Discover the hidden treasures of the Egyptian capital. From the Cairo Citadel to the bazaar district, learn all about the intellectual and cultural capital of the Arab world and its must-see Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Then, discover ancient Egypt, the cradle of all civilizations, which has fascinated humankind forever. Since the dawn of time, explorers, diplomats, writers, and painters have used the fertile banks of the Nile as inspiration for their work. Even today, we still seek the answers to the mysteries found within the pharaohs’ tombs. Over two thousand years of history are waiting for you on a cruise that promises exciting, spectacular, and unforgettable discoveries. Majestic temples, tombs, pyramids, and lively villages dot the Nile Valley landscapes from Luxor to Aswan. Wind down from your everyday grind and step way back in time on a cruise through Upper Egypt.
Your program will begin according to your time of arrival in Cairo. If you arrive at the hotel before 7:00 p.m., your program will be:
Guests are welcome to check in at our 4-star hotel beginning at 3:00 p.m. So that our local representative can assist you, make sure you have provided your flight arrival time. After checking in at the hotel, you’ll be transferred to a restaurant in the city for dinner. You’ll spend the night at the hotel.
Join us for a visit of Saqqara, the former necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital which forms the largest group of Egyptian tombs of that era. The oldest tombstone of the necropolis dates back to the reign of Hor-Aha, the second pharaoh of the First Dynasty of Egypt. There, we will visit the Pyramid of Teti, the first pharaoh of the Sixth dynasty of Egypt whose sarcophagus still lies in the pyramid. The distinctive characteristic of this pyramid is that its walls are covered in Egyptians texts. Enjoy lunch before discovering the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to have remained largely intact. This plateau is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage sites. Next to this magnificent monument you can see the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure as well as the mysterious Great Sphinx of Giza, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. It measures 73 meters (240 feet) long from paw to tail and 20.21 meters (66.31 feet) high from the base to the top of the head.
Join us for a visit to the Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha. The Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha was built for prayer and as a final resting place for its namesake, the ruler regarded as the father of modern Egypt. The mosque is also known as the Alabaster Mosque, invoking the shiny marble covering both the interior and exterior walls. You’ll have dinner in the city and spend the night at the hotel.
OPTIONAL EXCURSION: Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids (this excursion must be booked in advance through your travel agency).
Join us for a visit to the Museum of Cairo, home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. With over 120,000 artefacts, the museum houses an unbelievable exhibit of the ancient Egypt's glorious reign such as mummies, sarcophagi, pottery, jewelry and of course King Tutankhamen's treasures discovered in 1922. After lunch, we’ll take a stroll in Khan el-Khalili, the bazaar district of Cairo. The market is famous for clothing, spices, traditional jewelry and perfumes made by local artisans. The items are of high quality which is part of the reason why this market has survived for so long. Tour of the citadel. Saladin began to build the citadel in Cairo in 1176 as a defense against the Crusaders. It subsequently became the residence of Egypt’s rulers for 700 years. Today, it is an impressive historical site whose walls provide great views of the city, including the pyramids in Gaza, if the sky is clear. Join us for a visit of the Hanging Church, the oldest church in Egypt located along the narrow streets of Old Cairo. It was built on top of the ruins of the Babylon Fortress, and gets its name from the fact that its nave is suspended over a passageway. We’ll also visit Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church and Ben Ezra Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in Egypt located behind the Hanging Church. This synagogue mixes Christian, Islamic and Jewish architectures as it was originally a Christian church that the Copts had to sell to the Jews. Enjoy dinner in town before spending the night at the hotel.
Cairo - LUXOR
Flight to Luxor to join the cruise. Passengers will be welcomed to board our ship. Enjoy dinner and your first night on board.
LUXOR - ESNA - EDFU
We’ll visit the Karnak Temple Complex, once one of the largest and most important religious complexes in ancient Egypt. The immense size of Karnak, as well as its various details, makes it an invaluable historical site and resource for understanding the evolution of ancient Egypt. We’ll enjoy lunch on board. We’ll then tour the Luxor Temple, a strikingly graceful monument in the heart of the modern town. Its main function was during the annual Opet celebrations, when the statues of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu were reunited during the inundation of the river. After our excursion, we’ll return on board the ship. Enjoy dinner and the night on board.
