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To travel to the land of Egypt is to feel profoundly touched by history. The glory and greatness, mystery and mystique that was once Egypt, beckons alluringly. Come and explore an ancient land of temples, tombs, and hieroglyphs as we visit a civilization shaped by the mighty Nile River.
Tuesday, January 11: Cairo. Arrival in Cairo, where we are warmly greeted by our guide, assisted through customs formalities, and then escorted to our private touring coach to transfer to our Cairo hotel. Accommodations: Sheraton Cairo Hotel, Towers & Casino. Dinner provided.
Wednesday, January 12: Cairo. Today's visits include the Cairo Museum, regarded as one of the most prominent in the world, where we can view remarkable treasures dating back 5,000 years. Here we'll visit the priceless antiquities of King Tutankhamen's tomb and the intriguing Mummy Room.
Our tour continues to the Coptic Quarter, centerpiece of Old Cairo, where we visit the Christian and Jewish Quarters of the Old City, the Abu Serqa Church, the Ben Ezra Synagogue, the Citadel of Mohamed Ali, built on the remains of a Crusader-style fortress dating from the time of Saladin, and Sultan Hassan Mosque which was built from the alabaster cover stones of the Pyramids of Giza in 1369. Return to our hotel in Cairo for dinner and overnight. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Thursday, January 13: Memphis, Sakkara, Giza, Overnight Train. We drive along the Nile this morning to the ancient capital of Memphis. Though most of the city has been destroyed by time, the magnificent Alabaster Sphinx and the mammoth statue of Ramses II remain. We continue to the Necropolis of Sakkara, City of the Dead, where we view the famous Step Pyramid of King Zoser, Pyramid of Teti, Mastaba of Kagemni and the Wall of Cobras.
We continue to Giza where we see the Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus, the Solar Boat, and the mysterious Sphinx and Valley Temple. Continue to the railroad station in Giza to board our overnight train to Aswan. Our accommodations are in private sleeping compartments, and dinner will be served on board. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Friday, January 14: Aswan. After breakfast aboard the train, we'll begin our touring in Aswan. Our visits include the High Dam and the lotus shaped monument to Soviet-Egyptian cooperation, where you'll enjoy a wonderful view of Lake Nasser. We continue to the unfinished obelisk. Fractured during cutting and abandoned, this work of art shows how these magnificent monuments were painstakingly hewn by hand and polished to a glassy smoothness.
On to Philae Island, one of Egypt's most impressive sights before being flooded after the first Aswan Dam was built. The new site represents a complete restoration of the original. Transfer to our cruise ship for embarkation and dinner. Accommodations: MS Tulip. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Saturday, January 15: Abu Simbel, Edfu. Early morning flight to Abu Simbel of Ramses II, one of the most moving and thrilling sites in all of Egypt. Here at the limits of Upper Egypt, Ramses II built his temple in honor of Harmakhis, guardian of the Gates to the Nether World, Amon-Ra, Solar God, Ptah, God of Creativity, and Ramses II himself. After our tour, we'll fly back to Aswan to board our cruise ship and continue sailing to Edfu. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Sunday, January 16: Edfu, Luxor. After breakfast, we visit the Temple of Edfu, a Greek-built monument to Horus, the falcon-headed son of Osiris. It took about 200 years to complete this temple, which has helped fill in many gaps of knowledge about Pharaonic architecture that it imitates. Return to the ship for lunch aboard as we sail to Esna. Cross Esna Lock and sail to Luxor. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Monday, January 17: Luxor. This morning we explore the West Bank of the Nile including the Valley of Kings. For nearly 500 years (16th – 11th century B.C.), pharaohs and powerful nobles were buried here, in at least 63 royal tombs that were hewn into walls of the valley, some into the sheer rock.
Continue on to the Valley of the Queens, the Tombs of the Nobles, Medinet Habu, the great Funerary Temple of Ramses III, and the impressive Deir El Bahari mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, an architectural wonder built into a looming cliff face. Next, you'll visit the Colossi of Memnon, two massive seated statues depicting Amenhotep III that are 3,400 years old. The colossi stand about 60 ft tall and weigh about 700 tons each, made from quartzite sandstone quarried near Cairo over 400 miles away. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Tuesday, January 18: Luxor, Esna. This morning we visit the Temples of Karnak and Luxor. Karnak is possibly one of the most overwhelming monuments of the Pharaonic legacy, with work carried out on the temples over a period of 1500 years. The Luxor Temple is strikingly graceful and was added to over the centuries by Tutankhamun, Ramses II and others.
Luxor was the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, the great capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom, and the city of the God Amon-Ra. In 1580 B.C., Pharoah Ahmos drove the invading Hyksos from Lower Egypt, and Luxor gained in stature and wealth, becoming a grand city of luxurious palaces, huge temples, large gardens, as well as an important diplomatic and trade center of the ancient world.
This afternoon we'll enjoy a change of pace as we take a carriage ride into the countryside and visit the Coptic Christian village of Ngaa el Syagh. We'll return to our ship to continue sailing to Esna. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Thursday, January 20: Aswan. Sail to Aswan this morning. Visits this afternoon by felucca include Elephantine Island, where we find the ruined Temple of Khnum, the work of many pharaohs down to the Ptolemies and even the Romans. We'll also view the Agha Khan Mausoleum and the botanical gardens of Kitchener Island. Take advantage of an optional camel ride to San Simeon Monastery and Qubbet el-Hawa Tombs. Enjoy our final night aboard our Nile cruise. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Friday, January 21: Aswan, Cairo, Roda & Gezira Island. This morning, disembark from our cruise and transfer to the airport for the short flight to Cairo. Our touring in Cairo begins with a visit to Roda Island, which contains on its northern reaches the Manial Palace. On to Gezira Island with its parks and El-Borg, a 600-foot tower offering a marvelous view of Cairo and the Nile from its observation deck. Later we'll visit Sadat's Tomb.
Saturday, January 22: Cairo/USA. Say a reluctant goodbye to Egypt as we transfer to the airport early this morning to board our return flight to the USA, arriving in New York later this afternoon. Breakfast provided.
Per person prices, from New York (JFK), including tips, visa fees & travel insurance.
|Single occupancy||+ $795|
|Payment by credit card||+ $120|
Please download the reservation application and fax or mail it to us, together with your $300 per person deposit. Fax to: 215-572-9803. Mail to 500 Old York Road, Suite 200, Jenkintown, PA 19046.
Dr. Steven Derfler
1691 Highland Parkway
St. Paul, MN 55116
Dr. Derfler is associated with institutions both in the Midwest and Israel. In the Upper Midwest, he teaches as a professor at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. International institutions include Tel Aviv University's Institute of Archaeology, the Israeli Antiquities Authority, and The Negev Museum of Beersheva. In addition, he has served as a scholar-in-residence at Oxford University, England.
His commentaries can be found in such publications as the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The American Jewish World. His research has been published by the Israel Exploration Journal, Tel Aviv Journal of Archaeology, Hadashot Archaologiot, Atiqot, Middle East Review, The ARAM Journal of Oxford University, The University of Minnesota Press and the Edwin Mellen Press. He has developed educational tools, including videos and CD ROMs, that are widely used throughout North America and the Middle East.
Dr. Derfler directs study tours to Egypt, Morocco, Greece and Turkey, and Israel/Jordan.
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