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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Check out the open departures.
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 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.
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Join us to celebrate the land of ancient wonders and modern miracles on our Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise tour. You'll enjoy 10 wonderful days, including airfare from JFK, 4-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.

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
  • 4 nights Deluxe hotel accommodations in Cairo
  • 4 nights aboard a 5-star Nile cruise ship in an outside, middle deck, cabin
  • 19 meals: 8 buffet breakfasts, 6 lunches & 5 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 a free upgrade to a middle deck cabin aboard the 5-star MS Tulip.
  • Browse the Egyptian Museum's extensive collection of ancient treasures.
  • See the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Cheops and Chephren, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Visit the Temple of Karnak, one of the most significant monuments of the Pharaonic legacy.
  • Explore the Valley of the Kings, once a royal burial ground for pharaohs.
  • Tour the Temple of Hatshepsut, an architectural wonder built beneath a looming cliff face.
  • Marvel at the towering sandstone walls of the Temple of Horus, one of Egypt's best-preserved temples.
  • Sail aboard a felucca to The Terrace in the Old Cataract Hotel for 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.

Itinerary at a Glance

Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise map
  • 1 Depart USA
  • 2 Cairo
  • 3 Cairo
  • Optional Excursion: Mummies room inside the Egyptian Museum (purchased locally), +$15
  • Optional Excursion: Cairo's Old City, Citadel of Saladin, & Khan El Khalili Bazaars, +$51
  • Optional Excursion: Sound & Light Show at Giza, +$41
  • 4 Cairo, Pyramids & Sphinx
  • Optional Excursion: Panoramic Tour of Downtown Cairo and Dinner, +$46
  • Optional Excursion: Inner Chamber of the Great Pyramid at Giza (purchased locally), +$25
  • 5 Cairo & Luxor
  • 6 Luxor, Esna & Edfu
  • Optional Excursion: Hot Air Balloon (purchased locally), +$120
  • 7 Esna, Edfu & Kom Ombo
  • 8 Aswan
  • 9 Aswan & Cairo
  • Optional Excursion: Abu Simbel, +$298
  • 10 Cairo/USA

Jordan & Petra Post-Tour Optional Extension

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Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices, with flights
per person, double occupancy*
2019 DEPARTURES
Dates Price
Departs U.S.: Thu, Nov 28, 2019
Finishes: Sat, Dec 7, 2019
Nov 28 – Dec 7
$2849 Departed
Departs U.S.: Thu, Dec 5, 2019
Finishes: Sat, Dec 14, 2019
Dec 5 – Dec 14
$2849 Departed
Departs U.S.: Thu, Dec 12, 2019
Finishes: Sat, Dec 21, 2019
Dec 12 – Dec 21
$3149 Departed
Departs U.S.: Thu, Dec 19, 2019
Finishes: Sat, Dec 28, 2019
Dec 19 – Dec 28
$3149 Closed
Departs U.S.: Thu, Dec 26, 2019
Finishes: Sat, Jan 4, 2020
Dec 26 – Jan 4
$3149 Closed

Options & Fees

Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise
Rooming selection
Double occupancy included
Single room supplement
Nov 28, 2019;  Dec 5, 2019;  Dec 12, 2019 +$549
Dec 19, 2019;  Dec 26, 2019 +$649
Optional Excursions
Discounted Optional Excursions Package +$128
Abu Simbel Optional Tour +$298
Egyptian Visa Fee1
Pre-paid Egyptian Visa Fee +$30

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

Jordan Extension1
Jordan Extension
Dec 5, 2019 +$1249
Dec 19, 2019 +$1399
Dec 26, 2019 unavailable
All other dates +$1299
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement +$199
Optional Excursions
Dinner in a local restaurant +$25
Dead Sea and Amman City tour including Lunch +$140

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. Why are single rooms more?

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
New York Kennedy (JFK)1

1. For flights from JFK, upgrades may be available to Business Class starting from $2,800. For actual prices and availability from this or other cities, please make your request during the reservation process so that our air team can check the availability and provide you with the exact rate for your chosen travel date. Rates and space are subject to availability with the airline, an increased deposit may be required to confirm a seating upgrade.

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.

Detailed 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

  • Arrive in Cairo and transfer to your hotel
  • Enjoy the afternoon at leisure
  • Evening walking tour along El Moez Street
  • Get to know your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner at a local restaurant

Conrad Cairo, Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino or similar Dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Cairo and the Nile River

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, 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.

