Travel from vibrant Cairo and the Great Pyramids to Abu Simbel and Aswan, plus take a classic voyage along the Nile River from Aswan to Luxor.

Starting at: $5,897 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Pyramids of Giza  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  Panoramic view of Abu Simbel  The great Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel  The Temple of Philae, near Aswan  Architectural detail, Temple of Philae, near Aswan  Traditional felucca on the Nile  Temple of Kom Ombo  The gods Horus and Sobek, 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 grand Hypostyle Hall at the Temple of Karnak, Luxor  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 $5,897 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Travel from vibrant Cairo and the Great Pyramids to Abu Simbel and Aswan, plus take a classic voyage along the Nile River from Aswan to Luxor.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure iconbrochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

If all that the Ancient Egypt and the Nile Tour focused on was the Pyramids at Giza ... it would still be a GREAT tour as you would be viewing the only remaining structure of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. However there is so much more with Smithsonian Journeys! The Pyramids, Temples and Tombs are amazing works that makes you contemplate just how these magnificent structures were built thousands of years ago! 

- Thomas F.

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.

If you want to quench your thirst for knowledge along with a fascinating tour of historical places, Smithsonian tours are the answer. 

- Kenneth F.

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 ››

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Four Seasons at the First Residence

Cairo, Egypt

The Four Seasons at the First Residence sits on the banks of the Nile River, flanked by the Giza Zoo and set just a short drive from the center of historic Cairo.  This contemporary hotel offers three restaurants and lounges, a large, fourth-floor outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, spa with massage treatments, three-level shopping complex, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi access.  Elegant, air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, minibar, Nespresso machine, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 5

Mövenpick Resort Aswan

Aswan, Egypt

Sitting on Elephantine Island in the middle of the timeless Nile, Mövenpick Resort Aswan offers privacy and tranquility with the convenience of staying just feet from some of Egypt’s greatest treasures.  The sprawling resort offers four restaurants, three bars, tropical gardens and terraces, tennis court, fitness center, game room, expansive outdoor swimming pool, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi access.  Each air-conditioned guest room has a view of the Nile, and all include private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Steigenberger Nile Palace

Luxor, Egypt

The Steigenberger Nile Palace sits on the banks of the Nile, in the heart of the city’s historic center and a short drive from the Temple of Luxor.  The 285-room hotel features four restaurants and three bars; fitness center; spa with sauna, steam bath, and massage treatments; heated outdoor pool; rooftop tennis court; on-site doctor; Internet access; bookstore; gift shops; hairdresser; and laundry and dry cleaning services.  Air-conditioned guest rooms each have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: Long touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities. Walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators, climbing aboard trains with high steps); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Possible exposure to higher altitudes. River cruises may offer a choice of excursions with varying activity expectations.  (Typical travel opportunities: Most Cultural Stays, River Cruises, some Land Journeys, U.S. Train Tours)  


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

Tour Extension

Jordan: Petra and Amman

Discover the fabled “rose-red city, half as old as time” on this exciting exploration, plus ancient Jerash and the capital of Amman.

The extension includes:

  • Air transportation Cairo/Amman
  • 4 nights accommodations: 2 nights in Petra at Mövenpick Resort Petra (Superior First Class); 2 nights in Amman at Grand Hyatt Amman (Deluxe)
  • 9 meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Extensive included sightseeing: Madaba (City of Mosaics); Mt. Nebo pilgrimage site; full day at Petra; Amman’s Roman theatre and Citadel; Roman ruins of Jerash
  • Services of a professional Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation
  • Gratuities for Tour Director, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Accommodations

Mövenpick Resort Petra – Petra, Jordan

The 183-room Mövenpick Resort Petra is located at the entrance to Petra and features a mixture of Western, contemporary, and traditional architecture and artwork.  On-site amenities include two restaurants, bar, and lounge; indoor and outdoor pools; tennis courts; fitness center; spa with steam bath; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access (in public areas); gift shop; and laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee).  Each air-conditioned guest room has a private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Hayat Zaman Hotel and Resort (October 10, 2020 departure only) – Petra, Jordan​

The 111-room Hayat Zaman Hotel and Resort, located just south of ancient Petra, stands out for its distinctive layout and design inspired by the villages and architecture of 19th-century Jordan. Hotel amenities include a restaurant specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine and a selection of international dishes, café with views of the Sharah mountains, Turkish bath and spa treatment (for a fee), swimming pool, artisans’ workshop offering handcrafted traditional items, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access in public areas. Each air-conditioned guest room has private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Old Village Resort (October 17 and 31, 2020 departures only) – Petra, Jordan

