- Walk in the shadow of the Great Pyramids of Giza
- Tour the magnificent temples of Habu, Karnak & Luxor
- Board a Nile River cruise towards Aswan
- See King Tut's treasure at Cairo's Egyptian Museum
- Soak up some sun at the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh
|Day 1||Arrive in Cairo||Cairo|
|Day 2||Discover the Great Pyramids: Giza & Memphis||Cairo|
|Day 3||Fly to Luxor, Visit Habu Temple, Carter House & the Tomb of Nobles||Luxor|
|Day 4||Explore Luxor & Karnak Temples, Board Nile River Cruise||Luxor|
|Day 5||Tour the Valley of the Kings, Cruise to Esna||Esna|
|Day 6||Cruise to Kom Ombo via Edfu Temple||Kom Ombo|
|Day 7||Cruise to Aswan, Visit the Temple of Philae & Aswan Dam||Aswan|
|Day 8||Day Trip to the Temples of Abu Simbel||Aswan|
|Day 9||Fly to Cairo||Cairo|
|Day 10||Tour the Egyptian Museum, Islamic Cairo & Khan El Khalili Bazaar||Cairo|
|Day 11||Fly to Sharm El Sheikh||Sharm El Sheikh|
|Days 12-13||Relax by the Red Sea in Sharm El Sheikh||Sharm El Sheikh|
|Day 14||Fly to Cairo||Cairo|
|Day 15||Depart Cairo|
Day 1: Arrive in CairoWelcome to Egypt! Upon your arrival at Cairo's airport, you'll be met by your guide who will assist you through customs and arrange a transfer to your hotel. Get settled in and rest up for a full day of sightseeing tomorrow.
Day 2: Discover the Great Pyramids: Giza & Memphis
This morning you'll hit the ground running, meeting your Egyptologist guide and setting off for a tour of some of Egypt's most iconic sites. Start at the Great Pyramids of Giza, where you'll explore the pyramid of Cheops, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built as a tomb, its shape was intended to help the spirit of the dead pharaoh rise to heaven. Continue to the pyramid of Chephren to see the best preserved of the main Giza pyramids, and to Mykerinos, the smallest of the three.
After seeing the magnificent Sphinx up close, it's on to Memphis, the first unified capital of the ancient world. Here you can visit the stepped pyramid of Saqqara, explore its 4,350-year-old tombs, and see the ancient hieroglyphics engraved on its walls. At the end of the day, you'll head back to the city where you can enjoy the rest of the evening in Cairo at your leisure.
Day 3: Fly to Luxor, Visit Habu Temple, Carter House & the Tomb of NoblesAfter breakfast, it's time for the next phase of your journey as you board a short one-hour flight to Luxor, a small city in the Nile Valley located 420 miles (676 km) south of Cairo. Once the capital of the pharaohs, it's home to the famed Valley of the Kings and Luxor and Karnak Temples. Upon arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel to get settled in and relax.
Day 4: Explore Luxor & Karnak Temples, Board Nile River Cruise
Explore more of Luxor today with a visit to its East Bank. Starting at the Temples of Karnak, you'll stroll through the Avenue of Sphinx to enter the complex, where you can see each legacy left by the various pharaohs as the complex grew even larger. The deeper you go into the complex, the further back in time you will travel, with the oldest ruins dating back over 3,000 years. Walking through the Great Court into the Great Hypostyle Hall, it's hard not to be overwhelmed by the 134 columns towering above you like an ancient forest.
Continue to Luxor Temple which was once joined to the Temples of Karnak by the grand Avenue of Sphinx, a portion of which marks the entrance to the temple. Dominated by statues of the great warrior pharaoh Ramses II, Luxor Temple has survived Nile floods, foreign invasion, and thousands of years exposed to the elements. Find out how Alexander the Great wrote himself into Luxor Temple's history, and see one of the original pair of obelisks, the second of which now stands on the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
In the afternoon, it's time for the next phase of your journey as you transfer to the shores of the Nile River to board your cruise ship and get settled into your cabin for the evening.
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Day 5: Tour the Valley of the Kings, Cruise to EsnaStart this morning with a visit to Luxor's West Bank and the famed Valley of the Kings. Discover rock-cut tombs for kings and powerful nobles (including Tutankhamun) used for nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BCE. Then stop at the Colossi of Memnon to admire the magnificent ruins of Amenhotep’s memorial temple. What remains are two imposing statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III that were erected to guard the temple's entrance. Finally, you'll head to Hatshepsut Temple. The memorial of Queen Hatshepsut is the focal point of Deir el-Bahri, a complex of mortuary temples and tombs.
After a morning of exploration, it's time to reboard the ship and cast off, cruising south towards Esna for the evening.
