DAY 1, Friday - Depart for Egypt
Depart for Egypt
DAY 2, Saturday - Arrive in Cairo
Welcome to Egypt, one of the world's greatest ancient civilizations. Arrive in Cairo and transfer to your hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting and enjoy a Welcome Drink with your Tour Manager and fellow travelers at your hotel.
DAY 3, Sunday - The Pyramids, Memphis & Sakkara
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 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 one huge piece of limestone. This afternoon, enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before traveling to Memphis, capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom, founded by King Menes around 3100 BC. Now, it is an open-air museum highlighted by a giant statue of Ramses II. Continue on to Sakkara, site of hundreds of tombs, serving as the necropolis for the ancient capital, Memphis. Here, you can view the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser, considered to be the oldest pyramid in Egypt. Next, visit a carpet school before heading back to your hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 4, Monday - Flight to Luxor, Temples of Karnak & Luxor, Nile Cruise Embarkation
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and drive to the airport for your flight to Luxor. Land in Luxor and take a sightseeing tour of the East Bank. 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. After exploring this ancient structure, embark on the Nile Cruise. 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. Browse the collection of artwork on display. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5, Tuesday - Luxor West Bank
View the magnificence of the Luxor West Bank on this morning's optional excursion. 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 famous female ruler. Visit an alabaster factory, where you can view a demonstration of grinding alabaster the old-fashioned way. Browse the extensive collection of alabaster pieces. Conclude the tour at the Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep II. Return to the ship for lunch, and continue sailing onward this afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Excursion to the West Bank (AM).
DAY 6, Wednesday - Edfu Temples & Kom Ombo
This morning, 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. Next, 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 overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 7, Thursday - Aswan High Dam, Philae Temple
This morning, explore Aswan, an ancient frontier town. Take a tour to Philae Temple dedicated to the goddess Isis. Arrive by motorboat and marvel at the Temple's beautiful island location. Continue to 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. Visit a perfume shop and learn how these scents are made. This afternoon, join an optional Aswan Felucca Ride, the traditional sailboat of Egypt used along the Nile. Glide gently down the river and catch the refreshing breeze while witnessing the beautiful scenery of the Nile Valley. Experience the peace and tranquility of the area during your one hour cruise. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Aswan Felucca Ride (PM).
DAY 8, Friday - Disembarkation, Abu Simbel, Aswan Local Market
Disembark from the ship after breakfast. Then an early morning bus 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. It is one of the most recognizable ancient sites in Egypt. Step inside the Great Temple and admire the colossal standing statues of Ramses II. Proceed to the Temple of Hathor to view the murals with images of the goddess Hathor and Queen Nefertari. Enjoy your lunch while in Abu Simbel before heading to your hotel in Aswan. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 9, Saturday - Flight to Cairo
This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cairo. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, or join the optional Coptic Cairo with lunch. On this tour, visit the famed Hanging Church, a place of Orthodox worship and one of the oldest churches in Egypt. The church’s roof is built of timber to resemble the interior of Noah’s Ark. Next, see Abu Serga, known formally as Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church. This place has great significance as it is believed to be the spot where the Holy Family spent time during their journey in Egypt. Continue towards Ben Ezra synagogue, which is the reputed location of Moses' discovery as a baby and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel. (Breakfast)
Optional: Coptic Cairo with Lunch.
DAY 10, Sunday - Full Day in Cairo
Spend today exploring Cairo on your own, or take part in the optional tour of the Citadel and Egyptian Museum. The Citadel is a medieval fortress in the center of Cairo. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its expansive views of the city, now contains museums and mosques. Have lunch in a local restaurant before heading to the Egyptian Museum, a neoclassical style building located in Tahrir Square. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Tonight, enjoy a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travelers and Tour Manager at the hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Optional: Full Day Citadel & Egyptian Museum with Lunch.
DAY 11, Monday - Depart Egypt
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (Breakfast)