Day 1 Depart USA
- The opportunity to truly experience Luxor at the Old Winter Palace
- A guided tour of the rarely visited Abydos complex dedicated to Osiris, Lord of the Netherworld
- Visiting the Temple of Hathur, goddess of love and pleasure
- Enjoying the Nile from the sun deck of your luxury Nile boat
This evening you depart on your overnight Business Class flight to Cairo which William Lithgow, in 1614, described as "this little world, the great Cairo...the most admirable and the greatest city seen upon the earth... the microcosmos of the greater world..."
Day 2 Welcome to Egypt
Upon arrival you will be met by your guide for a private transfer to your hotel. As you drive to the hotel you will start to be immersed in the culture of Cairo. Cairo has been the largest city in Africa for centuries. Modern Cairo encompasses many former cities and their monuments: the pyramids of the pharaohs, early Christian monasteries and churches; Salah al-Din's Citadel; mosques of the Mamluke and Ottoman sultans. Five thousand years of culture are concentrated here, at the center of three continents... and you are part of it. This evening you have a relaxing dinner at your hotel overlooking the Pyramids.
Day 3 Exploring the Many Facets of Cairo
Cairo is really three cities in one, Pharonic Cairo, Coptic Cairo and Islamic Cairo and each continues to influence the city. After breakfast you will be picked up at the hotel and taken to the Egyptian Museum for an introduction to Pharonic Cairo. This is one of the world's most famous museums. The magnificent collection of antiques includes mummies, Sarcophagi and the highlight of it all... the fabulous treasure from Tutankhamun's tomb. After lunch at a local restaurant you will see the Islamic side of Cairo with a visit to the Mohammed Mosque and the Citadel of Salah Al-Din. Built between 1176 and 1182 AD, the citadel provides a panoramic view of Cairo from the Moqattam Hills. This evening you enjoy dinner as you cruise the Nile and view the sights of Cairo by Night.
Day 4 Memphis, Saqqara and Giza
Your day begins with a visit to Memphis. One of the oldest cities on earth, legendary Memphis was the capitol of ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom (2705-2155BC). You then visit Saqqara, the royal burial ground during the Old Kingdom. There are so many periods represented that Saqqara could almost be a book, in whose pages the story of Egyptian Civilization through the Pharonic, Greek and Roman periods are told. Your last visit is the reason many people visit Egypt. You will stand face to face with The Sphinx, the "sacred symbol of the union of the strongest physical with the highest intellectual power on earth" and stand in awe of the Pyramids. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, King Cheops' pyramid was built in 2650BC and as Amelia Edwards said in 1877 "it is impossible to get tired of the Pyramids". Tonight, a special dinner accompanbied by VIP seats for the sound and light show at the pyramids.
Day 5 Old Cairo, Luxor and the Old Winter Palace
After breakfast, your guide will pick you up and take you to Old Cairo to visit the magnificent Coptic church of St Sergius where Jesus and his family stayed after fleeing from Jerusalem. You will then visit the Ben Ezra Synagogue, the oldest in Egypt, and the first and oldest Mosque in Egypt. After lunch in a local restaurant, you head to the airport for the brief flight to Luxor. Upon arrival you are transferred to the Old Winter Palace Hotel, a Victorian masterpiece located on the Nile across from the Valley of the Kings. Built in 1886, this hotel was the home of European royalty who came here for the temperate weather during the winter season. In addition to former royalty, dignitaries such as Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie and Henry Kissinger have all signed the guest book. After a chance to freshen up, your private Egyptologist will take you on an illuminating tour through the Luxor museum, a preview of the great antiquities still to come. Returning to the hotel,you have a chance to walk the manicured gardens before enjoying an elegant dinner at the hotel.
Day 6 Karnak, Valley of the Kings and Queens and Hatsheput Temple
After breakfast, your guide will coordinate your transfer to your luxury Nile Cruise boat moored at its private dock. Once aboard you are served chilled fruit juice while your bags are transferred to your outside cabin. You meet the ship's Egyptologists who explain the day's activities. The first visit will be to the Temple of Karnak, built over a thousand years ago by generations of Pharaohs. The great Hypostyle Hall is a forest of giant pillars covering an area larger than the Cathedral of Notre Dame. After a detailed visit, you return to the ship for lunch. After lunch you will depart to the West Bank of Luxor to explore the Valley of the Kings, a vast city of the Dead where maginificent tombs were carved into the desert rocks, decorated richly, and filled with treasures for the afterlife by generations of Pharohs. Despite modern day restrictions, we have arranged for you to have the opportunity to visit at least one tomb in the nearby Valley of the Queens.Your next visit will be a high point. Rising out of the desert plain in a series of terraces, the Temple of Queen Hatsheput, ancient Egypt's only female Pharaoh, merges with the sheer limstone cliffs that surround it, as if nature herself had built this extraordinary monument. On the way back to the boat you will stop to see the famed Colossi of Memnon. This evening a welcome cocktail reception precedes a gourmet dinner in the ship's dining room.
