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

Starting at: $5,297 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Sunset on the pyramids  Evening at the Temple of Luxor  The Great Pyramids of Giza  The Great Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. Credit: Tony Ford  The Khan el-Khalili bazaar. Credit: Egyptian Tourism  Luxor Temple illuminated at night  Wall decoration in tomb in the Valley of the Queens. Credit: Egyptian Tourism  Philae Temple at Aswan. Credit: Egyptian Tourism  Traditional felucca on the Nile  The deity of Horus at the Temple of Edfu

Ancient Egypt and the Nile

Featuring Abu Simbel

14 days from $5,297 | 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 Lower Nile from Aswan to Luxor.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

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

- Kenneth, F.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SPECIAL VALUE

This tour is specially designed for a small group of 16 to 24 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding travel value. Prices include airfare, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees.

Overview

The wonders of ancient Egypt have drawn visitors for millennia. Astounding temples and pyramids, legendary pharaohs, and elaborate hieroglyphics comprise its timeless legacy. Join us on this new tour to unravel Egypt’s mysteries at a host of World Heritage sites.

Highlights Include

  • Cairo and Giza: Delve into the ancient world by visiting the acclaimed Egyptian Museum, a renowned repository of treasured artifacts, including those of Tutankhamen. Then cross the Nile to visit Memphis, Egypt’s first capital, and the necropolis at Sakkara, home to the step pyramid of Imhotep. Finally, in the afternoon light, gaze in awe upon the astounding Pyramids of Giza and the enigmatic Sphinx.
  • Aswan and Abu Simbel: Flying to Abu Simbel, stand before the immense statues of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari, who guard massive rock temples housing incredibly well-preserved murals. You’ll see the Aswan High Dam, considered a marvel of engineering when completed in 1965; tour the Temples of Philae; then board small feluccas to sail past Elephantine Island and the botanical gardens on Kitchener’s Island.
  • Nile River Cruise: Experience Egypt from the Nile as you cruise the river for two nights, taking in scenes unchanged for centuries. Stop along the way to visit Kom Ombo with its double temple dedicated to Sobek and Horus, and Edfu with its Temple of Horus.
  • Luxor: Arrive in ancient Thebes, where vast temple complexes, tombs, and statues represent the pinnacle of early Egyptian architecture and design. Explore the Valley of the Kings, stopping to enter a few of the royal tombs and the stunning Temple of Hatshepsut and see the Colossi of Memnon. Spend time at Karnak, the most magnificent temple complex with a breadth of structures not seen elsewhere, which stretch for more than a mile. You’ll also tour the smaller but lovely Luxor Temple and the Luxor Museum, with its astonishing treasures. 

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

- Kenneth, F.

Itinerary

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

Arrive in the Egyptian capital and transfer to your hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, no group activities or meals have been planned.

Day 3 – Cairo

After a morning briefing, your full-day tour begins at the acclaimed Egyptian Museum, the world’s greatest repository of ancient relics. Then tour the Citadel of Saladin housing the Alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Cairo

This morning discover the astounding Pyramids of Giza and the enigmatic Sphinx, whose leonine body and human face was carved from a single piece of limestone. This afternoon encounter Old Cairo, the district where early capital cities once rose. Visit 5th-century St. Sergius Church, the Coptic church of el-Muallaqa, and Ben Ezra Synagogue, built in 882. (B,L)

Day 5 – Cairo, Abu Simbel, Aswan

Very early this morning fly to Aswan, where you 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 by the creation of Lake Nasser.

After touring this World Heritage site, return to the airport for the flight back to Aswan, where you have lunch at a local restaurant then check in at your hotel. Dine tonight at your hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Aswan

Today see the Aswan High Dam, considered a marvel of engineering when completed in 1965 to control Nile flooding. Then tour the Temples of Philae, in antiquity a pilgrimage site for the cult of Isis and one of ancient Nubia’s – and now Egypt’s – most important temple complexes. 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.

Move on to lunch at a local restaurant, then this afternoon visit the Nubian Museum, an acclaimed showcase of Nubian art and architecture. Mid-afternoon return to your hotel; dinner tonight is on your own. (B,L)

Day 7 – Aswan

After breakfast at your hotel this morning, board your ship and embark on a three-night Nile cruise, enjoying lunch together onboard.

This afternoon, board small feluccas, replicas of ancient Nile sailboats, for a relaxing afternoon sail. Sailing along the Nile, passing by 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 Elephantine Island, with its huge granite rocks; and the tomb of the Aga Khan.

Then dine and overnight aboard your Nile ship in Aswan. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Nile Cruising – Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu

Cruise today to the site of the ancient trading town at Kom Ombo with its unusual double temple and the outstanding Nile views. Then sail on to Edfu, where tonight you are invited to a shipboard celebration. (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Nile Cruising – Edfu, Luxor, West Bank

This morning sail to Luxor, the world’s “greatest open-air museum,” whose vast temple complexes, tombs, and statues dating from B.C. 2755 represent the pinnacle of Egyptian architecture. Here tour the haunting Valley of the Kings, where 34 royal tombs feature magnificent paintings; the Valley of the Queens; and the dramatic Temple of Hatshepsut, honoring one of the few female pharaohs. Also see the massive Colossi of Memnon, two 64-foot- high statues of Amenhotep III that once guarded the gates of his own tomb. As an added highlight you will also tour the village of Deir el Medina; home to the artisans who constructed the Valley of the Kings.

Back on board, tonight enjoy a show of Middle Eastern belly dancing. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Disembark, Luxor, East Bank

After disembarking your ship later this morning, explore the East Bank, home of Karnak, the greatest temple complex of them all, whose ruins stretch for more than a mile. Also visit Luxor Temple, whose builders included both Tutankhamun and Alexander the Great.

Enjoy lunch together before a time at leisure this afternoon. Dinner tonight is at your hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 11 – Luxor

You have the choice to rise very early to see the West Bank from above on an optional hot air balloon ride. Later this morning visit Luxor Museum, housing relics discovered at the site.

The afternoon is free before enjoying dinner together at your hotel. (B,D)

Day 12 – Luxor and Cairo

Fly to Cairo today, where this afternoon you visit Khan el-Khalili bazaar. (B)

Day 13 – Cairo

Begin today’s exploration at the open-air museum at Memphis, Egypt’s first capital believed to be some 5,000 years old. Your next stop is at nearby Sakkara the vast burial ground for Memphis, with various pyramids (including the famous Step Pyramid) and decorated chambers. Also, see the lesser-visited 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 the U.S.

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

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