Day 6: Cruise to Kom Ombo via Edfu TempleWake to the sounds of the Nile this morning as you approach Edfu, where you'll disembark to tour the Temple of Horus. Back on board, enjoy lunch as the cruise continues, reaching Kom Ombo in the late afternoon. Built during the Ptolemaic era, Kom Ombo was dedicated to the crocodile god (Sobek) and falcon god (Haroeris). Admire its many intact courts and halls, along with wall carvings and statues, then return to the boat for dinner with a view.
Day 7: Cruise to Aswan, Visit the Temple of Philae & Aswan Dam
This morning you'll cruise into Aswan, an archaeologically rich city on the banks of the Nile. Disembark for a tour of its many highlights, starting at the Temple of Philae, dedicated to the worship of the goddess Isis. Continue to Egypt's remarkable engineering achievement of the modern era, the Aswan High Dam, and marvel at the Unfinished Obelisk, still located in the ancient stone quarry where it was carved.
Spend your final evening of the cruise enjoying a spectacular Nile sunset and a celebratory dinner on deck.
Day 8: Day Trip to the Temples of Abu SimbelBid the Nile farewell as you disembark from the cruise and meet your driver for a transfer to Aswan Domestic Airport. Here you'll board a quick, 40-minute flight to explore the magnificent Abu Simbel Temples. Built by the Egyptian king Ramses II who reigned from 1,279 to 1,213 BCE, the massive rock-cut facades are truly incredible to see in person: despite their relatively remote location, they're one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. It is generally considered the grandest of the temples commissioned during the reign of Ramses II, and one of the most beautiful in Egypt.
After a fascinating tour, you'll be transferred to Abu Simbel Airport to board your flight back to Aswan.
Day 9: Fly to CairoAfter breakfast in Aswan, your driver will transfer you to the airport for the flight back to Cairo. Upon arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel and have the remainder of the afternoon free.
Day 10: Tour the Egyptian Museum, Islamic Cairo & Khan El Khalili Bazaar
Explore more of Cairo this morning, starting with a tour of the Egyptian Museum. The finest museum of Egyptian antiquities in the world, it contains pharaohs' treasures dating back more than 5,000 years. The building is rectangular with a large rotunda on the ground floor containing massive exhibits, including colossal statues of Ramses II—you'll get the best views by looking down from the upper galleries. The gold and alabaster trappings from the tomb of Tutankhamun (Tut) always draw crowds, too. Many of the Tutankhamun tomb treasures have been on display in museums around the world—including the golden mask—yet this one exhibit has always remained in Cairo.
Then it's onto a tour of Islamic Cairo's historic city streets, starting at the massive medieval Salah El-din Citadel and its enclosed Mohamed Ali Mosque, once a stronghold against the Crusaders. The brilliant domed ceilings, suspended lights, and views of the city from this ancient fortress are sure to captivate. Keep going to the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, built during the Mamluk period of the 12th century, and then hunt for treasures in the Khan El Khalili Bazaar, a bustling souk in the historic center where you can find lamps, rugs, jewelry, and more.
Day 11: Fly to Sharm El Sheikh
Transfer to the airport this morning for a quick flight to the coastal resort of Sharm El Sheikh. Located between the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea, this area is known for its beautiful beaches and offshore coral reefs surrounded by clear water. After getting settled into your hotel, go for a walk on the beach, take a dip in the ocean, or check out Ras Muhammad National Park, a diving destination that's rich with marine life. In the evening, beachfront restaurants and bars are great places to try fresh seafood prepared Egyptian-style, and surround yourself with a local crowd.
Days 12-13: Relax by the Red Sea in Sharm El SheikhThe next two days are free for you to relax and enjoy Sharm El Sheikh at your own pace. Walk along the pedestrian promenade in laid-back Naama Bay, book a snorkeling trip to Yolanda Reef, or head down to the harbor for a full-day scuba diving excursion. With warm, crystal clear waters, incredible coral formations, and well-preserved wrecks, the Red Sea around Sharm El Sheikh is considered one of the top diving destinations in the country.
If you feel like staying on dry land, don't miss a visit to the ancient St. Catherine's Monastery. Located at the foot of Mount Sinai, it's the place where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments.
Day 14: Fly to CairoAfter a final leisurely morning on the shores of the Red Sea, your driver will be waiting to take you to the airport to catch the hour's flight back to Cairo. Upon arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel and have the remainder of the afternoon free. Visit any highlights you may have missed, pick up some last-minute souvenirs, or enjoy a farewell dinner of Egyptian specialties.
Day 15: Depart Cairo
After breakfast this morning, it's time to say your goodbyes and transfer to the airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!
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