- Four-night Nile cruise on board the intimate 5-Star MS Movenpick Royal Lily or Royal Lotus with just 56-60 spacious cabins, a spa, and an on-deck swimming or plunge pool
- Final night at the Movenpick Resort Aswan situated on the famous Elephantine Island with 360-degree views of the Nile
- Two full days in Cairo to see the sights at a relaxed pace including the Pyramids of Giza, El Azhar Mosque, and the lively bazaar
- The colossal Karnak and Luxor Temples with your expert guide
- Hieroglyphs and hidden tombs of the Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings
Today, on our second full day in Cairo, we next pay a visit to the incredible Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, which contains relics dating back to 4000 BC, including the fantastic riches of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Here is a unique opportunity to survey the many fabulous treasures of Egypt in one place and to set the scene for the rest of the tour.
For the remainder of the day, we experience modern Cairo with visits to Al Azhar Mosque, which despite being Cairo’s oldest mosque and university, is still very much in use today, and the small alleyways and streets that make up Cairo’s popular bazaar. Please note that we will need to cover up at the mosque (long sleeves and trousers) and women will also need to cover their hair with a scarf.
After breakfast, we depart our hotel for a half day tour of the Pyramids at Giza.
Home to the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus and the timeless and enigmatic Sphinx; these great monuments to the afterlife defy the imagination. Only the throng of sightseers, Egyptian and foreign, milling around their huge foundations, keep the viewer in the 21st century.
Afterwards, in the afternoon, there will be some free time if you wish to relax by the pool at the hotel, or take an optional excursion to Sakkara.
We typically transfer to Cairo airport before sunrise for our flight to Luxor (flight times can vary). On arrival in Luxor, we visit Luxor Temple and the huge Karnak Temple complex on the east bank of the Nile. Built over 1500 years, Karnak is a confusion of pylons, courtyards, halls and sanctuaries. Its Hypostyle hall has 134 columns 23 metres high and 15 metres in diameter! Both temples are incredibly impressive. We arrive at our cruise boat in time for lunch on board before having free time in the afternoon to relax or explore Luxor.
Days 5 – 6
We begin Day 5 with a visit to the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the Nile, which contains the once hidden tombs of over 62 Pharaohs, including Tutankhamun, Seti I, Ramses III and IV. A discreet entrance in the hillside takes the visitor underground; a series of corridors and ante-chambers leads us down to the burial chamber and sarcophagus. The walls are covered in brightly painted images and hieroglyphs – a map of the afterlife to ensure the king’s safe passage. One ticket allows us to see three tombs. The ticket usually allows entry into what are regarded as the most impressive tombs, but if you have time a visit to the tomb of Ramses VI is also highly recommended. Visits to tombs are now strictly controlled to halt further deterioration of wall paintings – each tomb is periodically closed for a number of weeks. On return to our cruise boat, we begin our voyage along the Nile, travelling upstream from Luxor to Aswan. Exact sailing and excursion times cannot be guaranteed for each individual trip but we will visit the temples of Edfu, famous for its roofed inner temples and huge Pylon, and Kom Ombo. The cruise boat has good facilities: a sundeck with sun loungers, bar and small pool, restaurant, gift shop and library – these can all be taken advantage of when the cruise boat is docked or during sailing. The sunsets over the Nile are truly stunning and travelling from Luxor to Aswan, enjoying the beauty of the lush verdant landscape make this journey special.
Today there is the possibility for an optional visit to Philae Temple. In the 1970s it was relocated by UNESCO to Aglika Island after it became evident that the original site of Philae would submerge on completion of the Aswan High Dam. It represents a magnificent and enduring testament to both ancient and modern engineering. During this excursion, we will also visit Aswan High Dam and Cleopatra’s Unfinished Obelisk.
Later in the day, we enjoy a sunset sail on a felucca, a traditional wooden sailing boat. Feluccas have been a fixture on the Nile River for centuries and are used in the protected waters of the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean. The Felucca’s deck is strewn with soft colorful cushions and rugs and equipped with a canopy that offers shade and protection.
We the spend our last evening on board the MS Movenpick Royal Lily or Royal Lotus.
After breakfast on board, we disembark our boat and there is the choice to have a full day in Aswan or there is also the option for an optional visit to Abu Simbel for those who are interested.
Aswan is a laid-back, sleepy town that reflects the character of its largely Nubian inhabitants, known for being friendly and hospitable. By virtue of its position on the old caravan route, it has always been a trading centre and we thoroughly recommend a visit to the packed bazaar today where merchants display a wealth of exotic spices, carpets, leather goods and countless other wares.
Today there is also the option (for those who are interested) to visit Abu Simbel, 300 km. to the south through the Nubian Desert. The optional bus tour starts at 3.30/4 in the morning when we get picked up from the boat. A breakfast box is provided. Around 8 am we will arrive at the destination, where we are given approx. 3 hours to visit the temples. Built by Ramses II the two temples are certainly some of the most spectacular in Egypt. Originally on the banks of the Nile, the temples were raised to a new site above the lake in the late 1960s, as the waters from the new Lake Nasser rose behind the Aswan High Dam. The four great seated statues of Ramses II stare east towards the rising sun. For those who do take the optional excursion to Abu Simbel, you will arrive at the hotel in Aswan around 3pm.
The hotel in Aswan is well known for its perfect location. Enjoy views of the River Nile from your hotel room or head up to the Panorama Restaurant & Bar, the highest point in Aswan for unbeatable 360 degree views of the Nile. For lunch or dinner options, there’s a great choice of bars and restaurants if you don’t want to venture into the town. Otherwise, the historical town is just a short walk away
The trip ends this morning in Aswan after breakfast.
- Premium accommodation throughout: 4 nights 5-star Nile cruise boat and 4 nights 5-star hotels
- Travel by minibus, premium cruise boat and one internal flight
- Group normally 4 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
- All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
- All accommodation
- Tips for local staff
- Named tour leader, chosen for their experience and great customer feedback
- All transport and listed activities
- Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Images courtesy of Exodus Travel
EXT – AEP