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A Taste of Egypt

Discover ancient Egypt: Cairo, its capital; Aswan, gateway to Africa; Luxor, site of Luxor and Karnak temples; the iconic Pyramids of Cheops and Chephren; 3 nights aboard a deluxe Nile cruise ship.


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Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. (Some exceptions, including special promotional packages, may accommodate up to 30.) More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Group Size 16 travelers max
Themes History & CultureRiver 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. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.
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Step back in time and discover the ancient wonders of Egypt on our A Taste of Egypt tour. Enjoy nine fascinating days exploring this historic country, starting in the sprawling capital city of Cairo, where East and West meet in a wonderful mix of precious antiquities and bustling modern life. Explore the treasures in the Egyptian Museum, browse the ancient bazaars and visit the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza. Fly to Aswan and embark on a three-night deluxe Nile River cruise, touring the East Bank of the Nile from Aswan to Kom Ombo and Esna to Luxor and the Temple of Karnak. Egypt is known as the world's greatest outdoor museum, and you'll soon discover why it is a bucket list destination for world travelers.

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Cruise
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round trip flights from New York (JFK) via EgyptAir, including taxes & fees
  • Arrival & departure transfers with meeting, assistance and porterage
  • All intra-Egypt flights and ground transportation
  • 4 nights Deluxe hotel accommodations in Cairo
  • 3 nights aboard a 5-star Nile cruise ship in an outside, middle deck cabin
  • 16 meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches & 4 dinners, including a welcome dinner
  • 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

Why you'll love it

  • Spend 3 nights sailing along the Nile River aboard your deluxe Nile cruise ship.
  • Browse the Egyptian Museum's extensive collection of ancient treasures.
  • Marvel at the mysterious Sphinx and the great Pyramids of Cheops and Chephren.
  • Tour the granite quarries at Aswan's High Dam, which controls the Nile and is Egypt's major source of hydroelectric power.
  • Share a pot of tea with a family in a local village.
  • Enjoy the exotic sights and sounds of the famous Khan El Khalili Bazaar where bargaining for souvenirs is a must.
  • View the unique and fascinating drawings at the Temple of Kom Ombo.
  • Sail from Esna to Luxor, the capital of the New Kingdom and an important trade center of the ancient world.
  • Visit the Temple of Karnak, one of the most signification monuments of the Pharaonic legacy.
  • Explore the Valley of the Kings, once a royal burial ground for pharaohs.
  • Discover the ancient mysteries of King Tut on an included tour of his tomb in Luxor.

Itinerary at a Glance

A Taste of Egypt map

Detailed Itinerary

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 panoramic tour of the city
  • Get to know your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner at a local restaurant

InterContinental Cairo Semiramis or similar Dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Cairo cityscape

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 and escorted to your centrally located 5-star hotel overlooking the Nile River. You'll have the rest of the afternoon to relax after your long flight or explore independently.

This evening, take a panoramic tour of Downtown Cairo including the culturally rich Zamalek Island, Cairo Opera House, Maspero television building, 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

  • Discover the treasures of the Egyptian Museum
  • Experience the sights and sounds of the Khan El Khalili Bazaar

InterContinental Cairo Semiramis or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Egyptian Museum, Cairo

This morning, enjoy a half-day tour of Cairo, beginning at the Egyptian Museum, where you'll view, among other treasures, the priceless antiquities of Tutankhamun's tomb. After free time for lunch, your sightseeing continues at the famous Khan El Khalili Bazaar. Embrace the sights, sounds, and spices as you admire exotic clothing and jewelry, hand-hammered copper, ceramic ware, and other treasures that await your deft bargaining to win them at astounding prices.

Optional Excursion: Citadel of Saladin & Alabaster Mosque, $50

This afternoon, you may choose to extend your day of sightseeing at the Citadel of Saladin, built on the remains of a Crusader-style fortress and the Alabaster Mosque.

Optional Excursion: Walking Tour Along El Moez Street and Dinner, $50
El Moez Street at night, Cairo

This evening, enjoy a guided walk along El Moez Street, one of Cairo's oldest and most amazing streets, dating back to the Fatimid period from the 10th to the 12th centuries CE. 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 city's major landmarks, and Al Hussein Mosque, named for the grandson of the Prophet Muhammed and one of the holiest Islamic sites in Cairo.

Walk by Al-Hakim Mosque, Bab al-Fetouh, and Bab al-Nasr, two of the three remaining massive fortified gates in the walls of the Old City of Cairo with rectangular stone towers flanking the semicircular arch of the eastern Portal. Proceed to the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, remarkable for its size and innovative architectural components, and the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, the oldest mosque in the city surviving in its original form.

