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.
Ancient Egypt and the Nile
Featuring Abu Simbel
14 days from $5,697 | 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.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
- Thomas F.
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!
- Sara J.
The trip to Egypt is a chance of a lifetime. The sites are amazing. I always felt safe. Our tour director was wonderful…
- Kenneth F.
If you want to quench your thirst for knowledge along with a fascinating tour of historical places, Smithsonian tours are the answer.
- Jane F.
I hadn’t realized the major role ancient Egypt played in world history. This trip was a fascinating - even magical - experience.
- A Q&A with Expert Ross King
- A Q&A with Expert Cassandra Potts Hannahs
- A Q&A with Expert Grant Nel
- A Q&A with Expert Michelle Thaller
Solange Ashby received her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago with a specialization in ancient Egyptian language and religion. She has conducted doctoral research at the temple of Philae in Egypt and participated in the excavation of a royal tomb in the Kushite cemetery of El-Kurru in Sudan. Her dissertation explores the prayer inscriptions of Nubian groups that traveled to the Egyptian temples of Lower Nubia, including Philae. Dr. Ashby’s expertise in sacred ancient languages including Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic, and Coptic, Ethiopic, Biblical Greek and Biblical Hebrew underpins her research into the history of religious transformation in Northeast Africa and the Middle East during the period when monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) replaced traditional religion in Egypt and Nubia. Her current research explores the roles of women in traditional Egyptian and Nubian religious practices.
Dr. Ashby holds fellowships at Catholic University’s Institute of Christian Oriental Research and the American Research Center in Egypt. She teaches Religious History at American University in Washington, DC.
Emily Teeter received her PhD in Egyptology from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Her areas of specialization are the religion, social history, and the material culture of ancient Egypt. After recently retiring after a long career in the Oriental Institute Museum, she consults for museums and Egyptology projects throughout the world. Over the last decades, she has developed and led tours to Egypt and many other areas of the Middle East.
Emily has written a wide variety of popular and scholarly articles and published many books, including Baked Clay Figurines and Votive Beds from Medinet Habu; The Presentation of Maat: Ritual and Legitimacy in Ancient Egypt; Ancient Egypt: Treasures from the Collection of the Oriental Institute; Religion and Ritual in Ancient Egypt, and Egypt and the Egyptians (which has appeared in Arabic and Turkish editions). She has curated many permanent and temporary exhibits of Egyptian artifacts in major museums in the United States. Dr. Teeter has conducted fieldwork in Alexandria, Giza, and Luxor, and she has appeared on many television programs about Egypt. Emily also has a deep interest in the later periods of Egyptian history and culture.
She is the past President of the American Research Center in Egypt, and she continues to serve on their board. She is a Research Associate of the Polish Centre for Mediterranean Studies, an Associate of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, and she sits on the editorial boards of several prominent academic journals.
Ashley Arico received her PhD in Near Eastern Studies with a focus in Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology from the Johns Hopkins University, where her research examined Egyptian statues as evidence for interactions between Egypt and the Levant in ancient times. She is currently the Elizabeth McIlvaine Assistant Curator of Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ashley participated in excavations at the temple of the lioness-headed goddess Mut in Luxor, Egypt for several years, and she has previously held positions at the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum, the Walters Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her interests include tracing how Egyptian artifacts have moved and been interpreted over time from antiquity to today, and particularly in how tourism to Egypt in the late 19th century influenced the formation of Egyptian museum collections throughout the world, including in Chicago.
