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Duration: 12 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 Egypt - a mystical and timeless land, where the ancient and modern world live side by side. On arrival in Cairo, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your elegant hotel.
After meeting your Luxury Gold Egyptologist, head for one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Great Pyramids at Giza and their guardian Sphinx. Your exploration of Cairo with a Local Expert includes entry to also go into one of the Pyramids. 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; famous capital of ancient Egypt. See the colossal statue of Ramses II and the great Alabaster Sphinx. In the evening, get to know your Travelling Concierge and fellow guests over a Welcome Drink at the hotel. Later, return to Giza as night falls to attend a magical Sound & Light show at the world famous pyramids, which literally illuminates the ancient history of Giza!
Join your cruise in Luxor.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Luxor. Visit Karnak, the largest temple complex ever built by man, 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. Then board your luxury cruise ship, one of the most stylish and spacious in Egypt. In the evening, enjoy an on-board Gala Reception and dinner.
The Temple of Hathor and Luxor.
Enjoy a drive from Luxor to visit 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, the son of Julius Caesar. Return to Luxor for some leisure time before visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Temple of Luxor. Founded in 1400 B.C. during Thebe's Golden Age, it's a stunning sight at sunset.
The West Bank and Valley of the Kings.
Travel by air-conditioned coach 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. Then head to the Valley of the Kings, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world and burial place of Tutankhamun, whose mummified remains are still on display. Next, visit a working bakery and witness the local artisans creating authentic Egyptian bread. At night, join in the fun at an Egyptian dinner and a lively galabeya party.
A Felucca around Kitchener’s Island.
Stretch out on a traditional Nile felucca (sailboat) for a peaceful ride around Kitchener's Island. Back on-board, relax and enjoy a visual feast as you cruise along the Nile to Aswan. In the evening, you will be treated to an Egyptian belly dancing performance.
Aswan and High Dam.
Sightseeing 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, moved stone-by-stone to its current location following the construction of the High Dam. Next, take a small boat along the banks of the Nile, watching for colourful native birds as you travel to a 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. In the late afternoon, join the likes of Winston Churchill and Agatha Christie before you, with a colonial-style high tea at the Old Cataract Hotel. 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.
The morning is at leisure to relax or explore, or maybe take an Bespoke Experience by air to Abu Simbel? These fabulous temples were carved out of the cliff side by Rameses II and later transported, in an amazing feat of modern engineering, out of the rising waters of Lake Nasser. Later, 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. In the afternoon, begin your return voyage along the Nile, lined by a green ribbon of fertile land, with the arid desert beyond. The river continues to play a vital role in everyday life. In scenes that have hardly changed for centuries, local 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.
Check into your famous hotel built to attract the nobility of Europe. Over the years it has been home to Howard Carter, Jane Fonda, King Farouk as well as many crown princes and princesses. The afternoon is at leisure.
Return to Cairo.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight back to your stylish hotel in Cairo. Once in Cairo, 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. Visit the sublime Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali, with its highly ornate interior, before putting your bargaining skills to the test at the Khan El Khalili bazaar. Continue to the Egyptian Museum to admire the priceless treasures recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Your travels conclude with transfers 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.
Cairo (Traditional) - Egypt
Overlooking the magnificent River Nile, the Conrad Cairo is centrally located and offers premium rooms, elegant dining and 24-hour entertainment with a glamorous International Casino.
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.
Luxor (Historic) - Egypt
The opulent five-star Winter Palace Luxor blends rich colonial design with the glory of Pharaonic times. Set amid luxuriant tropical gardens, this hotel offers the perfect retreat after a busy and exciting day exploring.