Welcome to Egypt and the start of a wonderful holiday! Arrive at Cairo airport and transfer to your five star hotel located in downtown Cairo. The rest of the day is free to relax or those arriving early can opt to pre-book the optional Backstreets of Cairo tour.
Start with the dazzling antiquities at the Egyptian Museum. Amongst the many exhibits are the treasures of King Tutankhamun.
Visit Egypt’s most loved sight – The Great Pyramids of Giza. Explore the Giza plateau, pyramids and massive Sphinx, then continue on to explore Saqqara – an ancient necropolis with many half-buried tombs and the famous Zhoser’s step pyramid. Later, travel to Luxor by overnight train. Accommodation is in comfortable twin sleeper cabins. A light dinner is served on board.
Arrive in Luxor, then visit the incredible Valley of the Kings. The massive pair of statues known as the Colossi of Memnon are the first monuments you’ll see during the morning visit to the West Bank – home to the legendary Valley of the Kings. You’ll also see the colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Return to Luxor for check-in on board our Nile 5 star cruiser. Lunch at leisure and time to relax until the early evening visit to the Temple of Luxor. Luxor Temple looks stunning at dusk and is beautifully illuminated at night.
Tour the ancient city of Thebes (the East Bank), taking in the magnificent Temple of Karnak. More than a temple, Karnak is a gigantic and stunning complex of sanctuaries and pylons dedicated to the Theban gods. Anchors away this afternoon to set sail downstream.
Relax and sail the Nile and visit the Temple of Kom Ombo. A unique riverside temple, it is unusual in that everything architecturally is doubled and perfectly symmetrical along the main axis of the temple including twin halls, courts, colonnades, sanctuaries and entrances. Arrive in Aswan, a prosperous town at the crossroads of the ancient caravan routes in the late evening.
Enjoy a short boat trip to Agilika Island for Philae Temple – dedicated to the goddess Isis. The temple dates from 4th century BC but the Ptolomies and the Romans up to 3rd century AD built most of the existing structures. In danger of being completely submerged by the rising water of Lake Nasser, in 1972 UNESCO stepped in and an 8-year rescue effort was undertaken to relocate the entire temple 20m higher on nearby Agilika Island. Next is a visit to a perfume oil emporium. Perfumed oils in Egypt dates back to 2700BC and were used by women, pharaohs and by temple priests.
After lunch there is a visit to the High Dam and a felucca sailing trip to Elephantine and Kitchener Island. As the sun sets, enjoy free time to shop in the colourful souqs and markets or simply relax and watch an amazing sunset in Egypt’s southern most town straddling the River Nile.
There is plenty to do in Aswan. You can explore Aswan, its beautiful shoreline and corniche or perhaps do a spot of shopping. Late this afternoon, board the overnight train (twin berth sleeper cabins provided) for the journey back to Cairo. A light dinner is served on board.
Have breakfast in your train cabin and upon arrival into Cairo transfer to the hotel and check in. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the hotel facilities or you can opt to join the optional tour visiting Old Cairo, Coptic Cairo and the Citadel of Saladin (book locally).
The tour ends after breakfast. Included onward transfer to airport.
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