Spend three unforgettable evenings on a Nile riverboat – your feature stay accommodation. Enjoy first-class facilities including a swimming pool and sundeck, and get right to the heart of each destination, taking in fascinating riverside views along the way.. Discover the varied cuisine of Egypt during dinner at a fantastic restaurant in Cairo, taste Nubian delights in a family home on an island in the middle of the Nile, and sample traditional Egyptian food with the locals in Cairo.. A day at the incredible Pyramids of Giza is only the beginning. Discover the mighty Valley of the Kings, marvel at the Kom Ombo Temple and explore the Karnak Temple complex, all with the expert guidance of your Egyptologist leader.. Gain different perspectives on what it means to be Egyptian as you travel with a local leader, enter the home of an Egyptian family in Cairo and discover the Nubian way of life with a family on the Nile.
The cruising route along the Nile is home to ancient wonders, desert landscapes and snapshots of everyday Egyptian life. Take to the Nile Valley on an eight-day Premium adventure by river, road and air, visiting the mighty pyramids of Giza, the majestic temples of Karnak, the famous tomb of Tutankhamun and Cairo’s bustling Khan al-Khalili Bazaar. Spend an evening with a Nubian family and another with an Egyptian family in Cairo for a look at local life, and enjoy plenty of time for independent discoveries in each destination. With an ancient past that has led to a colourful present, Egypt is a traveller’s dream.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: 3 Dinner Included: 5
Welcome to Cairo! On arrival at the airport, take an included transfer to your hotel. You are free to arrive at any time today before an important welcome meeting, held at 6 pm. If you do arrive early, perhaps get out and explore the busy streets, finding a hole-in-the-wall eatery for a snack like ta’ameya – Egypt’s take on falafel. Or you may wish to make the most of your fabulous hotel – the pool area offers magnificent pyramid views. After your welcome meeting, where you will meet your local leader and fellow travellers, head out for an included dinner with the group. Here your leader will introduce you to the dazzling variety of Egyptian cuisine, known for being fresh, delicious and unique to the country. Best enjoyed when shared, tuck into an array of traditional dishes like fatta, a dish made with rice, bread and meat in a garlic and vinegar sauce, and kushari, a tantalising mixture of pasta, rice, lentils and fried onions.
This morning, tour the mighty Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx with your small group and expert leader, who is a trained Egyptologist. Seeing these ancient and iconic structures up close is a memory that will stay with you long after your time in Egypt is over. For an additional charge, you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops). After stopping to purchase some lunch, pay a visit to the long-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum, the largest archaeological museum in the world and home to a collection of Tutankhamen’s antiquities, many of which have never been displayed before. Your leader will take you through some of Egypt’s dynastic history, and you will have plenty of time to explore on your own – home to almost 100,000 artefacts, there’s a whole ancient world to uncover.
Nile Cruise - Aswan
Catch a morning flight to Aswan – Egypt’s southernmost city. Its relaxed charm is due in no small part to its large Nubian population. Here you will board a Nile riverboat, your feature stay accommodation for the next three nights. There’s no better way to soak in the ancient history of the Nile and the incredible sights along its banks. Enjoy all the comforts of a world-class hotel, including a swimming pool, sundeck, restaurant and cabins with panoramic windows to watch riverside life stream by. Travelling by riverboat allows you to get to the heart of each destination while ensuring the journeys in between are every bit as interesting. Travel to Philae Island and visit the beautiful Temple of Isis – the goddess of health, marriage and wisdom – rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated here. Your leader will share stories of the history and changing landscape of the island. Then, board a traditional felucca sailing boat where you can sit back and relax with some drinks as the sun sets over your beautiful surroundings. Stop off at a Nubian village on an island in the middle of the Nile. Walk through the village before sitting down to dinner with a local Nubian family in their home. Enjoy traditional Nubian food, swap stories with your friendly hosts and gain a unique perspective into their way of life.
Nile Cruise - Edfu
Enjoy a peaceful morning on board your riverboat, then set out in the afternoon along the river, relaxing in the sun on deck and taking in the desert hills forming a backdrop over the lush riverbanks. Arrive at Kom Ombo Temple, sitting spectacularly on the river’s edge. Your leader will let you in on the secrets of this ancient temple. Built in approximately 181 BC, Kom Ombo is dedicated to two gods – Horus (god of protection) and Sobek (god of fertility, linked to the Nile’s water). Each god has a dedicated section – north or south – and there have been recent discoveries of mummified crocodiles in the Sobek section. Afterwards, return to your riverboat and continue to Edfu where you will dock for the evening.
Nile Cruise - Luxor
This morning, you will be moored near Edfu and may have the option to venture independently into town to see the nearby temple. Sail towards Luxor passing through the Esna Locks. You may have to queue to proceed through the locks, but this is a great opportunity to sit back with a drink in hand and observe life on the Nile – listen to the shouts of the many captains as they navigate their way through the various small boats of merchants selling their wares to a captive audience. Arrive at the open-air museum of Luxor – from the spectacular temple complex of Karnak to the Valley of the Kings, Luxor is full of wonderfully preserved reminders of the Pharaohs. Today you'll explore the Karnak Temple. One of the world's most celebrated temple complexes, Karnak is a house of the gods built over a period of some 200 years. Your guided tour of this vast temple of impressive pylons, obelisks and chapels will reveal its finest sections, such as the Avenue of Sphinxes and the Great Temple of Amun.
Disembark your riverboat and travel to the Valley of the Kings. Buried under the arid hills here are over 60 tombs of pharaohs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings. With your leader, explore this place, where the pharaohs of the New Kingdom (16th to 11th century BC) were secretly interred for all eternity, and where discoveries are still being made. Your leader will explain the history and legends of these remarkable people, and the significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics, still well preserved in the deepest tombs. Entry is included to three tombs of your choosing, as well as access to the tomb of Tutankhamun. The unearthing of the young Pharaoh’s resting place is one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, and today you will have the chance to explore the painted chamber and marvel at his famous golden sarcophagus. Continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut – a colonnaded building set against high cliffs that create a spectacular natural amphitheatre, then view the Colossi of Memnon – two 17-metre-high statues on Luxor's west bank.
Board a flight bound for Cairo this morning. On arrival, settle in to your hotel then head with your group to the Al-Azhar neighbourhood to visit Khan al-Khalili Bazaar – a sprawling maze of alleyways including the gold market, cloth market, 'perfume street' and the spice market. Continue to the 9th-century Ibn Tulun Mosque – one of the oldest and largest in Egypt. Its perfectly proportioned courtyard and distinctive minaret make it a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Stop off in Cairo’s oldest coffeeshop for an Arabic coffee or mint tea as you watch the world go by. It’s a known fact that the very best food in Cairo is made inside local homes, but few visitors get the chance to experience this for themselves. Tonight, you will be one of the lucky few as you are welcomed into the home of a local family for dinner. Sit down to a wonderful meal of traditional dishes which you’ll share with your friendly hosts and gain an inside look at modern Egyptian life.
Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12pm and you are free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time. If you would like to spend more time in Cairo, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).