Egypt Cruise | In the Wake of the Pharaohs

Temple of Kom Ombo
Temple of Kom Ombo
Queen Hatshepsut's temple
Queen Hatshepsut's temple
Pyramids of Giza
Pyramids of Giza
Pyramids of Giza
Pyramids of Giza
Mohammed Ali Basha Mosque
Mohammed Ali Basha Mosque
Karnak Temple
Karnak Temple
The River Nile at Aswan
The River Nile at Aswan
Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel
Souk Khan el-Khalili
Souk Khan el-Khalili

This luxurious cruise is perfect for those who are looking for an in-depth exploration of the magnificent sites that line the River Nile. You will glide along a distance of 410 miles between Cairo and Aswan, on a journey through the ancient world that includes a stretch of the river that has only been reopened for a few years. Travelling by water, we can take you to a range of little-known and rarely visited sites that most tourists to this part of the world typically miss.

  • Explore Seti I’s temple at Abydos, considered somewhat off the beaten track yet home to the most beautiful raised reliefs in the entire country
  • Visit the renowned Nubian site of the temples at Abu Simbel, which were rescued from Lake Nasser’s rising waters after the creation of the High Dam
  • Discover the remains of the royal cemetery of Egypt’s most intriguing Pharaoh, Akhenaten, and his powerful wife, Nefertiti
  • Travel through Middle Egypt, where we will explore the rarely visited sites of Beni Hasan and Amarna

This tour is being ran in partnership with our sister company, Archaeological Tours. Please note that our August departure will run in reverse order, starting in Aswan and finishing in Cairo.

Themes

  • Ancient Egyptians

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

We arrive in Cairo and transfer to our hotel.

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel
Meal: Dinner included

Day 2

This morning we begin at the citadel, the medieval Islamic stronghold of Salah el-Din. The afternoon is dedicated to exploring the highlights of Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, home of the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts, including treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Time permitting, we will walk through the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, whose warren of cobblestone lanes and alleys are lined with colourful shops, before embarking upon our Nile Cruise.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 3

Today we visit the only two surviving representatives of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the three Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Next, we visit nearby Memphis, which served as the country’s capital during the Old Kingdom. Today, this bustling ancient city is reduced to an open-air museum, its highlight being the extraordinary fallen colossus of Ramesses II. At the necropolis of Saqqara, we pay a visit to the museum and we view the 3rd Dynasty Pharaoh Djoser’s distinctive Step Pyramid complex. This, the oldest pyramid, predates the famous Giza pyramids by at least four centuries and was the first monumental building constructed completely from stone.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 4

We sail to Beni Suef and begin at the pyramid of Meidum, which was originally a seven-stepped pyramid before being enlarged to eight tiers. Eventually, the steps were filled in and a smooth outer facing turned it into a true pyramid. We continue to the Pyramid of Amenemhat III, which was built in Hawara. The pyramid is 48 meters high and has been coated in limestone.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 5

This morning is spent sailing from Beni Suef to Minya. Upon our arrival, we visit the Beni Hassan tombs located at the East Bank of the Nile. Some of the Middle Kingdom tombs in the cliffs bear their original inscriptions, as well as painted scenes of ancient life.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 6

We visit the West Bank of the Nile, visiting Tuna El Gabal and the ruins of a major Egyptian city, El-Ashmunein. After we explore Tel el-Amarna, generally thought to be the most significant city site surviving from ancient Egypt. The original name of the city was Akhenaten, the ‘Horizon of the Aten’, a title corresponding to the actions of the so-called ‘heretic Pharaoh’ Akhenaten. Here, we visit the tombs of important figures such as Ahmose I, Meryre, Pentu, Panehesy, and the Royal Tomb of Akhenaten, the foundations of the Great Palace of King Akhenaten, and the Small and Great Temples of Aten.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 7

Today you can spend the day relaxing as the ship sails towards Assuit, cruising through Assuit’s Lock en route. Enjoy our vessel’s glorious sundeck and pool, as well as the ever-changing panorama of everyday life along the legendary Nile.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 8

Today we visit the Red and White Monasteries. Built from remnants of pharaonic temples, these monasteries are home to impressive murals. We also visit the Monastery of the Holy Virgin Mary, otherwise known as the Muharraq Monastery – or simply the Burnt Monastery – which lies on the path of the flight of the Holy Family in Egypt.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 9

Today we set sail from Assuit towards Sohag. We disembark and drive to the site of Abydos, where we see the beautiful temple of Seti I and the only King List still in its original position.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 10

We spend today sailing to Qena. En route, we will pass Sohag Bridge, Abou Homar Lock and Bridge, and the Nagaa Hammady Bridge.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 11

We visit Dendera today, which is home to an important temple complex whose main feature is the remarkably well-preserved Temple of Hathor, goddess of love, music and wine. On the still-intact ceiling is a circular plaster cast of the beautiful Zodiac of Dendera. Next, we sail to Luxor where we will pay a special evening visit to Luxor Temple. Here, clever lighting will illuminate the vast hieroglyphics.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 12

We start today with a visit to the Colossi of Memnon, and then on to nearby Deir el-Bahari, where we visit the impressive colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, mortuary temple of the only female Pharaoh. We then visit the Valley of the Kings. Of over 60 tombs discovered here only a small number are open to the public and we enter a selection of these, including the elaborately decorated tomb of Seti I, which details the opening of the mouth ceremony. We end the day at the temple of Karnak, the immense sanctuary of the sun-deity Amun-Ra. Reached via the famous Avenue of Sphinxes, this is a dazzling maze of monumental gateways, obelisks, pillared halls and subsidiary shrines.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 13

We spend the morning sailing to Edfu. Upon arrival, we go ashore to the Temple of Edfu, a beautiful Ptolemaic temple dedicated to Horus, the avenging falcon god. A late construction built between 237 and 57 BC, this is without a doubt one of Egypt’s best-preserved ancient monuments.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 14

Today we sail to the partially-restored remains of Kom Ombo’s Ptolemaic temple. Dedicated equally to two competing gods, Horus the Elder and the crocodile god Sobek, it even has separate areas for each. We then return to our Nile Cruiser and sail onward to Aswan.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 15

This morning we explore the Quarries, acknowledged as archaeological sites in their own right and also the source of quality stone for the construction of ancient Egypt’s decorative monuments. From here, we continue to Philae, the Ptolemaic island temple dramatically rescued from the rising waters of the lake. This afternoon we sail by felucca around Elephantine Island and to the Botanical Gardens before enjoying our last dinner onboard the Nile cruiser.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 16

Today we disembark our Nile boat, and catch an early flight to the world-renowned Nubian site of the temples at Abu Simbel, 140 miles south-west of Aswan. Miraculously rescued from Lake Nasser’s rising waters after the creation of the High Dam and then rebuilt on the western bank, the two massive rock temples of Ramesses II and his favourite queen, Nefertari, were originally carved into the Mountainside in 1244 BCE to honour the deified royal pair and to awe the Nubians. We then fly to Cairo, our base for the evening, where we say our farewells.

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel
Meal: All meals included

Day 17

We depart Cairo for our flight home or onward travel.

Meal: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights

Travel Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

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2020 Tour Details

Tue 5th May - Thu 21st May

Available

£4,795

Full Price £4895 Save £100

inc.

sgl supp: £725

EGC20A

Led By: Dr Luigi Prada

Mon 31st Aug - Wed 16th Sep

Available

£4,795

Full Price £4895 Save £100

inc.

sgl supp: £725

EGC20B

Led By: Dr Xavier Droux

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