From the Pharaohs to the Future

Deluxe riverboat experience of the Nile, including Luxor, Edfu, Kom-Ombo, Aswan, and Cairo
Overview

overview

Accompany our top-notch local guides on a journey to uncover the history and mystery of Egypt. Start in Cairo, then travel by Nile riverboat through Luxor, Edfu, Kom-Ombo, and Aswan for a wonderful examination of the great civilizations of the Nile Valley, then return to Cairo to explore more of the country's history (in her great museums as well as Memphis and Saqqara) and her future.  Whether you have been to Egypt in the past, or if this is your first visit, now is a great time to go as the country eagerly faces its post-revolution future. Your trip includes a visit Tahrir Square (local situation permitting) to see where the February 2011 Egyptian Revolution began.

This trip touches on a lot while minimizing moves among lodgings, with two nights in Cairo, then five nights on the lovely Dahabeya Queen Farida (or similar), a deluxe Nile riverboat. You then return to the same hotel in Cairo for three nights, so the hassles of unpacking and repacking are minimized. Travelers who wish to precede or follow this itinerary are invited to ask us about a few days in Jordan (Petra, the Dead Sea, and more) and an overnight in the Sinai. Consider a side extension to Abu Simbel from Aswan on February 14.

 

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Cairo
    Great pyramid of Khufu

    On arrival at Cairo International Airport, you are met by our representative and transferred to your hotel.  This is simply an arrival day, so you may arrive in Cairo at any time.  Please note that hotel rooms are generally available only after midday.  The balance of the day/evening is free to explore your surroundings.

     

    Lodging
    Marriott Cairo (or similar)
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  • Day 2: Cairo
    Tahrir Square on 11 February 2011 (photo by Jonathan Rashad)

    Your morning is a leisurely one, with breakfast at the hotel and a late start for a half day orientation tour of Cairo with your guide, stopping at Tahrir Square, site of the Egyptian Revolution, including the Sunday of Martyrs in February 2011, and an introductory tour of the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, including the resplendent King Tut exhibit. Afterward, the remainder of the day and evening are yours free to rest and relax.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Marriott Cairo (or similar)
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  • Day 3: Cairo / Luxor / Nile Cruise
    Luxor Temple's Colonnade of Amenhotep III

    Transfer to Cairo airport for your flight to Luxor. Upon arrival, cross the river to Luxor's West Bank for a fascinating exploration of the Valley of the Kings. Your visit will include excursions inside the amazingly well-preserved tombs of several rulers of old Egyptian dynasties. Visit the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, one of Egypt's most successful pharaohs as well as the longest-reigning female; Deir El Bahari; and Medint Habu temple. Drive back to Luxor's East Bank for lunch, then in the afternoon, tour the temples in the massive two-square-kilometer Karnak complex, whose ancient name means "the most perfect of places," and the strikingly-graceful Luxor Temple in the heart of town.

    After completing your touring in Luxor, drive to Esna to embark on Queen Farida Dahabeya, an eight-cabin deluxe riverboat (known as a dahabeya) with modern conveniences (including air conditioning) and classical lines. After getting settled, set sail toward the village of El Hegez, just north of Edfu, where you'll moor for the night, relaxing on deck and taking in the sights along the way.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Riverboat Queen Farida Dahabeya (or similar)
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  • Day 4: Cruising: El Kab / Edfu / El Fuaza
    Horus, the falcon god, at Edfu

    Sail to El Kab where you will disembark after breakfast to see the seldom-visited site of El Kab, with its vast pre-dynastic cemeteries, early New Kingdom tombs, and temple of Thoth. Return to your dahabeya and continue sailing to Edfu. Disembark and tour the Edfu Temple, the most complete example of pharaonic architecture. Set sail for the island of El Fuaza where you will spend the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Riverboat Queen Farida Dahabeya (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: Cruising: El Fuaza / Gebel El Silsila
    Enjoy the day as you sail the Nile

    After breakfast, set sail for El Ramadya and disembark to tour the local fish market. Enjoy a leisurely lunch on board as you sail to the island of Besaw, where you will disembark to stretch your legs and explore a bit before continuing to Gebel el Silsila for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Riverboat Queen Farida Dahabeya (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Cruising: El Silsila / Meneha Island
    Visit the Temple of El Silsila near Aswan

