Due to the unstable conditions, we have suspended all our tours in Egypt until further notice. Once the situation has improved, we will resume our tours. To receive updates, sign up for our mailing list.
|Itinerary at a Glance
A Taste of Egypt & the Nile
|3||Cairo & Aswan|
|4||Aswan, Kom Ombo & Edfu|
|5||Edfu, Esna, & Luxor|
|6||Luxor & Cairo|
|7||Cairo, Pyramids & Sphinx|
|Style||Fully Escorted & Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departs||New York Kennedy (JFK)|
|Highlights||Cairo, Aswan, Esna Locks, Kom Ombo & Colossi of Memnon, The Great Sphinx & Pyramids of Giza|
|Included in the Price||
Join us as we return to Egypt to celebrate the land of ancient wonders and modern miracles. Now, just months after a new day has dawned in Egypt, we're resuming our popular touring programs and launching new ones, like our new Taste of Egypt tour. You'll enjoy 8 wonderful days, including airfare from JFK, 3 nights in a 5-star Cairo hotel, 3-nights aboard a Nile cruise, transfers, plenty of included touring, and a special opportunity to hear from some of the movers and shakers of the Egyptian revolution in an informal gathering at your hotel.
A trip to [Egypt] has negative political overtones for Americans at this time because of recent world events. For that reason, my wife and I approached the possibility of such a vacation with trepidation, but our interest in human history beckoned us. Our fears were totally put aside by the incredible safety precautions taken by the Egyptian government and the Friendly Planet organization in particular. After a day in that country, I felt more secure than walking hand-in-hand with my wife after dark in our local city. The tour guide assigned to us (Wael) had a doctorate in Egyptology and he took the time at every stop to explain the symbolism of the temples themselves, the architectural artifacts as they related to one another and the relief carvings, answering questions graciously to the satisfaction of our entire group of 36 people. The coordination and scheduling of our living accommodations, meals, transportation, luggage transfer, entry tickets, and "necessary" interim stops appeared to be a finely honed ballet of interacting tourism requirements. Thanks for your attention to all these details! Because of the success of this vacation (our 40th wedding anniversary), while still on the plane en route home, my wife began discussing where our next Friendly Planet trip should be. Ya done good!
Sincerely, William R. Bliss
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Reservations for triple occupancy are possible for this tour. On the cruise portion, passengers will stay in 1 double and 1 single cabin. Ask us for pricing and availability.
Day 2: Cairo. Arrival in Cairo, where East and West come together in a wonderful and chaotic mix of old and new. You'll be met by our representatives in Cairo and assisted with visa and customs formalities. Proceed to check in at your centrally located 5-star hotel overlooking the Nile River. You’ll have the rest of the day to explore independently. An optional excursion this evening includes a fun-filled welcome dinner with entertainment on a floating restaurant on the Nile River ($65 per person). Accommodations: Ramses Hilton or similar.
Day 3: Cairo & Aswan. Transfer to the airport this morning for the flight to Aswan, Egypt's southernmost city and the crossroads of the ancient caravan routes. On arrival, board your touring coach and visit the Aswan High Dam and the Unfinished Obelisk. Continue to the pier for embarkation and lunch aboard your Nile cruise ship. This afternoon enjoy a tour by felucca (a small, swift Egyptian sailboat) around Elephantine Island, once the center of modern Aswan. Before returning to your cruise ship for dinner and evening activities, you'll visit the magnificent Botanical Gardens of Lord Kitchener and view the Aga Khan Mausoleum. Accommodations: M/S Tamr Henna or similar. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 4: Aswan, Kom Ombo & Edfu. Abu Simbel optional excursion: Enjoy the morning at leisure on board, or choose from 2 optional excursions. Abu Simbel tour will depart early in the morning by flight to visit the site of the Great Temple of Ramses II and one of the most magnificent of all temples in Egypt, returning at noon. This extra optional tour is $265/person, if reserved and prepaid. Space is limited and we cannot guarantee availability once you arrive in Egypt, so we strongly recommend booking in advance.
Alternatively, you can choose the optional excursion to Philae Temple which for centuries was the holiest site for Isis worshippers. The temple was officially closed down in the 6th century A.D. by the Byzantine emperor Justinian and was & the last pagan temple to exist in the Mediterranean world ($45).
After lunch, sail to Kom Ombo, where, in ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the river bank. The Temple of Kom Ombo is unique in all of Egypt and is shared by the two gods Sobek and Haroeris. Continue sailing to Edfu, while enjoying the sun-deck or visit the game room. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 5: Edfu, Esna, & Luxor. Today's visits include the Temple of Edfu, a Greek-built monument to Horus, falcon-headed son of Osiris. It took about 200 years to complete and has helped fill in many gaps of knowledge about the Pharaonic architecture that it imitates. Sail to Esna, and cross Esna Lock to Luxor, one of Egypt's greatest attractions for the sheer grandeur of its monumental architecture and excellent state of preservation. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided..
Day 6: Luxor & Cairo. After breakfast, disembark and board your touring coach to visit the West Bank of the Nile and the Valley of the Kings, where 64 of Egypt's Pharaohs have their royal tombs hewn into the sheer rock. Continue to the impressive Deir El Bahari mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, an architectural wonder built against the backdrop of a looming cliff face and the Colossi of Memnon, two huge seated statues of Amenhotep III.
Highlights of today's tour are visits to the Temple of Karnak, one of the most overwhelming monuments of the Pharaonic legacy, with work carried out on the temples over a period of 1500 years, and Luxor Temple, strikingly graceful and added to over the centuries by Tutankhamen, Ramses II, Alexander the Great and others. In the evening, fly back to Cairo. Accommodations: Ramses Hilton or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 7: Cairo, Pyramids & Sphinx. This morning, your guide will escort you on a fascinating tour of the most famous of all sites in Egypt—the Pyramids of Cheops and Chephren. These monuments have stood for 46 centuries and are considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, possibly the most visited monuments of Egypt. The Sphinx, a feline character with the body of a lion and the face of Khufu (Cheops in Greek) is 50 meters long and 22 meters high. Carved from a single stone, it lies just before the Pyramids, and even today its meaning and origin remain shrouded in mystery. \
After the tour, enjoy the rest of the day to explore Cairo on your own. Your hotel is conveniently located near such tourist sites as the Egyptian Museum and the city's shopping district. Or, enjoy an optional afternoon tour to the Egyptian Museum where you'll see, among other treasures, the priceless antiquities of Tutankhamen's Tomb. Your optional excursion continues to the world-famous Khan El Khalili bazaars, where the sights, sounds, spices and exotic clothing and jewelry, hand-hammered copper, ceramic ware and other treasures are waiting for your deft bargaining to win them at astounding prices. ($45 per person). This evening, hear from participants in the January 2011 Egyptian Revolution at an informal gathering at your hotel. Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Cairo/USA. Today you'll be escorted to the airport as you bid farewell to Cairo and Egypt as you board your return flight to the USA. Your fascinating journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.
In order to help you maximize your time (and stretch your budget) we offer a discounted package of 2 popular optionals that includes a half day of guided touring of the Old City and Egyptian Museum, and a welcome dinner cruise on the Nile, with entertainment for $85. These tours, when purchased individually in Cairo, cost $110.
See specifications, deck plans & photos of the ship.
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