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
Lounge Bar onboard the MS Tamr Henna
Lounge Bar onboard the MS Tamr Henna
MS Tamr Henna Nile Cruiser
MS Tamr Henna Nile Cruiser
Reception area onboard the MS Tamr Henna
Reception area onboard the MS Tamr Henna
Standard Cabin onboard the MS Tamr Henna
Standard Cabin onboard the MS Tamr Henna

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 aboard the MS Tamr Henna, 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.We arrive in Cairo and transfer to our airport hotel, conveniently located for our early morning flight tomorrow. Enjoy some free time this afternoon before having dinner together as a group.

Hotel: Le Meridien, Cairo Airport
Meal: Dinner included

Day 2

Today 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 rebuilt on the western bank, the two massive rock temples of Ramesses II and his favorite queen, Nefertari, were originally carved into the mountainside in 1244 BCE to honor the deified royal pair and to awe the Nubians.

Hotel: Aswan Mövenpick Hotel
Meal: All meals included

Day 3

Today we transfer to our Nile Cruiser, and enjoy a lunch together on board. This afternoon we enjoy a tour by felucca around Elephantine Island, the Botanical Garden and the Agha Khan.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 4

Today we explore the Quarries, acknowledged as archaeological sites in their own right and the source of quality stone for the construction of ancient Egypt’s decorative monuments. We continue to the atmospheric ruins of Philae, the Ptolemaic island temple dramatically rescued from the rising waters of the lake. A labyrinthine complex of chapels and shrines – which were originally dedicated to the goddess Isis – this was the Byzantine Empire’s last bastion of paganism.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 5

Today we sail to Edfu via Kom Ombo. We disembark to visit the partially-restored remains of Kom Ombo’s Ptolemaic temple standing dramatically above the Nile. Back on board, we have several hours to enjoy our vessel’s sundeck and pool, as well as the ever-changing panorama of everyday life along the Nile

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 6

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 BCE, this is one of Egypt’s best-preserved ancient monuments. Back on board we have lunch and proceed to Luxor via Esna Lock. Modern Luxor, on the Nile’s east bank, has grown up around the ruins of great complexes. This evening we explore Karnak’s ‘City of Temples’, probably the ancient world’s largest remaining religious site, with many structures dating back 4,000 years. We visit Luxor Temple where clever lighting highlights the many hieroglyphics.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 7

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 8

Today we set sail from Luxor towards Qena. We disembark the ship and drive to the site of Abydos, one of the oldest cities in ancient Egypt notable for the memorial temple of Seti I. We then journey to Dendera, through a landscape of villages of baked mud houses and the lush cultivated banks of the Nile. Dendera 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, displaying the hours of the day and night as well as the journey of the sun, moon and stars across the sky. We return to our ship for dinner, and travel to Nag Hammadi.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 9

Today we head towards Sohag via Abu Homar’s Lock, visiting the Red and White Monasteries. Built from remnants of Pharaonic temples, these have amazing murals.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 10

Today you can spend the day relaxing as the ship sails towards Tel el Amarna, cruising through Assuit’s Lock en route. After lunch, we visit The Monastery of the Holy Virgin Mary, also 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 11

We sail to Tel el-Amarna, which is 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. The city itself was abandoned after the Pharaoh’s death, only 20 years or so after its creation. Here, we visit the tombs of important figures Ahmose I, Meryre, Pentu, Panehesy as well as 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 12

We visit the West Bank of the Nile, visiting Tuna El Gabal and the ruins of a major Egyptian city, El-Ashmunein. We also visit a section of the 39 stone-cut tombs of Beni Hassan on 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 13

We sail to Beni Suef and begin at the pyramid of Meidum, which was originally a seven-stepped pyramid before being enlarged to an eight-stepped pyramid. Eventually, the steps were filled in and a smooth outer facing turned it into a true pyramid. We the 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 14

Today is spent sailing from Beni Suef to Cairo. Enjoy the chance to relax before the bustle and chaotic charm of the city begins.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 15

Today we move forward in time as 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 tour nearby Memphis, which was founded over 5,000 years ago and the first capital of a united Egypt, it has revealed many major archaeological finds. At the necropolis of Sakkara, we visit the museum and tour the 3rd Dynasty Pharaoh Djoser’s distinctive Step Pyramid complex. This, the oldest pyramid, pre-dates the famous Giza pyramids by at least four centuries and was the first monumental building constructed completely from stone. We also explore the smooth-sided Pyramid of Teti, a Sixth Dynasty King and the tombs of the Nobles, Mehu and the Serapeum.

Hotel: MS Tamr Henna
Meal: All meals included

Day 16

This morning we visit the Citadel – the medieval Islamic stronghold of Salah el-Din – before heading for lunch. We spend the afternoon exploring the highlights of Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, home of the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including the items from the tomb of Tutankhamun. We then walk through the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, whose warren of cobblestone lanes and alleys are lined with colorful shops. We then return to our boat for a farewell dinner together.

Hotel: Marriott Mena House Hotel
Meal: All meals included

Day 17

Today we depart Cairo for our early morning flights 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

Mon 31st Aug - Wed 16th Sep

Available

£4,895

inc.

sgl supp: £725

EGC20B

Led By: Lucia Gahlin

Guide Lecturer

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