    Today, you will visit the Temple of El Silsila before setting sail for Meneha Island, where you will disembark to tour the small island before mooring for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Riverboat Queen Farida Dahabeya (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: Cruising: Kom Ombo / Kopania
    Explore Kom Ombo, unique in its dedication to two dieties (by Michael Reeve)

    Sail to Kom Ombo to visit the temple, unique in its dedication to two deities. The most spectacular of the river temples, Kom Ombo is honeycombed with crypts, secret passages, and tunnels under the floors, the source of the gods' human voices. Continue on the Nile to Daraw, where you will moor and take a local transport to its famous camel market, a great atmosphere, fascinating, and full of photo opportunities. Return to your dahabeya and depart for Kopania on a leisurely five-hour sail on the scenic river. You will spend your final night onboard near Kopania.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Riverboat Queen Farida Dahabeya (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: Cruising: Kopania / Aswan, Fly to Cairo
    Explore the Temple of Isis on Philae Island

    Enjoy breakfast on your dahabeya as you sail toward Aswan, the gateway to Nubia. Disembark for a short van trip and boat ride to Philae Temple, then Aswan's modern marvel, its High Dam, then back to the Nile for a relaxing short ride on a felucca, a traditional sailing boat guided by a Nubian captain. You may also enjoy exploring Aswan town and its market, perhaps opting for mint or hibiscus tea in a cafe. In the evening, transfer to Aswan Airport for your departure to Cairo, where you'll be met upon arrival and transferred to your downtown hotel, your base for the next three nights. Consider a side trip to Abu Simbel this day on the way back to Cairo.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Marriott Cairo (or similar)
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  • Day 9: Old Cairo / Mosques / Markets
    Spend the day exploring Old Cairo's mosques and markets

    After breakfast at the hotel, embark on a full day tour of the city's finest sights, starting with a second visit to the Egyptian Museum, with its excellent collection of Egyptian antiquities. See the gold of Tutankhamon and the Hall of the Royal Mummies, the resting place of Ramses II, his father Seti I, and Tuthmosis II. Afterward, drive across town to visit the Citadel of Saladdin overlooking the whole city of Old Cairo, the ancient synagogue of Ben Ezra, the Coptic church of St. Sergius, and the Hanging Church. When you're done in Old Cairo, drive back to the heart of the modern town where you'll spend some time pleasantly lost in the medieval labyrinth alleyways of Khan El Khalili Bazaar, after which the evening is yours at leisure.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Marriott Cairo (or similar)
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  • Day 10: Cairo: Pyramids, Memphis, Saqqara
    Explore Memphis, Saqqara, and more

    After breakfast at the hotel, your driver and guide will pick you up for a full day of touring, starting with Cairo's iconic Giza pyramids, where the city meets the desert, then drive south along the river valley to Memphis, the once-resplendent capital of the Old Kingdom, where you will see the reclining statue of Ramses II, then drive a short way on to Saqqara, the burial place of the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom and home of the Step Pyramid of Zoser, one of the world's oldest stone structures of its size. Return to your hotel for your last night of this adventure.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Marriott Cairo (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: Cairo / Onward
    Bid farewell to ancient and modern Egypt

    After breakfast, you'll be driven to Cairo airport for your flgiht home to the U.S.  If your schedule allows, consider extending your visit with a few days in the Sinai and perhaps Petra, Jordan.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$4,975
Supplement per person for suite on cruise: $600 each Airfare within Egypt included Abu Simbel extension: $290
Single Supplement:
$1250
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Basic Rate Excludes:

International Airfare US/CAI/US (Egyptair is around $700 + taxes from JFK)
Entry Visa (currently $15.00 available upon arrival at the airport)
Abu Simbel Excursion (currently $250 per person)
Tips, Drinks, extra Meals, Personal expenses, and Insurance

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
4
in comfortable, delightful hotels and cruise ship
Group Size:
8-14
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
2
in comfortable, delightful hotels and cruise ship

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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