Egypt: Jewels of the Nile
From $8,890.00 USD
August-November 2023 & January- May 2024
Cairo, Valley of the Kings, Great Pyramid of Giza, Luxor, Great Sphinx, Saint Simeon Monastery
Day 1 Arrive Cairo
A transfer is included from Cairo International Airport to the Marriott Mena House, a sumptuous former royal hunting lodge, where your room enjoys views of the pyramids. Join us this evening for a welcome reception and dinner that celebrates your arrival in this historic land.
Day 2 Pyramids of Giza
Drive to nearby Giza this morning for a guided tour of its storied pyramids, including the Great Pyramid of Giza, the last of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World, that have stood as defining symbols of Egypt for millennia. Here, take a camel ride* if you so choose, before viewing the most instantly recognizable statue in the world, crafted in limestone with the body of a lion and the head of a king – the Great Sphinx has been mysteriously reclining atop its Giza plateau for more than 3,000 years, guarding still the unanswered secret of who built it and why. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and spend the rest of day exploring Cairo as you like.
Day 3 Fly to Luxor for Nile River Cruise
The River Nile has been an invaluable source of life for the people in Egypt throughout history as it provides them with food, water and an important transportation route. Fly to Luxor this morning, site of the ancient city of Thebes and an extraordinary open-air museum, where your Nile cruiser awaits, embarking ship in time for an onboard lunch. This afternoon, join us for an excursion to the Valley of the Queens with a visit to the beautiful tomb of Nefertari, the great wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II, where the hieroglyphics amaze. Continue to the Valley of the Kings for an after-hours private visit that includes entry to King Tutankhamun's tomb, renowned for the wealth of valuable antiquities it contained when it was discovered unopened in 1922. Return to your ship for dinner at leisure.
Day 4 Temples of Luxor & Cruise to Esna
With three main temples and several smaller ones constructed over hundreds of years, Luxor's Temple of Karnak is the largest complex of its time ever built, developed over a thousand years. Explore the site with an expert guide who shares insights about its history and construction, including the 134-columned Great Hypostyle Hall. A locally guided visit to Luxor Temple, connected to Karnak by an avenue of sphinxes, and dating back to the 1300s BC, follows. Return to your Nile cruiser for lunch and a leisurely afternoon cruise to Esna.
Day 5 Temples of Edfu & Kim Ombo
Sail from Esna early morning and disembark at Edfu and visit the Temple of Horus, considered to be among the most beautiful and best-preserved temples in Egypt, with its roof still intact. It took 180 years for the temple to be built, and during your guided visit you'll discover why. Massive statues of Horus as a falcon guard entrances and the reliefs on its interior walls relate the story of the birth of Horus and depict Ptolemaic rulers making offerings to the gods and destroying their enemies. Return to your ship and cruise to Kom Ombo, where its unusual twin temples are just a walk away from your ship. Temple reliefs here feature a unique engraving thought to depict the first representation of medical and surgical instruments.
Day 6 A Sacred Temple & a day's end Felucca cruise
A full day of Egyptian exploration includes travel to the ruins of Saint Simeon Monastery, once housing some 300 monks when it was completed in the 10th century, and a boat ride to Agilkia Island to see the sacred Temple of Isis at Philae, one of the last of the ancient temples constructed in the "classic" Egyptian style. Back aboard ship, enjoy a relaxing afternoon charting a course towards Aswan, highlighted by a sunset felucca cruise and dinner at leisure.
Day 7 Disembark & Fly to Abu Simbel
A morning flight brings you to the Nubian village of Abu Simbel for a locally guided visit to its massive temples cut into a solid rock cliff and created during the reign of Ramesses II in the 1200s BC. The Great Temple stands 98 feet high with four seated colossi flanking the entrance and smaller statues depicting Ramessess' conquered enemies lining up below. The smaller temple, some 40 feet high, is adorned by four colossi depicting Ramesses and two of his queen Nefertari at a height of 32 feet. Fly back to Aswan for an overnight stay in the Nubian Desert where your colonial-era palace hotel is located on the banks of the River Nile. Enjoy views of the cataracts in the Nile River from your suite!
Day 8 Fly to Cairo
Fly back to Cairo this morning, touching down late morning. Following lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy a guided visit to the Old Egyptian Museum, housing the world's largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts and includes many of the treasures found in King Tutankhamun's tomb. Check into your riverside hotel, The St. Regis Cairo, with outstanding views of the Nile and Old Cairo; the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 9 Treasures of Old Cairo
Located on the right bank of the River Nile, the historic district of Old Coptic Cairo predate its modern-day processor with sites that date back to 6th century BC, including ones allegedly visited by the holy family of Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus. A guided tour includes Roman ruins, ancient Coptic churches, mosques and later visits the Al Rifai Mosque or the Sultan Hassan Mosque a short drive away. The afternoon is free; we invite you to join us for a farewell reception and dinner at your hotel tonight.