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+Itinerary

Discover Egypt & the Nile Valley

Day 1: En Route from U.S.
Day 2: Arrive in Cairo, Egypt
Day 3: Cairo / Memphis / Giza
Day 4: Cairo
Day 5: Cairo / Flight to Luxor
Day 6: Luxor / Abydos / Luxor
Day 7: Luxor / Esna – Embarkation
Day 8: Nile River / Edfu
Day 9: Edfu / Nile / Kom Ombo
Day 10: Kom Ombo / Nile / Aswan
Day 11: Aswan – Disembarkation
Day 12: Aswan
Day 13: Aswan / Optional Abu Simbel Excursion / Flight to Cairo
Day 14: Cairo / Depart for U.S.


Day 1: En Route from U.S.

Day 2: Arrive Cairo, Egypt
Welcome to Cairo—Egypt's buzzing capital city of over 22 million residents. Settle into your first class accommodations to refresh and enjoy the remainder of the evening at leisure. Awake tomorrow to the extraordinary views of the pyramids outside your room.
Overnight: Marriott Mena House

Day 3: Cairo / Memphis / Giza
After breakfast, set out for a short drive to the ancient city of Memphis, dating from around 3,100 BC. It's the legendary city of King Menes—who united upper and lower Egypt and controlled the land and water routes between the two. This area features approximately 19 miles of necropolises including Sakkara—host to the kings of the 1st and 2nd Dynasty—with the oldest known of Egypt's 107 pyramids. 

In the afternoon, visit the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza—the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—and the Great Sphinx of Giza, impressively carved from a single mass of limestone. Take advantage of additional time to explore on your own to fully absorb the profound existence of these structures.
Overnight: Marriott Mena House (B,L,D)

Day 4: Cairo
Today, tour the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, featuring 107 halls filled with nearly 160,000 pieces of ancient artifacts covering 5,000 years of Egypt's past. View displays of golden treasures from the world-famous tomb of King Tutankhamun, rare portraits, and royal mummies. 

After lunch, visit the Islamic Cairo Mosque of Sultan Hassan and Old Cairo with its ancient Coptic Churches. Then stroll through one of the largest bazaars in the Middle East—Khan El-Khalili. Founded in the 14th century, this lively market (or souk) is a labyrinth of vendors selling colorful fresh spices, traditional foods and fabrics, and baubles and trinkets. Beyond the bustling crowds, glimpse the unique archways and vaulted ceilings designed in original Mamluk style architecture—Islamic art that became prevalent during the Mamluk Dynasty.
Overnight: Marriott Mena House (B,L,D)

Day 5: Cairo / Flight to Luxor
After breakfast and checking out of the Mena House, transfer to Cairo International Airport to board the flight to Luxor. 

En route to the hotel, stop to explore Karnak Temple—the largest man-made religious building on the east bank of Luxor and one of the most important places of worship during the New Kingdom. This site is a fusion of stone structures—including an avenue of human-headed sphinxes, grand pylons, and towering obelisks, which experienced various phases of construction and restoration over a nearly 2,000 year period.

Tonight, explore the majestic Luxor Temple by night and enjoy its illuminated beauty.
Overnight: Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor (B,L,D)

Day 6: Luxor / Abydos / Luxor
This morning, take in a panoramic view of life on the banks of the Nile as you follow the river north during a 3-hour drive to Abydos Temple, the finest in carvings and colors in all of Egypt. Learn of the temple's importance from your Egyptologist before exploring on your own. Wander the dark halls in the Great Temple of Seti I, which was dedicated to six major gods. Other tombs and temples await, with vibrant hieroglyphs and remnants of devotional objects.
Overnight: Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor (B,L,D)

Day 7: Luxor / Esna – Embarkation
After breakfast and check-out, visit the Valley of the Kings and Nobles—designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978—on the west bank of Luxor. A focus of archaeological exploration since the end of the 18th century, this area is famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Before leaving for Esna, stop to view Hatshepsut Temple—a memorial that marks the entrance to the Valley of the Kings—and the Colossi of Memnon. 

In the afternoon, embark on your sailing vessel, which will be your home-away-from-home for the following four days. Enjoy a relaxing lunch on board as you sail up the Nile toward Edfu. Settle into your stateroom and spend time exploring the boat before joining fellow travelers for dinner.
Overnight: Dahabiya (B,L,D)

Day 8: Nile River / Edfu
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before setting out with your Egyptologist on a guided tour to El Kab—one of the oldest settlements of upper Egypt and now a famous necropolis with remarkable tombs of nobles and army generals.

