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Duration: 11 days Visiting: Egypt
The Nile has long been a reflection of Egypt’s history and destiny - an economic lifeline, a great highway to conquest and a source of inspiration throughout the centuries. Now it’s your turn to be inspired as ancient history and spiritual wonders are revealed at every turn.
Cairo at leisure.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. Welcome to the timeless land of the pharaohs. On arrival in Cairo, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the evening at leisure as tomorrow you begin your journey into the ancient world. In the evening, get to know your Travelling Concierge and fellow guests over a welcome drink at the hotel.
In the morning, join your Travelling Concierge, a knowledgeable Egyptologist, who will guide you as you delve into the country’s fascinating history. Head for one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the great Pyramids of Giza. Venture inside the Pyramids and visit their guardian Sphinx. Built for Pharaoh Khufu between 2560 and 2540 BCE, the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world until 1311. Continue to Sakkara, to see the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, the oldest in the world, dating back to 2700 B.C. Nearby lies Memphis, the famous capital of ancient Egypt. See the colossal statue of Ramses II and the great Alabaster Sphinx. Later, return to Giza as night falls to attend a mesmerising Sound & Light Show at the world-famous Pyramids.
Join your cruise in Luxor.
Wake early and transfer to the airport for your flight to Luxor. Famed for its ancient treasures and the grandeur of its monuments, this beautiful city is a treasure trove for those looking to delve further into Egypt’s grand history. On arrival head to Karnak, the largest temple complex ever built by man. This striking complex was constructed over a period of 1,500 years. Walk through the avenue of ram-headed sphinxes, past the statue of Rameses II, to stand in awe among the huge columns of the vast Hypostyle Hall. Later, board your luxury cruise ship, one of the most stylish and spacious in Egypt. The all-suite River Tosca provides a relaxing and comfortable setting for guests as they cruise the legendary Nile River. Featuring a stylishly adorned lounge, with full-service bar, a cosy library, restaurant, fitness rooms and swimming pool, you’ll take in the sights in the utmost luxury. In the evening, enjoy an onboard gala reception and dinner.
The Temple of Hathor and Luxor.
Head to the Temple of Hathor in the morning. Built in the 1st century B.C., it remains one of the best-preserved temples in all of Egypt and contains a rare depiction of Cleopatra VII and Caesarian, her son with Julius Caesar. Return to Luxor for some leisure time before an exclusive, after hours visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Temple of Luxor. Founded in 1400 B.C. during the Golden Age of Thebes, the temple complex blends in seamlessly with surrounding city.
The West Bank and Valley of the Kings.
Travel to the West Bank of the Nile. Stop for photos at the Colossi of Memnon – these gigantic twin stone statues of Amenhotep III once guarded his mortuary temple. Venture on to the amazing Temple of Hatshepsut, Egypt's first female pharaoh who ruled from 1479 to 1458 B.C. It has only recently been reopened after years of reconstruction. Next, head to the Valley of the Kings, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world and the burial place of Tutankhamun, whose mummified remains are still on display. Later, experience a warm welcome as you meet a local family and take a tour of their village. As you stroll through the streets, hear stories of local life and the importance of family contribution, ensuring all members of the village are looked after. Part of this is the baking of traditional sun bread, where each group of families in the village will have their own bakery oven. A member from each group is chosen to be the assigned baker to provide bread to the community. Watch as the family demonstrates the bread making process and enjoy a taste of the delicious bread, paired perfectly with a cup of warm tea. In the evening, join in the fun at an Egyptian dinner and a lively galabeya party. Perhaps ask your Travelling Concierge for tips on where to buy your own traditional Egyptian gown?
A Felucca Around Kitchener’s Island.
