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|DAY 1: Cairo, Aswan, Optional Abu Simbel
Morning flight to Aswan or you may add our OPTIONAL tour (Abu Simbel tour), situated 280km south of Aswan, exploring the magnificent monuments carved into solid rock 3,000 years ago. In a monumental feat of modern engineering, these massive temples were moved to their present location when construction of the Aswan High Dam in 1960 created Lake Nasser and flooded their original location. This extraordinary operation to save one of the world`s greatest treasures took years and the efforts of an international team of engineers and archaeologists. The two temples at Abu Simbel were built by Egypt`s great Pharaoh Ramses II (Egypt`s longest-ruling king) as a tribute to the deities and his favorite wife Nefertari. Four colossal statues, 60 feet high and directly facing the rising sun, are of the pharaoh himself, with his queen and daughters at his feet.
Fly back to Aswan Egypt, upon arrival you will be escorted to your luxury cruise ship where you will spend the next 3 nights / 4 days, after lunch, visit the High Dam, located near Aswan, the world famous High Dam was an engineering miracle when it was built in the 1960s. It contains 18 times the material used in the Great Pyramid of Cheops. The Dam is 11,811 feet long, 3215 feet thick at the base and 364 feet tall. Today it provides irrigation and electricity for the whole of Egypt and, together with the old Aswan Dam built by the British between 1898 and 1902`, 6km down river, wonderful views for visitors.
Continue to the Granite Quarries with the Unfinished Obelisk. Much of the red granite used for ancient temples and colossi came from quarries in the Aswan area. Around these quarries are many inscriptions, many of which describe successful quarrying projects. The Unfinished Obelisk located in the Northern Quarry still lies where a crack was discovered as it was being hewn from the rock. Possibly intended as a companion to the Lateran Obelisk, originally at Karnak but now in Rome, it would have weighed over 2.3 million pounds and would have been the world’s largest piece of stone ever handled. However, a crack in the stone occurred, which caused it to be abandoned.
Our last visit today will be to the Temple of Philae, was dismantled and reassembled (on Agilika Island about 550 meters from its original home on Philae Island) in the wake of the High Dam. The temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis, is in a beautiful setting which has been landscaped to match its original site. ( L, D )
|DAY 2: Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Luxor
Early Sail to Kom Ombo and visit Kom Ombo Temple (the Ptolemaic Temple of Sobek & Haroeries). Located in the town of Kom-Ombo, about 28 miles north of Aswan, the Temple, dating to the Ptolemies, is built on a high dune overlooking the Nile. The actual temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor in the early second century BC. There are also tombs from the Old Kingdom in the vicinity of Kom-Ombo village.
Sail to Edfu & Visit Edfu Temple. Dedicated to Horus, the falcon headed god, it was built during the reigns of six Ptolemies. Sail to Luxor Egypt and overnight in Luxor. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 3: Luxor - West & East Bank
Visit the West Bank necropolis including the Valley of the Kings, with its many tombs chiseled deep into the Cliffside. From the 18th to the 20th Dynasty, the Memphis area and pyramid-style tombs were abandoned in favor of the West Bank of the Nile in Thebes. Several great leaders as well as many less important rulers are buried here, and more tombs are being discovered even today.
Proceed to the funerary temple of Queen Hatshipsut at Deir El Bahari. The mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut is one of the most dramatically situated in the world. The queen`s architect, Senenmut, designed it and set it at the head of a valley overshadowed by the Peak of the Thebes, the "Lover of Silence," where lived the goddess who presided over the necropolis.
Last stop for our morning tour will be at the Colossi of Memnon. Amenhotep III (18th Dynasty) built a mortuary temple in Thebes that was guarded by two gigantic statues on the outer gates. All that remains now are the 23 meter (75 ft) high, one thousand ton statues of Amenhotep III. Though damaged by nature and ancient tourists, the statues are still impressive.
Back to the cruise for lunch, afternoon proceed to your East bank visit of Luxor, visit Karnak Temple. In ancient Egypt, the power of the god Amun of Thebes gradually increased during the early New Kingdom, and after the short persecution led by Akhenaten, it rose to its apex. In the reign of Ramesses III, more than two thirds of the property owned by the temples belonged to Amun, evidenced by the stupendous buildings at Karnak. Although badly ruined, no site in Egypt is more impressive than Karnak. It is the largest temple complex ever built by man.
Continue to visit the Temple of Luxor, built by the two pharaohs, Amenhotep III and Ramses II. Ancient Thebes was a center of festivals, and the Temple of Luxor was the setting for the most important-the festival of Opet, designed to merge the ruler`s human and divine aspects. The temple was dedicated to Amun-Ra, whose marriage to Mut was celebrated annually, when the sacred procession moved by boat from Karnak to Luxor Temple.
Evening, you may choose our optional tour (Sound & Light Show L14 - $40 P.P). Inaugurated in 1972 the Sound and Light Show in the Temple of Karnak begins with a historical introduction covering the birth of the great city of Thebes and the construction of the Temple. Depicting the glorious achievement of the Pharaohs, spectators listen to the lyrical and poetic descriptions of artistic treasures, grand festivals, heroic deeds and literature of the times. Overnight in Luxor Egypt. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 4: Departure
Breakfast, check out and transfer to Luxor airport for your flight. ( B )
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All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability at the time of booking. The from price reflects the lowest available price at time of publication, which is valid for a specific start date or dates and also based on availability at the time of booking.