Delve into vibrant Cairo, encounter ancient wonders from the Great Pyramids to Abu Simbel, and sail to the temples of the Nile on a 3-night cruise from Aswan to Luxor.

Starting at: $6,297 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The grand Hypostyle Hall at the Temple of Karnak, Luxor  Smithsonian Journeys travelers at Luxor  The enigmatic Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza  Funerary mask of Tutankhamen, Cairo's Museum of Egyptian Antiquities  The restored barge at the Solar Boat Museum, Cairo. Credit: Egyptian Tourism Bureau  Alley in Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, Cairo  The great Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel  Panoramic view of Abu Simbel  The Temple of Philae, near Aswan  Architectural detail, Temple of Philae, near Aswan  Traditional felucca on the Nile  The gods Horus and Sobek, Kom Ombo  Temple of Kom Ombo  Detail seen at Kom Ombo, along the Nile  Deity at the Temple of Horus at Edfu  Temple of Horus at Edfu  The tomb of Ramses II, Valley of the Kings. Credit: Egyptian Tourism Bureau  Wall decoration in tomb in the Valley of the Queens. Credit: Egyptian Tourism  Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Valley of the Queens  Traveler exploring a temple in Egypt  The Pyramids of Giza  Obelisk at the Temple of Karnak, Luxor  Avenue of Sphinxes, Luxor  Evening at the Temple of Luxor  The Great Pyramids of Giza

Ancient Egypt and the Nile

Featuring Abu Simbel

14 days from $6,297 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Delve into vibrant Cairo, encounter ancient wonders from the Great Pyramids to Abu Simbel, and sail to the temples of the Nile on a 3-night cruise from Aswan to Luxor.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I dreamed for so long of visiting Egypt. When I went with Smithsonian, it was everything I ever imagined. Literally a dream come true. Thanks you for such a magical, wonderful experience! 

- Elizabeth, S.

The trip to Egypt is a chance of a lifetime. The sites are amazing. I always felt safe. Our tour director was wonderful…

- Sara J.

I hadn’t realized the major role ancient Egypt played in world history. This trip was a fascinating - even magical - experience.

- Jane F.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Overview

Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: Classic Land Journey with long active days of touring, full-day excursions by motor coach, and 3-night river cruise. Standing and walking for long periods of time on city tours and visits to sites and museums. Walks over uneven terrain frequently (e.g. cobblestones, gravel paths, city hills, stairs without handrails, ship boarding ramps ).  Uphill climbs around ruins. Some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Many sites do not have elevators. Early morning departures. Temperatures can be high.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

 
 

I dreamed for so long of visiting Egypt. When I went with Smithsonian, it was everything I ever imagined. Literally a dream come true. Thanks you for such a magical, wonderful experience! 

- Elizabeth, S.

The trip to Egypt is a chance of a lifetime. The sites are amazing. I always felt safe. Our tour director was wonderful…

- Sara J.

I hadn’t realized the major role ancient Egypt played in world history. This trip was a fascinating - even magical - experience.

- Jane F.

Itinerary

Day 1 & 2 – Depart the U.S. for Cairo, Egypt

Arrive in the Egyptian capital and transfer to your hotel. 

Day 3 – Cairo

After a morning briefing, your full-day tour begins at the Egyptian Museum, the renowned repository of Egyptian antiquities since the turn of the 20th century. Take in views over Cairo from the Citadel of Saladin and see the Alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali. Tonight gather for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Giza and Cairo

Set out for Giza to encounter two of Egypt’s most iconic sites: the Pyramids and the Sphinx, whose leonine body and human face was carved from a single piece of limestone. Later, venture to Coptic Cairo to visit some of its beautiful churches, including the 5th-century St. Sergius Church, the famous Hanging Church, and the domed St. George's Church. End your tour at  The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization to see the collection of royal mummies that was moved here from the Egyptian Museum in April 2021. (B,L)

Day 5 – Cairo, Abu Simbel, Aswan

Very early this morning, fly to Aswan and connect with your flight to Abu Simbel. Here, on the west bank of Lake Nasser, visit the two massive rock temples guarded by statues of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari, featuring incredibly well-preserved murals within. Carved into a mountainside between B.C. 1264-1244, the temples were moved stone by stone to their current location in 1968; otherwise, they would have been flooded and submerged when the Aswan High Dam was built.

