Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise

Timeless Cairo & the Pyramids, plus a Nile cruise through the temples & history of Luxor, Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo & Aswan; optional extension to Petra

Overview

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from$2599Tour + Flights 11days
price per person, double occupancy,* based on Jan 30, 2020 departure from JFK
$300 Instant Savings. Expires Oct 10, 2019.*   All prices reflect savings.
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 24 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures January – September 2020 Group Size 24 travelers max
Themes History & CultureGrand ToursRiver Cruises
Activity Level Moderate
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. Expect early wake up times and very long days in order to fit in all included visits. The Nile cruise portion of this tour can total up to 100 passengers.
Already booked? Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.

Package Includes

  • Flights
  • Cruise
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round trip flights from New York (JFK) via EgyptAir, including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees
  • Arrival & departure transfers with meeting, assistance and porterage
  • All intra-Egypt flights and ground transportation
  • 5 nights Deluxe hotel accommodations in Cairo
  • 4 nights aboard a 5-star Nile cruise ship in an outside, middle deck, cabin
  • 21 meals: 9 buffet breakfasts, 6 lunches & 6 dinners, including welcome and farewell dinners
  • All shore excursions on Nile Cruise
  • Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
  • Professional English-speaking Egyptologist tour director and local guides

Optional add-ons

  • Exciting optional excursions in Cairo and to Abu Simbel
  • Post-tour extension to Jordan and the lost city of Petra

Why you'll love it

  • Enjoy the facilities of the cruise ship and indulge in the luxury of a free upgrade to a Deluxe room with an incredible view of the Nile as well as a free upgrade to a middle deck cabin.
  • While in Cairo, marvel at the extensive collection of ancient Egyptian treasures at the Egyptian Museum, from papyrus and coins to mummies of kings and priceless antiquities of Tutankhamun's tomb.
  • Are you ready to cross off a must-see item on your bucket list? Witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World in person: the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Cheops and Chephren.
  • Hop on your cruise ship to tour the East Bank of the Nile and visit one of the most significant monuments of the Pharaonic legacy: the Temple of Karnak.
  • Trade the cruise ship for a motorcoach and explore the West Bank of the Nile and the Valley of the Kings, once a royal burial ground for pharaohs.
  • Built beneath the cliffs at Deir El Bahari, witness the impressive architectural wonder of the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut.
  • Be amazed at the towering sandstone walls of the Temple of Horus, one of Egypt's best-preserved temples at Edfu.
  • Set sail on a felucca to The Terrace in the Historic Old Cataract and end your trip marveling at the sunset while enjoying a traditional high tea experience.
  • Visit Aswan's High Dam and learn about the dam's many purposes, such as controlling flooding and generating power.
Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise itinerary

Join us to celebrate the land of ancient wonders and modern miracles on our Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise tour. You'll enjoy 11 wonderful days, including airfare from JFK, 5-nights in high-quality Cairo hotels, 4-nights aboard a deluxe Nile cruise, many meals, transfers, and plenty of included touring.

Once again, Friendly Planet is defying skyrocketing travel prices to bring you a fantastic, truly first class Egypt vacation deal fit for a pharaoh. You'll see the famous Sphinx & pyramids at Giza, the temples at Luxor & Edfu, King Tut's tomb, old Cairo & much more.

Extend your stay with a post-tour to Jordan, including the spectacular lost city of Petra and Amman.

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Dates & Prices

Departure Dates & Prices

Instant Savings: Get $300 off if you book by Oct. 10, 2019!
Departures & Prices, with flights
per person, double occupancy*
2020 DEPARTURES
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Departs: Thu, Jan 9, 2020
Returns: Sun, Jan 19, 2020
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Jan 9 – Jan 19 $2999 –$300 Oct 10 $2699 Select
Departs: Thu, Jan 16, 2020
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Jan 16 – Jan 26 $2999 –$300 Oct 10 $2699 Select
Departs: Thu, Jan 23, 2020
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Jan 23 – Feb 2 $2999 –$300 Oct 10 $2699 Select
Departs: Thu, Jan 30, 2020
Returns: Sun, Feb 9, 2020
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Jan 30 – Feb 9 $2899 –$300 Oct 10 $2599 Select
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Returns: Sun, Mar 1, 2020
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Feb 20 – Mar 1 $2999 –$300 Oct 10 $2699 Select
Departs: Thu, Feb 27, 2020
Returns: Sun, Mar 8, 2020
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Feb 27 – Mar 8 $2899 –$300 Oct 10 $2599 Select
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Returns: Sun, Mar 15, 2020
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Mar 5 – Mar 15 $2999 –$300 Oct 10 $2699 Select
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Apr 2 – Apr 12 $2999 –$300 Oct 10 $2699 Select
Departs: Thu, May 28, 2020
Returns: Sun, Jun 7, 2020
May 28 – Jun 7 $3099 Closed
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Returns: Sun, Jun 21, 2020
Jun 11 – Jun 21 $2999 Closed
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Jul 2 – Jul 12 $3099 –$300 Oct 10 $2799 Select
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Aug 6 – Aug 16 $3099 –$300 Oct 10 $2799 Select
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Returns: Sun, Sep 6, 2020
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Aug 27 – Sep 6 $3099 –$300 Oct 10 $2799 Select

