ARRIVE CAIRO, EGYPT
Arrive in Cairo, where you are met and transferred to your luxury Nile River hotel.
CAIRO | ANCIENT ARTIFACTS & A TREASURE HUNT
Explore the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities (or the Grand Egyptian Museum, upon its opening), home to the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, some dating to 4000 BC. View its famed Mummy Room and the remains of Egypt’s pharaohs, including Ramses II. After lunch, continue to the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, a souk (open-air marketplace) where you enjoy a free-wheeling treasure hunt. Tonight, gather for a welcome dinner.
GIZA | THE PYRAMIDS & THE SPHINX
Visit the world-famous pyramids of Giza, built as tombs to the ancient pharaohs and still irresistible to travellers more than 4,000 years later. Don’t miss the chance to climb into one of these pyramids and explore it from the inside. Ride Like a Local on a camel, and then visit the Solar Boat Museum, with its namesake ancient wooden vessel measuring over 140 feet in length, and the enigmatic Great Sphinx.
LUXOR | TEMPLE OF LUXOR & THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS
Fly to Luxor, site of the ancient city of Thebes. Begin your full day of exploring here by visiting the striking Temple of Luxor. Behold the three large statues of Ramses II along the front of the temple pylons; the Courtyard of Ramses II behind the East Tower; and the Colonnade of Amenhotep III, with its 14 papyrus-headed columns, some fully 50 feet in height. Next, step aboard ‘Sanctuary Sun Boat IV’ on the Nile River, where you enjoy lunch and meet your A&K children’s activity coordinator. Later, explore the West Bank and the Valley of the Kings, burial ground of the pharaohs, including “the boy king,” Tutankhamun. Found in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter, Tutankhamun’s tomb is enclosed in 35-century-old walls and delights explorers of all ages. Also visit the tomb of Seti I and the lovely Temple of Hatshepsut, ancient Egypt’s first female pharaoh. Stop for a selfie with the gigantic Colossi of Memnon.
CRUISING THE NILE | LUXOR TO ESNA
Journey once more to the east bank of the Nile, this time with a visit to the Temple of Karnak, where generations of pharaohs wished to record their names. Walk through the Great Hypostyle Hall; its expertly aligned columns, the largest of which is 80 feet high with a 33-foot circumference, are a sight to behold. Later, sail to Esna to visit the Temple of Khnum and marvel at its soaring columns.
CRUISING THE NILE | EDFU TO KOM OMBO
Cruise to Edfu to behold the Temple of Horus. Join your chef and children’s activity coordinator back on board for a cooking lesson, with young guests learning to bake Egyptian-style bread. 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), who was considered by some ancient Egyptians to be the creator of the world. While there, view the mummified remains of several crocodiles that once basked along the ancient Nile River shore, just as their descendants do today. Tonight’s dinner onboard features an “Egyptian Night” costume party, with a chance to dress up in traditional galabeyyas.
CRUISING THE NILE | PHILAE & ASWAN
Cruise to Aswan and proceed to vast granite quarries and the site of the Unfinished Obelisk. Then, ride by motorized boat to the island of Agilika and its Philae Temple — among the ancient structures that were dismantled and painstakingly reassembled when the Aswan High Dam was constructed. Enjoy lunch followed by a session of henna hand painting for the kids. Later, weather permitting, Ride Like a Local around the Aswan islands in a felucca.
ABU SIMBEL | TEMPLES OF RAMSES II & NEFERTARI
Fly to Abu Simbel, where you visit the commanding twin temples of Ramses II and his wife, Queen Nefertari. The former’s façade is dominated by four statues of the pharaoh, each nearly 70 feet tall. Perhaps even more impressive, this entire site was moved here brick by brick to save it from floodwaters caused by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Completed in 1970, the dam was built to improve irrigation and generate hydroelectricity for the surrounding region. This afternoon, return to Cairo.
CAIRO | STEP PYRAMID & POTTERY WORKSHOP
Drive to the necropolis of Sakkara to view the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser, the oldest of Egypt’s pyramids. After lunch, enjoy woodworking and pottery workshops offered at Fagnoon Arts & Crafts Center. Tonight, gather for a farewell dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.