The Old Village Resort occupies a series of buildings dating to the 1800s, and its paths wind through a series of courtyards with gardens and fountains. The resort sits just 10 minutes’ drive from the entrance to the ancient site of Petra, and includes a restaurant, bar, and lounge; indoor and outdoor swimming pools; hot tub; sun deck with expansive views; gift shop; laundry and dry-cleaning services (for a fee); and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Each air-conditioned guest room has private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Grand Hyatt Amman – Amman, Jordan

Located in the center of the historic city of Amman, the luxurious Grand Hyatt Amman offers a host of amenities to help guests enjoy their stay here.  Along with its sophisticated and stylish décor, the Grand Hyatt Amman boasts two upscale restaurants, outdoor cocktail lounge, and terrace bar; 55-foot indoor/outdoor swimming pool; hairdresser and beauty salon; full spa; shopping gallery; fitness center with workout equipment, sauna, steam room, and whirlpools; laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee); and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each air-conditioned guest room features a private marble bath with hairdryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

If all that the Ancient Egypt and the Nile Tour focused on was the Pyramids at Giza ... it would still be a GREAT tour as you would be viewing the only remaining structure of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. However there is so much more with Smithsonian Journeys! The Pyramids, Temples and Tombs are amazing works that makes you contemplate just how these magnificent structures were built thousands of years ago! 

- Thomas F.

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.

If you want to quench your thirst for knowledge along with a fascinating tour of historical places, Smithsonian tours are the answer. 

- Kenneth F.

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

- Jane F.
Reading List

Learn more about recent archaeological discoveries at Saqqara in Egypt in Smithsonian Magazine.

Highly Recommended

Egypt and the Egyptians, Second Edition
By: Brewer, Douglas J.
The Nile: Travelling Downriver Through Egypt's Past and Present (Vintage Departures)
By: Toby Wilkinson
The Nile, like all of Egypt, is both timeless and ever-changing. In these pages, renowned Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson takes us on a journey downriver that is both history and travelogue. We begin at the First Nile Cataract, close to the modern city of Aswan. From there, Wilkinson guides us through the illustrious nation birthed by this great river.         We see Thebes, with its Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and Luxor Temple. We visit the fertile Fayum, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and finally, the pulsing city of Cairo, where the Arab Spring erupted on the bridges over the water. Along the way, Wilkinson introduces us to the gods, pharaohs, and emperors who joined their fate to the Nile and gained immortality; and to the adventurers, archaeologists, and historians who have all fallen under its spell. Peerlessly erudite, vividly told, The Nile brings the course of this enduring river into stunning view.
Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt
By: Geraldine Pinch
From stories of resurrected mummies and thousand-year-old curses to powerful pharaohs and the coveted treasures of the Great Pyramids, ancient Egypt has had an unfaltering grip on the modern imagination. Now, in Egyptian Mythology, Geraldine Pinch offers a comprehensive introduction that untangles the mystery of Egyptian Myth.Spanning Ancient Egyptian culture--from 3200 BC to AD 400--Pinch opens a door to this hidden world and casts light on its often misunderstood belief system. She discusses the nature of myths and the history of Egypt, from the predynastic to the postpharaonic period. She explains how Egyptian culture developed around the flooding of the Nile, or the "inundation," a phenomenon on which the whole welfare of the country depended, and how aspects of the inundation were personified as deities. She explains that the usually cloudless skies made for a preoccupation with the stars and planets. Indeed, much early Egyptian mythology may have developed to explain the movement of these celestial bodies. She provides a timeline covering the seven stages in the mythical history of Egypt and outlining the major events of each stage, such as the reign of the sun God. A substantial A to Z section covers the principal themes and concepts of Egyptian mythology as well as the most important deities, demons, and other characters. For anyone who wants to know about Anubis, the terrifying canine god who presided over the mummification of bodies and guarded burials, or Hathor, the golden goddess who helped women to give birth and the dead to be reborn, or an explanation of the nun, the primeval ocean from which all life came, Egyptian Mythology is the place to look.
Lonely Planet Egypt 14 (Travel Guide)
By: Lee, Jessica, Sattin, Anthony

