Journey to the Land of the Pharaohs

To travel to the land of Egypt is to feel profoundly touched by history. The glory and greatness, mystery and mystique that was once Egypt, beckons alluringly. Come and explore an ancient land of temples, tombs, and hieroglyphs as we visit a civilization shaped by the mighty Nile River.

Day 1:Depart JFK for overnight nonstop flight to Cairo

Day 2: Cairo. Arrival in Cairo, where we are warmly greeted by our guide, assisted through customs formalities, then escorted to our private touring coach and transferred to our Cairo hotel. Cairo Sheraton and Towers (D)

Day 3: Memphis, Sakkara, Giza. We drive along the Nile this morning to the ancient capital of Memphis. Though most of the city has been destroyed by time, the magnificent Alabaster Sphinx and the mammoth statue of Ramses II remain. We continue to the Necropolis of Sakkara, City of the Dead, where we view the famous Step Pyramid of King Zoser, Pyramid of Teti, Mastaba of Mereruka and the Wall of Cobras.

We continue to Giza where we see the Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus, the Solar Boat, and the mysterious Sphinx and Valley Temple. Overnight at our Cairo hotel.(B,L,D)

Day 4: Today's visits include the Cairo Museum, regarded as one of the most prominent in the

world, where we can view remarkable treasures dating back 5,000 years. Here we'll visit the priceless antiquities of King Tutankhamen's tomb and the intriguing Mummy Room.

Our tour continues to the Coptic Quarter, centerpiece of Old Cairo, where we visit the Christian and Jewish Quarters of the Old City; the Hanging Church and Abu Serqa Church, and the Ben Ezra Synagogue. From there, Islamic Cairo awaits; with the Citadel of Mohamed Ali, built on the remains of a Crusader-style fortress dating from the time of Saladin and Sultan Hassan Mosque which was built from the alabaster cover stones of the Pyramids of Giza in 1369.

On to the train station for our overnite sleeper to Aswan. (B,L,D) 

Day 5: After breakfast aboard the train, we'll check in on our ship, the MS Tulip, and begin our touring in Aswan. Our visits include the High Dam and the lotus-shaped monument to Soviet-Egyptian cooperation, where it is possible to enjoy a wonderful view of Lake Nasser. We continue to the unfinished obelisk. Fractured during cutting and abandoned, this work of art shows how these magnificent monuments were painstakingly hewn by hand and polished to a glassy smoothness. On to Philae Island, one of Egypt's most impressive sights before being flooded after the first Aswan Dam was built. The new site represents a complete restoration of the original. Then return to our cruise ship for embarkation and dinner. MS Tulip (B,L,D)

Day 6: Early morning flight to Abu Simbel of Ramses II, one of the most moving and thrilling sites in all of Egypt. Here at the limits of Upper Egypt, Ramses II built his temple in honor of Harmakhis, guardian of the Gates to the Nether World, Amon-Ra, Solar God, Ptah, God of Creativity, and Ramses II himself. After our tour, we'll fly back to Aswan and board our cruise ship and continue sailing to Edfu.

We visit the Temple of Edfu, a Greek-built monument to Horus, the falcon-headed son of Osiris. It took about 200 years to complete this temple, which has helped fill in many gaps of knowledge about Pharaonic architecture that it imitates. Return to the ship for lunch aboard as we sail to Esna. Cross Esna Lock and sail to Luxor. (B,L,D)

 

Day 7: This morning we explore the West Bank of the Nile including the Valley of Kings, where some 64 of Egypt's Pharaohs have their royal tombs hewn into the sheer rock, the Valley of the Queens, the impressive Deir El Bahari mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, an architectural wonder built against the backdrop of a looming cliff face, the Tombs of the Nobles, Medinet Habu, the great Funerary Temple of Ramses III, and the Colossi of Memnon, two huge seated statues of Amenhotep III. (B,L,D)

 

Day 8: This morning we visit the Temples of Karnak and Luxor. Karnak is possibly one of the most overwhelming monuments of the Pharaonic legacy, with work carried out on the temples over a period of 1500 years. The Luxor Temple is strikingly graceful and was added to over the centuries by Tutankhamun, Ramses II and others. This afternoon we'll enjoy a change of pace as we take a carriage ride into the countryside and visit the Coptic Christian village of Ngaa el Syagh. We'll return to our ship to sail south back towards Esna. (B,L,D)

Day 9: This morning we'll sail to Edfu. After lunch, we'll visit Kom Ombo, where we'll explore the Temple of Kom Ombo, unique in all of Egypt and shared by the two gods, Sobek and Haroeris. (B,L,D)

Day 10: Sail to Aswan this morning. Visits this afternoon by felucca include Elephantine Island, where we find the ruined Temple of Khnum, the work of many pharaohs down to the Ptolemies and even the Romans. We'll also view the Agha Khan Mausoleum and the botanical gardens of Kitchener Island. Take advantage of an optional camel ride to San Simeon,  Enjoy our final night aboard our Nile cruise. (B, L, D)

 

Day 11:. This morning, disembark from our cruise and transfer to the airport for the short flight to Cairo. Upon arrival in Cairo, we'll visit Sadat's Tomb. From there we go on to Gezira Island with its parks and El-Borg, a 600-foot tower offering a marvelous view of Cairo and the Nile from its observation deck. (B,L,D)

Day 12: Say a reluctant goodbye to Egypt as we transfer to the airport early this morning to board our return flight to the USA, arriving in New York later this afternoon- then on to final destinations.

 

NOTE: Everything that is listed on the itinerary will be seen, but we need to remember that we are in Egypt and will have to “roll with the punches”. In other words, on occasion, due to timing, some elements of the itinerary schedule may be switched around for greater ease.

Also, be aware that additional visits and surprises may be in store as well.


 


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