Combining the pyramids, sphinx and Egyptian Museum in Cairo with an extended Nile Cruise from Cairo to Aswan has long been one of the worlds most desired trips. Newly re-opened, this classic river cruise gives you the chance to see and learn about some fascinating ancient history while watching rural Egyptian life pass by as you sail along the Nile.
We meet you at Cairo airport and transfer you directly to your Nile Cruise ship. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in and relax onboard. Tonight will be spent moored up in Cairo. International flights are available on request from your chosen departure airport.
Your first tour provides an introduction to the history of pyramid building, with visits to King Zoser's step pyramid in Saqqara and of course the three main pyramids and sphinx in Gisa. This and all the sightseeing tours on the cruise are done with one of our own professional local Egyptologists and a private AC vehicle – you are not joining the boat groups.
You head into central Cairo today to learn more about Pharaonic history in the Egyptian Museum. Other visits include the mosques and palaces in the Citadel, ancient churches in Coptic Cairo, and the busy shopping streets of the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar.
You will leave Cairo today before midday and begin sailing south towards Beni Suef. Enjoy the thrill of being one of the very first tourists to cruise this part of the Nile for over 15 years! The day will be spent at leisure onboard the ship where you can enjoy the scenery along the banks of the Nile and relax onboard the ship.
You have another day of relaxation onboard the ship today whilst you continue to sail south towards Beni Hassan. During the day you can watch traditional local Egyptian life pass you by on the banks of the river.
After breakfast onboard the boat you will begin your sightseeing again. Your first visit will be to the unfinished tombs at Beni Hassan which demonstrate the transitional period between the Mastaba type tombs of the Old Kingdom and the deep cut tombs which you’ll see later in the tour in the Valley of the Kings. After returning to the ship you’ll sail a little further south to Abu Korkas to visit Tuna al Gabel where you can see the Tomb of Petosiris which is a fusion of Greek and Egyptian styles. You also visit the ruins of Hermopolis which is where the Ancient Egyptians believed creation began. You will rejoin the boat in Malawy and continue sailing towards Tel el Amarna.
After breakfast you will visit the fabled city of Tel el Amarna. This ancient city was once known as Akhenaten, while its modern day name comes from the nearby village of El-Till and the name of a local Bedouin tribe. The ancient Egyptian name Akhenaten means ‘the horizon of the solar disk’. The Pharaoh Akhenaten moved the capital of Egypt to this place as an offering to his god Aton, after he established monotheism in Egypt. After his death his son Tutankhamun moved the capital back to Thebes and re-established polytheism much to the delight of the Egyptian population. Akhenaten was then abandoned and almost forgotten. Today, archaeologists are still working in the area to discover what treasures may still be hidden. After spending time exploring the ruins of Tel el Amarna you will return to the ship and continue sailing south to Assiut.
You will spend today onboard the ship sailing through Sohag and on to El Balyana which is located a few kilometers from the temple of Abydos which you will visit tomorrow.
Today’s tour begins with a short drive to Abydos, home to the legend of Osiris. The ancient Egyptians believed that it was at Abydos where Osiris was resurrected after he was killed by his brother Seth, he was then given powers to become the lord of the Afterlife. Whilst here you’ll also see the temple of Seti I, who founded Abydos. The temple was completed by his son Ramses II. Leaving Abydos behind we drive to Dendera which is dedicated to Hathor, the goddess of joy, dance. and love. Hathor was also believed to have had healing powers and ancient Egyptians often brought the sick here to be cured. After time exploring the temple you will journey to Nag Hammadi to rejoin the boat. You have now reached the northernmost point that cruise boats have been able to sail over the last few years, and will start passing more and more boats on the river as you reach the heart of Upper Egypt between Luxor and Aswan.
Luxor is rightly known as the world’s largest outdoor museum, and this morning we start our visits on the West Bank of the Nile, exploring Pharaonic tombs in the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, Queen Hatchepsut’s beautiful temple and the Colossi of Memnon. Time permitting we may also visit the lesser known temple of Medinat Habu. In the afternoon you’ll have some free time to begin exploring the East Bank of the Nile and the centre of Luxor.
Today’s extra options include a spectacular hot air balloon flight over the West Bank of the Nile, and a visit to Karnak Temple in the evening for an atmospheric and informative Sound and Light show.
After breakfast onboard the boat you begin today by visiting the huge temple complex at Karnak and also Luxor temple in the centre of town. In ancient times these two temples were linked by an enormous avenue of Sphinxes, much of this avenue has recently been restored as you will see.
You have a little more free time in Luxor before the boat begins to sail further south towards Esna.
We visit Edfu temple this morning which is dedicated to the god Horus. Edfu Temple is often regarded as the best preserved temple in Egypt so this visit isn’t to be missed!
Later in the day we’ll sail a little further south to Komombo where we’ll spend the night onboard.
Today begins with a visit to the unusual double temple of Komombo, dedicated to the gods Sobek and Horus. The unusual design of the temple means that everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis. A few of the 300 mummified crocodiles discovered in the area are on display at the temple.
After your tour of Komombo you’ll continue on to Aswan where you’ll take a boat trip to the beautiful island temple of Philae, along with tours to the visit the Unfinished Obelisk and the gigantic Aswan Dam.
The Nile is at its most picturesque in Aswan, and we have this morning free to explore the town, its markets, and to walk along the Corniche or visit the Nubian Museum. In the afternoon we take a felucca sailboat trip around Kitchener and Elephantine islands.
You also have the option this morning to visit the spectacular temples to Ramses II at Abu Simbel.
After checking out from your hotel this morning you’ll transfer to Aswan airport for your final departure.
If you would like to spend longer in Egypt we can organise additional nights in Aswan, a Red Sea extension, or a safari into the country’s western deserts.
This tour uses the M/S Jaz Royale Nile Cruiser, one of the very first boats to obtain permission to operate this route. The M/S Jaz Royale has an Egyptian 5-star-deluxe rating.
"The crew were tops! Very knowledgable and helpful in everything and being so down to earth! the layout of the truck alone puts all other overland trucks to shame. I had comments from people on the other tours and they all said they were very jealous of our truck. i have enjoyed my time immensely... would do it all over again!"
Ms. Adele Samuel (Istanbul to Cairo - overland expedition)
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