This 10-night adventure features four nights on a deluxe ship, five nights in Cairo, and one night in Luxor. The Great Pyramids of Giza, the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, and the tomb of King Tutankhamen come to life with an expert Egyptologist by your side during all excursions. Marvel at the Great Temple of Ramses II in Abu Simbel, seek out treasures in Cairo’s old bazaar, and visit venerable mosques and Coptic Christian churches. This small-group trip features four flights within Egypt, including a round-trip flight to Abu Simbel.
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DAYS 1 & 2: Cairo, Egypt
Arrive at Cairo International Airport, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you and escort you to the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza.
DAY 3: Cairo
On each excursion, your extremely knowledgeable Egyptologist will share extraordinary details that bring ancient Egypt to life. Today, tour the new Grand Egyptian Museum with a dazzling collection of 100,000 precious relics. Two halls are devoted to King Tutankhamen’s burial treasures, an incomparable trove of 5,000 objects displayed together for the first time since the discovery of his tomb in 1922. At tonight’s Welcome Reception in the hotel, get better acquainted with your fellow travelers.
DAY 4: Sakkara | Giza | Cairo
Today, witness the pyramid’s evolution from flat, mudbrick prototypes called mastabas to terraced stone tombs and ultimately, Giza’s colossal structures. In Sakkara, visit the Mastaba of Mereruka, King Teti’s Pyramid Tomb and the Step Pyramid of Djoser, considered the first pyramid. Marvel at the Great Pyramid of Giza built for the pharaoh Khufu out of approximately 2.3 million massive blocks, as well as the iconic, mysterious Sphinx nearby.
DAY 5: Cairo
Discover Cairo’s rich religious traditions as you explore its houses of worship. Visit the Mosque of Mohammed Ali inside the medieval Citadel fortress complex and the grand Al-Rifai Mosque. Step inside 9th-century Ben Ezra Synagogue and the renowned Coptic churches, the Hanging Church and the Church of St. Sergius. Afterward, see rice-straw paper being made by hand at a cooperative workshop and take in the local scene at the colorful Khan el Khalili bazaar.
DAY 6: Cairo | Luxor
Fly to Luxor this morning to explore the glories of ancient Thebes, the capital city of the Middle and New Kingdoms. At the Luxor Museum, admire artifacts from its temples and necropolis. Check in to the Sonesta St. George Hotel Luxor and, after lunch, sail by felucca along the Nile River to the Temple of Luxor. Commissioned by Amenhotep III, this majestic complex was connected to the Temple of Karnak by an avenue of sphinxes.
DAY 7: Luxor
Explore the spellbinding Valleys of the Kings and Queens, where New Kingdom pharaohs and their families awaited immortality in once hidden tombs. Amazingly, hieroglyphics adorning the walls still spring vibrantly to life. Visit King Tutankhamen’s tomb, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and Amun-her-Khepeshef’s tomb before embarking the ship for your Nile cruise. Later in Luxor, learn about the Chicago House’s preservation work during an exclusive visit. After dinner on board, delight in a belly-dancing performance.
DAY 8: Karnak | Cruising the Nile
This morning, visit the Temple of Karnak, a sprawling city of temples built over a period of 2,000 years. In this awe-inspiring religious site, feel dwarfed by a veritable forest of 134 gigantic sandstone columns while wandering through the great hall of the Temple of Amun-Ra. After lunch on the ship, take advantage of the onboard amenities during your leisure time this afternoon. Later, watch from the rail as the ship transits the Esna Lock.
DAY 9: Cruising | Edfu | Kom Ombo
Relax at leisure amid the tranquil scenery while cruising to Edfu this morning. At the wonderfully preserved Temple of Horus, see decorative reliefs that have revealed intriguing details about ancient life. After lunch on board, join an Egyptologist for an engaging talk. Disembark in Kom Ombo to explore the unusual double temple complex of crocodile-headed Sobek, god of fertility, and falcon-headed Haroeris, god of the sky. Enjoy tonight’s onboard entertainment featuring a traditional Nubian show.
DAY 10: Aswan | Abu Simbel | Aswan
After docking in Aswan this morning, fly to Abu Simbel to visit the Great Temple of Ramses II, carved out of sandstone cliffs. Behold the four mammoth statues of the king flanking the entrance. Equally captivating is the neighboring temple dedicated to the goddess Hathor and Queen Nefertari. Fly back to Aswan and unwind this afternoon during free time. Tonight, gather for a Farewell Reception and Dinner to commemorate your unforgettable adventure in Egypt.
DAY 11: Aswan | Cairo
Your Nile River cruise concludes this morning. Disembark the ship and sail by felucca to the beautiful island temple complex of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis. Afterward, learn the ancient process of handcrafting papyrus at the Papyrus Institute and continue to the High Dam, an engineering marvel built in the 1960s. Later, fly to Cairo. Relax in your evening room at the InterContinental Citystars Cairo before an early morning departure for your flight home.
DAY 12: Depart for home city
Very early this morning, bid farewell to Egypt and head home.
NOTE: Itinerary may change due to local conditions.