Sample Itinerary featuring a Nile River Cruise on a traditional dahabiya
.Day 1 — Cairo
Upon arrival in Cairo, you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure. Lodging: Mena House OberoiDay 2 — Cairo
A perfect introduction to one of the world’s oldest cultures, unlock the secrets of ancient Egypt at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. This famed museum houses one of the greatest collections of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including treasures from the famous tomb of King Tutankhamen, as well as royal mummies. Explore historic Islamic Cairo, a World Heritage site, visiting the 12th-century Cairo Citadel and the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan. Later, stroll through the bustling Khan El-Khalili souk, a bazaar district founded in the 14th century and one of the largest bazaars in the Middle East today. Here you will find an astounding assortment of goods, ranging from textiles, pottery, and glassware, to spices and ironwork. Lodging: Mena House OberoiDay 3 — Cairo
Begin the next day with a visit to Giza, marveling at the pyramids and the Sphinx. As Giza is a plateau, these ancient wonders of the world seem to rise out of the flat sand, with the massive Sphinx sitting in protection. In the afternoon, take a tour of Memphis, the legendary capital of ancient Egypt, founded around 2,925 BC by King Menes. Also explore its necropolis of Saqqara, an ancient burial ground containing the famous stepped pyramid. Later in the evening, experience the warmth of Egyptian hospitality at dinner in an Egyptian home. All sites visited today are World Heritage sites. Lodging: Mena House OberoiDay 4 — Cairo, Sinai Peninsula, and Luxor
Take a morning private charter flight to St. Catherine’s Monastery, a World Heritage site located in the Sinai Peninsula at the foot of Mr. Sinai. Enjoy a guided tour of this Greek Orthodox monastery, said to be the oldest continuously inhabited monastery in the world. Its spiritual heart is the Chapel of the Burning Bush. According to the oldest monastic tradition, this chapel sits atop the roots of bush that burned when God spoke to Moses. Afterward, transfer to St. Catherine Airport to board your private jet to Luxor. Arriving at Luxor, you’ll begin your visit right away with a tour of the vast Karnak Temple complex and magnificent Luxor Temple, both covered with fascinating hieroglyphs and featuring dramatic colonnades. At Karnak you’ll discover great halls, worshippers at festival time, and the holy lake. The Luxor Temple houses many antiquities like painted coffins and daily objects found in tombs. Lodging: Hilton Luxor Resort and SpaDay 5 — Luxor and Esna
To conclude your time in Luxor, visit the Valley of the Kings, with a special tour of the tomb of King Tutankhamen. See the tombs carved right out of the landscape, and also visit the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, as well as the twin statues of the Colossi of Memnon. Embark on your exclusive dahabiya
, an Egyptian sailing boat, as you sail toward Esna. This evening enjoy some leisure time to watch the ever-changing Nile scenery. Lodging: Aboard dahabiyaDay 6 — Esna and Edfu
Waking up in Esna, join your Egyptologist for a guided tour of the Greco-Roman temple of Khnum, a ram god thought to have fashioned humans from mud of the Nile on his potter’s wheel. Continue sailing up the river for El Kab, home to prehistoric settlements, as well as the remains of temples and tombs dating back thousands of years. Return to your dahabiya for a lavish buffet of Egyptian specialties, complete with local music and dancing. Lodging: Aboard dahabiyaDay 7 — Edfu and Kom Ombo
Take a morning tour of the extraordinary Temple of Edfu, built for the falcon god Horus, and one of Egypt’s best-preserved temples. Return to the boat and sail toward Kom Ombo. Enjoy a barbecue dinner on one of the islands along the Nile. Lodging: Aboard dahabiyaDay 8 — Kom Ombo and Aswan
Tour the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, and adorned with captivating, intricate carvings. The temple stands at a bend in the Nile where ancient, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the riverbank. The evening is free to relax. Lodging: Aboard dahabiyaDay 9 — Aswan
Your Egyptologist will escort you to the Aswan High Dam for a look at contemporary Egyptian construction on a monumental scale. The dam was built to control annual flooding of the Nile and to reduce flood damage. It also provides half of Egypt’s power supply and has improved river travel by keeping the water consistent. Completed in 1970, the ten-year construction of the dam required the relocation of thousands of people and several ancient artifacts. Later, a short motorboat ride will take you to Philae, a World Heritage site and the location of the temple for Isis. On the island, experience an exploration of the granite quarries. Enjoy your last evening aboard the ship with a gala dinner. Lodging: Aboard dahabiyaDay 10 — Aswan and Abu Simbel
Disembark the dahabiya and fly to Abu Simbel via commercial air. See the great temples of Abu Simbel, built by the Great Ramses II, one of Egypt’s longest ruling pharaohs, and a World Heritage site. The huge temples are carved out of solid rock, with the interior inside a cliff. The Great Abu Simbel Temple is precisely oriented so that twice a year the first rays of the sunrise illuminate the innermost shrine. Another temple of Abu Simbel was dedicated to Hathor and in honor of Ramses’ queen, Nefertari. Enjoy the rest of the day at your own pace. In the evening visit the temples for a spectacular sound and light show. Lodging: Seti Abu Simbel HotelDay 11 — Abu Simbel and Cairo
Fly to Cairo and check in to your hotel, with the rest of the day free to return to your favorite sites or explore new ones. Toast your last night in Egypt at a farewell dinner. Lodging: Fairmont Towers, HeliopolisDay 12 — Cairo and the U.S.
Depart from the Cairo airport on your international flight home.
Price from $7995 per person double occupancy, all meals. Program price based on a minimum of 14 participants.