For many people, the highlight of a visit to classical Egypt are the tombs and temples of the Nile and the pyramids of Giza. The combination of a stay in Cairo with a cruise along the Nile is therefore, the perfect introduction to Egypt - ideal for those who wish to experience as much of the rich history of ancient Egypt as possible. Furthermore, many of the treasures of the Nile Valley are now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The hustle and bustle of Cairo forms an excellent counterpoint to the timeless character of the Nile.
We feature two classic options allowing for a 10 night or 7 night holiday, depending on the duration of the Nile cruise.
Day 1: Cairo
Depart London Heathrow on a scheduled flight with Egypt Air. Arrive in Cairo and transfer to your chosen hotel in Cairo for a three night stay.
Day 2: Cairo
The Pyramids at Giza are the most famous Symbol in Egypt, but also among the country’s other highlights are the Step Pyramid and decorated tombs of Saqqarah. This full day tour will take you to see the Pyramids at Giza, the remains of Memphis in the village of Mit Rahina, and then onto the Saqqarah were the Step Pyramid of Zoser lies. Lunch is included in the tour. Return to your hotel for overnight.
Day 3: Cairo
This full day tour encompasses a mixture of Cairo. The day starts with a morning visit to the Egyptian Museum with guide. After lunch, visit the Citadel which presents the most dramatic feature of Cairo’s Skyline; a centuries old bastion crowned by the needle-like minarets of the great Mosque of Mohammed Ali. To complete the day there is nothing like a bit of bartering in the famous Khan-el-Khalili Bazaar. Lunch is included in the tour. Return to your hotel for overnight.
Day 4: Luxor
Transfer to Cairo airport and fly to Luxor with Egypt Air. Arrive in Luxor and transfer to your chosen Nile boat, Dinner & Overnight.
Day 5: West Bank
After breakfast leave by coach to visit the West Bank, the land where the sun sets and the place designated as a burial ground by the ancient Egyptians. Visit two or three tombs in the Valley of the Kings and at least two more in the Valley of the Queens and marvel at the intricate murals. The tombs are open according to a system of rotation, to minimise damage caused by visitors, and there is an additional charge for visits to the Tomb of Tutankhamun and Ramses VI. Continue to the Temple of Hatshepsut, the only woman to reign as a Pharaoh, its terraces and colonnades stark against the hills, and the Colossi of Memnon, a pair of enormous statues, some 18 metres high, which once guarded the mortuary temple of Amenophis III. Set sail for Edfu. Relax during the sailing while enjoying the five o’clock tea served on the sun deck or the lounge bar Captain Cocktail Party before dinner at 19.30 P.M, Overnight in Edfu.
Day 6: Temple of Horus at Edfu
After breakfast visit the Temple of Horus, the falcon God, whose battle with his evil uncle Seth is told in vivid pictures inscribed on its walls. Lunch on board, sail via Kom Ombo to Aswan. Relax during the sailing while enjoying the five o’clock tea served on the sun deck or the lounge bar. Dinner and Galabeya Party. Overnight in Aswan.
Day 7: Aswan & Philae
After breakfast visit the High Dam, the construction of which was finished in 1971, creating Lake Nasser, the world’s largest reservoir. See the ancient granite quarries and the Unfinished Obelisk before continuing to the Island of Philae, with its Temple of Isis, the divine mother of all the gods, set in a stunning location surrounded by water. It was relocated during the building of the High Dam. Lunch. Sail on the Nile in a traditional felucca around Elephantine and Kitchener’s Island. Nubian Show,Dinner & Overnight.
Day 8: Optional trip to Abu Simbel
Optional excursion to Abu Simbel from £99 per person by road and £199 by airplane with its magnificent temples dedicated to Ramses II and Queen Nefertari with their colossal statues and well-preserved reliefs. This site is all the more impressive for the fact the temples were relocated in a massive salvage operation during the building of the High Dam. Lunch and dinner on board. Optional excursion to Sound & Light Show at the Temple of Isis at Philae. Dinner & Overnight.
Day 9: Kom Ombo
After breakfast, sail to Kom Ombo to visit the temple dedicated to the two gods, Haroeris and Sobek, the crocodile Nile god. This was a place where crocodiles used to bask in the sun, although since the building of the dam they are no longer found on this stretch of the Nile. Sail to Edfu. Lunch & dinner on board. Continue on to Esna. Dinner & Overnight.
Day 10: Karnak & Luxor
After breakfast, visit the most magnificent of the Nile temples, the stunning Temple of Karnak, constructed over a vast area during a period of some 1300 years. It incorporates three separate temple enclosures and highlights include the Great Hypostyle Hall with its gigantic pillars, and the Sacred Lake. An avenue of Sphinxes links this temple to the Temple of Luxor, the next stop on your itinerary, also dedicated to the Theban triad of the god, Amun, the ‘unseen one’, his wife Mut, goddess of the heavens and their son Khonsu. The reliefs here are remarkably clear, partly due to the fact that it lay buried undersand for thousands of years. Lunch & farewell dinner on board. Optional excursion to Sound & Light Show at Karnak Temple.
Day 11: Disembark at Luxor
Breakfast followed by disembarkation at Luxor and return transfer for your flight.