This is the tour we recommend for those who participated in our last tour, or have been to Egypt before. Hitting some of the most popular highlights, but going beyond the ordinary for some new experiences.
January 13, 2007, Cairo
A full day comprehensive tour begins at 08:30 after breakfast, when you'll board your luxury motor coach to begin a magical day starting with the Pyramids at Abusir. Then marvel at the five Pyramids at Dahshur, a site that has fewer tourists than the Pyramids at Giza, and is considered one of the best places to see large Pyramids in Egypt. The Bent Pyramid and the Red (northern) Pyramid are but a few of the exciting sites which you will explore.
Spend some time this afternoon perusing the shops at Kardassa village before we transfer at 19:30 to board our overnight train to Aswan.
Dinner and overnight onboard train in Aswan. [B, D]
January 14, 2007, Aswan
After breakfast we arrive in Aswan and transfer onboard your luxury 5-star cruise ship. Before lunch onboard, you may choose to take a dip in the ship's pool, have a quick nap, or start early enjoying some free time exploring Aswan. Aswan is Egypt 's southernmost city which has long been Egypt's gateway to Africa. It was a prosperous market city on the crossroads of the ancient caravan routes.
Starting at 13:00 enjoy a guided tour of Aswan including Temple of Philae and the Unfinished Obelisk. Afterwards, you'll enjoy the unique experience of sailing in an Egyptian Felucca sailing boat on the Nile. Stop in at Garb Aswan to visit the Nubian villages for lunch and perhaps the unique experience of a camel ride. You'll float around Elephantine Island, pass lovely botanical gardens and have a fabulous view of the famous Agha Khan mausoleum, which is now a national monument.
You may like to visit El Souk this evening. Our special entertainment tonight is a Nubian dance show on the Corniche.
Dinner and overnight onboard in Awsan. [B, L, D]
January 15, 2007, Aswan / Edfu
For those are interested to add the special tour to Abu Simbel, (which is optional and must be booked in advance - rate including is $70 Cdn per person by bus) you will depart this morning early (at 04:00 ) for your ride to Abu Simbel. This special tour takes you to one of the most spectacular monuments in Egyptian history. With its mighty statures of Ramses himself, the Great Temple of Ramses II is truly magnificent. Overlooking the expanse of Lake Nasser, it presents a truly unique example of the power and beauty of Egyptian culture. As you return to Aswan, you will also see the sites of Aswan before returning to the ship for lunch at 15:00. We set sail for Edfu this afternoon.
For those who do NOT take the tour to Abu Simbel, enjoy some leisure time onboard your cruise, or take in the sights of Aswan on your own.
You'll enjoy lunch on board the ship as we set sail for Edfu where you will visit and visit the Temple of Edfu, dedicated to the "falcon-headed" god Horus. At every port, your Egyptologist guides will amaze you with their expertise and informative dialogue about the history of each magnificent site you will visit with them.
Khariyya Maazin and her musicians will join you on your cruise in Edfu, and will be available for dance lessons and entertainment as you continue to sail to Esna tonight.
Overnight on board cruise ship. [B, L, D]
January 16, 2007, Esna / Luxor / Dendera
After breakfast, visit temple dedicated to the god Khnum, "the Great Potter", creator of people, sculpting them from clay. Then, have a quick visit to the covered market , where one can purchase locally woven fabrics. Afterwards, board your ship to cross through the "Lock of Esna" which is a very interesting experience.
Lunch onboard as we continue to Luxor this afternoon.
In Luxor you will see The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir El-Bahari, Valley of Kings. Karnak & Luxor Temples. Then, a visit the Mummification museum before returning to your ship to freshen up.
This evening, you can rest, or choose to explore the shopping and sights of Luxor with a Calesh (horse drawn carriage) ride; but be back before midnight, when we set sail towards Dendera.
Overnight on board cruise ship. [B, L, D]
January 17, 2007, Dendera / Safaga
Transfer your baggage from the ship to the bus this morning before we visit the Temple of Dendera. Even though most of the monuments at this site were built during the Greek-Roman Period, the origins of the temple can be dated at least to the time of Pepi I of the 6th Dynasty. Within the complex walls can be found: the temple of the goddess Hathor, the goddess of love, music, wine and procreation; two birth houses; a Coptic Basilica; a sanatorium; a sacred lake, and a temple to Isis.
In the afternoon, enjoy the scenery that passes by as your bus takes you to Safaga. We will visit Mons Claudianus is at the foot of Jebel Fatira and see what remains of the Roman Penal Colony, where Quartzy diorite (a high quality granite) was mined as building materials for the Roman Empire. Then, dip into the hot springs, which where used in a complex underground heating system for the sweating baths.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Safaga. [B, D]
January 18, 2007, Safaga / Hurghada
Morning and afternoon at leisure exploring the town, resting on the pristine black sand beach, diving near the coral reefs, or bathing in the curative hot springs in Safaga.