Continue to the city of Edfu for a tour of the Ptolemaic Temple of Horus—the most complete and best-preserved temple in Egypt. Horus, the principal god of resurrection, is depicted in his role as avenger of his father, Osiris, who was murdered by his brother, Seth. Although construction of this temple was finished only a few decades before the rise of Antony and Cleopatra, its design reflects traditional pharaonic architecture.

The remainder of the day will be spent back on board to enjoy the plentiful amenities of the dahabiya. This evening, prepare to dine on a lavish buffet of Egyptian specialties presented with a performance of local music and dancing. 
Overnight: Dahabiya (B,L,D)

Day 9: Edfu / Nile / Kom Ombo
Enjoy a leisurely morning sailing up the river towards Kom Ombo with a visit to Gebel el-Silsila, an excavation site where archaeologists have recently discovered 12 new tombs dating back to the 18th Dynasty.

Gather for a special barbecue dinner this evening on a nearby island.  
Overnight: Dahabiya (B,L,D)

Day 10: Kom Ombo / Nile / Aswan
Today visit the unique Temple of Kom Ombo—which is actually two temples in one, as it was designed for and dedicated to two gods (Horus and Sobek, the crocodile god)—and stroll through the crocodile museum. Captive crocodiles were once kept within the temple, and mummified crocodile figures can be seen in the sanctuary today.

Return to the dahabiya to cruise to Aswan, and partake in a final gala dinner on board.
Overnight: Dahabiya (B,L,D)

Day 11: Aswan – Disembarkation
Disembark after breakfast and travel to the Aswan High Dam for a look at contemporary Egyptian construction on a monumental scale. The dam sits 364-feet high with a volume of 57,940,000 cubic yards. The annual flooding of the Nile can now be controlled as the dam collects floodwaters, which can be released manually to maximize benefits for farmland, river flowage, and electric power. 

Later, take a brief motorboat ride to Philae Temple on the Island of Agilkia, then visit the granite quarries and their Unfinished Obelisk. 

Enjoy free time at the hotel to refresh and re-energize before setting out to stroll Aswan's famous market, Sharia as-Souq. Discover endless displays of aromatic flowers and spices, hand-crafted perfumes, colorful carpets, and other Egyptian and African goods.
Overnight: Sofitel Legend Cataract (B,L,D)

Day 12: Aswan
After breakfast at the hotel, visit Elephantine Island, a rural area that once played an important role in the ivory trade. Afterward, take a peaceful ride through one of the Nile's cataracts—a rocky passageway, which long prevented boats from sailing the river from Equatorial Africa to Egypt.

Indulge in a special lunch at a Nubian house before stopping at Soheil Island where a great ancient inscription was found from thousands of years ago. 

The remainder of the day is yours to partake in the comforts and amenities at the hotel.
Overnight: Sofitel Legend Cataract (B,L,D)

Day 13: Aswan / Optional Abu Simbel Excursion / Flight to Cairo
After breakfast, guests joining the optional excursion will check out and transfer to Aswan International Airport for the brief flight to Abu Simbel. There, tour the impressive temples before flying to Aswan for a connecting flight to Cairo. (You may purchase this optional excursion in advance from our Guest Services team. We recommend you reserve early for best availability as space is limited.)

Remaining guests will enjoy leisure time at the property. Take advantage of the outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Nile River, break for an energizing workout in the modern fitness center, or enjoy tea al fresco at The Terrace with inspiring views of Temple of Khnum and Elephantine Island.

Later, transfer to the airport for a brief flight to Cairo for your final evening in Egypt featuring a special farewell dinner with fellow travelers.
Overnight: Le Méridien Cairo Airport (B,L,D)

Day 14: Cairo / Depart for U.S.
Use the skybridge conveniently connecting the hotel to Terminal 3 of Cairo International Airport for flights home. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level:

Moderate

Activities are generally not very strenuous, but there is quite a bit of walking—and on uneven surfaces like gravel, sand, and stone—climbing stairways and standing for long periods of time. Guests should be able to walk 1.5 miles over uneven surfaces to be able to fully enjoy this program. Due to the nature of some structures, handrails may not be present, and facilities for people with disabilities are limited. Participation in itinerary activities is up to the individual.