Get to know your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3 Cairo

  • Half day morning tour to the Egyptian Museum
  • Remainder of the day at leisure

Conrad Cairo, Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Funery mask, Egyptian Museum

This morning enjoy a half day tour to the Egyptian Museum, where you'll see, among other treasures, the priceless antiquities of Tutankhamen's tomb. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the city on your own, or take advantage of our optional excursions.

Optional Excursion: Mummies room inside the Egyptian Museum (purchased locally), +$15

Have an in depth view of the well-preserved Royal mummies at the Egyptian Museum.

Optional Excursion: Cairo's Old City, Citadel of Saladin, & Khan El Khalili Bazaars, +$51

Enjoy an optional guided tour of Cairo's Old City, 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 Bazaars, 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: Sound & Light Show at Giza, +$41
Sound at light show at Giza

This evening, you will have the opportunity to experience the famous Sound & Light Show at Giza. See the marvelous luminary display of the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Price includes escort and transportation.

Day 4 Cairo, Pyramids & Sphinx

  • Tour the Pyramids of Cheops and Chephren
  • Remainder of the day at leisure

Conrad Cairo, Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Pyramid and Sphinx

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.

Optional Excursion: Panoramic Tour of Downtown Cairo and Dinner, +$46

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. End your tour with dinner at a local restaurant overlooking the Nile River.

Optional Excursion: Inner Chamber of the Great Pyramid at Giza (purchased locally), +$25
Pyramids at Giza

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.

Day 5 Cairo & Luxor

  • 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

MS Tulip or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Temple of Luxor

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.

This 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 Tutankhamen, Ramses II, Alexander the Great, and others.

Day 6 Luxor, Esna & Edfu

  • 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

MS Tulip or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Valley of the Kings, Luxor

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 (purchased locally), +$120

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

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

MS Tulip or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Temple of Horus

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

  • Sail to Aswan and explore this ancient trading hub
  • Visit Philae Temple
  • Take a tour by felucca ending with High Tea
  • Enjoy a festive farewell dinner

MS Tulip or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Feluccas, Aswan

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 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. 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 farewell dinner with the group.

Day 9 Aswan & Cairo

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

Le Meridien Cairo Airport or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Nile waterfront, Aswan

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.

Optional Excursion: Abu Simbel, +$298
Temple of Ramses II, Abu Simbel

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.

$313 if paid locally. 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/USA

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

Breakfast

Abu Simbel Excursion: +$298

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.

Discounted Optional Excursions Package: +$128

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

  • Cairo's Old City, Citadel of Saladin, & the Khan El Khalili Bazaars ($51)
  • Sound & Light show at Giza ($41)
  • Panoramic Tour of Downtown Cairo and Dinner ($46)

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.

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. 3 days after the return dates listed.

Day 10 Cairo, Egypt/Amman & Petra, Jordan

  • 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

Hyatt Zaman Hotel & Resort or similar Breakfast & dinner

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, explore the early Byzantine church of Saint George to see the 6th century Madaba Map, a floor mosaic depiction of the Holy Land. Afterwards, visit Mount Nebo to see a panoramic view of the Holy Land with a stop at a Franciscan church with a detailed mosaic-covered floor.

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

Day 11 Petra & Amman

  • Half day guided tour of Petra
  • Afternoon return to Amman

Grand Millennium Amman or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Petra Treasury

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. Later this afternoon, drive north to Amman and check into your hotel.

Day 12 Amman

  • Enjoy the day at leisure in Amman

Grand Millennium Amman or similar Breakfast

Optional Excursion: Dead Sea & Amman City, +$140

 Relax along the soothing, buoyant and mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, thought to restore visitors its healing properties.

After lunch, return to Amman where you'll visit the major historical sites, including the Roman amphitheater, Archaeological Museum, and the ruins of the Temple of Hercules.

Optional Excursion: Dinner in a local restaurant, +$25

This evening, join your fellow travelers for an optional farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 13 Amman/USA

  • 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.

Breakfast

Hotels

Conrad Cairo

Conrad Cairo
Deluxe

The Conrad Cairo is located in the heart of bustling downtown, overlooking the magnificent Nile River, close to Cairo’s many historical attractions including the Pyramids, the Sphinx and the major commercial and business districts.

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.

More information

Le Meridien Cairo Airport

Superior First Class

Le Meridien Cairo Airport is a world renowned hotel, located in Terminal 3 of the Cairo International Airport for quick access to the airport. 

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

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

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

Cruise Ship

MS Tulip

MS Tulip

Wings Group welcomes you aboard their newly renovated five-star M/S Tulip cruise ship. Your deluxe cruise along the Nile will take you back thousands of years to places where history unfolded and unearthed the romances of Cleopatra, some of the wonders of the ancient world, and impressive structures mysteriously built without modern technology.

More information

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