Arrive in Amman, where you are met by an A&K representative and privately transferred to your hotel.
Proceed to Mount Nebo, where Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land he would never enter. Just beyond, Madaba — the “City of Mosaics” — reveals the oldest preserved mosaic map of the Holy Land. Composed of two million pieces of coloured stone, it informed scholars about Jerusalem’s layout after its destruction and rebuilding in AD 70. Continue to Aqaba and check in to your hotel. Tonight, sit down to a special welcome dinner at the members-only Royal Yacht Club.
After a morning at leisure in Aqaba, travel to Wadi Rum — the “Valley of the Moon” — which you explore by 4×4, traversing rose-tinted vistas and visiting a place where Lawrence of Arabia once lived. Tonight, embrace Bedouin life with a Chef ’s Table dinner beneath twinkling desert skies before returning to your hotel.
Explore stunning Petra, the ancient Nabataean city carved from solid rock. Enter through a narrow gap, the Siq, to view the majestic Treasury, Temple of the Winged Lions and Palace Tomb. Once a stop for camel caravans bearing spices and silk, Petra was lost for 1,000 years until it was rediscovered in 1812 by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. After lunch, relax on a drive to your hotel along the shore of the Dead Sea.
This morning, enjoy one of these Design Your Day options.
• Explore Third-Century Jerash, “Pompeii of the Middle East,” with its well-preserved Roman ruins, on foot.
• Explore Amman, visiting its historic downtown, the Citadel and the impressive Roman Theatre.
• Visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, known as the baptism site of Jesus.
Enjoy time at leisure, free to float in the restorative waters of the Dead Sea.
Fly to Cairo, Egypt’s bustling capital city. This afternoon, visit the Grand Egyptian Museum, home to a vast collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts.
This morning, fly to Luxor and journey to the Temple of Karnak, where generations of pharaohs wished to record their names. Walk through the Great Hypostyle Hall with its expertly aligned columns, a sight to behold. Board ‘Sanctuary Zein Nile Chateau,’ embarking on a three-night cruise where you discover the Nile’s significant impact on ancient Egyptian civilization. After lunch on board, visit the striking Temple of Luxor. Along the front of the temple pylons, there were six large statues of Ramses II (of which three remain), while behind the East Tower is the Courtyard of Ramses II. Marvel at the Colonnade of Amenhotep III, which consists of 14 papyrus-headed columns, leading to the Court of Amenhotep III.
Discover the Valley of the Kings, the legendary burial ground of the pharaohs, including entrance into the tomb of “the boy king,” Tutankhamun. View the impressive Temple of Hatshepsut before returning to ‘Sanctuary Zein Nile Chateau’. Continue cruising to the Temple of Horus, the falcon-headed god. Built in 230 BC by Ptolemy III, and having spent much of the modern era buried in sand and debris, this well-preserved and colorful structure reveals what temple worship in ancient Egypt was like. Sail toward Aswan while enjoying a Scenic Sundowner overlooking the Nile.
A second day discovering Storied Structures on your Nile cruise.
Disembark in Aswan and ride a motorized boat to Philae Temple on the island of Agilika. Continue to the impressive granite quarries and site of the Unfinished Obelisk, thought to have belonged to Queen Hatshepsut or Queen Nefertiti. Arrive at your historic luxury hotel. Dating back to 1899, the property was built by Thomas Cook to house European travellers, among them Sir Winston Churchill; Margaret Thatcher; and Agatha Christie, whose novel, Death on the Nile, included this Victorian palace. Board a felucca and sail around Elephantine Island, and dine in the famed 1902 restaurant.
Fly to Abu Simbel and discover the commanding twin temples of Ramses II — Egypt’s longest-ruling pharaoh — and his wife, Queen Nefertari. Located on the banks of Lake Nasser, this site is both an ancient and a modern engineering marvel. Return to the airport and fly to Cairo via Aswan. Check in to your hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
This morning, join your expert A&K Egyptologist and discover the pyramids built for Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus on the Giza Plateau. Then, Ride Like a Local, camelback, as you take in the panorama of the Giza Plateau backdropped by the soaring pyramids. Also see the fabled Great Sphinx, a monumental limestone statue. Next, visit the ancient capital of Memphis, the city of Menes, as well as the necropolis of Sakkara, site of the storied Step Pyramid of King Djoser and the oldest-known Egyptian pyramid. Tonight, toast to your travels with fellow guests at a farewell dinner.
Transfer to the airport and board your flight home.
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