You will stay in the Saffir Hotel and Iberotel in Cairo and the Basma Hotel in Aswan. All rooms feature private facilities, TV, telephone, air-conditioning and minibar. Hotel facilities include a restaurant and bar.
Your cruise ship will be the MS Jasmin or similar. It is well appointed with comfortable cabins with bathroom and shower. The spacious public areas include a restaurant, lounge area, bar, swimming pool and sundeck. The vessel is fully air-conditioned.
Day 1 : UK/Cairo
Depart on your scheduled flight to Cairo. On arrival transfer to your hotel for a two night stay.
Day 2 : Cairo
Today we include a fascinating full day tour to the legendary Pyramids and the Sphinx. The great Pyramids of Giza stand on a rocky plateau on the western bank of the Nile. They are the most famous, intensely measured, studied and debated monuments in the world and stand as an imperishable landmark to the geometrical accuracy and technical skill that went into their making. As you stand at the foot of any Pyramid, you can’t help but gaze up in awe at their size and stature, as they tower up towards the sky. The Great Pyramid of Cheops alone is constructed from two and a half million hand-carved limestone blocks and reaches a point at 450 feet above the ground. Close to the Pyramids lies the magnificent Sphinx, a huge statue of a recumbent lion with a human head believed to be fashioned in the likeness of the Pharaoh Chephren. During the afternoon we include a trip to the worldfamous Egyptian Museum, which houses the richest store of remains including the treasures from the tombs of Tutankhamen and other Pharaohs. Breakfast included.
Day 3 : Aswan
Early morning transfer to Cairo airport for your flight to Aswan – described by many as the most beautiful of Egypt’s river
cities. During the afternoon you will sail by traditional Felucca around Elephantine Island and past the Mausoleum of Aga Khan. Breakfast included.
Day 4 : Aswan & Abu Simbel
Early this morning, why not join our optional trip by air to Abu Simbel, one of the most spectacular man-made features on earth. This magnificent temple boasts four seated figures of the Pharaoh Ramses II carved out of the rock and standing 60ft high. To avoid being flooded when Lake Nasser was formed by the opening of the Aswan High Dam the temples were moved to higher ground by UNESCO between 1968 and 1972 in an incredible feat of engineering.
Included today is a visit to the Aswan Dam, constructed when Egypt was still a British Protectorate. The 364 foot high walls hold back the 300 mile long body of water that is Lake Nasser, the world’s largest reservoir. You will also visit the Unfinished Obelisk and the Philae Temple, silhouetted against volcanic rocks, and built in honour of the Goddess Isis, who was worshipped by all.
You will then transfer to your river cruise ship for a magical stay on the Nile. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 5 : Kom Ombo
After breakfast we include a visit to the Temple of Kom Ombo, set high on a bluff on a bend in the Nile and dedicated to Sobek the Crocodile God and Horus the Hawk God. The walls of the temple are covered with amazing hieroglyphics and carvings, which show the Egyptians knew much about medicine, used a 30 day/12 month calendar and produced perfumes. You will then sail to Edfu to see the 2,000-year old Ptolemaic Temple with its incredible frescoes, dedicated to the god, Horus, and perhaps the best preserved in Egypt. Work on the temple began in the year 237 BC and there is a spectacular view across the site from the top of 118 foot high, intricately carved pylon. Rejoining the river cruiser, you will sail on to ancient Thebes, known today as Luxor, where your ship will berth overnight. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 6 : Luxor
Luxor is a huge open-air museum set on both sides of the Nile. Here you will find an awe-inspiring collection of ancient monuments. During the afternoon you will visit the Temple of Karnak and the Luxor Temple. Dedicated to the creator god Amun, Luxor was originally linked to Karnak, the oldest, largest and most imposing Pharonic temple complex famous for its complex of pillared halls, one of which has 134 gigantic columns. Highlights include the Avenue of Sphinxes, monumental
Great Hypostyle Hall and Queen Hatsheput’s pink granite obelisk. According to legend, a wish made beside the sacred lake is certain to come true.
You will also visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, dedicated to the cow-eared goddess Hathor and the highlight of today, the fabulous Valley of the Kings. So far, 64 Pharaohs’ tombs have been excavated, including Tutankhaman’s burial chamber discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. Vivid carvings and paintings depict the religious rituals and earthly goods needed by deceased Pharaohs in the afterlife. Breakfast is included.
Day 7 : Cairo
This morning we transfer to the airport for your flight to Cairo. On arrival transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay. Breakfast is included.
Day 8 : Cairo/UK
Transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK. Breakfast is included.