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|DAY 1: Monday - Cairo, Luxor East Bank (Optional Sound & Light Show)
Embarkation before lunch at 11:00 am. After Lunch, 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, and represents the combined achievement of many generations of ancient builders.
The Temple of Karnak is actually three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples located about three kilometers north of Luxor, Egypt situated on 100 ha (247 acres) of land. Karnak is actually the sites modern name. Its ancient name was Ipet-isut, meaning "The Most Select (or Sacred) of Places". This vast complex was built and enlarged over a thirteen hundred year period. The three main temples of Mut, Montu and Amun are enclosed by enormous brick walls.
Proceed 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.
Afternoon tea. Dinner on board. Free at Leisure. evening optional (Sound & Light Show L14 - $40 P.P) overnight in Luxor. ( L, D )
|DAY 2: Tuesday - Luxor, Esna
Breakfast on board. Visit the West Bank, starting with 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. This is where Howard Carter discovered the treasures of Tutankhamen and was struck dumb with amazement when he be held its wonderful things in 1922.
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 the goddess who presided over the necropolis lived.
Last stop 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. Sail to Esna at 13:00. Afternoon Tea. Captain`s welcome cocktail. Dinner on board, Folkloric Show (Rababa Show). Overnight in Esna. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 3: Wednesday - Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo
Sail to Edfu at 5:00. Breakfast on board. Visit Horus Temple in Edfu, also known as the Temple of Horus, the falcon-god, (237 B.C.) considered the best-preserved temple in Ancient Egypt and the second largest after the Temple of Karnak. Dedicated to Horus, the falcon headed god, it was built during the reigns of six Ptolemies. We have a great deal of information about its construction from reliefs on outer areas. It was begun in 237 BC by Ptolemy III Euergetes I and was finished in 57 BC. Most of the work continued throughout this period with a brief interlude of 20 years while there was unrest during the period of Ptolemy IV and Ptolemy V Epiphanes. This is not only the best preserved ancient temple in Egypt, but the second largest after Karnak. It was believed that the temple was built on the site of the great battle between Horus and Seth. Hence, the current temple was but the last in a long series of temples build on this location.
Sail to Kom Ombo. Lunch on board. Afternoon Tea. Visit the Temple shared by Two gods Sobek & Haeroris in Kom Ombo (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. Ptolemy XIII built the outer and inner hypostyle halls. The outer enclosure wall and part of the court were built by Augustus sometime after 30 BC, and are mostly gone. There are also tombs from the Old Kingdom in the vicinity of Kom-Ombo village. Dinner on board, Egyptian Galabya party. Overnight in Kom Ombo. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 4: Thursday - Aswan (Optional Sound & Light Show at Philae)
Sail to Aswan Egypt. Breakfast on board. Visit the Aswan High Dam, Located near Aswan Egypt, 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. From the top of the two Mile long High Dam you can gaze across Lake Nassar, the huge reservoir created when it was built, to Kalabsha temple in the south and the huge power station to the north.
Proceed to 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. Tools left by its builders have given us much insight into how such work was performed. The site has recently been renovated and equipped with tourist facilities.
Last stop will be at the Philae Temple Philae Temple 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. Its various shrines and sanctuaries, which include The Vestibule of Nectanebos I which is used as the entrance to the island, the Temple of the Emperor Hadrian, a Temple of Hathor, Trajans Kiosk (Pharaohs Bed), a birth house and two pylons celebrate all the deities involved in the Isis and Osiris myth. The Victorian world fell in love with the romance of the Temple
Lunch on board, Sail on the Nile by Felucca around Kitchener`s Island. Afternoon Tea. Dinner on board. Belly Dance and Egyptian Folkloric Show. Overnight in Aswan. Evening, Optional Sound & Light Show at Philae Temple. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 5: Friday - Aswan, Optional Abu Simbel, Cairo
After breakfast, check out and transfer to Aswan airport for your flight back to Cairo, or you may choose our optional tour (Abu Simbel tour) Situated 280km south of Aswan Egypt. Exploring the magnificent ancient Egypt 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. More tremendous statues surround you as you enter the temple. And in the very depths of the temple, Ramses sits in state flanked by the gods to whom the construction is dedicated. Fly to Cairo. ( B )
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