Visit the unique double-temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to both the crocodile-headed Sobek and the falcon god, Horus the Elder. In this sacred place near the riverbank, captive crocodiles were worshipped in life and mummified after death. Then, begin your return voyage along the Nile. Back on board, relax and enjoy a visual feast as you cruise along the Nile to Aswan. Stretch out on a Nile felucca, a traditional sailboat, for a peaceful ride around Kitchener's Island. Known for the Aswan Botanical Garden and its tropical plants and palm trees, this petite island is less than a kilometre long. Later, join the likes of Winston Churchill and Agatha Christie before you, with a colonial-style high tea at the Old Cataract Hotel. In the evening, you will indulge on dinner aboard the ship, before you are treated to an Egyptian belly dancing performance.
Aswan and High Dam.
Sightseeing today includes a visit to the modern Aswan High Dam and the ancient Granite Quarries, where one of Queen Hatshepsut's obelisks lies abandoned in the bedrock. Cross the Nile by motorboat to the well-preserved Philae temple complex. Revered by locals, it was moved stone-by-stone to its current location to avoid being ruined by rising water levels, following the construction of the High Dam. Next, take a small boat along the banks of the Nile with the birdman of Asman. Keep a look out for colourful native birds as you travel to his small Nubian village. Visit the traditional dwelling of a local family and enjoy Nubian-style hospitality as you learn more about the area's unique culture. Sit back and relax as you enjoy delicious food, great company and a breathtaking sunset. Once on-board your stylish and spacious cruiser, savour a Highlight Dinner accompanied by a Nubian folklore show and live music.
Relax upon the Nile.
This morning is at your leisure. Perhaps relax by the pool onboard the River Tosca, head out to explore the local area yourself? In the afternoon begin your return voyage along the Nile river, lined by a green ribbon of fertile land and watch the arid desert beyond pass you by. The river continues to play a vital role in everyday life. In scenes that have hardly changed for centuries, residents swim, bathe, work and play along its shores while water buffalo graze in nearby fields.
From Esna to Luxor.
Start your day with a visit to Esna Temple. Situated in the centre of Esna, this fascinating and highly decorated building is dedicated to the ram-headed God Khnum, the God of creation. Built between 180 and 45 BC, you can still see the well-preserved carvings that the Romans added in the 3rd century AD. Later, sit back and observe everyday life in rural Egypt as you float downstream to Luxor, often referred to as the world’s greatest open air museum. In the evening, you’ll indulge on a delicious Celebration Dinner on the River Tosca.
Luxor to Cairo.
In the morning fly to Cairo where you’ll visit the towering Alabaster Mosque, commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848. Enjoy incredible hilltop views over the city from the imposing Citadel of Salah El Din. This massive 12th century compound was home to Egypt's rulers for more than seven hundred years. Next, wander the streets of Khan el-Khalili, a major souk in the historic centre of Islamic Cairo, where you will be dazzled by the colourful and lively atmosphere. Visit the Egyptian Museum, to witness the priceless treasures recovered from the Tomb of Tutankhamun. Check into your famous hotel built to attract the nobility of Europe, the Four Seasons at the First Residence.
It’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers, as you wake early for your transfer to Cairo airport. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Mena House Hotel (Pyramid View), Cairo.
Cairo (Traditional) - Egypt
As far as hotels go, there are few that compare to the five-star Mena House Hotel. Having welcomed numerous heads of state over the years, you’ll have the opportunity to bask in its storied history, while still benefiting from its modern luxury. Wake up to stunning views of the pyramids from the balcony of your decadent room.
River Tosca (Cruise) - Egypt
For the ultimate in luxury and refinement, set sail aboard the deluxe all-suite River Tosca. Experience old world elegance, blended with modern amenities and comfort. The spacious suites are tastefully designed with marble bathrooms. Outside on the sun deck, the pool and shaded cabanas offer an oasis of calm to relax and enjoy the ever-changing scenery.
Cairo (Traditional) - Egypt
Perfectly located on the western bank of the Nile, the Four Seasons at the First Residence puts you at the heart if it all. Enjoy elegance in both service and style, with rooms featuring stylish colonial décor and an open-air, rooftop pool offering stunning city views.