The Pyramids, the Nile, and Ancient Egypt

Step through the pages of the past and explore traces of the most impressive ancient civilization with its powerful pharaohs, pyramids, and the famed Nile River. Walk through the bustling bazaars, ancient pyramids, and Grand Egyptian Museum by day, and watch the Pyramids of Giza come alive during a sound and light show at night. Embark on a four-night cruise along the Nile, stopping to gaze at the monumental temples and venture into the Valley of the Kings where Tutankhamun lay hidden for thousands of years under the endless sands. The journey will have you uncovering ancient Egyptian treasures at every turn while enjoying luxury accommodations and wonderful cuisine.

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Package inclusions:

  • Private motorcoach transportation
  • 7 nights’ accommodations on land and a 4-night cruise
  • 25 meals (11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners)
  • Admission to attractions as stated on itinerary
  • Porter service of one bag per person at hotels
  • Complimentary beverages on board (including alcohol)
  • Taxes and gratuities for included services
  • Professional tour manager
  • Audio listeners
  • 1 single occupancy comp
    (based on 25 full-fare passengers; airfare not included)
  • Travel show
  • Pre-departure meeting
  • 100 brochures/marketing materials
  • Complete document packet for each traveler
  • Special surprises

All tours are completely customizable. Contact us to discuss your group’s unique interests and needs!

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Itinerary

Day 1

Today we will transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to Cairo, Egypt.

Note: The airport location and airline will be confirmed no sooner than nine months before departure.

Day 2

A country rich in wonders and mysteries awaits us. Upon arrival, we will get our visas and transfer to the hotel for a three-night stay in Cairo. Settle in, grab a bite to eat, and rest up for our Egyptian adventure!

Day 3

Our day begins with a relaxing morning before we discover the earliest known Egyptian pyramids found at Saqqara. The burial ground features numerous pyramids, including the world-famous Step Pyramid of Djoser. Built by Imhotep for King Djoser of the 3rd Dynasty, it is considered to be Egypt’s first pyramid. We’ll also visit the tombs of significant noble men where paintings and decorations have been preserved over the course of time. Up next is Dahshur to see more ancient pyramids before we return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. We’re in for a real treat this evening as we venture to the Pyramids of Giza for a spectacular sound and light show. The pyramids will come alive with bright colors, lasers, and projections as the Sphinx “narrates” the history of the ancient Egyptians. It will be an entertaining introduction to the last remaining Wonder of the Ancient World!

(Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 4

Today’s adventure will start at the Egyptian Museum where our guide will take us through the history of Pharaonic Egypt. The museum is home to 120,000 Egyptian artifacts such as mummies, jewelry, sculptures, and many items from the tomb of King Tut. Please note that if the Grand Egyptian Museum is opened by the date of our tour, we will visit the new museum instead! The main attraction of this $1 billion archaeological museum will be the exhibit on King Tut, which will mark the first time that all 5,000 artifacts found inside his tomb are displayed together. The exhibit will paint a complete picture of the life and death of the king, showcasing everything from his famous gold death mask to the clothes he wore and the chariots he rode in. Lunch will be enjoyed in Al-Azhar Park with outstanding views of surrounding Islamic architecture. We will then visit one of the most famous mosques in Cairo and explore the exciting Kahn el- Khalili bazaar before returning to the hotel for the evening.

(Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 5

Following breakfast, we head back to the Pyramids of Giza for a closer look at the Great Sphinx and the three pyramids dedicated to Khufu, Khafre, and Mankaure. We’ll stand on the highest point of the plateau for a panoramic view of the area and then have the opportunity to enter one of the site’s smaller pyramids. Up next is the Valley Temple of Khafre, the Great Sphinx, and the Giza Solar Boat Museum. The museum houses the solar boat thought to have been built to transport Khufu to the afterlife. After our visit, we will continue on to the airport for our flight to Luxor, where our overnight accommodations and dinner as a group await.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 6

Enjoy a quiet morning before our visit to the amazing Karnak Temple, once the largest and most important religious complex in ancient Egypt. It took nearly 2,000 years to complete and is an impressive sight to witness with its monumental gates, enormous pillared halls, and beautiful wall carvings. From here, we will settle into our cabins aboard the MS Esplanade for our four-night cruise along the Nile River. Lunch will be served on board followed by an afternoon at leisure to enjoy the sights from the sun deck. A visit to the illuminated Luxor Temple is in store this evening before we overnight in port.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 7

After breakfast we will make our way to the west bank of the Nile River to discover the pharaoh burial grounds in the Valley of the Kings. The valley is home to more than sixty tombs of privileged nobles and royal figures from the New Kingdom that were stocked with enough food, drink, clothing, jewelry, furniture, and pets to keep the deceased satisfied in the afterlife. The most famous tomb is that of King Tutankhamen, which was discovered in the 1920s and is one of the most intact tombs ever found. We will have the opportunity to go inside three of the tombs, including that of Ramses VI, which is one of the most beautiful in the entire valley. Up next are visits to a Noble Man tomb; the village of Deir el-Medina that housed the tomb workers; and the house of Howard Carter, who discovered King Tut’s tomb. We will arrive back at the ship around noon and begin cruising south toward the lock of Esna to overnight in the harbor of Edfu.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 8

Today we’ll venture to the Temple of Edfu. This well-preserved temple is dedicated to the falcon-god Horus and was built in approximately 200 BC. Back on the ship, we will cruise southward to Kom Ombo and take a short walk from the harbor to the Temple of Kom Ombo. This temple is unique because of its double design, meaning all of the sanctuaries and halls have been duplicated to honor two different gods. The southern half is dedicated to the god Sobek, while the northern half is dedicated to Horus. Following our time at the temple, we will return to the ship and begin sailing to Aswan.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 9

Up first today is a visit to the Aswan High Dam to learn how it has changed life in the valley by controlling Nile flooding and providing irrigation during droughts. We’ll then continue on to the Philae Temple situated on a small island where the goddess Isis ruled after her husband, the god Osiris, was murdered by her brother according to ancient mythology. The unfinished obelisk in Aswan’s granite quarry will be our last stop before spending the rest of the afternoon at our leisure.

(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)

Day 10

We will disembark the ship this morning and depart via motorboat for one of the Nubian villages where we have been invited to the home of a local to learn about the Nubian traditions and way of life. Our host will show us around the village before we continue by boat to the famous Hotel Old Cataract where Agatha Christie wrote some of her famous stories. We’ll check in for a two-night stay and gather for high tea on the hotel terrace.

(Breakfast included)

Day 11

Today is a leisurely day and will include setting sail around the archipelago of Aswan in felucca boats. The view from the Nile is astounding with the greenery of the islands, the golden sand of the desert, and the tombs decorating the river banks! A stop at Kitchener Island will introduce us to a botanical garden filled with exotic and rare plants and trees. Following our time on the island, we’ll return to the hotel for a very special dinner.

(Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 12

A morning flight will take us south to the famed Abu Simbel temples. The temples were built by Ramses II on the west bank of the Nile River in 1244 BC and are one of the most recognizable ancient sites in Egypt. In a remarkable engineering and rescue operation during the 1960s, the temple complex was dismantled and rebuilt on a higher hill to avoid the rising waters of Lake Nasser. This is an incredible opportunity to see these ancient relics, which are now one of the most renowned ancient Egyptian landmarks. We’ll then fly back to Cairo for a casual dinner and to reminisce about our trip.

(Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 13

We will transfer to the airport after breakfast for our flight home.

(Breakfast included)