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Day 1: Cairo Welcome to Cairo! Arrive in the Egyptian capital of Cairo. Our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Cairo After a morning briefing, enjoy a full-day tour, beginning with the acclaimed Egyptian Museum, the world’s greatest repository of ancient relics. Then visit the Citadel of Saladin, housing the alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Cairo. B/L/D
Day 3: Cairo Today’s tour starts at the open-air museum at Memphis, Egypt’s first capital (early 4th century BCE). Here, encounter the enigmatic Sphinx, whose leonine body and human face were carved from a single piece of limestone. Continue on to the necropolis at Sakkara, then to the astounding Pyramids of Giza, the wonders of antiquity that have drawn visitors for millennia. Overnight in Cairo. B/L
Day 4: Cairo/Abu Simbel/Embark Lake Nasser Cruise Ship Early this morning we fly south to Aswan then continue by coach across the edge of the Sahara to Abu Simbel. We board our deluxe cruise ship in time for lunch, then visit the temples and colossal 65-foot high statues of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari that were dismantled and moved to higher ground during the construction of the Aswan dam. Tonight we watch a dramatic sound-and-light show at Abu Simbel. B/L/D
Day 5: Lake Nasser Cruising – Kasr Ibrim/Amada/ Wadi el-Seboua Early risers can watch the sun climb over the temples at Abu Simbel before we sail to Kasr Ibrim, the last remaining Nubian settlement in its original location. From the Sun Deck we learn about this ancient site (it’s forbidden to go ashore here) then sail to Amada, followed by Wadi el-Seboua. B/L/D
Day 6: Lake Nasser Cruising – Valley of the Lions/Aswan This morning you will visit the striking avenue of sphinxes at Wadi el-Seboua’s “Valley of the Lions,” then cruise to Aswan. Overnight on board the cruise ship. B/L/D
Day 7: Disembark/Aswan/Embark Nile Cruise Ship We set out early this morning to visit “new” Kalabsha, site of the largest freestanding Nubian temple, which was relocated here for the construction of the Aswan Dam. We return to our ship for breakfast then bid farewell to the crew as we embark on a tour of the Aswan High Dam. Next we visit the imposing temple to Isis on Agilkia island before boarding our Nile cruise ship. This afternoon we board small feluccas, replicas of ancient Nile sailboats, for a relaxing afternoon sail. After returning to our ship, tonight we enjoy the Captain’s welcome cocktail party. B/L/D
Day 8 Nile Cruising – Kom Ombo/Edfu/Luxor This morning we visit the ancient trading town of Kom Ombo, with outstanding Nile views from the Temple of Sobek. After returning to our ship, we sail on to Edfu, where we visit the Temple of Horus, Egypt’s best-preserved temple (built between 237 bce–57 bce). We return to our ship for lunch as we sail to Luxor (our final sail), enjoying a quiet afternoon on the Nile. A belly dance performance accompanies dinner tonight. B/L/D
Day 9: Nile Cruising – Luxor/West Bank We have the option to rise very early to see the West Bank of “the world’s greatest open air museum,” as Luxor has been called, from above on an optional hot-air balloon excursion. Known in antiquity as Thebes, Luxor boasts vast temple complexes, tombs, and statues dating from 2755 bce that represent the pinnacle of Egyptian architecture. Today we explore the West Bank, site of the haunting Valley of the Kings, where 34 royal tombs feature magnificent paintings; and the Valley of the Queens, whose dramatic Temple of Hatshepsut honors one of the few female pharaohs. We also see the massive Colossi of Memnon, two 64-foot-high statues of Amenhotep III that once guarded the gates of his own tomb. B/L/D
Day 10: Nile Cruising – Luxor/East Bank Today we tour Luxor’s East Bank, home of Karnak, the greatest temple complex of them all, whose ruins stretch for more than a mile to connect with Luxor. Built over a period of 1,500 years, Karnak boasts a breadth and diversity of buildings not seen elsewhere. We also explore Luxor Temple, whose builders included both Tutankhamun and Alexander the Great. Here, at the Great Court of Ramses II, we see the ancient obelisk whose twin presides over Place de la Concorde in Paris. B/L/D
Day 11 Disembark/Luxor Disembark the ship and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon you will tour the Luxor Museum, which houses relics discovered at the site. Overnight in Luxor. B
Day 12 Luxor/Cairo We fly today to Cairo. After checking in at our hotel, we visit the lively Khan el Khalili bazaar. B
Day 13 Cairo This morning we encounter Old Cairo, the district where early capital cities once stood and now only remnants remain. We visit 5th century St. Sergius Church; the Coptic church of el-Mauallaqa, and Ben Ezra Synagogue, built in 882. Mid-day we return to our hotel where tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner. B/D
Day 14 Departure Early this morning we transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S.
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Hotels to be used: