DAY 1, Sunday - Depart for Egypt
Depart for Egypt.
DAY 2, Monday - Arrive in Cairo
Welcome to Egypt, one of the world's greatest ancient civilizations. Arrive in Cairo with the remainder of the day at leisure. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting at approximately 6 pm and enjoy a Welcome Drink with your Tour Manager and fellow travelers at your hotel.
DAY 3, Tuesday - The Pyramids & Sphinx of Giza
After breakfast, visit the Pyramids of Giza, built during the 3rd and 4th dynasties of the Old Kingdom. These monumental undertakings stand as a marvelous testimony to the almost unbelievable skill and determination of their builders. Get a close-up view of the Great Pyramid, built for the Pharaoh Khufu, as well as the Pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure. Not too far from the Pyramids, see the great Sphinx of Giza, the legendary statue with the head of a human and the body of a lion, amazingly carved out of a huge piece of limestone. Next, visit a shop where you can view local handicrafts. Leisure time this afternoon, or join the optional tour to Memphis & Sakkara with lunch. In Sakkara, site of hundreds of tombs, view the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser. Visit Memphis, the capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom, founded by King Menes. Today, Memphis is an open-air museum highlighted by a giant statue of Ramses II. (Breakfast)
Optional: Half Day Memphis & Sakkara with lunch (PM).
DAY 4, Wednesday - Flight to Aswan, Aswan High Dam, Philae Temple, Nile Cruise Embarkation
This morning, depart Cairo by flight to Aswan, an ancient frontier town. Visit the spectacular Aswan High Dam, an engineering miracle when originally constructed in the 1960s. The dam brought an end to the Nile's devastating floods. Continue to Philae Temple dedicated to the goddess Isis and marvel at the temple's beautiful island location. Afterwards, embark on the Nile Cruise. After lunch on board, choose to relax the rest of the afternoon, or take part in an optional Aswan Felucca Ride. Enjoy a relaxing cruise aboard a felucca, the traditional sailboat of Egypt used along the Nile. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Aswan Felucca Ride (PM)
DAY 5, Thursday - Edfu Temples, Cruise to Luxor
Spend the morning at leisure, later in the afternoon visit the stunning Temples of Horus in Edfu, considered one of the best preserved of all the Egyptian Temples. It was built during the Ptolemaic times and was completed over a 180-year period. The temple is dedicated to the falcon god Horus, son of Isis and Osiris. Its extravagant design and sheer size is an indication of the country's prosperity at the time. Return to the ship for dinner, and continue sailing onward this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6, Friday - Luxor, Esna
View the magnificence of the Luxor West Bank on this morning's optional tour that includes the Valley of the Kings and Temple of Hatshepsut along with Colossi of Memnon. Begin with a visit to the UNESCO listed Valley of the Kings, the necropolis of Thebes and admire the tombs of ancient Egypt’s rulers. Next, head to the Temple of Hatshepsut, a colonnaded structure surrounded by cliffs and learn about the life of Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt’s longest-reigning female ruler. Visit an alabaster factory, where you can view a demonstration of grinding alabaster the old fashion way. Browse the extensive collection of alabaster pieces. Conclude the tour at the Colossi of Memnon: two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Return to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the Luxor Museum where you will find the best displays of antiquities in Egypt. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Excursion to the West Bank (AM)
DAY 7, Saturday - Temple of Luxor
Spend the morning at leisure, or join the optional Dendera Temple excursion, one of the best preserved temple complexes in Egypt, located on the west bank of the Nile, approximately 40 miles away from Luxor. Explore the Temple of Hathor, dedicated to the wife of god Horus. Marvel at the spectacular ceiling painting in the main hall, displaying stars, planets, and symbols of the Roman zodiac. The colors seen throughout the temple complex are original, and amazingly vibrant. Visit the temple crypt, and climb the staircase up to the roof, learning about Egypt’s Ptolemaic period along the way. Free time to explore the temple complex at leisure, before returning to Luxor. In the afternoon, visit Luxor Temple to admire the colossal statues of the great pharaoh Ramses II. After exploring this ancient structure, visit a shop where you can view a quick demonstration of how the papyrus paper is made from the papyrus grass. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Dendera Temple (AM)
DAY 8, Sunday - Temple of Karnak
This morning, take a sightseeing tour of the East Bank and visit the magnificent Temples of Karnak, dating back over 3,000 years. Walk along the avenue of the Sphinxes and marvel at the Hypostyle Hall with its 134 massive sandstone columns. Later, stop at a local perfume shop. During your visit, you can watch the creation of perfumes and essential oils. Select a fragrance and choose from a wide selection of glass bottle containers. Lunch on the ship as you sail towards Edfu. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 9, Monday - Temple of Kom Ombo
Spend the morning at leisure. In the afternoon, tour the imposing Greco-Roman Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to Horus, the Sky God and Sobek, the Crocodile God. Admire the fascinating detailed reliefs on the walls. Return to the ship for lunch, and continue sailing onward this afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 10, Tuesday - Cruise to Aswan
Spend the morning at leisure, or join the optional Abu Simbel. A flight from Aswan transports you back in time to the mighty Temple of Abu Simbel, reclaimed from the floodwaters of the Aswan High Dam and totally reconstructed in the present location. The site is dominated by the looming twin temples of Ramses II and his wife Queen Nefertari. It is one of the most recognizable ancient sites of Egypt. Afterwards, fly back to Aswan. Later, take a walking tour of the local Aswan market (Souk) where you can find herbs, spices, souvenirs, home goods and cotton clothing. Quench your thirst with a local Egyptian drink like mint or, hibiscus tea at a local coffee shop. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
*The optional Abu Simbel by Air from Aswan will not be available on Nov 24 departure.
Optional: Abu Simbel by Air from Aswan (AM)*.
DAY 11, Wednesday - Disembarkation, Flight to Cairo
This morning, after disembarking your cruise ship, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cairo. Lunch is on your own upon arrival. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, or join the optional tour of the Egyptian Museum. Visit this neoclassical style building located in Tahrir Square that houses the world's largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Tonight, enjoy a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travelers. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Optional: Egyptian Museum (PM)
DAY 12, Thursday - Depart Egypt
Your vacation ends after breakfast. (Breakfast)
Cairo: Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino or Hilton Cairo Heliopolis