Spend eight days exploring the ancient wonders of ancient Egypt, beginning in the capital, Cairo. Tour the Egyptian Museum, Islamic Cairo's historic sites, and the iconic Giza pyramids, then fly to Luxor for a four-day cruise down the Nile. Stop at ancient treasures, like the Temple of Kom Ombo and Karnak, on your way to Aswan, and then trade the water for a late Abu Simbelnd transfer to visit the awe-inspiring Abu Simbel Temples.


  • Browse the labyrinthine alleys of the bustling Khan el-Khalili bazaar
  • Witness the treasures of Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings
  • Visit the enormous Unfinished Obelisk, still within its stone quarry in Aswan
  • Travel back in time through the light and sound show at the Abu Simbel Temples

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cairo, Visit the Egyptian Museum, Tour Islamic Cairo Cairo
Day 2 Visit the Giza Pyramid Complex & Egyptian Museum Cairo
Day 3 Fly to Luxor, Board Nile Cruise, Tour Luxor Temple & Karnak Luxor
Day 4 Explore the Valley of the Kings & Colossi of Memnon Esna
Day 5 Visit the Temple of Kom Ombo & Temple of Edfu Kom Ombo
Day 6 Visit the Philae Temple, Aswan Dam & the Unfinished Obelisk Aswan
Day 7 Disembark Nile River Cruise, Transfer to Abu Simbel, Visit the Abu Simbel Temples Abu Simbel
Day 8 Depart Abu Simbel  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cairo, Visit the Egyptian Museum, Tour Islamic Cairo

Admire the handmade goods lining the historic labyrinthine alleys of the Khan el-Khalili bazaar

Welcome to Cairo, Egypt's vibrant capital. Meet your driver at the airport and transfer to your hotel to refresh. When ready, set off on a city tour, starting at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, home to artifacts, artworks, and archaeological finds spanning thousands of years. Be sure to visit the Royal Mummies Hall, which displays the mummies of ancient Egyptian pharaohs and nobles. Then, it's onto a tour of Islamic Cairo's historic city streets, beginning at the imposing medieval Cairo Citadel perched atop the Muqattam Hills.

Admire the formidable 12th-century walls constructed to fortify against Crusader invasions, then discover the Mosque of Muhammad Ali within. Also known as the Alabaster Mosque, stop to appreciate this Ottoman-style structure's domes, towering minarets, stained-glass windows, and elaborate chandeliers. Keep going to the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, built in the 14th century during the Mamluk era, then hunt for treasures like precious metals, jewelry, perfumes, and leather in the bustling ancient bazaar, Khan el-Khalili.

Day 2: Visit the Giza Pyramid Complex & Egyptian Museum

Visit the Giza Plateau to see the three main pyramids and the Great Sphinx

Join your guide for a full-day tour of the area's most iconic landmarks this morning, starting at the Egyptian Museum, home to an unparalleled collection of artifacts spanning over 5,000 years. Step inside to see the array of relics, including the golden mask of Tutankhamun, colossal statues, and preserved mummies. Then, transfer 30 minutes to the Giza Plateau to visit the Great Pyramid of Giza, the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Originally built as a tomb for the Fourth Dynasty leader Khufu, the shape was intended to help the pharaoh's spirit rise to heaven.

Continue to the Pyramid of Khafre, the best preserved of the three main pyramids, with the top portion retaining the original face of smoothly finished stone, offering an insight into its original appearance. Then, stop by the Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest pyramid of the three. Then, marvel at the Great Sphinx, a colossal statue depicting a lion's body with a pharaoh's head carved out of natural limestone. After exploring, return to the city to enjoy dinner at a local Egyptian restaurant before heading back to your hotel to rest. 

Day 3: Fly to Luxor, Board Nile River Cruise, Tour Luxor Temple & Karnak

Follow the Avenue of Sphinxes to the entrance of Karnak and Luxor Temple

Say goodbye to Cairo this morning as you head to the airport to catch a one-hour flight to Luxor, a small city in the Nile Valley. Upon arrival, transfer to the shores of the Nile River to board your cruise ship and get settled into your cabin. After lunch on board, return to dry land for a half-day tour exploring the wonders of the East Bank. Start at Karnak, one of the largest temple complexes in the world. Stroll along the Avenue of Sphinxes to enter the Great Hypostyle Hall, where 134 columns tower above you like an ancient forest.

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Continue to Luxor Temple, which was once connected to Karnak by the grand Avenue of Sphinxes, a portion of which still marks the entrance to the temple. Dominated by statues of the great warrior pharaoh Ramesses 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 the 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. As evening falls, return to the ship to spend a peaceful evening on the river.