If you want a few extra days to explore on your own, we may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers, for an additional charge. Ask us about prices and availability when (or after) you reserve. More information Want to extend your trip?

Options & Fees

Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise
Rooming selection
Double occupancy included
Single room supplement
May 28, 2020;  Jun 11, 2020;  Jul 2, 2020;  Aug 6, 2020;  Aug 27, 2020 +$649
All other departures +$699
Optional Excursions
Discounted Optional Excursions Package +$75
Abu Simbel Optional Tour +$250
Memphis & Sakkara +$50
Egyptian Visa Fee1
Pre-paid Egyptian Visa Fee +$30

1. Pre-approved and stamped on arrival in Egypt.

Jordan Extension1
Jordan Extension
May 28, 2020;  Jun 11, 2020;  Jul 2, 2020;  Aug 6, 2020 +$1099
Feb 20, 2020;  Feb 27, 2020;  Mar 5, 2020;  Mar 12, 2020;  Mar 19, 2020;  Mar 26, 2020;  Apr 2, 2020 +$1299
All other departures +$1199
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement
Feb 20, 2020;  Feb 27, 2020;  Mar 5, 2020;  Mar 12, 2020;  Mar 19, 2020;  Mar 26, 2020;  Apr 2, 2020;  Aug 27, 2020 +$349
All other departures +$299
Optional Excursions
The Ancient City of Jerash +$115

1. The Jordan extension is a post-tour extension. Passengers taking the post-tour extension will return to the U.S. 3 days later than the return dates shown above. The Jordan extension requires that your flights be confirmed separately by the airlines. Please note that it typically takes 3 to 5 business days to confirm your extension flights with the airline, and that we will notify you immediately upon confirmation of the flights.

So that we can offer you the best deals, our packages are, like most hotels and cruises, priced based on double occupancy rooms or cabins. We charge solo travelers an extra fee to cover the extra costs of single occupancy rooms or cabins. (Consider: if you booked a $200/night hotel room solo, you would pay the $200 yourself; but if a couple booked the same room, each one would pay only $100.) But you only pay extra for the rooms or cabins, nothing else, including meals, sightseeing, tips, etc.

Want to find a roommate and avoid single occupancy fees? We can help! Learn more
Why are single rooms more?

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
New York Kennedy (JFK) included

This package includes round-trip flights from the city listed above. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.

Want to fly from another city? Unfortunately, we don't offer flights from other cities, but you can book your own connecting flights.

Itinerary

Notice Note: Itinerary touring sequence is subject to change. However, please be assured that all included features will be provided.

Day 1: Depart USA

  • Check in for your overnight flight for Cairo

Day 2: Cairo

Accommodations: 3 nights Sheraton Cairo, or similar. Included meals: Dinner.

  • Arrive in Cairo and transfer to your hotel
  • Enjoy the afternoon at leisure
  • Evening panoramic tour of the city
  • Get to know your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner at a local restaurant

Cairo and the Nile RiverFull Day Itinerary: Arrive in Cairo, where East and West come together in a wonderful mix of old and new. After customs formalities, you'll be met by our representatives in Cairo then escorted to your centrally located 5-star hotel overlooking the Nile River. You'll have the rest of the afternoon to explore independently.

This evening, take a panoramic tour by bus to Downtown Cairo including the culturally rich Zamalek Island, Cairo Opera House, Maspero television building, Cairo Marriott Hotel, and the historic Qasr El Nil Bridge. Get to know your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner at a local restaurant overlooking the Nile River.