Also Recommended

Egypt - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Jailan Zayan, Culture Smart!
This revised and updated edition of Culture Smart! Egypt reveals a country in the throes of change. The largely secular revolution that started in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in January 2011 became the flagship of the Arab Spring revolts. The uprising resulted in a political effervescence, with new parties, movements, and groups all jostling for space in the new political landscape. But the situation remains fluid. Free elections produced a parliament dominated by Islamists and the country’s political and social identity has yet to be defined. Egypt’s heady spirit of change is both rooted in and challenged by traditional and deeply conservative values. The timeless Egypt that has inspired conquerors, academics, and artists for millennia is home to 82 million people who call it Omm Eddunia, Mother of the World. It is the people who are Egypt’s true wealth. They are friendly, cheerful, proud, and renowned for their sense of humor. In bringing the narrative up to date, this new edition of Culture Smart! Egypt explores the codes and paradoxes of Egyptian life. It outlines the country’s history and shows the forces that have shaped its sensibility. It explains values and attitudes, and guides you through local customs and traditions. It opens a window into the private lives of Egyptians, how they behave at home, and how they interact with foreign visitors. It offers practical advice, from how to make friends to avoiding faux pas. It sets out to make your encounter as rich as possible by taking you beyond the clichés to the real people.
The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt
By: Toby Wilkinson
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Magisterial . . . [A] rich portrait of ancient Egypt’s complex evolution over the course of three millenniums.”—Los Angeles Times   NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Publishers Weekly   In this landmark volume, one of the world’s most renowned Egyptologists tells the epic story of this great civilization, from its birth as the first nation-state to its absorption into the Roman Empire. Drawing upon forty years of archaeological research, award-winning scholar Toby Wilkinson takes us inside a tribal society with a pre-monetary economy and decadent, divine kings who ruled with all-too-recognizable human emotions. Here are the legendary leaders: Akhenaten, the “heretic king,” who with his wife Nefertiti brought about a revolution with a bold new religion; Tutankhamun, whose dazzling tomb would remain hidden for three millennia; and eleven pharaohs called Ramesses, the last of whom presided over the militarism, lawlessness, and corruption that caused a political and societal decline. Filled with new information and unique interpretations, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt is a riveting and revelatory work of wild drama, bold spectacle, unforgettable characters, and sweeping history.   “With a literary flair and a sense for a story well told, Mr. Wilkinson offers a highly readable, factually up-to-date account.”—The Wall Street Journal   “[Wilkinson] writes with considerable verve. . . . [He] is nimble at conveying the sumptuous pageantry and cultural sophistication of pharaonic Egypt.”—The New York Times
Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt
Writings from Ancient Egypt
By: Penguin Books
A collection of rare texts from Ancient Egypt, newly translated for this essential edition   The fascination that Ancient Egypt holds in our minds has many sources, but at the heart of it lie hieroglyphics. This extraordinary writing system was for many years seen as the ultimate puzzle, before finally being cracked in the 1820s. Preserved carved in stone or inked on papyri, hieroglyphic writings give a unique insight into an awe-inspiring but also deeply mysterious culture.   For this collection, Toby Wilkinson has translated a rich selection of pieces, ranging from accounts of battles to hymns to stories to royal proclamations. Entertaining and revelatory, this is an essential resource for studying one of humankind’s great civilizations.   For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Death on the Nile: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries)
By: Agatha Christie
The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile was shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway had been shot through the head. She was young, stylish, and beautiful. A girl who had everything . . . until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: "I'd like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger." Yet in this exotic setting nothing is ever quite what it seems.
Religion and Ritual in Ancient Egypt
By: Emily Teeter
This book is a vivid reconstruction of the practical aspects of ancient Egyptian religion. Through an examination of artifacts and inscriptions, the text explores a variety of issues. For example, who was allowed to enter the temples, and what rituals were preformed therein? Who served as priests? How were they organized and trained, and what did they do? What was the Egyptians' attitude toward death, and what happened at funerals? How did the living and dead communicate? In what ways could people communicate with the gods? What impact did religion have on the economy and longevity of the society? This book demystifies Egyptian religion, exploring what it meant to the people and society. The text is richly illustrated with images of rituals and religious objects.
Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt
By: Nina Burleigh
