Deluxe Tour of Egypt
8 Nights/9 Days
4 nights in Cairo, and a 4 nights Nile Cruise
Upon arrival in Cairo, you will be met by our representative in Egypt and transferred to your hotel for overnight.
Your private Egyptologist tour guide and driver will pick you up and start your tour. Drive to Giza and visit the Pyramids. See the Great Pyramid, a royal burial chamber and the Sphinx. Continue to Memphis, capital of the pharaohs during the Old Kingdom. Visit the recumbent statue of Ramses II and the 80-ton alabaster sphinx, Lunch en route, Continue to Sakara to see the prototype of the pyramids, the Step Pyramid, built for the 3rd Dynasty pharaoh Djoser by the exalted architect Imhotep. Return to Cairo and visit a Papyrus Institute on your way to your hotel for overnight. (B, L)
Drive to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities for a detailed, guided tour.
Among other fascinating exhibits, see the contents of the tomb of Tutankhamen.
Then visit Old Cairo and walk back in time, visiting the Old Coptic Church and the Ben Ezra Synagogue.
Lunch en route, Continue to the Mohamed Ali Mosque and the streets of Khan el Khalili Bazaar. Return to your hotel for overnight. (B, L)
Transfer to Cairo airport for your flight to Aswan, Connect to your flight to Abu Simbel and visit the temples, built over a 25-year span, which are one of the most prodigious feats of engineering in Egypt. The entire complex of temples was moved to its present location 90 feet above its old site to protect it from the rising water of the Nile when the Aswan Dam was built in the early 1960’s.
Fly back to Aswan, where you will be met by Chrismar Travel representative, and transferred to your Nile cruise for lunch. In the afternoon, sail around Elephantine Island on a felucca, the traditional Egyptian sail boat. Elephantine Island is the largest of the Aswan area islands, and is the site of some of the most ancient remains in Egypt, with artifacts dating to pre-dynastic periods. Elephantine is Greek for Elephant. In ancient times, the island was called Abu or Yabu, which also means elephant. The name may indicate that the island was once a center for the trade of ivory.
Continue sailing around Kitchner Island (also known as Lord Kitchner's Botanical Garden, Plant Island, Gizirat al-Nabatat, Plantation Island, or Gizirat al-Bustan). Lord Kitchner moved there after being given the island for his campaigns in the Sudan. He imported plants from around the world to create his famous garden. From the river you have a nice view of the Aga Khan Mausoleum, an elegant pink granite structure built in the late 1950's. Return to your cruise for dinner and overnight in Aswan. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, take a tour of Aswan High Dam, Egypt's contemporary example of building on a monumental scale. Next, proceed to the granite quarries which supplied the ancient Egyptians with most of the hard stone used in pyramids and temples. The quarries still hold the Unfinished Obelisk, possibly intended as a companion to the Lateran Obelisk, originally at Karnak but now in Rome. It would have weighed over 1,100 tons and would have been the world's largest piece of stone ever handled.
Continue by a short motor-boat ride to the Temple of Philae on the island of Agilka. The temple was dedicated to Isis, sister/wife of Osiris and patroness of the Ptolemaic rule. Return to your cruise vessel and sail to Kom Ombo. After lunch on board, visit the Temple of Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of fertility and creator of the world. The temple stands at a bend in the Nile where, in ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the riverbank. Return to your cruise and sail to Edfu, Dinner and overnight on-board the cruise. (B, L, D)
After breakfast on board, set out by horse-drawn carriage to visit the Temple of Horus, the most perfectly preserved of all the Nile temples. Horus, also known as Haroeris, was the falcon-headed solar war god. Sail to Esna, Then cross the lock and sail to Luxor for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
After breakfast onboard, cross to the West Bank of the Nile and visit the wondrous Valley of the Kings, a vast city of the dead where the magnificent tombs of 62 pharaohs have been discovered. The tombs were carved deep into the desert rock, richly decorated and filled with treasures for the afterlife of the pharaohs. Visit several of the tombs. Next, visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. This beautiful monument to the reign of the only female pharaoh rises out of the desert plain in a series of terraces and merges with the sheer limestone cliffs that surround it. On the way back to your Nile cruise vessel; stop at the famed Colossi of Memnon, two 66ft, 1 thousand ton statues of Amenhotep III. These colossal statues were known by the ancient Greeks to emit haunting voices at dawn. Though damaged by nature and ancient tourists, the statues are still impressive, Lunch, dinner and overnight on-board the cruise. (B, L, D)
After breakfast disembark from the ship. To the north of Luxor visit Karnak Temple, called by some "the Temple of Temples." It is the largest place of worship ever built. Its ancient name Ipet-Isut means "the most sacred of places." The temple, or, more correctly, the complex of temples, was built over more than two thousand years by generation after generation of pharaohs. Within the complex, the great "Hypostyle Hall" is an incredible forest of giant pillars covering an area larger than the whole of Notre Dame Cathedral. Proceed to the graceful Temple of Luxor built by Amenhotep III and Ramses II for ritual and festivals and dedicated to the god Amun. Then, you will be transferred to Luxor airport for your flight to Cairo. Upon arrival, you will be met by Chrismar Travel representative and transferred to your hotel for overnight. (B)
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (B)