|DAY 1: Tuesday - Aswan
Early morning flight to Aswan, up on arrival to Aswan airport, our representative will meet and transfer you to your luxury Cruise ship. Check inn by noon time. Lunch on board, than we will start our sightseeing.
Visit the Aswan 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 Aswan High 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.
Then visit 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. Back to our Cruise ship for Dinner and overnight. ( L, D )
|DAY 2: Wednesday - Aswan, Sound & Light Show
After breakfast, Spa time, or you may purchase from the Zahra Cruise the optional tour to Abu Simbel (it is recommended to request this option at the time of booking to secure the airline ticket)
Abu Simbel, situated 280km south of Aswan Egypt, 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. 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.
Back to the Cruise ship for Lunch, afternoon free time to enjoy the Spa on board. After sunset, enjoy the Sound & Light Show. Inaugurated in 1985, Spectators are taken on a Nile cruise to discover the natural beauty of the area all The way to the Philae Island. The show describes the temples with their arcades and inscriptions besides telling the story of how they were rescued and restored. It also deals with the history of Aswan Egypt, The grandeur of Noba, The Sacredness of The Nile and the loyalty and nobility of Isis`s message. Dinner and overnight in Aswan Egypt. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 3: Thursday - Aswan, Kom Ombo, Aswan
Breakfast, sail to Kom Ombo, visit the twin temple of Kom Ombo. 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.
Back the Cruise ship for lunch, Spa Time, afternoon visit the Botanical Garden by felucca, The botanical garden in Aswan is located on the island Bustan which Lord Kitchener was given after a military operation in Sudan. Many of the trees and plants comes from tropical Africa and planted here upon orders from Lord Kitchener.
Return to the cruise ship for Spa Time, evening, Cocktail reception with entertainment on the Mango island, Dinner and overnight in Aswan. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 4: Friday - Aswan, Edfu
Sail to Edfu, Spa Time, Lunch, Spa Time, Visit the Temple of Edfu. 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. Dinner and overnight in Edfu. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 5: Saturday - Luxor, Sound & Light Show
Early morning, sail to Luxor Egypt, breakfast, Spa Time, Lunch, afternoon 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.
Continue to Luxor Museum, Inaugurated in 1975, the museum is housed in a small, purpose-built building. The range of artifacts on display is far more restricted than the country`s main collections in the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo this was, however, deliberate, since the museum prides itself on the quality of the pieces it has, the uncluttered way in which they are displayed, and the clear multilingual labeling used. Among the most striking items on show are grave goods from the tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62) and a collection of 26 exceptionally well preserved New Kingdom statues that were found buried in a cache in nearby Luxor Temple in 1989. The royal mummies of two pharaohs - Ahmose I and Ramesses I - were also put on display in the Luxor Museum in March 2004, as part of the new extension to the museum, which includes a small visitor centre. A major exhibit is a reconstruction of one of the walls of Akhenaten`s temple at Karnak. One of the featured items in the collection is a calcite double statue of the crocodile god Sobek and the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III.
Evening, Spa Time, and enjoy the Sound & Light Show in Luxor Egypt. 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. Dinner and overnight in Luxor Egypt. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 6: Sunday - Luxor, Quina
Breakfast, Transfer to the West Bank, to explore the West Bank of ancient Thebes. Visit Valley of the Kings, with its royal tombs, King Tut`s tomb, Ramses "the Six". 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 beheld its "wonderful things" in 1922.
This is followed by a visit to The temple of Madinat Habu. In ancient times Madinat Habu was known as Djanet and according to ancient belief was the place were Amun first appeared. Both Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III built a temple dedicated to Amun here and Later Rameses III constructed his larger memorial temple on the site. During his time Djanet became the administrative centre of Western Thebes. The whole temple complex was surrounded by a massive fortified enclosure wall, with an unusual gateway at the eastern entrance, known as the pavilion gate. This structure, a copy of a Syrian migdol fortresses is something you would no expect to see in Egypt. Rameses III, a military man probably saw the virtue in such a structure. It is likely Rameses resided here from time to time because a royal palace was attached at the south of the open forecourt of this temple, while priests` dwellings and administrative buildings lay on either side of the temple. Originally a canal with a harbour outside the entrance, connected the temple to the Nile. But this was obliterated by the desert long ago. In later times, because of its strong fortifications, it was the place of refuge during the civil war between the High Priest of Amun at Karnak and the viceroy of Kush. In the period of the Twenty Fifth and Twenty Sixth Dynasties (700 BC) the wives of Amon were worshipped in the Chapels called the Divine Adoratrices of Amun. During the Greek and Roman periods the site was expanded and between the 1st and 9th centuries AD a Coptic city was built and the temple was used as a Christen church.
On the way back stop at the Colossus 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.
At 1:00 p.m. Sail to Quina, Lunch, than Spa Time, Travel to Dendarah, Private visit to the Temple of Dendarah, dedicated to Hathor, Goddess of Music, Love and Joy. Dendarah is located about 60 kilometers north of Luxor Egypt on the west bank of the Nile River opposite the provincial modern town of Qena. Ancient Egyptian Iunet or Tantere, known to the Greeks as Tentyris, was the capital of the 6th nome of Upper Egypt and a town of some importance. Today, we know it as Dendarah, though the population of the town has, since antiquity, moved to Qena across the Nile on the east bank. Now, the ancient temple lies isolated on the desert edge. Along with the temple itself, there is also a necropolis that includes tombs of the Early Dynastic Period, but the most important phase that has been identified was the end of the Old Kingdom and the 1st Intermediate Period. The provinces were virtually autonomous at that time and, although Dendarah was not a leading political force in Upper Egypt, its notables built a number of mastabas of some size, though only one has any decoration apart from stelae and false doors. On the west end of the site are brick-vaulted catacombs of Late Period animal burials, primarily birds and dogs, while cow burials have been found at various points in the necropolis. Of course, this was a significant site for the Hathor cult, whose forms included a cow. Dinner on cruise ship board and overnight. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 7: Monday - Quina, Luxor
Early morning, sail to Luxor, breakfast, visit the West Bank (Valley of the Noble’s tomes, Dier El Madina, which in Arabic means "monastery of the city", was called Pa-demi by the workmen, simply, "the town," though it was also called Set Maa, "the place of truth." is one of the most well-preserved ancient settlements in all Egypt. It lies near Thebes and was a highly skilled community of craftsmen who passed their expertise on from father to son. The community included the workmen and their wives, children and other dependents, as well as coppersmiths, carpenters, potters, basket-makers, and a part-time physician. The workers belonged to what we today would call the middle class, having no royal or noble connections, and much of their work was unglamorous.
Lunch, Spa Time, Visit Luxor Temple 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, farewell Reception with live music at the club lounge. Dinner and overnight in Luxor Egypt. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 8: Tuesday - Luxor, Cairo
Breakfast, disembarkation and transfer to Luxor airport for your flight to Cairo. ( B, L, D )
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