In the evening transfer to Hurghada, once a simple fishing village with its crystal clear water and more than 20 kilometers of pristine beaches. Hurghada has become the foremost tourist resort of the Red Sea coast and an international center for aquatic sports. If it takes place in or on the water, you can do it here: windsurfing, sailing, deep-sea fishing, swimming, and, above all, snorkeling and diving. The unique underwater gardens offshore are some of the finest in the world. Your deluxe hotel is located on the beach and offers all the conveniences and services you would expect in a world-class resort.
Overnight at hotel in Hurghada. [B, D]
January 19, 2007, Hurghada
Day at leisure for sunning, shopping, snorkeling, or other water sports.
Enjoy dinner at your hotel or explore the many restaurants on your own for dinner this evening, and then perhaps take in a bit of nightlife at one of the many clubs.
Dinner and overnight in Hurghada. [B, D]
January 20, 2007, Hurghada / Ain Sukhna
Morning at leisure in Hurghada.
Depart this afternoon for Ain Sukhna. Arabic for "hot spring", Ain Sukhna was named after the nearby sulfur springs which originate at Gebel Ataka, the northern most mountain in the Eastern Desert. Located on the Gulf of Suez in the Red Sea, this popular resort has pristine beaches and crystal clear water and boasts one of the largest and finest spa and therapeutic centers in the whole Middle-East. You may choose to pamper yourself with some spa treatments this afternoon.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Ain Sukhna. [B, D]
January 21, 2007, Ain Sukhna
This morning after breakfast, we will see the Suez Canal and the Eastern Desert Monasteries. St. Anthony's in the Eastern Desert is significant as the world's oldest functioning monastery founded in honor of the Saint and is given credit for founding monasticism.
Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure, resting on the beach or exploring the shops in Ain Sukhna.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Ain Sukhna. [B, D]
January 22, 2007, Ain Sukhna
Day and evening at leisure in Ain Sukhna. Dinner and overnight in Ain Sukhna. [B, D]
January 23, 2007, Ain Sukhna / Cairo
One last morning on the beach before we board our bus to take us back to Cairo.
Upon your afternoon arrival you will be transferred to [your hotel] in Heliopolis the very affluent area of Cairo, called "city of the sun".
The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to relax or head to your favourite Cairo attraction.
You may choose to go out on your own to see a dance show this evening.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Cairo. [B,D]
January 24, 2007, Cairo (Alexandria option)
Day at leasure. Shopaholics may wish to rush back on their own to Khan El Khalili for more souvenir hunting or costume shopping, perhaps another visit to the costume designers, discover the music shops of Mohamed Ali street, or simply explore the many shops near your hotel. Those who have fulfilled all their shopping need may instead choose to or just relax by the poolside at your hotel. Those hungry for more dancing may want to book a private class (arrange in advance) this afternoon with one of Cairo's many dance teachers, or you may choose to go on your own to visit the Egyptian Museum, home to some of the most fascinating artifacts you will ever see. The options are endless in Cairo!
Instead, you may wish to join the optional tour to Alexandria for $100 Cdn per person, including lunch. Alexandria, the second largest city in Egypt, is known as "The Pearl of the Mediterranean". The atmosphere is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern; its ambience and cultural heritage distance it from the rest of the country although it is actually only 225 km from Cairo. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria became the capital of Graeco-Roman Egypt. Then visiting Fort Qaitbey (The Citadel of Qaitbey), the island of Pharos was a major port having two huge harbors, then "pearl of the Mediterranean," to explore the Alexandria National Museum and the Catacombs of Kom El Shugafa. After lunch, visit the Bibliotheca Alexandria, built on the believed site of the old Library of Alexandria before returning to Cairo in the early evening.
Choose betweenn the comfort of your hotel for dinner, or one of Cairo 's many restaurants for dinner tonight. [B, D]
January 25, 2007, Cairo
Enjoy your day at your leisure, picking up your costume orders, returning to Khan El Khalili and other shops one last time, or just relaxing by the poolside at your hotel.
In the afternoon you may join the tour of Old Cairo, including the Hanging church, Citadel of Saladin & Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali situated on a spur of the Muqattam Hills.
In the evening you may choose between cramming in your last chance of Cairo nightlife, or pack your luggage and rest early tonight; you fly home tomorrow.
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Cairo. [B, D]
January 26, 2007, Cairo-Home
This morning you will transfer to Cairo airport for final departure home. [B]