Egypt & the Nile (2014)
Luxury Small Group Journeys: The finest small-group travel experience
This itinerary is available as an independent journey led by local guides.
- Day 1: Arrive Cairo, Egypt
Arrive in Cairo where you are met by your A&K representative and transferred to your grand hotel with fantastic views of the pyramids, which you explore tomorrow.Mena House Hotel
- Day 2: Giza | The Pyramids & Sphinx
Embark on a tour of the Giza Plateau, site of the ancient pyramids of Mycerinus, Chefren and the Great Pyramid of Cheops. Cheops, the largest of the three and known as the Great Pyramid, was built in the Fourth Dynasty (approximately 2690 BC) and is the oldest and only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Explore the interiors of these legendary pyramids. Ride Like a Local on camelback before continuing to the Solar Boat Museum, site of Cheops’ funerary boat, and the enigmatic lion-man figure known as the Great Sphinx. Tonight, gather with fellow guests at an A&K-hosted welcome dinner.Mena House Hotel | Meals: B D
- Day 3: Cairo | Legendary Pharaohs
Visit the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities which houses over 12,000 ancient Egyptian relics, including treasures from Tutankhamun and artifacts dating back to 4000 BC. The museum’s most fascinating exhibit is its famous Mummy Room, where you find the remains of ancient Egypt’s pharaohs and nobility, including Ramses II. After lunch, drive to Memphis, capital of the ancient kingdom. Most of the splendor of this city has been destroyed, but the 18th-Dynasty Alabaster Sphinx and the enormous statue of Ramses II still remain. Continue to Sakkara, home to hundreds of tombs and 14 pyramids, including the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser. Built by Pharaoh Djoser during his 19-year reign, it stands at 204 feet and was the largest building of its time.Mena House Hotel | Meals: B L
- Day 4: Luxor | Karnak and the Valley of the Kings
Fly to Luxor and journey to the Temple of Karnak. Walk through the Great Hypostyle Hall, its expertly aligned columns a sight to behold. Board Sanctuary ‘Sun Boat IV’ and enjoy lunch onboard. Afterward, explore the west bank of the Nile and the Necropolis of Thebes, the burial site of the Great Pharaohs of the New Kingdom. Discover the Valley of the Kings, the legendary burial ground of the pharaohs, and step inside the tomb of Tutankhamun. Later, explore the lovely Temple of Hatshepsut, ancient Egypt’s first female pharaoh, and visit the Valley of the Queens (Biban el-Harim).Sanctuary 'Sun Boat IV' | Meals: B L D
- Day 5: Cruising the Nile | Temple of Hathor at Denderah
Today you cruise north on a scenic route — far from other ships and crowds — to the Temple of Hathor at Denderah, which is among the best-preserved temples in Egypt. This complex is a rare sight to behold, complete with a massive stone roof, dark chambers, underground passages and columns inscribed with hieroglyphs. From here, return to your deluxe Nile cruiser and sail back to Luxor. Later this afternoon, journey once again to the East Bank of the Nile, this time visiting the city of Thebes and the striking Temple of Luxor. Along the front of the temple pylons, there were six large statues of Ramses II (of which three remain), while behind the East Tower, inside the Courtyard of Ramses II, is a mosque built over a portion of the temple. The Colonnade of Amenhotep III contains 14 papyrus-headed columns, some fully 50 feet in height and 32 feet in circumference, leading to the Court of Amenhotep III.Sanctuary 'Sun Boat IV' | Meals: B L D
- Day 6: Cruising the Nile | Edfu to Kom Ombo
Continue cruising to Edfu and to the Temple of Horus, the falcon-headed god. Built in 230 BC by Ptolemy III and spending much of the modern era buried in sand and debris, this stunningly well-preserved and colorful structure reveals what temple worship in ancient Egypt was like. Join your chef onboard for a local cooking lesson. Later, disembark at Kom Ombo (hill of gold) to visit the Greco-Roman temple dedicated to Haroeris (the sun god) and Sobek (the crocodile god). The temple was so dedicated because crocodiles once basked on this stretch of Nile shore; inside, find several of these mummified crocodiles on display.Sanctuary 'Sun Boat IV' | Meals: B L D
- Day 7: Aswan | Majestic Philae
Today, cruise to Aswan and ride a motorized boat to Philae Temple on the island of Agilika, painstakingly moved and reconstructed here to avoid flood damage from Aswan’s High Dam. Afterward, continue to the impressive granite quarries and site of the Unfinished Obelisk. Illustrating the skills of Egypt’s stonemasons, this monolith structures measures one-third taller than any other ancient Egyptian obelisk — even in its unfinished state. End the day sailing around the Aswan islands like a local in a felucca (small sailboat), weather permitting.Sanctuary 'Sun Boat IV' | Meals: B L D
- Day 8: Abu Simbel | Temples of Ramses II & Nefertari
Bid farewell to ‘Sun Boat IV’ and disembark to catch your flight to Abu Simbel. There, discover the site of the commanding twin temples of Ramses II, Egypt's longest-ruling pharaoh, and his wife, Queen Nefertari. The former’s façade is dominated by four imposing statues of the pharaoh. All four towering sculptures — each nearly 70 feet tall — are impressive enough; but perhaps more astonishing is the fact that this entire site was disassembled and moved to its present location to save it from the floodwaters of the Aswan High Dam. Afterward, return to Cairo for an afternoon at leisure.Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence | Meals: B L
- Day 9: Cairo | Bustling Souk
Walk from Bab el-Fotouh to Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, one of the city's major souks (open-air marketplace), where tightly packed stalls display everything from spices and leather goods to jewelry and birds, and all on a street that has hardly changed for centuries. Bargaining is expected, so prepare to negotiate. Explore the Mosque and Madrasa of Sultan Hassan, built in AD 1356. Among the finest examples of early Mamluk architecture, the mosque is one of the largest in the world.Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence | Meals: B D
- Day 10: Depart Cairo
Board your international departure flight or extend to Jordan.Meals: B
- Jordan Post-Tour Extension
5 days, priced from $1,995; internal air priced from $495.
Available on the Jan 10, Feb 14, May 2, Oct 3, Oct 31 and Dec 19 departures.
DAY 1: Arrive in Amman and tour the Archaeological Museum and Roman Theater. Visit third-century Jerash before transferring to your hotel. Four Seasons Hotel Amman | Meals: L
DAY 2: Visit Madaba and Mount Nebo before taking a dip in the Dead Sea. Mövenpick Resort Petra | Meals: B L
DAY 3: Spend a full day exploring Petra, including its markets, baths, tombs and temples. Mövenpick Resort Petra | Meals: B L
DAY 4: Discover the marvelous mountains, desert vistas and Bedouins of Wadi Rum. Four Seasons Hotel Amman | Meals: B L
DAY 5: Transfer to the airport for your flight home.