Day 1: Arrive Cairo, Egypt
Today when you arrive at Cairo International Airport you will be met and transferred by air-conditioned vehicle to your hotel for check-in and overnight stay in Cairo.
Day 2: Giza - Memphis - Sakkara Tours
After breakfast depart for a full day excursion to Giza, Sakkara and Memphis.
Your Egyptologist will escort you on an unforgettable tour of the Great Pyramids of Giza. The only present-day survivors of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, they are among the world’s greatest tourist attractions and never lose their ability to inspire and overwhelm visitors. Your tour today includes an opportunity to enter inside one of these fabulous monuments and explore the mysteries of its ancient past for yourself. No trip to Egypt would be complete without a ride on a “ship of the desert” and so you will have an opportunity to mount your individual camel for a short ride across the sands of Giza to the Sphinx. Enter the temple of the mysterious Sphinx, an ancient figure shrouded in legend and mystery. Your Egyptologist will enthrall you with the tales told of this fascinating figure. Experience Egypt’s long and rich history in the exciting double tour to the city of Memphis and the necropolis of Sakkara. At vast Sakkara, you will see the famous Step Pyramid of King Zoser, the first freestanding stone structure in the world. Your Egyptologist will guide you to some tombs belonging to the nobles of the past. They show the beauty and excellence of Ancient Egyptian art on their walls and give an insight in the daily life of Ancient Egypt. At the site of Memphis, you will see the ancient capital that once stood as a flourishing metropolis during the time of the Pharaohs. Lush palm groves and bushes that isolate the site of the old city from modern civilization thickly surround the place.
Day 3: Cairo Fly to - Luxor - Nile Cruise Holiday
After breakfast at your hotel in Cairo check out and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Luxor. Upon arrival in Luxor, transfer to your cruise boat, moored in private dock. The staff will assist you with check-in. After lunch onboard, start your tour to the East Bank by visiting the Temple of Karnak, built more than a thousand years ago by generations of Pharaohs. The Great “Hypostyle Hall” is an incredible forest of giant pillars, covering an area larger than the whole of Notre Dame cathedral. After that your Egyptologist will guide you on a tour of the strikingly graceful Temple of Luxor, dedicated to the god Amun. Return to your cruise boat for afternoon tea in the lounge. Tonight, your Boat Manager, who will introduce you to the crew and review onboard facilities and your cruise program for the next few days, will greet you. Complimentary Egyptian wine and local beer will be served, along with freshly prepared canapés. Then, enjoy a gourmet dinner followed by belly dancers and a whirling dervish show.
Day 4: Luxor - Esna - Nile cruise holiday
Following breakfast onboard, visit the West Bank of Luxor and explore the Valley of the Kings, a vast City of the Dead where magnificent tombs were carved into the desert rocks, decorated richly, and filled with treasures for the afterlife by generations of Pharaohs. You will also have the chance to visit at least one tomb in the Valley of the Queens. Rising out of the desert plain in a series of terraces, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut (Ancient Egypt’s only female Pharaoh) merges with the sheer limestone cliffs that surround it, as if nature herself had built this extraordinary monument. On the way back to the river Nile, your road passes by the famed Colossi of Memnon, known in Ancient Greek times for their haunting voices at dawn. Lunch and afternoon tea will be served on board while you cruise to Esna. Tonight’s dinner onboard will be an “Egyptian Night” costume party, with a chance to dress up in traditional Egyptian “galabeyya”. Dinner will be a lavish buffet of Egyptian specialties, followed by live music and dancing
Day 5: Esna- Edfu- Kom Ombo
Enjoy the breakfast buffet on board this morning and then visit the Temple of Esna. The Temple of Esna is located in the center of town and very close to the Nile River. This morning your Egyptologist will guide you round the Greco-Roman Temple that is dedicated to the ram headed God Khnum, the God of creation. The beautifully preserved Great Hypostyle Hall was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius; it was excavated from the silt that had accumulated through centuries of annual Nile floods and is about nine meters below present-day street level. Have lunch on board, while you cruise to Edfu. This afternoon, explore the largest and most completely preserved Pharaonic, albeit Greek-built, temple in Egypt, the extraordinary Temple of Horus at Edfu. Later, an Egyptian cooking lesson will be presented onboard. Afternoon tea will be served during the cruise to Kom Ombo, and a gourmet dinner onboard.
Day 6: Kom Ombo- Aswan
After breakfast buffet on board, visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to the crocodile-god Sobek. The temple stands at a bend in the Nile where in ancient times sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the riverbank. Lunch on board while you cruise to Aswan. Take a short motorboat ride to visit the romantic and majestic Philae Temple on the Island of Agilka. Next, we proceed to the granite quarries, which supplied the ancient Egyptians with most of the hard stone used in pyramids and temples, and still hold a huge unfinished obelisk.This afternoon (weather permitting) take a ride on a felucca, a typical Egyptian sailboat, around Elephantine Island, Lord Kitchener’s Botanical Gardens, and Agha Khan Mausoleum. Enjoy afternoon tea in the lounge, accompanied by a trio of authentic Egyptian musicians. Tonight’s farewell dinner will be a formal gala dinner (jacket required), with white-gloved waiters serving gourmet cuisine.
Day 7: Aswan- Fly to Cairo
After breakfast onboard, check out at 8:00 AM. Optional tour to Abu Simbel available on request. Then you’ll be transferred to Aswan Airport to board your flight back to Cairo. When you arrive, you will be met and taken back to your hotel for overnight.
Day 8: Ancient Cairo Tour
Your Egyptologist will escort you today on a fascinating tour of 7,000 years of Egyptian history with a visit to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. The museum houses the world’s greatest collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts, including 12 rooms filled with golden treasures from the world-famous tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamen. Your Egyptologist will then guide you today round the highlights of Coptic Cairo. There you will find the remains of the old Fortress of Babylon, built at the time of the Romans in Egypt to protect the country from invading enemies. The walls of the fortress enclose the Church of St. Sergius, which is built on a crypt considered to be one of the resting places of the Holy Family during their flight to Egypt 2,000 years ago. You will also see the “Hanging Church”, supported by only one column, boasting incredible paintings inside. Visit the Synagogue of Ben Ezra, from the time of the once thriving Jewish community in Egypt under the leadership of Rabbi Ben Ezra. Inside were discovered the so-called “Geniza Documents”, which showed an unparalleled source of information about life of the Jews in Egypt’s past. You will also enter the Coptic Museum, which displays a wonderful collection of medieval statues, bells, bone carvings, frescoes, icons and colorful textiles. Take a fascinating tour of Islamic Cairo, including the beautiful and graceful Mohamed Ali Mosque and the ancient Citadel; a spectacular medieval fortress perched on a hill above the city. Originally built by Salah El-Din in 1176 to fortify the city against the Crusaders, the Citadel was modified and enlarged over the centuries by subsequent rulers and today is a complex of three mosques and four museums. Proceed to the fascinating Khan El-Khalili Bazaar – reputed to be the largest bazaar in the Middle East. Originally founded as a watering stop for caravanserai in the 14th century, the bazaar has now grown to vast proportions. As you wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets you will find workshops and stalls selling all manner of things from woodwork, glassware and leather goods to perfumes, fabrics and Pharaonic curiosities.
Day 9: Cairo - Back Home
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your departing flight back home.