Explore pyramids and tombs, temples and bazaars, from Cairo to points along the Nile. Cruise off the beaten path to the well-preserved Temple of Hathor in Denderah. Visit the magnificent temples in Abu Simbel.
Tour the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities housing relics dating back to 4000 BC. World-famous treasures of Tutankhamun extracted from his tomb in the Valley of the Kings are here. See the fascinating Mummy Room, where more than 20 pharaohs lie in state. The ancient capital of Memphis & the world-famous Step Pyramid of King Zoser, the oldest known Egyptian pyramid.
Travel to Giza Plateau, site of the pyramids of Mycerinus, Chefren & the Great Pyramid of Cheops, survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Here the Great Sphinx stands as centurion over these magnificent royal tombs. This landmark was carved out of a single piece of rock in the shape of a lion with a pharaoh’s head. Visit the 141-foot-long funerary boat of King Cheops, hailed as the single most important find in Egypt since the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Ride a camel and enjoy a sound & light show at the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza… take a sunset cocktail cruise aboard a traditional felucca… stay at Egypt’s best hotels, including Pyramid-view rooms at the Mena House Oberoi in Cairo… visit the temple complexes of Karnak and Luxor, the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, the Egyptian Museum and more.
Day 1 – Welcome to Egypt
Your Eygpt tour begins at the Mena House Operoi. A transfer is included from Cairo International Airport to your hotel, a sumptuous former royal hunting lodge. Your room looks out on to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza.
Day 2 – The Sphinx & Great Pyramid
A visit to the Pyramids is on every world-traveler’s must-do list, and is an iconic image of your Egypt tour. After meeting the Egyptologist, visit the Solar Boat Museum, whose main attraction is an ancient Egyptian cedarwood boat dating back 4,500 years. At Giza, see the Sphinx guarding the plateau, as it has for the same 4,500 years.. and marvel at the Great Pyramid of Cheops, a crowning architectural achievement and one of the most recognizable structures on Earth. Cap the day with a camel ride at the Pyramids.
Day 3 – Memphis, Sakkara & Dahshur
Travel to the site of Memphis, first capital of ancient Egypt’s “Old Kingdom,” for a look at some of the country’s oldest antiquities; you’ll see the Alabaster Sphinx and an imposing statue of Ramesses II. Check out the progression of pyramid design over the centuries… first in Sakkara, where you’ll visit the Teti Pyramid and view the Step Pyramid of Djoser, the world’s first monumental structure built of stone. Then continue off-the-beaten-path to the less-often visited necropolis at Dahshur for a look at the Royal Tombs, numerous pyramids and temples there. The evening’s elaborate sound and light show at the Pyramids and the Sphinx in Giza is a spectacular way to end an unforgettable day.
Day 4 – Luxor
Take a charter flight to Luxor, site of ancient Thebes, where your Egypt tour continues with a guided visit to the Luxor Museum, displaying rich archeological finds from the temples and tombs of Upper Egypt. Later, enjoy a sunset cocktail cruise on the Nile aboard a traditional felucca, followed by dinner at your hotel – where your room overlooks Egypt’s timeless river!
Day 5 – Valleys of the Kings
You may choose to begin the day soaring over the Valleys of the Kings and Queens on an optional hot air balloon ride. On a major highlight of your Egypt tour, visit the Valley of the Kings, where at least 62 ornately decorated tombs for the pharaohs were hidden. The Egyptologist accompanies your exploration of the Valley of the Queens, revealing 80 tombs of royal family members. Board the Nile Adventurer in Luxor for the start of your 4-night cruise along the Nile. After settling into your cabin, go ashore and ride a horse-drawn carriage through the temple complex of Luxor – noted for its avenue of sphinxes, grand colonnades, and colossal statues of Ramesses II, and spectacularly illuminated in the evening – and through the local bazaar.
Day 6 – Temple of Karnak & Cruise to Esna
The largest complex of its kind on Earth, the vast Temple of Karnak in Luxor — covering some 200 acres — boggles the mind as you explore its massive walls, statuary and inscription-covered columns with your Egyptologist. Spend the rest of the day cruising the Nile, glimpsing life along the ancient river’s banks; enjoy a private galley tour and afternoon tea as you sail to Esna. Sample Egyptian wine and local beer at the Captain’s welcome reception aboard the Nile Adventurer this evening, followed by dinner.
Day 7 – Cruising to Edfu
Continue your Egypt tour with visits to Esna’s Greco-Roman antiquities including the Temple of Khnum, constructed during the reign of Emperor Claudius; then cruise to Edfu to explore its remarkably well-preserved Temple of Horus, as well as a local bazaar. Join your shipmates tonight for a special evening featuring traditional Egyptian dress, cuisine, dancing and entertainment as Nile Adventurer cruises to Kom Ombo.
Day 8 – Kom Ombo & Aswan
Discoveries abound on the last day of your unforgettable Nile cruise, as your Egypt tour takes you to see the unusual double temples of Kom Ombo, then on to Aswan for a motorboat ferry ride to the Philae Temple on Agilka Island; dedicated to Isis, it was moved to its present location to save it from the rising waters caused by the building of the Aswan Dam. You’ll also see nearby quarries where the granite used to build temples and pyramids was mined thousands of years ago. Tonight, the Captain and crew of Nile Adventurer bid you farewell with cocktails in the lounge and a gala dinner.
Day 9 – Abu Simbel & Alexandria
After disembarking Nile Adventurer in Aswan, set out across a corner of the Sahara Desert for Abu Simbel, in what was once the ancient kingdom of Nubia. Marvel at the Great Temple honoring Ramesses II – carved out of a cliff, with four 67-foot-high seated statues of the pharaoh at the entrance – and the adjacent Temple of Hathor, dedicated to his wife, Queen Nefertari. Fly to Alexandria by private charter for an overnight in Egypt’s bastion of culture on the Mediterranean, named for Alexander the Great; see Pompey’s Pillar and The Citadel on a brief city tour before exploring on your own.
Day 10 – Catacombs & Treasures
Now that you’ve explored Egypt’s wonders along the Nile, enjoy Alexandria’s decidedly Mediterranean atmosphere. Once home to the greatest library and center of learning in the ancient world, Alexandria recently opened a spectacular new library for the 21st century – the Bibliotecha Alexandrina – which you’ll visit today along with the fascinating Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa and the National Museum, displaying a collection of antiquities rescued from the waters of the Mediterranean. Return overland to Cairo for a final two-night stay.
Day 11 – Cairo
After a lecture on the changing role of women in Arabic society kicks off your day, explore the Egyptian Museum’s world-renowned collection of antiquities – many as much as 5,000 years old. Behold treasures found in the tomb of the “Boy King,” Tutankhamun, including his golden funeral mask, solid gold coffin, carved throne, and jewelry. “Meet” ancient rulers, including the mighty Ramesses II, face-to-face in the Royal Mummy Room.
Day 12 – Farewell
Tour ends in Cairo.