After touring this World Heritage site, return to the airport for the flight back to Aswan. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before checking in to your hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Aswan

Visit the Aswan High Dam, considered a marvel of engineering when completed in 1965 to control Nile flooding. Then tour the temples of Philae, once a pilgrimage site for the cult of Isis and one of the most important temple complexes in ancient Nubia. Built between B.C. 380-362 on a small island in the Nile, Philae, like Abu Simbel, was relocated to save it from flooding; its current island site closely resembles the original. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Nubian Museum, an acclaimed showcase of Nubian art and architecture. Return to your hotel in the mid-afternoon and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. (B,L)

Day 7 – Aswan

Start the day with a visit to the Unfinished Obelisk at the Aswan quarry.  Then board your ship in time for lunch. This afternoon, step into feluccas, replicas of ancient Nile sailboats, for a relaxing afternoon sail. Admire the Botanical Gardens on Kitchener’s Island, home of the British hero who commanded the forces in Sudan in 1897 in the Battle of Omdurman. See the massive granite rocks that inspired the name of Elephantine Island,  and the hilltop tomb of the Aga Khan. You’ll overnight in Aswan aboard the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Nile Cruising – Kom Ombo and Edfu

Set sail down the Nile, stopping to explore two important temples of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Go ashore at the ancient trading town of Kom Ombo. Explore its unusual double temple, dedicated to both Horus and the crocodile god Sobek. From here, admire stunning Nile views. Then sail on to Edfu, where tonight you are invited to a shipboard celebration. (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Nile Cruising – Luxor

Cruise north, watching scenes of everyday life along the banks of the Nile. Arrive in Luxor, often called the world’s “greatest open-air museum.” Here, vast temple complexes, tombs, and statues dating from B.C. 2755 represent the pinnacle of Egyptian architecture. Get a close-up look at the antiquities found in the region at the Luxor Museum. Return to the ship for dinner and a belly-dancing performance. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Luxor and Karnak

Disembark your ship late in the morning, and set out to explore the sites on the East Bank of the Nile. Encounter magnificent Karnak, which many different pharaohs embellished over the centuries, making it the greatest temple complex of them all. Then visit the smaller Luxor Temple, whose builders included both Tutankhamun and Alexander the Great. Enjoy lunch on your own before time at leisure this afternoon. Dinner tonight is at your hotel. (B,D)

Day 11 – Luxor and the West Bank of the Nile

Cross the Nile to the incredible royal necropolises of the West Bank of the Nile. In the Valley of the Kings, descend into several of the site’s 34 royal tombs and admire intricate carvings, hieroglyphs, and bright paintings that adorn the tombs. Continue to the Valley of the Queens and visit the dramatic Temple of Hatshepsut, honoring one of the few female pharaohs. See the Colossi of Memnon, two 64-foot statues of Amenhotep III that once guarded the gates of his tomb. As an added highlight, tour the village of Deir el-Medina, home to the artisans who constructed the Valley of the Kings. Return to Luxor late this afternoon and enjoy dinner together at your hotel.  (B,L,D)

Day 12 – Luxor and Cairo

Fly back to Cairo today, and get a taste of local culture on a visit to the bustling Khan el-Khalili bazaar and Old Cairo. (B)

Day 13 – Cairo and Memphis

Begin the day at the open-air museum at Memphis, Egypt’s first capital—believed to be some 5,000 years old. Continue to nearby Sakkara, the vast burial ground for Memphis, and visit its distinctive pyramids, including the famous Step Pyramid. Visit the lesser-known site of Dahshur; home to the Bent and Red pyramids. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner at your hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 14 – Depart for home

Very early this morning, transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)