Two hundred years ago, only the most reckless or eccentric Europeans had dared to traverse the unmapped territory of the modern-day Middle East. But in 1798, more than 150 French engineers, artists, doctors, and scientists—even a poet and a musicologist—traveled to the Nile Valley under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte and his invading army. Hazarding hunger, hardship, uncertainty, and disease, Napoleon's "savants" risked their lives in pursuit of discovery. The first large-scale interaction between Europeans and Muslims in the modern era, the audacious expedition was both a triumph and a disaster, resulting in finds of immense historical and scientific importance (including the ruins of the colossal pyramids and the Rosetta Stone) and in countless tragic deaths through plague, privation, madness, or violence. Acclaimed journalist Nina Burleigh brings readers back to the landmark adventure at the dawn of the modern era that ultimately revealed the deepest secrets of ancient Egypt to a curious continent.
Cairo: The City Victorious
By: Max Rodenbeck
From a noted journalist who has spent much of his life in Cairo, here is a dazzling cultural excavation of that most ancient, colorful, and multifaceted of cities. The seat of pharaohs and sultans, the prize of conquerors from Alexander to Saladin to Napoleon, Cairo--nicknamed "the Victorious"--has never ceased reinventing herself.With intimate knowlege, humor, and affection, Rodenbeck takes us on an insider's tour of the magnificent city: its backstreets and bazaars, its belly-dance theaters and hashish dens, its crowded slums and fashionable salons, its incomparably rich past and its challenging future. Cairo: The City Victorious is a unique blend of travel and history, an epic, resonant work that brings one of the world's great metropolises to life in all its dusty, chaotic beauty.
How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself, Revised Edition
By: Mark Collier, Bill Manley
Hieroglyphs are pictures used as signs in writing. When standing before an ancient tablet in a museum or visiting an Egyptian monument, we marvel at this unique writing and puzzle over its meaning. Now, with the help of Egyptologists Mark Collier and Bill Manley, museum-goers, tourists, and armchair travelers alike can gain a basic knowledge of the language and culture of ancient Egypt. Collier and Manley's novel approach is informed by years of experience teaching Egyptian hieroglyphs to non-specialists. Using attractive drawings of actual inscriptions displayed in the British Museum, they concentrate on the kind of hieroglyphs readers might encounter in other collections, especially funerary writings and tomb scenes. Each chapter introduces a new aspect of hieroglyphic script or Middle Egyptian grammar and encourages acquisition of reading skills with practical exercises. The texts offer insights into the daily experiences of their ancient authors and touch on topics ranging from pharaonic administration to family life to the Egyptian way of death. With this book as a guide, one can enjoy a whole new experience in understanding Egyptian art and artifacts around the world.
Common Birds of Egypt
By: Bertel Bruun
More than 100 of Egypt's most common bird species are illustrated in color and described in both English and Arabic in this fully revised edition of a favorite book. An introduction provides notes on habitats, migration, conservation, and where to watch birds, and there is a complete checklist of the 430 birds of Egypt, with English, scientific, and Arabic names.
When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt
By: Cooney, Kara
Women Travelers in Egypt: From the Eighteenth to the Twenty-first Century
Out of Egypt: A Memoir
By: André Aciman
This richly colored memoir chronicles the exploits of a flamboyant Jewish family, from its bold arrival in cosmopolitan Alexandria to its defeated exodus three generations later. In elegant and witty prose, André Aciman introduces us to the marvelous eccentrics who shaped his life--Uncle Vili, the strutting daredevil, soldier, salesman, and spy; the two grandmothers, the Princess and the Saint, who gossip in six languages; Aunt Flora, the German refugee who warns that Jews lose everything "at least twice in their lives." And through it all, we come to know a boy who, even as he longs for a wider world, does not want to be led, forever, out of Egypt.
Crocodile on the Sandbank (An Amelia Peabody Murder Mystery)
By: peters-elizabeth
Amelia Peabody is Elizabeth Peters' most brilliant and best-loved creation, a thoroughly Victorian feminist who takes the stuffy world of archaeology by storm with her shocking men's pants and no-nonsense attitude! In this first adventure, our headstrong heroine decides to use her substantial inheritance to see the world. On her travels, she rescues a gentlewoman in distress - Evelyn Barton-Forbes - and the two become friends. The two companions continue to Egypt where they face mysteries, mummies and the redoubtable Radcliffe Emerson, an outspoken archaeologist, who doesn't need women to help him solve mysteries - at least that's what he thinks.
The Mamur Zapt and the Spoils of Egypt (Mamur Zapt, Book 6)
By: Michael Pearce
Winner of the CWA Last Laugh Award, an irresistible historical mystery in which the Mamur Zapt investigates the illegal trade of antiquities in the Cairo of the 1900s.Cairo, 1908. Captain Gareth Owen, the Mamur Zapt or head of Cairo’s Secret Police, turns his attention to the illegal trade of antiquities when Miss Skinner arrives. She’s a woman with the habit of asking awkward questions. But what is she doing looking for crocodiles? And mummified ones at that?Owen’s new brief is to see that Egypt’s priceless treasures stay in Egypt. But when Miss Skinner narrowly escapes falling under a conveyance, Owen must labour to thwart killers and face an even graver problem: whether to ask the pasha's lovely daughter to marry him….
The Art of Ancient Egypt: Revised Edition
By: Robins, Gay
Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization
By: Kemp, Barry J.
Egyptian Places: An Illustrated Travelogue (ORO EDITIONS)
By: Ayon, Henry David
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.