EDFU - KOM OMBO - ASWAN
In Edfu, we’ll leave in horse-drawn carriages to visit the Temple of Horus. Built between 237 and 57 BC, this temple is one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in Egypt. It was excavated in the mid-19th century after being buried under sand and rubble for hundreds of years. We’ll enjoy lunch as we continue to cruise towards Aswan. During this time, we'll pass by Gebel el-Silsila, a major quarry site from the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt to Greco-Roman times. Join us for a presentation on ancient Egypt. We’ll enjoy an Egyptian-themed dinner and spend the night on board.
Discover the Aswan Dam, one of the largest dams in the world. It tames the Nile River and utilizes its power for a variety of reasons, most notably for providing electricity to the country. Since its construction, the dam has been able to control the annual flooding of the river and has allowed the installation of an irrigation system that helps produce two crops per year. We’ll then visit the Philae Temple Complex: After the dam was finished in 1902, the temple complex was partially submerged, so in 1960, UNESCO started a project to save the buildings. In the long run, every building was dismantled into units and then transported to this nearby island for reconstruction. The most ancient temple is dedicated to Isis and dates back to 380 BC. We’ll enjoy lunch on board. In the afternoon, we’ll board small local boats and enjoy a ride on the Nile, between the granite islands and the natural reserve, passing close to Elephantine Island. We’ll then take a stroll in a typical Nubian village and discover its school and clinic. We’ll enjoy dinner and spend the night on board.
ASWAN - KOM OMBO
Take advantage of a free day in Aswan. You’ll be able to discover the Nubian Museum on your own, amble down the streets around the bazaar or choose to stop off for a cup of tea at the legendary Old Cataract Hotel overlooking the Nile.
Join us for an optional visit of the Abu Simbel temples(1)(this excursion must be booked in advance through your travel agency). Discovering these amazing rock temples is one of the highlights of a trip to Egypt. Located about 140 miles (230 km and three hours driving time) southwest of Aswan, the complex is in the heart of the desert, at the border with Sudan, and is the most impressive imprint left by Ramesses II. We’ll have lunch in Abu Simbel and return to the ship in the afternoon before our ship begins to cruise once again. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.
We’ll visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to the gods Sobek (the crocodile god), Haroeris (“Horus the Elder”), Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister), and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands). By the late 1800s, much of the temple had been either destroyed by earthquakes, the waters of the Nile, or builders who took the stone for other projects. It was cleaned and restored by Jacques de Morgan in 1893. The temple is unique because its dual design shows that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries, and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods. We’ll enjoy lunch on board. During our cruise to Luxor, join us for a presentation on modern Egypt. We’ll enjoy dinner on board this evening, along with a show of traditional Egyptian entertainment. We’ll travel through the Esna Lock. We’ll spend the night on board.
Join us for a visit to the Valley of the Kings and four of its tombs, including the longest and deepest of royal tombs built for Seti I. It was also the first tomb to feature decorations on every passageway and chambers with highly refined bas-reliefs and colorful paintings. When Giovanni Battista Belzoni first entered the tomb, the paint on the walls was still fresh looking, and some of the artists’ paints and brushes were still on the floor. We’ll also stop for a photo op at the Colossi of Memnon and the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. We’ll then visit “The Harper’s Tomb,” one of the most famous in the valley. Tomb KV11 is the tomb of Pharaoh Ramesses III, one of the last great monarchs in ancient Egypt. The quality of the colors and the scenes represented on the temple walls make it one of the top tourist destinations in the valley. At the end of our excursion, we’ll see how stonemasons work. We’ll enjoy lunch on board. In the afternoon, we’ll cross the Nile in small, local boats to the west bank and begin our tour on an auto rickshaw. This is the moment to discover the off-the-beaten-path sites visited and experience daily life within typical villages. Tonight’s dinner will be a Méchoui. We'll also learn about the techniques used to make papyrus. We’ll spend the night on board.
Optional excursion: Sound and Light Show at the Karnak Temple Complex (this excursion must be booked in advance through your travel agency).
Enjoy one last buffet breakfast before disembarking at 9 a.m. End of our services.