Behold the mysteries of ancient Pharaohs on an adventure to the heart of Egypt along the Nile. Present and past unite as towering monuments, majestic statues and colorful art depicting life that existed centuries ago are part of the everyday landscape. Experience the romance of desert sands and brilliant sunsets while unlocking the secrets of ancient rulers, crocodile and falcon gods, and the huge paws of the Sphinx. Cruise the Nile River aboard the luxurious M/S II AMARCO. Indiana Jones should have been so lucky!
Moderately Active. May involve some moderate hikes in forests and nature reserves, getting in and out of vehicles and rocking boats, and walking in uneven pavement in archaeological sites, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.
There are basically two seasons in Egypt: a relatively cool season that lasts November-March (by far the better touring season) and a hot season April-October. The Red Sea coast has fewer extremes and is nice year round. In the spring (especially late March to early April), sand and dust storms called khamsin blow in and can reduce visibility (sometimes even in Cairo) to less than 100 feet.
Board your overnight flight to Cairo. Upon arrival, you are met and escorted to your luxury hotel in the shadows of the pyramids. Enjoy a welcome dinner with your Egyptologist. LE MERIDIEN PYRAMIDS HOTEL & SPA. (Meals Aloft, D)
Your first stop is the ancient capital of Egypt, Memphis, to view the Alabaster Sphinx and the towering statue of Ramses II . Continue on to view the 14 pyramids of the Sakkara necropolis including one of the world’s oldest stone structures. Lunch at the Mena House features spectacular views of the pyramids. See the Sphinx and the 4,500 year old Cheops Pyramid. The next morning tour the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, home to the world’s richest collection of pharaonic treasures. Visit Egypt’s Islamic treasures including the medieval fortress of Salah El Din and the stunning Alabaster Mosque then shop in the Khan El Khalili Bazaar. LE MERIDIEN PYRAMIDS HOTEL & SPA. (B,L Daily)
Fly this morning to Luxor and enjoy lunch on board your luxury ship after check in. This afternoon explore the Luxor Temple, site of the ancient festival of Opet. Continue to the extraordinary Karnak Temple, a complex of obelisks, pylons, courts, colonnades, halls, reliefs and sanctuaries once connected to Luxor Temple by a two mile path lined with sphinxes. At 60 acres, it is the largest religious structure in the world; the temple area, dedicated to Amon-Ra, was used for over 2,000 years, longer than any other religious building in history. This evening you have the option to attend a “Sound and Light Show” at the Karnak Temple (at additional cost). M/S II AMARCO OR SIMILAR. (B,L,D)
Visit Luxor’s West Bank and explore the ancient city of Thebes. Stand in awe at the necropolis of pharaohs and nobility as you are greeted by the Colossi of Memnon: two giant seated statues of Amenophis III . You will visit three very unique tombs on your tour of the Valley of the Kings, where pharaohs of the New Kingdom were interred. Inside you’ll see ancient paintings and carvings in colors that retain much of their original freshness illustrating the life of the owner and his passage to the afterlife. Continue to the Valley of the Queens and Nobles and the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, called Set Neferu, meaning “seat of beauty” by the ancients. Lunch is aboard ship. As the ship sails to Edfu enjoy an afternoon relaxing on the sundeck while watching local life unfold before you. M/S II AMARCO OR SIMILAR. (B,L,D)
Take a horse and carriage ride to visit one of the best preserved temples in Egypt, the Horus Temple, which honors the falcon-headed god. Inscriptions on its walls have greatly enriched our knowledge of Egyptian civilization, especially in the area of theology and cult practices. Return to the ship and sail to the unique third-century Kom Ombo double temple, dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek and to Horus, which features beautiful stone reliefs, murals, and a dramatic view of the Nile. This evening navigate to Aswan. M/S II AMARCO OR SIMILAR. (B, L, D)
See one of Egypt’s modern wonders – the Aswan High Dam completed in 1971. Built not only to regulate the yearly flood of the Nile, it also stores water to prevent famine during severe droughts. Gain insight into Egypt’s ancient construction methods at the unfinished Obelisk. Continue by felucca (traditional sailboat) to the beautiful gardens at Kitchener’s Island then to the mausoleum of the Agha Khan. Visit the island of Agilkia to see the complex at Philae with its third century B.C. Temple dedicated to the goddess Isis. M/S II AMARCO OR SIMILAR. (B,L,D)
Upon disembarkation this morning enjoy time at leisure in Aswan or an optional excursion to Abu Simbel, at additional cost. As you approach the site on foot you’ll discover two of the most tremendous monuments of the ancient world at over 100 feet high and guarded by colossal stone figures of Ramses II . The entire monument was cut into 2,000 pieces and moved to its present site when the Aswan High Dam was constructed, a feat almost as amazing as its original construction. Fly back to Cairo and your stylish home for the night located in the prominent area of Heliopolis. RADISSON BLU HOTEL. (B)
Depart Cairo this morning and bid farewell to Egypt arriving back home eager to share memories and photos with your family and friends. (B, Meals Aloft)
Experience the romance of the desert on an adventure to Jordan. Traverse wildly unusual landscapes covered with pastel-hued sands, unique rock formations and the ruins of past civilizations. Explore the “White City” of Amman, imposing fortresses and castles and the pristine archaeological ruins at Jerash, the ‘Pompeii of the East’. At Petra, discover soaring temples, elaborate royal tombs, a Roman theater, burial chamber and one of the most elegant remains of antiquity, the Al Khazneh, hewn from solid rock in the 1st century B.C. Your unforgettable journey ends at a resort overlooking the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.
Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.
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