Day 4: Explore the Valley of the Kings & Colossi of Memnon

Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan-West Bank - Overnight in Esna
Explore the complex of Deir el-Bahari dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut

After enjoying breakfast onboard, visit Luxor's West Bank and the famed Valley of the Kings on a six-hour tour. Discover rock-cut tombs created for pharaohs and powerful nobles for almost 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BCE. Descend into the tombs to witness the carved entrances adorned with colorful hieroglyphics and murals depicting scenes from each occupant's journey to the afterlife. Be sure to visit the tombs of Tutankhamun and Ramesses VI, where you'll see well-preserved treasures and artifacts accompanying the pharaohs into the afterlife.

Then, head up to Deir el-Bahari, a complex of mortuary temples above the tombs dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut, one of Egypt's greatest pharaoh regents. Admire the elegant interior, with its colonnaded halls, towering statues, and sweeping views of the surrounding cliffs. End the tour at the Colossi of Memnon and the magnificent ruins of Amenhotep's memorial temple. What remains are two imposing statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III still guarding the temple's entrance. After a morning of exploration, it's time to reboard the ship and cast off, cruising south toward Esna

Day 5: Visit the Temple of Kom Ombo & Temple of Edfu

Explore the Temple of Edfu, dedicated to the god of kingship, healing, protection, the sun, and the sky

Cruise down the Nile this morning to Edfu, where you'll hop ashore to tour the Temple of Edfu, dedicated to the falcon-headed god of the sky, Horus. Built between 237 BCE and 57 BCE, the temple stands as a testament to the Ptolemaic period's architectural prowess. Step through the grand entrance adorned with colossal statues of Horus and discover the hypostyle hall, surrounded by towering columns. Wander through the well-preserved sanctuaries and chapels within the complex, looking at the hieroglyphics narrating the god's life and struggles.

Back on board, enjoy lunch as the cruise continues to the Temple of Kom Ombo. Dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of fertility, and Horus, the temple features duplicated halls and sanctuaries for each deity, creating a harmonious layout. Admire the intricately carved reliefs and hieroglyphics that narrate stories of ancient rituals and medical practices, then return to the ship for dinner with a view.

Day 6: Visit the Philae Temple, Aswan Dam & the Unfinished Obelisk

Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan-Philae Temple / Unfinished Obelisk/ High Dam - Overnight in Aswan
Spend your last night of the river cruise in Aswan

Your penultimate morning on the ship takes you to Aswan, an archaeologically rich city on the banks of the Nile. Disembark for a tour of its many highlights, starting at the Philae Temple, dedicated to the worship of the goddess of healing and magic, Isis. As you approach the grand entrance, you'll be greeted by intricate pylons, towering columns, and detailed reliefs depicting scenes from Egyptian mythology. Step inside the temple's labyrinthine halls, courtyards, and sanctuaries to see more inscriptions and colorful murals. 

Continue to the Aswan High Dam, an engineering marvel that increased Egypt's cultivable land by 30 percent and doubled its electricity supply. Then, marvel at the Unfinished Obelisk, still located in the ancient stone quarry where it was carved but never completed. Walk around the massive structure, measuring over 137 feet (42 m) in length, making it the largest known ancient obelisk. Return to the ship to spend your final evening of the cruise enjoying a spectacular Nile sunset and a celebratory dinner on deck.

Day 7: Disembark Nile Cruise, Transfer to Abu Simbel, Visit the Abu Simbel Temples

Stay to watch the Abu Simbel Temples light up at night

Bid farewell to the cruise ship and switch to a 3.5-hour land transfer to the UNESCO-listed Abu Simbel Temples on the banks of Lake Nasser. Begin your full-day tour standing in awe before these monumental temples, commissioned by Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BCE and carved out of sandstone cliffs. Marvel at the four colossal statues of the pharaoh standing guard outside, even though the main temple is dedicated to the gods Ra-Horakhty, Ptah, and Amun, while the smaller temple honors his beloved wife, Queen Nefertari.

Pass the massive statues of the pharaoh sitting on his throne to explore the temple's interior halls and chambers. Admire the vibrant wall reliefs, depicting scenes from Egyptian mythology, religious rituals, and the pharaoh's military conquests. Then, wander through the inner sanctuaries dedicated to the gods, where statues and altars evoke a sense of awe and reverence. When evening arrives, make your way outside to watch colorful lights illuminate the temple, accompanied by haunting music and narration recounting the history and mythology of ancient Egypt, before heading to your hotel in Abu Simbel.

Day 8: Depart Abu Simbel

End your trip to Egypt with a cruise across Lake Nasser

Spend your last few hours in Egypt exploring the area on your own. Head to Lake Nasser, the largest artificial reservoir in the world, formed by the construction of the Aswan High Dam, for a leisurely boat cruise. Hop on board and look out at the surrounding desert and rocky shores. Keep an eye out for wildlife, like freshwater crocodiles and monitor lizards, and ancient ruins on the shores before returning to your hotel to grab your bags and meet your driver to transfer to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Voyage Down the Nile: Cairo, Luxor, Esna, Kom Ombo, Aswan & Abu Simbel - 8 Days
Map of Voyage Down the Nile: Cairo, Luxor, Esna, Kom Ombo, Aswan & Abu Simbel - 8 Days