Holidays

Great Egypt

Great Egypt

Purpose: Discovery, History, Culture, Archeology, Cruising
No. of days: 13 days - 12 nights
First & Last Cities: Cairo
Other cities: Giza, Memphis, Sakkara, Luxor, Karnak, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Alexandria
Starting cost: $1,695
 
Day 1: Cairo
Arrival at Cairo International Airport where you will be met and assisted through passport and customs procedures. You will be transferred to your hotel for check-in and overnight.
 
Day 2: Cairo (Giza, Memphis, Sakkara, Pyramids Sound & Light Show)
After breakfast, we will meet in the hotel lobby to begin our day by exploring desert antiquities dating back from the beginnings of a civilization that arose more than 5,000 years ago. In the company of our Egyptologist guide, we venture through the countryside to visit some of Egypt’s oldest sites. We first go to Memphis, where remnants of the nation’s first capital and once the most cosmopolitan city in Egypt now lie scattered in the desert. We’ll also see the carved limestone Colossus of Ramses II. Nearby, we visit the necropolis at Sakkara, where King Djoser’s Step Pyramid was “built to last till the ends of time.” This vast site in the heart of a desert plateau is the largest necropolis in Egypt. Extending for almost five miles, the complex forms a collection of pyramids, temples and tombs that is fundamental to understanding the history of ancient Egypt. We then visit the Pyramids of Giza. Nothing evokes the long and intriguing history of Egypt as powerfully as the Pyramids. Rising from the desert, Khufu (Cheops), Khafra and Menkaura seems to symbolize the enigmatic tug of Egypt in our imaginations. The Great Pyramid immortalizes the son of Sneferu and Hetepheres. Though little is known of this pharaoh, his monument (the largest of the three) is comprised of 2.3 million stone blocks, each weighing and average 2.5 tons. You will get to enter Great Pyramid and visit the King’s Chamber. You will continue to visit the colossal statue of the Great Sphinx. The Sphinx has stood guard over the pyramids for more than 4,500 years. Carved from an outcrop of rock, the Sphinx remains the ultimate symbol of Ancient Egypt, with its lion’s body and human head. You will also visit the Solar Boat Museum. The history and the lifestyle of ancient Egyptian pharaohs come alive before our eyes through the skilled narrations of our specialist guide. Later tonight, you will enjoy a Sound and Light Show at Pyramids then back to your hotel for overnight. [B/L]
 
Day 3: Cairo (Egyptian Museum, Old Cairo, El Khalili Bazaar)
Following breakfast, we will start our special tour of the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo. The museum houses the greatest collection of pharaonic treasures in the world. We see these artifacts, including Tutankhamen’s Collection of Golden Treasures and discover the museum’s expansive collections. We will continue to Old Cairo, starting with the Citadel and Mohamed Ali’s Alabaster Mosque, where you get a complete view of Cairo and the Nile River. Continuing to Coptic Cairo, where we visit the famous Suspended Church (Hanging Church), dating to the late 4th and early 5th century. The basilica was named “Al-Mu’allaqah” because it was built atop the south gate of the Fortress of Babylon. Then we see the Church of St. Sergius, a fifth century Coptic Church. This basilica is built on the cave in which the Holy Family stayed and is regarded by visitors as a source of blessing. As we stroll along, we come to the recently restored Synagogue of Ben Ezra, which marks the place where Moses was rescued by Pharaoh’s water girl. This is the oldest Jewish synagogue in Egypt, built in AD 882 and Khan El Khalili Bazaar. Lunch is including during your tour. After the tour, you will be transferred to your hotel for overnight. [B/L]
 
Day 4: Cairo, Luxor (Karnak Sound & Light Show)
Breakfast and checkout; then you will be transferred to Cairo Domestic Airport for your flight to Luxor. Upon arrival in Luxor, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check-in. You will enjoy another Sound & Light Show at the Temple of Karnak then transfer back to your hotel for overnight. [B]
 
Day 5: Luxor, Nile Cruise (Karnak)
After breakfast, you will meet at the hotel lobby to check-out and transfer to your Nile Cruise for boarding before lunch. In the afternoon you will visit the Karnak temples and the temple of Luxor. Here is how Jean-François Champollion (1829) described his visit:  "I finally went to the palace, or rather to the city of monuments, to Karnak. There appeared to me all of the Pharaonic magnificence, all the greatest that men have imagined and executed. All that I had seen at Thebes, all that I had enthusiastically admired on the left bank, seemed to me miserable in comparison to the gigantic conceptions with which I was surrounded. It will suffice to add, that in Europe we are only Lilliputians, and that no ancient or modern people have conceived the art of architecture on a scale so sublime, so large, so grand, as the old Egyptians did; they conceived of man a hundred feet high, and we have at most five feet eight inches. The European imagination, which rises well above our porticoes, stops and falls helpless at the foot of the one-hundred-and-forty-columns of the hypostyle hall of Karnak.”  Dinner on board and overnight in Luxor. [B/L/D]
 