Day 3: Cairo

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Full day of sightseeing in Cairo
  • Discover the treasures of the Egyptian Museum
  • See the Citadel of Saladin and the Alabaster Mosque
  • Experience the sights and sounds of the Khan El Khalili Bazaar

Funery mask, Egyptian MuseumFull Day Itinerary: This morning enjoy a full day tour of Cairo, starting with the Egyptian Museum, where you'll see, among other treasures, the priceless antiquities of Tutankhamun's tomb. After free time for lunch, your day of sightseeing continues with including the Citadel of Saladin, built on the remains of a Crusader-style fortress and the Alabaster Mosque. Continue to the famous Khan El Khalili Bazaar, where the sights, sounds, spices and exotic clothing and jewelry, hand-hammered copper, ceramic ware and other treasures await your deft bargaining to win them at astounding prices.

Optional Excursion: Mummies room inside the Egyptian Museum, $15 per person (purchased locally). Have an in depth view of the well-preserved Royal mummies at the Egyptian Museum.

Optional Excursion: Walking Tour along El Moez and Dinner, $50 per person. This evening, enjoy a guided walk along El Moez Street, one of the oldest and most amazing streets in Cairo, dating back to the Fatimid period. Begin at Azhar mosque, one of the best medieval architectural treasures in the Islamic world. Continue to Bab Zuweila, a medieval gate in Cairo considered one of the major landmarks of the city, and Al Hussein Mosque, named for the grandson of the Prophet Muhammed, it is one of the holiest Islamic sites in Cairo.

Walk by Al Hakim Mosque, Bab al-Fetouh, and Bab al-Nasr, a massive fortified gate with rectangular stone towers flanking the semicircular arch of the eastern Portal. Proceed to Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, remarkable for its size and innovative architectural components, Al-Rifa'I Mosque, then to the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, the oldest mosque in the city surviving in its original form.

Afterwards, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4: Cairo, Pyramids & Sphinx

Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.

  • Tour the Pyramids of Cheops and Chephren
  • Remainder of the day at leisure or join an optional excursion

Pyramid and SphinxFull Day Itinerary: This morning, after breakfast, 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.

Pyramids at GizaOptional Excursion: Inner Chamber of the Great Pyramid at Giza, $25 per person (purchased locally). Take advantage of a unique opportunity to explore the interior of the pyramids . This 30-minute visit of the interior is unguided and will take place during free time.

You must be in good physical condition to fully enjoy this tour, which involves traversing narrow passages and steep stairways. Some areas have very low ceilings preventing visitors from standing upright. This excursion is not recommended to anyone suffering from heart conditions, back problems, asthma, or claustrophobia.

Optional Excursion: Cairo's Old City, $40 per person. This afternoon, continue discovering Cairo's history during an optional excursion of its Old City.  See The Hanging Church, named for it's location atop the southern gate of the Roman Fortress. Continue to Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope. Visit the Ben Ezra Synagogue, believed to be Cairo's oldest synagogue.

 

Day 5: Cairo & Luxor

Accommodations: 4 nights onboard MS Tulip or similar. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Morning flight from Cairo to Luxor
  • Embark on your Nile cruise and enjoy lunch aboard
  • Tour the East Bank of the Nile and the Temple of Karnak

Temple of LuxorFull Day Itinerary: Transfer to the airport early this morning for the flight to Luxor, capital of the New Kingdom when Pharoah Ahmos, in 1580 BC, drove foreign invaders (the Hyksos) from Lower Egypt. It was then that Luxor became a grand city of luxurious palaces, huge temples, large gardens, as well as an important diplomatic and trade center of the ancient world. Transfer from the airport to the pier for embarkation aboard your deluxe Nile cruise ship. Settle into your cabin and enjoy lunch aboard.

Temple of KarnakThis afternoon, visit the East Bank of the Nile. Highlights of today's tour include visits to the Temple of Karnak, one of the most significant 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 Tutankhamun, Ramses II, Alexander the Great, and others.

Day 6: Luxor, Esna & Edfu

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Tour the West Bank of the Nile and the Valley of the Kings via motor coach
  • Visit the mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
  • Discover the ancient tomb of King Tutankhamun

Valley of the Kings, LuxorFull Day Itinerary: 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. Afterwards, discover the ancient tomb of King Tutankhamun. Explore the rooms covered in mural paintings, and to the burial chamber, which still contains the pharaoh's mummy in its original sarcophagus. 