Day 7 Nagaa Hammadi and Abydos
While you are still asleep, the boat will get underway, sailing to Nagaa Hammadi. As you enjoy a buffet breakfast you cruise northwards passing by Qena. This part of your cruise is very much off the beaten path and passes through some of the most beautiful scenery along the Nile; its beauty enhanced by the absence of other cruise boats. After lunch on board the boat arrives at Abydos where you go ashore with the Egyptologists. Abydos stands apart from other sites in Egypt, as it was in fact, the center of a holy city dedicated to Osiris, Lord of the Netherworld. It was also the burial place for pre-dynastic kings and Pharaohs dating back to the fourth millenium B.C. You return to the ship and have the chance to relax on the Sun deck as the boat heads back to Qena where it overnights. Tonight another gourmet dinner is in store.
Day 8 Denderah and the Temple of Luxor
This morning you will visit the Ptolemaic Temple of the Godess Hathor in Denderah. This wonderfully preserved temple complex is a rare sight to behold, complete with a massive stone roof, dark chambers, underground passages and towering columns inscribed with hieroglyphs. The main Temple of Hathor is almost intact. Hathor was the goddess of pleasure and of love, usually represented as a cow, or a woman with a cow's head. She was the beneficent deity of maternal and family love, of beauty and light; the Greeks associted her woth Aphrodite. You return to the boat and while you enjoy lunch, the boat makes its way back to Luxor. This afternoon you will visit the other side of the Nile as your Egyptologist guides you on a tour of the strikinly graceful Temple of Luxor dedicated to the god Amun.
Day 9 Esna and the Cruise to Edfu
You enjoy breakfast as the boat makes its way to Esna where your Egyptologist will guide you round the Greco-Roman Temple of Khnum. The beautifully preserved Great 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, today, is about twenty five feet below contemporary street level. After your exploration you return to the boat where you set sail for Edfu.
Day 10 The Temples of Edfu and Kom Ombo
This morning you disembark at Edfu. Even though it was actually built by the Greeks, the Temple of Horus is considered to be the most completely preserved Pharaonic temple in Egypt. Your Egyptologist will provide a detailed overview and exploration of the temple before your return to the boat for the cruise to Kom Ombo. After lunch you will 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. This evening you will enjoy an Egyptian night party whixh allows you the option of dressing in traditional Egyptian "galabeyyas". Dinner will be a lavish buffet of Egyptian specialties, followed by oriental music and dancing.
Day 11 From Kom Ombo to Aswan
You enjoy both breakfast and lunch on board as the boat makes its way to Aswan. There is plenty of time to take in the banks of the Nile from the boat's lounge or the sun deck. In the afternoon, having arrived in Aswan, you take a ride on a felucca, a typical Egytian sail boat, around Elehantine Island, Lord Kitchener's Botanical Gardens and the Agha Khan Mauseleum.
Day 12 The High Dam, Philae and the Unfinished Obelisk
This morning your Egyptologist will escort you to the Aswan High Dam Egypt's contemporary example of building on a monumental scale. You then take a motorboat ride to the Island of Agika where you visit the romantic and majestic Philae Temple. Your last visit of the morning is to the Granite Quarries which supplied the ancient Egyptians with most of the hard stone used in pyramids and temples. You will see an almost completely carved obelisk still connected to its granite home. You return to the boat and an afternoon of leisure. This evening your farewell dinner will be a formal gala dinner with white gloved waiters serving gourmet cuisine.
Day 13 Abu Simbel and Cairo
An early morning departure from the ship for the short flight to Abu Simbel. When the Aswan High Dam was planned to protect the Nile Delta from devastating flooding it was realized that the flooding it would create would destroy the two temples that were at the heart of Nubian culture. Thanks to UNESCO and nation donors, the temples were moved to higher ground and preserved for future visitors like us. The larger temple was erected by Ramses II. The façade of 90 feet high and 120 feet wide and guarded by four statues of Ramses, each of which is 60 feet high. North of this temple is the smaller one (but still impressive) built by Ramses to honor his wife Nefertari. After exploring the temple you will return to the airport for the flight to Cairo. This evening you say farewell to Egypt with a dinner at a roof top restaurant overlooking the lights of Cairo.
Day 14 Return to USA
After breakfast, your driver will be waiting to take you to the airport for your return flight to the US arriving later that same afternoon.
Available Year Round
Luxury River Cruise - Eternal Nile ULEG05 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Cairo, Luxor, Nile Cruise
Additional Pricing Information
- All air transportation as part of the program offered including private and charter aircraft. (On those programs requiring private aircraft flights, you will be limited to 33lbs of luggage which can be stored in the safari luggage which we provide to you. Additional luggage will be stored for you for the rest of your trip. In the private camps, daily laundry is available (and, in most cases included).
- Luxury rail travel as indicated
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- On Safari, only private camps are used and include all meals and all game viewing in most camps, house beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks (indicated on itinerary)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)
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