Day 6: Luxor (West Bank), Esna
After breakfast, you will begin your sightseeing of the western bank of the Nile River to see the Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Deir El Bahari and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon. In Deir el-Bahari, "The Northern Convent" as it translates from Arabic, is the funerary monument to Queen Hatshepsut, Deir el-Bahari located at the foot of the cliffs that determine the mountainous circus of Thebes, on the left bank of the Nile, facing the city of Luxor and the temple of Karnak, south of the Valley of the Kings. Lunch on board. Return to the cruise to start sailing to Esna. You will have lunch and dinner on board. [B/L/D]
 
Day 7: Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo
You will have breakfast on board as today you will begin sailing to Edfu where you will visit the Temple of Horus the best-preserved temple of all ancient Egypt. Dedicated to the falcon god Horus, it was erected during the time of Ptolemy III. On the side walls of the first hypostyle hall, it can be read that the first stone of this temple was laid on the 7th epiphany of the year X of the reign of Ptolemy III (the father of Cleopatra) on 23 August 237 BC after the pharaoh, assisted by the god Horus and his wife the goddess Hathor, marking the temple’s perimeter. Then, sail to Kom Ombo and have lunch on board. Located on the eastern bank of the Nile, Kom Ombo sanctuary enjoys a very exceptional situation overlooking the river and an entire palm grove. The particularity of this building lies in its double character. This particular conception, unique in Egypt, responds to a strictly theological necessity since the temple is dedicated to two distinct divine triads: The left half, to the north, is reserved for the god Haroéris falcon, "Horus the Elder" or "Horus the Great", the goddess Tasentnefret, the "Good sister" and the god son Panebtaoui, the "Master of Two Lands".  The right side, to the south, is dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, to the goddess Hathor and to the god son Khonsu. You will have dinner and overnight in Kom Ombo. [B/L/D]
 
Day 8: Kom Ombo, Aswan
Breakfast then visit the highlights of the beautiful city of Aswan, which include the High Dam, the Granite Quarries and return to your cruise for lunch. In the afternoon visit the Temple of Philae, located on a beautiful island. The construction of the temple of Philae began under the reign of one of the last pharaohs of the Pharaonic era, Nectanebo I (XXXth Dynasty). It is later, under Greek rule, that the majority of buildings will be added, including the large temple of Isis. It will be finished by the Romans with the addition of the kiosk of Trajan, among others. This temple is one of the best preserved Ptolemaic temples in Egypt (with the Edfu Temple and the Abydos Complex) and was one of the most important sanctuaries in Egypt and Nubia until in 551 CE, when Emperor Justinian ordered its closure. Isis was very popular in the Roman era and its cult was maintained in the island until the early sixth century CE, even after the closure of Egyptian temples (at that time almost all of Egypt had been Christianized) imposed by the decree of Theodosius in 391 CE. Enjoy lunch on board and take a leisurely felucca ride around Kitchener’s Island as well as visit the Botanical Gardens. Dinner and overnight on board. [B/L/D]
 
Day 9: Aswan
Disembarkation after breakfast and transfer to your hotel in Aswan for a day at leisure. Enjoy the facilities of your hotel, try some shopping or take an optional tour to a Nubian village. Overnight in Aswan. [B]
 