Optional Excursion: Hot Air Balloon, $120 (purchased locally). Wake up early to embark on a Hot Air Balloon ride for an incredible bird's eye view over the Nile. *Subject to weather conditions.

Day 7: Esna, Edfu & Kom Ombo

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Tour of Edfu including the Temple of Horus
  • Sail to Kom Ombo

Temple of HorusFull Day Itinerary: Your cruise ship sails from Esna to Edfu. As you go south, you will have an opportunity to view rural life in Egypt. The crops, methods of farming, animals and irrigation systems have changed little from 4,000 years ago. Here you best appreciate the fascinating contrast of ancient and modern ways of life, which coexist in Egypt and make it one of the world's most interesting of travel destinations.

At Edfu, you'll see the Temple of Horus, Egypt's best preserved temple. Afterward, board your ship and 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. These Ptolemaic temples overlook the Nile and feature fascinating drawings on the walls, including detailed drawings of surgical instruments.

Day 8: Aswan

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Sail to Aswan and explore this ancient trading hub
  • Visit Philae Temple
  • Take a tour by felucca ending with high tea
  • Enjoy a festive dinner on board

Feluccas, AswanFull Day Itinerary: Sail to Aswan, the gateway to Africa for the ancient Egyptians. Originally called "Sain" from "sanite", the name of the red granite extracted from its quarries, Aswan became a hub of trade in spices, leather, ivory, fruit, grains, baskets and mummified and living crocodiles.

After lunch aboard your cruise ship, visit Philae Temple which for centuries was the holiest site for Isis worshipers. 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. After the construction of the Aswan Dam, the half-submerged temple complex was completely dismantled and rebuilt to the original specifications on the nearby island of Agilika, which was reshaped and landscaped to resemble the original Philae. Metal pylons on the old island of Philae can still be seen rising from the water to the south of Agilika.

Before returning to your cruise ship, enjoy a tour by felucca (a small, swift Egyptian sailboat) ending at The Terrace in the Historic Old Cataract to enjoy high tea and sunset from this magnificent spot. The Terrace is a legendary venue, where Dame Agatha Christie once settled for hours, intently penning chapters of her celebrated Death on the Nile. Look out over the Nile, Khnum Temple, and Elephantine Island while savoring an authentic high tea experience enriched with mouthwatering international pastries.

Later this evening, enjoy a festive dinner with the group.

Day 9: Aswan & Cairo

Accommodations: 2  nights Sheraton Cairo, or similar.  Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.

  • Morning at leisure
  • Visit Aswan's High Dam and the granite quarries
  • Later today, fly to Cairo 

Nile waterfront, AswanFull Day Itinerary: Early this morning take advantage of an optional excursion to the temple complex of Abu Simbel.

Otherwise, remain on board and enjoy the facilities of the ship. This afternoon, disembark and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Visit Aswan's High Dam, which controls the Nile and is a major source of hydroelectric power in Egypt. Also visit the granite quarries where a partially carved and cracked obelisk will clearly demonstrate how the giant forms were hewn from the solid rock.

Later today, transfer to the airport to board your short flight back to Cairo.

Temple of Ramses II, Abu SimbelOptional Excursion: Abu Simbel, $313 per person (paid locally, or $250 per person if pre-booked). Early this morning, fly from Aswan to nearby Abu Simbel, the site of the Great Temple of Ramses II, one of the most magnificent of all temples in Egypt and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Part of the Nubian Monuments, the twin temples of Abu Simbel were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Ramses II in the 13th century B.C. as a lasting tribute to himself and his queen, Nefertiti. After the creation of Lake Nasser, formed by the building of Aswan High Dam in 1968, the Abu Simbel complex was relocated in its entirety high above the reservoir. After exploring the temple complex, return to Aswan.

On occasion, Egypt Air cannot provide a flight on the scheduled day of the excursion. In this case, you may instead visit Abu Simbel by land in a private air-conditioned vehicle, a journey of approximately 4 hours each way, with a box lunch provided. The land version is $199 if paid locally and requires a minimum of 2 passengers. If you pre-booked the excursion for $298, you will receive a refund of $100 if you choose the land version, or a full refund if you decline.

Day 10: Cairo

Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Spend your day at leisure, or enjoy an optional excursion
  • Meet with fellow travelers for a farewell dinner on your last evening in Egypt

Optional Excursion: Memphis & Sakkara, $50 per person. Today, visit the royal burial ground of Sakkara, located in the ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. Discover the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser, the oldest known complete stone building from the Third Dynasty.

