12 days (11 nights): 4 nights Cairo + 4 night cruise + 3 Lake Nasser Cruise
After a whirlwind tour of the Middle East’s largest city, embark on a wondrous cruise along the glorious River Nile, exploring the wonders of Upper Egypt and Nubia.
As you arrive at Cairo International Airport, one of our English-speaking representatives will guide you through all the necessary immigration, customs, and visa procedures. You will then be transported to your hotel in Cairo by one of our air-conditioned vehicles.
After recharging with a tasty Egyptian breakfast, we will embark on a city tour that gives you a glimpse into its historic past. Your tour will begin with a visit to three Pyramids of Giza. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World the Great Pyramid of Cheops stands 230-meter-high and is just one part of a huge funerary complex. Within the Pyramids are interconnected chambers that housed the many treasures and sarcophagi belonging to the Pharaoh. Another essential feature in this location is the iconic Giant Sphinx depicting the head of King Khafre with the body of a lion.
In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit the necropolis of Saqqara, which was declared UNESCO 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.
Next on the tour is a visit to Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt (c. 3,100 B.C.), known at present time as Mit Rahina. The ruins of this city are displayed in a magnificent open-air museum featuring the giant limestone statue of Ramses II, as well as an alabaster Sphinx 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 breakfast at the hotel, you begin the day with a visit to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, home to a diverse collection of objects of immense cultural value, among them are the treasures of Tutankhamen. The museum’s collection offers a unique opportunity for a first-hand encounter with this lost world.
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.
Next, you will be given the opportunity to visit Old Cairo’s Coptic Quarter. This area has been a melting pot of religions, chief amongst them are 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, we will 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 done, you will be transported back to your hotel in time for dinner
Begin the day with a delicious breakfast at your hotel before returning to Cairo airport to catch a domestic flight to Luxor. Upon your arrival in Luxor, you will be taken to your cruise boat. There you will have a short break and be offered refreshments made from locally sourced produce, before delving into the wonders of this ancient city along the banks of the River Nile.
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 encounter 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 fifth day kicks off 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 an exploration of a truly 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. You 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 Medinet Habu Temple, which is notable for its architecture and use of polychromy.
We will then have a short break for lunch, where you will enjoy an amazing panoramic view of the complex Deir el-Bahri, which famously features the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut. After which we move across the complex to admire the majesty of Temple of Amenhotep III. Here you will observe the Colossi of Memnon, two immense twin statues that remain breathtaking centuries after their creation. Both depicting Amenhotep III with his eyes looking east, towards the Nile and sunrise. Around him are two smaller figures symbolizing his wife and mother.
In the evening, you will enjoy a late dinner on the boat as you watch the sunset over Esna and Edfu.
Begin your day than with a delicious breakfast in the sunshine of Edfu. Once you are finished, 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 and our departure to 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 and enjoy a relaxing dinner as you set sail for 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 explore the wonders of Aswan. Our Spanish-speaking representatives will be happy to recommend sights and activities.
After your evening meal, you will embark on a traditional felucca ride. This is a rich local experience, allowing you 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. A 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 monumental engineering endeavor launched by the British Empire during its occupation of the country and completed by the Egyptians in the middle of the last century.
You will then depart for Aswan airport to catch a domestic flight to Abu Simbel. A boat will take you along Lake Nasser to the legendary temples of Abu Simbel and its famous archaeological site.
Many years ago, this magnificent monument was almost lost in an unprecedented Nile flood. However, thanks to the efforts of UNESCO, it was moved brick by brick to a nearby location and remains to this day. The iconic temple of Ramses II features 4 imposing 20-meter-high statues on its main façade, a truly breathtaking experience to see firsthand. Savor the temple both by day and by night, in an impressive sound and light show.
Upon further exploring the complex, you will find an extensive gallery and several rooms honoring the many gods of Egypt. You will also tour the temple dedicated to Nefertari, wife of the Pharaoh. On its main facade are 6 statues, four of them depicting Ramses II and two depicting Nefertari.
In the afternoon, you will have lots of time to rest and recharge. You may also use your time to continue exploring the historical wealth of these monuments. As the sun sets, you will have to opportunity to witness the sound and light show, detailing the history of Ramses II, Nefertari, and the extensive work carried out by UNESCO in the process of moving Abu Simbel from its original location in Aswan.
You will then be taken to your Cruise Ship for check-in and for a much-deserved rest.
Your journey to Qasr Ibrim will begin at dawn. You can, however, wake up at your leisure and enjoy a delicious breakfast aboard the boat as you approach the ruins of this ancient town.
Your first stop at Qasr Ibrim will be the Temple of Amada, the oldest Egyptian temple in Nubia, which was built during the reigns of Thutmose III, Amenhotep II, and Tuthmosis IV. You are encouraged to read the many historical inscriptions on the walls of this temple, which narrate key scenes from the lives of these pharaohs.
After this, you will visit the Temple of Derr, a rock-cut Egyptian temple that was commissioned by Ramses II. To date, the interior of the temple is preserved in excellent condition. The two hypostyle halls are dedicated to Amun-Ra, and the walls inside are covered with engravings depicting the exploits of the Pharaoh in battle. Inside you will also find the tomb of Penut, who was governor of Wawat during the reign of Ramses IV. He is depicted in prayer beside the Pharaoh, alongside a wall covered with religious and funerary scenes.
In the evening, you will return to the boat for dinner and rest, as you set sail for Wadi El Seboua.
Enjoy a tasty breakfast aboard the boat just before you begin your day with a visit to the temple of Wabi El Seboua. The temple was built by Ramses II and dedicated to the gods Amun-Ra and Ra-Horakhty.
Your next stop will be the Temple of Dekka, dedicated to Thoth, the god of wisdom and holy scripture, which was built across the reign of several Pharaohs. Finally, you will visit the Temple of Maharraka, a small edifice built in the Greco-Roman style that was never fully constructed, and to date remains unfinished.
In the evening, you will return to the boat for dinner and rest, as you set sail for Aswan.
Enjoy breakfast aboard the boat just before setting off for the temple of Kalabsha. This temple was dedicated to the Nubian sun goddess Mandulis, and is one of the finest examples of regional architecture, and promises a splendid view of the temple grounds and sacred lake.
Next to Kalabsha is the Temple of Beit El Wali, which was built in honor of four gods: Amun-Ra, Ra-Horakhty, Khnum and Anuket. At the beginning of the Coptic Christian period, the temple was used as a church. Your last stop will be Kertassi Kiosk, a beautiful Roman Kiosk built in honor of the goddess Isis. The enchanting elegance of the structure combined with the breath-taking panorama of Lake Nasser will ensure that this is the perfect conclusion to your day.
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.
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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