Veronica Kalas is an expert on ancient and medieval art and architecture of the East Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East. She has lectured extensively on ancient Egyptian art in her courses on art and architectural history, having taught at a variety of colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. She has participated in excavations and architectural documentation and preservation projects throughout the region. Veronica earned her Ph.D. in art history and archeology from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts and her B.A. in Classical Archaeology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research focuses on the rock-carved architecture of Byzantine Cappadocia, a volcanic area located in central Turkey. She has published widely about this subject and other field projects and is very interested in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches to the visual and material culture of the pre-modern world. Of particular importance to her are the many-sided discussions surrounding the protection and preservation of cultural heritage sites. Her work has been supported by the American Research Institute in Turkey, the Program in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University, and Dumbarton Oaks Research Libraries and Collections in Washington, D.C. Veronica has enjoyed filming for the History Channel, lecturing to the public, and leading archeological study tours.
Debora Heard is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology specializing in Nubian Archaeology at the University of Chicago where she has also extensively studied the ancient Egyptian language and history. Her dissertation research analyzes the inscriptions and iconography of Kushite temples dedicated to the gods Amun and Apedemak in Upper Nubia. She situates her research at the intersection of anthropology, archaeology, Egyptology, and Nubian Studies.
Debora has excavated at the 4th Cataract of the Nile River in Sudan as a member of the Oriental Institute Nubian Expedition. For more than 10 years, she has taught courses, given public lectures, and participated in special programming dedicated to ancient Nubia and Egypt at the Oriental Institute, the Kemetic Institute, Chicago State University and, most recently, the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Her audiences have included grade school children, college students, school teachers, museum docents, and general members of the public seeking information about the ancient world. Debora has also served as an intern with the Egyptian and Nubian Collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and curatorial assistant in the installation of the Robert F. Picken Family Nubian Gallery of the Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago, as well as conducted research at the British Museum, Ashmolean Museum, and the Griffith Institute at the University of Oxford. She looks forward to sharing her passion for Egypt and Nubia with the Smithsonian Journeys tours.
Dr. Jacquelyn Williamson received in her PhD in Egyptology from the Johns Hopkins University. She is the Assistant Professor of Ancient Art and Archaeology at George Mason University. She has been a member of several archaeological missions in Egypt and has worked in many museums including the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and the Harvard Semitic Museum. She has held teaching and research positions at UC Berkeley, Harvard University, and Brandeis University and has appeared on many television programs about ancient Egypt. She is the director of the ongoing investigation of Kom el-Nana at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt, which she has proven is the site of a “lost” sun temple associated with Queen Nefertiti. Kom el-Nana is the subject of her first book. Her work has a special focus on gender and religious power and specializes in art, archaeology, and ancient language. Her courses are consistently ranked among the top in her university, and she invests her passion for ancient Egypt into every teachable moment.
David Price Williams has a degree in Ancient Near Eastern languages and a doctorate in Near Eastern archaeology and has spent his working life as an East Mediterranean archaeologist. He taught Middle Eastern Archaeology and Egyptology at the University of London for many years. His first overseas field work was at the classical site of Knidos in Turkey. He then worked for several seasons as a surveyor for the Smithsonian Institution excavating a site on the Egyptian border before directing his own field research in the Levant. David has designed and lectured on many tours to Egypt, Turkey and Greece. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an elected life member of the Society for Old Testament Studies.
John Baines received his doctorate from the University of Oxford. He was Professor of Egyptology there until his retirement in 2014. He has held visiting appointments in universities and research centers in Egypt, China, Europe, and the USA. John has worked with archaeological field expeditions at Saqqara and Abydos, as well as visiting and studying sites throughout Egypt and northern Sudan, and museum collections wherever he has been able to see them. In Egypt he has lectured on a number of tours.
John’s research has addressed many areas of Egyptology, for periods ranging from later prehistory to Greco-Roman times. His work has a strong comparative focus, and he has developed a particular interest in early China, which offers many parallels to developments in Egypt. Among other books, he is co-author with Jaromir Malek of Cultural Atlas of Ancient Egypt (2nd edition, 2000), and author of Visual and Written Culture in Ancient Egypt (2007) and High Culture and Experience in Ancient Egypt (2013). His current research, which he is presenting in public lectures at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, is on Egyptian biographies. In these studies he uses archaeological, art-historical, and text-based approaches, setting the lives of ancient Egyptians within the landscapes that they developed and inhabited.