Afterward, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4 Aswan

  • Morning flight from Cairo to Aswan
  • See Aswan's High Dam and the granite quarries
  • Embark on your Nile cruise and enjoy lunch aboard
  • Visit Philae Temple and enjoy a cup of tea at a Nubian house
  • Take a tour by felucca

MS Tulip Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Feluccas, Aswan

Early this morning, transfer to the airport for your short flight to Aswan, the gateway to Africa for the ancient Egyptians. Originally called "Sain" from "sanite," 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. 

See Aswan's High Dam, which controls the Nile and is a significant source of hydroelectric power in Egypt. Also, tour the granite quarries where a partially carved and cracked obelisk will demonstrate how the giant forms were hewn from the solid rock. Continue to the pier for embarkation aboard your deluxe Nile cruise ship. Settle into your cabin and enjoy lunch on board.

Visit Philae Temple, which was the holiest site for Isis worshippers for centuries. The temple was officially closed down in the 6th century CE. 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. Then enjoy a cup of tea in a Nubian house and learn about the local Nubian culture!

Enjoy a tour by felucca (a small, swift Egyptian sailboat) before returning to your cruise ship for dinner and overnight.

Day 5 Aswan & Kom Ombo

  • Morning at leisure
  • Tour the Temple of Kom Ombo

MS Tulip Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Temple of Kom Ombo

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.

After lunch aboard the cruise ship, continue sailing 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 renderings on the walls, including detailed drawings of surgical instruments.

Optional Excursion: Abu Simbel, $330
The Small Temple of Nefertari, 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 initially carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Ramses II in the 13th century BCE 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.

Day 6 Esna & Luxor

  • Sail to Luxor
  • Tour the East Bank of the Nile and the Temple of Karnak

MS Tulip Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Temple of Luxor at night

Sail from Edfu, across the lock at Esna, to Luxor, capital of the New Kingdom, when Pharaoh Ahmos drove foreign invaders (the Hyksos) from Lower Egypt in 1580 BCE. It was then that Luxor became a grand city of luxurious palaces, huge temples, massive gardens, and a significant diplomatic and trade center of the ancient world.

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 1500 years, and Luxor Temple, strikingly graceful and enhanced over the centuries by Tutankhamun, Ramses II, Alexander the Great, and others.

Day 7 Luxor & Cairo

  • Disembark after breakfast
  • 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

InterContinental Cairo Semiramis or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Aerial view of the 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 a looming cliff face backdrop, and the Colossi of Memnon, two giant seated statues of Amenhotep III. Afterward, discover the ancient tomb of King Tutankhamun. Explore the rooms covered in mural paintings and the burial chamber, which still contains the pharaoh's mummy in its original sarcophagus.

Then, transfer to the airport for your short flight back to Cairo. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in and overnight.

Optional Excursion: Hot Air Balloon (purchased locally), $130
Hot air balloons, Luxor

Wake up early to embark on a Hot Air Balloon ride and an incredible bird's eye view over the Nile. (Subject to weather conditions.)

Day 8 Cairo, Pyramids & Sphinx

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

InterContinental Cairo Semiramis or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Pyramid and Sphinx

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 possibly the most visited monuments in 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: Inner Chamber of the Great Pyramid at Giza (purchased locally), $25
Great Pyramid at Giza stairway

Take advantage of a unique opportunity to explore the interior of the pyramids. This 30-minute visit to the interior is unguided and will take place during free time.

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

Optional Excursion: Memphis & Sakkara, $60
Step Pyramid of Djoser

This afternoon, 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 9 Cairo/USA

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


Discounted Optional Excursions Package: $150

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

  • Citadel of Saladin & Alabaster Mosque ($50)
  • Walking Tour of El Moez Street and Dinner ($50)
  • Memphis & Sakkara ($60)

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.

Hotel & Ship


InterContinental Cairo Semiramis

Standing on the site of the historic Semiramis hotel, guests can enjoy modern luxury on the River Nile.  Located in the heart of the city center, the hotel is just steps from the Egyptian Museum and the bazaars of old Cairo.

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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Trip Details

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On Sale Small Group Tour Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise
from $3649 w/ Flights 11 days
per person, double occupancy,* during sale**
On Sale Small Group Tour Dazzling Dubai & Cairo
from $3749 w/ Flights 9 days
per person, double occupancy,* during sale**
* Advertised prices may include an "Instant Savings" discount and/or sale discount, available for a limited time. Prices reflect these discounts. Advertised prices are per person, based on double occupancy; single occupancy rooms may be available for an additional charge. Advertised prices are the best available based on the least expensive travel dates, departure city, and other options, and do not include optional excursions or other optional items. Your total price will vary based upon the dates, flights, and other options you select during the booking process. For packages including flights, prices include Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee, but do not include excess baggage fees or advance seat reservations. Prices and availability subject to change. More about our prices.

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