Day 10: Aswan, Abu Simbel, Cairo, Alexandria
After breakfast, you will meet at the hotel lobby for check-out and transfer to Aswan airport for your flight to Abu Simbel where you will visit the Temple of Ramses II and the Temple of Queen Nefertari. The large temple of Abu Simbel, facing west, is dedicated to the great god of Amon-Re and the sun god Rê-Horakhty, as well as to the main deities of the country. The exterior of the sanctuary, preceded by a kind of forecourt, then a terrace, dominates the river. It is entirely dedicated to Ramses. The facade of the temple, 33 meters high and 38 meters wide, is more than imposing. Four colossal statues, placed on a terrace, 20 meters high, represent the Pharaoh Ramses II, seated on a throne. The facade faces east and the statues look towards the rising sun. These majestic giants wear on the head the double crown (pschent), the royal veil (nemes) and the uraeus (cobra ready to strike, symbol of the burning power of the sun and the royal force). The false beard and the loincloth, complement the king's costume. The name of Ramses II appears several times: on the chest, the arm and between the legs. The typical shape of the nose of the statues is reminiscent of the nose of the pharaoh's mummy stored in the Cairo Museum. The artist worked in a realistic way; he also preferred the sensitivity and calm that emerges from the lines of the lips, cheeks and eyes, giving the pharaoh an eternal youth.Top of Form A little to the north of the great temple, facing the Nile, Ramses II had a second, smaller sanctuary dug in the hill of Ibshek, which he dedicated to the goddess Hathor and her supreme representative, her Great Royal Wife, Nefertari (or Nofretari). This is the first time that a religious building is dedicated to a wife of Pharaoh. At the feet of the large statues, smaller ones, also engaged in the rock, represent the children of the royal couple, the sons have their feet together, the girls are represented in the attitude of the march. After the visit return to Abu Simbel airport for your flight to Cairo. Upon arrival in Cairo, you will begin your trip to Alexandria. You will check-in upon arrival and visit the National Museum and the Montazah Palacce. You will be transferred to your hotel for overnight. [B]
 
Day 11: Alexandria
After breakfast, you will visit the Catacombs of Kom El Shogafa, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Bibliotheca Alexandria and Pompei’s Pillar. You will be transferred back to your hotel for overnight.
 
Day 12: Alexandria, Cairo
After breakfast, you will checkout and head back to Cairo for check-in at your Cairo hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight in Cairo.
 
Day 13: Cairo, USA
Breakfast and transfer to Cairo International Airport for your final departure flight.
 
[B] = Breakfast | [B/L] = Breakfast and Lunch | [B/L/D] = Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


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TOURS

Tour includes
  • All airport transfers
  • Meeting and assistance
  • 12 nights’ accommodation:
    • Cairo – 4 nights
    • On Cruise - 4 nights
    • Luxor - 1 night
    • Aswan - 1 night
    • Alexandria - 2 nights
  • Meals
    • Breakfast daily
    • 6 lunches
    • 4 dinners
  • Full-day tour of Cairo, including Egyptian Museum, Old Cairo, El Khalili Bazaar
  • Full day tour of Memphis, Sakkara, the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, the Solar Boat Museum
  • Camel ride
  • Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids
  • Abu Simbel tour
  • Classical Alexandria tour
  • Sightseeing in Luxor and Aswan
  • Sound and Light Show at the Temple of Karnak
  • Entrance fees for sites visited
  • Private round-trip transportation Cairo – Alexandria by A/C deluxe vehicle
  • English-speaking Egyptologist guide In Cairo
  • Private local English-speaking guides elsewhere
  • Domestic ticket Cairo – Luxor/Aswan – Cairo in economy class
Not included in tour
  • International airline tickets
  • Taxes or surcharges related to airline tickets
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Other meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Entrance fees for sites not included
  • Alcoholic, non-alcoholic beverages
  • Extras and gratuities
  • Early check-in, late check-out
  • Expenses of personal nature
  • Tourism and Harbor taxes

Hotels in your Tour

Category Hotel Name Tripadvisor
Superior First Class
Cairo Ramses Hilton 4
Sonesta Cairo 4
Le Meridien Pyramids 4
Luxor Winter Pavillion 4.5
Aswan Pyramisa Island 4
Nile Cruise Movenpick Royal Lotus 5
Alexandria Cecil 4
Deluxe
Cairo Intercontinental Semiramis 4
Conrad 4.5
Luxor Sonesta St. George 4.5
Hilton 5
Aswan Movenpick 4.5
Nile Cruise Sonesta Moon Goddess 5
Movenpick Royal Lily 5
Alexandria Hilton Corniche 4.5
Superior Deluxe
Cairo Four Seasons 4.5
Nile Ritz-Carlton 4.5
St. Regis NR
Luxor Sofitel Old Winter Palace 4.5
Al Moudira 4.5
Aswan Sofitel Legend Old Cataract  
Nile Cruise Sonesta Star Goddess 5
Sonesta St. George 1 5
Oberoi Philae 5
Alexandria Four Seasons San Stefano 4.5

Hotels will be confirmed at time of booking


Tour Pricing

Season Double Single
Superior First Class
May - September $2,695 $3,429
October - April '21 $2,725 $3,489
Deluxe
May - September $2,845 $3,775
October - April '21 $3,009 $4,045
Superior Deluxe
May - September $4,529 $6,029
October - April '21 $4,775 $6,519
Prices are per person and may change without notice
 
Supplements:

Description Supplement
1 passenger traveling alone $599
Supplements are per person and should be added to regular prices
 
Tour Code: EG04CAI20TP