John is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Member of the American Philosophical Society and of the German Archaeological Institute. He has served on national and international bodies for research in archaeology, and he continues to be a member of the editorial boards of journals and book series.
Elizabeth Hart earned her Ph.D in the anthropological archaeology of Egypt from the University of Virginia. Motivated by a passion for world history and the profound diversity of human society, her research focuses on understanding ancient economies, particularly through the analysis of flaked-stone artifacts and settlement sites. She has done fieldwork in Egypt yearly since 2004, working at Giza, Helwan, Wadi el-Sheikh, Abydos, el-Mahâsna, the Valley of the Kings, Elkab, Aswan, and Wadi el-Hudi. She is currently a Research Affiliate at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan, and the head lithic specialist for the University of Vienna’s Wadi el-Sheikh project. She has shared Egypt’s cultural heritage by teaching courses on Ancient Egypt at the University of Virginia, as a research fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, by working for the non-profit organization the American Research Center in Egypt, and through talks and publications for both academic and general audiences.
Annie Shanley received her PhD in Egyptian Art from Emory University, where her research focused on the role of the god Seth in New Kingdom royal monuments. For several years she taught art history at Emory University and the University of West Georgia. In 2014, Annie joined the staff of the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, where she specializes in researching the provenance (ownership history) of objects in the museum’s permanent collection. She lectures on ancient Egypt, as well as provenance and the ethics of collecting antiquities to both university classes and the general public across Atlanta. Annie has participated in archaeological field work at the tomb of Parennefer on the Theban West Bank, the Delta site of Mendes, Malkata (the palace site of Amenhotep III) in Thebes, and Tel Megiddo-East in Israel.
Megaera Lorenz holds a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. She specializes in the history, art, and iconography of Egypt’s New Kingdom (ca. 1550-1069 BCE) as well as the Late Egyptian language. She is currently preparing her dissertation, “The Role of Male Royal Offspring in 18th Dynasty Egypt,” for publication. Megaera has participated in fieldwork in Luxor and Deir el-Bersha in Egypt, as well as salvage archaeology at Al-Widay, in the region of the Fourth Cataract in Sudan. She has taught courses on Egyptian art and architecture, history, and language at the University of Chicago and Loyola University Chicago. She worked for several years as a Content Advisor for the Oriental Institute Museum’s Office of Public Education, where she developed, evaluated, and facilitated numerous educational programs for educators, docents, K-12 students, and the general public. She also contributed to the development of an Oriental Institute special exhibit, “The Life of Meresamun: A Temple Singer in Ancient Egypt.” Megaera has been involved in public education in various capacities since childhood, and she is always seeking opportunities to share her passion for Egypt’s rich cultural heritage with other lifelong learners.
Rozenn Bailleul-LeSuer received her PhD in Egyptology in 2016 from the University of Chicago. She now divides her time between teaching in the Department of Anthropology at the College at Brockport, SUNY, and acting as historian and curator for a local historical society. After studying Chemical Engineering in Lille, France, and completing a MA in Greek & Latin at the University of Vermont, Rozenn has lately centered her research on the ancient Egyptians’ relationship with their environment, most especially the avifauna encountered in the Nile Valley and surrounding deserts. Her current efforts focus on the study of bird mummies now held in museum collections in order to gain a better understanding of the various ways that birds were incorporated into the daily life of ancient Egyptians. She has worked as a consultant for the Art Institute of Chicago and the Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago, where she curated the exhibit Between Heaven and Earth: Birds in Ancient Egypt. Most recently, because of her volunteer activities in the Victorian village of Brockport, she has started delving into the letters and diaries written by European and American travelers of the Victorian era during their journeys through Egypt, as she wishes to gather information on sites, monuments, and landscapes that have since vanished.