|DAY 1: Wed - Depart USA
Board your international flight to Cairo and begin your journey back in time to this charming, ancient land.
|DAY 2: Thu - Arrive Cairo, Sound & Light Show
Arrival in the Land of the Pharaohs, at Cairo International airport, your Representative will be waiting for you after you get your luggage and clear customs, then escorted to your hotel. A short meeting with your tour host at the hotel lobby with soft drink to brief you about your daily itinerary.
Evening, transfer to the Pyramids area to attend the Sound and Light Show displayed at the Giza Pyramids was inaugurated in April of 1961. With the narrative voice of the late Richard Burton, magnificent sound and lighting effects, the show begins with the narrative of the Sphinx, who has been the guardian of the city of the dead for five thousand years. Overseeing the building of the three pyramids, the Sphinx reflects on the historical contributions of Thutmosis IV, Akhnaten, Nefertiti and Tutankhamon, back to our hotel for overnight.
|DAY 3: Fri - Cairo, Optional Dahshour Pyramids
Free day to balance from your international flight, or you may join our optional Half Day Dahshour Pyramids (C49). Located in South Saqqara stand the pyramids of Dhashur. The Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid are about 2 km south of the Mastaba Faraoun. The constructor of these pyramids is thought to have been Snofru (2575 - 2551 BC), who was the first ruler of the 4th Dynasty. Snofru built these two pyramids and is thought to have built the pyramid at Maidoun. His son was Cheops who continued his constructive tendencies. The Red Pyramid is thought to be older and is the only one that can be entered at this time. The Bent Pyramid was built out of limestone which was quarried locally. The casing was of polished Turah limestone. This pyramid is also known as the Southern Shining Pyramid. The casing blocks are very stable and very difficult to remove because they slope inwards. The base of the pyramid is 188.6m and is 105m high. Because of the bend in construction, the original angle would have made it 128.5m high. ( B )
|DAY 4: Sat - Cairo City Tour
Start your day with a guided tour of the Egyptian Museum you`ll stroll through the halls highlighting each historical period of this ancient land, Marvel at the glittering treasures of King Tutankhamen, unparalleled in their variety, exquisite beauty, and sheer weight in gold. Seeing this treasure of more than 1,700 fabulous items buried with a young and relatively unimportant king, who can even imagine what the tombs of great and long-lived pharaohs must have contained? You may want to enter the Royal Mummies room for an additional fee and view the "sleeping" Kings of ancient Egypt.
After lunch, drive to the Citadel of Mohamed Ali, also known as the Fortress of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi), built in 1183 and overlooking the city from the Muqattam Hills. The structure, with its domes and minarets, looks over a number of important buildings, including the Alabaster Mosque. Its domed interior, used by Moslems for daily prayers, is a spectacular sight of twinkling lights and beautiful mosaics.
Proceed to Old Cairo explore some of the early religious monuments of the city. You`ll visit the El Muallaqa, dating to the late fourth and early fifth century. This basilica was named for its location on top of the south gate of the Fortress of Babylon. Muallaqa means "suspended or hanging." Destroyed in a ninth-century earthquake, the church became the center of the Coptic (or Christian) Church of Egypt from the time it was rebuilt in the eleventh century until the 14th century. Make a stop at the Ben Ezra Synagogue, built sometime between the sixth and ninth centuries AD. The temple contains a Jewish Heritage Library, containing documents found here in 1896 that describe the economic and social conditions of Jews under Arab rule as well as descriptions of relations between various Jewish sects.
End the day with a walking tour of the largest 13th century covered oriental market, the largest traditional shopping bazaar in the world, the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar. In the tiny alleyways, there are hundreds of shops where you can watch gold and coppersmiths, brass makers, and fortunetellers at work. Look also for leather goods and woodwork inlaid with camel bone and mother-of-pearl. Bargaining, Arab-style, is the norm here, and practiced as a national pastime. ( B, L )
|DAY 5: Sun - Cairo, Pyramids Tour
Drive to the Giza Plateau, home of Egypt’s signature attractions, the Great Pyramids, proclaimed by the Greeks to be among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. The largest among these is the Great Pyramid of Cheops, probably built more than 2,600 years before the time of Christ. Standing 480 feet tall this is the last of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world that still standing. Little is known of Cheops, you`ll also see the inscrutable and mysterious Sphinx, known in Arabic as Abu al-Hol ("the Father of Terror") and carved almost entirely from one piece of limestone.
After lunch, continue to Memphis & Sakkara. Memphis, founded around 3,100 BC, is the legendary city of Menes, the King who united Upper and Lower Egypt. Early on, Memphis was more likely a fortress from which Menes controlled the land and water routes between Upper Egypt and the Delta. Having probably originated in Upper Egypt, from Memphis he could control the conquered people of Lower Egypt. However, by the Third Dynasty, the building at Saqqara suggests that Memphis had become a sizable city. Proceed to Sakkara site, Sakkara is one section of the great necropolis of Memphis, the Old Kingdom capital and the kings of the 1st Dynasty as well as that of the 2nd Dynasty. are mostly buried in this section of the Memphis necropolis. It has been of constant interest to Egyptologists. Three major discoveries have recently been made at Sakkara, including a prime minister’s tomb, a queen’s pyramid, and the tomb of the son of a dynasty-founding king. Each discovery has a fascinating story, with many adventures for the archaeologists as they revealed the secrets of the past. ( B, L )
|DAY 6: Mon - Cairo, Luxor, Sound & Light Show
Early morning flight to Luxor, upon arrival transfer to your luxury Nile Cruise where you will spend the next 4 nights / 5 days. 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. Evening enjoy the Sound & Light Show at Karnack Temple, overnight in Luxor. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 7: Tue - Luxor West Bank
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 queens 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, rest of the day to relax on your boat, overnight in Luxor. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 8: Wed - Luxor, Edfu, Kom Ombo
Early morning, start sailing to Edfu and Visit Edfu Temple, 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 and Overnight in Kom Ombo. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 9: Thu - Kom Ombo, Aswan
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. 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.
Sail to Aswan and 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. 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. But at night you can also visit the Sound and Light Show, a magical experience. Sail around The Botanical Garden by Felucca, overnight in Aswan. ( B, L, D )
|DAY 10: Fri - Aswan, Cairo, Optional Abu Simbel Trip
After breakfast, check out and transfer to Aswan airport for your flight to Cairo, Or you may choose our optional tour to Abu Simbel, 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. 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 via Aswan, arrival and transfer to your hotel. ( B )
|DAY 11: Sat - Cairo, Optional Alexandria Tour
Free day at your leisure, or choose our optional tour (Full Day Alexandria with Library - C43 - $130 P.P). Start your over day excursion to Alexandria by private car & accompanied by an English speaking Egyptologist: Visit National Museum, Catacomb. Stop for lunch, and then explore the well-preserved ruins of the Roman amphitheater, which in Ptolemaic times was part of a vast pleasure garden known as the Park of Pan. Built between the second and fourth centuries A.D., it is the only known Roman theater remaining in Egypt. Continue on to the Alexandria Library. Alexandria’s ancient library was the most famous in all antiquity, attracting scholars from all over the ancient world it was here that Euclid discovered geometry, and Eratosthenes measured the earth’s circumference. After lunch at a local restaurant, see Fort of Qaitbey from the outside. In 1480, the sultan Qaitbey built the fort on the site of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, transfer back to Cairo. ( B )
|DAY 12: Sun - Departure
After breakfast, transfer to Cairo International Airport for your departure flight. ( B )
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