
After a short break for lunch, you will be surprised with an amazing panoramic view of the complex of Deir el-Bahri, which famously features the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut. We will move across this complex to admire the majesty of ancient Egypt from the Temple of Amenhotep III. Here you will observe the Colossi of Memnon, two immense twin statues that remain breathtaking centuries after their creation. Both depict Amenhotep III with his eyes looking east, towards the Nile and sunrise. Around him are two smaller figures symbolizing his wife and his mother.
In the evening, you will enjoy a late dinner on the boat as you watch the sunset over Esna and Edfu.
How better to begin your day than with a delicious breakfast in the sunshine of Edfu? Once done, you will be driven by boat to the temple of Horus. Hidden under the sand for several centuries and only discovered by the French archaeologist Auguste Mariette in the mid-nineteenth century, the temple of Horus temple is one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt.
Later in the day, you will return to the boat for a lunch break, soon departing for Kom Ombo. In this city, you will visit the temple dedicated to Haroeris, the falcon god, and Sobek, the crocodile god. The tour will proceed to visit an exhibition of excellently preserved mummified crocodiles, illuminating the mystery of this strange Ancient Egyptian custom.
At night you will return to the cruise boat for dinner and rest in order to prepare for your final day in Aswan.
Enjoy a relaxing morning with a tasty breakfast and lots of time to lounge in your cabin. We do, however, recommend you take the opportunity to visit the legendary temples of Abu Simbel and its famous archaeological site. Many years ago, this magnificent monument was almost lost in unprecedented Nile floods. However, thanks to the efforts of UNESCO, it was moved piece by piece to a nearby location and endures to this day. The main reference point of the complex is the temple of Ramses II, the main façade of which features 4 incredible statues, each 20 meters high, breathtaking in all the majesty of ancient Egypt. Savor the temple both by day and by night, in an impressive sound and light show.
Upon walking inland, you will find an extensive gallery and several rooms honoring the many gods of Egypt. You can also find the temple dedicated to Nefertari, wife of the Pharaoh. On the main facade are 6 statues, four of them depicting Ramses II and two depicting Nefertari.
After your evening meal, you will embark on a felucca ride. This is a rich local experience, giving you the opportunity to closely admire the surrounding landscape from the perspective of the legendary Nile. The felucca will pass by Elephantine Island, one of the oldest trading centers in the ivory trade, and Kitchener's Island, famous for its beautiful botanical gardens. To conclude, you will enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Agha Khan Mausoleum. Just a brief glance at this breathtaking monument explains why Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah chose it to be his eternal resting place.
At night, you will be offered dinner and left to enjoy your last night on board.
Enjoy breakfast aboard the boat just before setting off for the small island of Philae. Ptolemy II built the temple on this island in honor of the goddess Isis. It also holds the unfinished obelisk, which was claimed as the world's largest obelisk until it, unfortunately, cracked.
The contrast between the ancient past and present will be striking as you arrive at your next destination, the celebrated Aswan Dam, a gigantic piece of engineering work that was launched by the British Empire during its occupation of the country, and concluded by the Egyptians in the middle of the last century.
In the afternoon you will be transferred to Aswan airport to leave for Cairo, where a representative will pick you up to take you to your hotel where you will check-in and be offered dinner before retiring for the night.
After recharging with a tasty Egyptian breakfast, your tour will begin with a visit to three Pyramids of Giza, which includes the Great Pyramid of Cheops, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This 230-meter-high Pyramid is just one part of a huge funerary complex. Another essential feature is the giant Sphinx depicting the head of King Khafre with the body of a lion. Inside the Pyramid are many treasures, chambers, and sarcophagi. Beneath the Pyramid are several secret tunnels that were in ancient days used to move through the monument.
In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit the necropolis of Saqqara, which was declared by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site. Here stands the famous Step Pyramid of King Djoser, the central feature of his vast funerary complex, which marked a huge step in the evolution of pyramidal construction.
After this, you will visit Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt (c. 3,100 B.C.), today is known as Mit Rahina. The ruins of this city are displayed in a magnificent open-air museum featuring the giant statue of Ramses II, carved in limestone, as well as an alabaster Sphinx 4 meters high guarding the Temple of Ptah.
In the evening, you will return to your hotel to enjoy a relaxing dinner and a good night’s sleep.
After recharging with a tasty Egyptian breakfast, a guide will accompany you to tour the many attractions of the largest city in Africa. We begin the tour with the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, home to a diverse collection of objects of immense cultural value, among them the treasures of Tutankhamen. The museum’s collection offers a unique opportunity for a first-hand encounter with the lost world of this historic civilization.
Later, we will visit Medieval Cairo, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This part of the city was built in the 10th century and primarily served as a royal enclosure for the caliphs. It is accordingly filled with mosques and religious buildings of great historical significance. Inside, you will visit the Citadel of Saladin, a fortress in which stands the imposing mosque of Mohamed Ali, as well as the many museums and gardens hidden within its walls.
After this, you will be given the opportunity to visit Old Cairo’s Coptic Quarter. This area has been a melting pot of religions, chief among them Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Essential places to visit are the Hanging Church, built on the Fortress of Babylon, the Church of St. Sergius, where the Holy Family is believed to have been sheltered during their period of exile in Egypt, and the Ben Ezra Synagogue, which is one of the oldest synagogues in Egypt and dates back to the 7th century. Finally, you can stroll through the picturesque bazaar of Khan el-Khalili, a fourteenth-century marketplace where you can purchase all sorts of traditional souvenirs, and experience Egyptian haggling at its finest.
Once the tour is finished, the guide will accompany you to your hotel for dinner.
Enjoy a final breakfast at the hotel before begin driven to Cairo International Airport in an air-conditioned vehicle. Savor this as an opportunity to contemplate one last view of this beautiful, richly historical city.
To ensure your trip goes smoothly, an English-speaking representative will accompany you at all times and be available to assist you until you are safe aboard your plane.
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