Day 11: Cairo/USA

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Bid farewell to Egypt as you're escorted to the airport for your return flight
  • Arrive in the USA later today

Discount Optional Excursions Package: $75

Save by pre-booking a discounted package of our most popular optional excursions:

  • Walking Tour of El Moez and Dinner ($50)
  • Cairo's Old City ($40)

You can book these excursions individually in Egypt. But you can save if you purchase this special package ahead of time—with or before your final payment. These are not "seat in coach" excursions that pick up passengers at various hotels; all are operated for Friendly Planet groups only.

Abu Simbel Excursion: $250

Pre-book this excursion to save money and ensure your spot. This excursion is sold locally for $313 and space is limited. See details above.

Jordan & Petra Post-Tour Optional Extension

Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare to visit Jordan and the lost city of Petra. You'll return to the U.S. 4 days after the return dates listed.

Day 11: Cairo, Egypt/Amman & Petra, Jordan

Accommodations: 2 nights Hyatt Zaman or similar. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Morning flight to Amman, the capital of Jordan
  • Drive to the lost city of Petra 
  • En route visit Saint George Church and Mount Nebo
  • Remainder of the day at leisure

Full Day Itinerary: This morning transfer to the airport for your short flight to Amman, Jordan. After completing immigration and customs formalities, you will be met by our representatives. Drive south to the lost city of Petra. En route to Petra, visit Mount Nebo to see a panoramic view of the Holy Land. Afterwards, explore the early Byzantine church of Saint George to see the 6th century Madaba Map, a floor mosaic depiction of the Holy Land. 

Check into your hotel, and some time to relax and enjoy the facilities.

Day 12: Petra

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Half day guided tour of Petra

Petra TreasuryFull Day Itinerary: Your guided tour of Petra begins with a ride on horseback, followed by a walk through the Siq, a narrow gorge flanked by cliffs. At the end of the Siq, the breathtaking  sight of the Treasury, with its elaborately carved façade, comes into view. Explore the various tombs and structures at this site and marvel at the artistry and creativity that must have inspired the Nabateans to construct so impressive and dramatic a city. After lunch, return to your hotel.

Day 13: Petra, The Dead Sea & Amman

Accommodations: 2 nights Grand Millenium Amman or similar. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Relax at the Dead Sea
  • Enjoy an Amman City tour
  • Visit the Iraq Al-Amir Women's Cooperative

Full Day Itinerary: After an early breakfast, depart Petra for the Dead Sea. Relax along the soothing, buoyant and mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, thought to restore visitors with its healing properties.

After lunch, continue to Amman, where you'll visit the major historical sites including the Citadel and the Roman Theater. Next, visit Irag Al-Amir Women's Cooperative for a paper-making demonstration. Later, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant with your fellow travelers.

Day 14: Amman

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Enjoy the day at leisure in Amman

Optional Excursion: The Ancient City of Jerash, $115 per person. Located 30 miles north of Amman, Jerash is considered one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. To this day, its colonnaded streets, baths, theaters, plazas and arches remain in exceptional condition. Within the remaining city walls, archaeologists have found the ruins of settlements dating back to the Neolithic Age, indicating human occupation at this location for more than 6500 years. 

Day 15: Amman/USA

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Early this morning, transfer to the airport as you bid farewell to Amman and board your return flight to the USA via Cairo.
  • Your fascinating journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today.

Hotels

Grand Millennium Amman

Grand Millennium Amman

Deluxe

The 5 star Grand Millennium Amman is located in the heart of Amman’s commercial center, within close walking distance of art galleries, shopping, and entertainment.

More information

Hyatt Zaman Hotel & Resort

Hyatt Zaman Hotel & Resort

Deluxe

Hyatt Zaman Hotel & Resort is located 12 km from the rose-red city of Petra and offers a culturally rich experience for visitors.

More information

Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino

Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino

Deluxe

See Egypt in a new way at the Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino. Sitting on the west bank of the Nile River, the hotel proudly stands as one of Cairo's most recognizeable landmarks. Try your luck at Blackjack or the slots in our dazzling casino or take a short walk to the Cairo Opera House, Egyptian Museum or Cairo shopping centers. The Pyramids of Giza are just 20 minutes away.

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In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

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