Our 12-day journey begins as we board our international flight bound for Dubai.
Arrive in Dubai, the “City of Gold” and check into our deluxe accommodations. This evening we may take an optional dinner cruise along the Dubai Creek to see unique views of the city at night.
We begin our city tour with a visit to the Jumeira Mosque, driving past the Emirates Towers, the Dubai World Trade Centre, the Palace of Sheikh Mohammad, and the Rashid Palace. From there we continue to the Dubai Creek for a photo opportunity of the city skyline. Proceed to the Bastakya District in one of the oldest areas of Dubai and visit the Dubai Museum. Housed in the Al Faridi Fort, the museum highlights the city’s colorful history – from the days before the great discovery of oil to present day Dubai. Cross the Dubai Creek by abra (boat) and walk through the Gold and Spice Souks. Rest for lunch at the Junsui Restaurant in the Burj al Arab Hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Take a flight to Cairo, Egypt’s capital and Africa’s largest metropolis. Meet our guide and transfer to our hotel, located in bustling downtown Cairo. Spend the remainder of the day exploring this dynamic city at your leisure. As the most influential city in the Arab world, Cairo - nicknamed “Mother of the World” – is the center for legendary tresures of Ancient Egypt.
Cairo’s rich history intertwines harmoniously with its present day metropolis. Today we venture back into Ancient Egypt to the famed three Great Pyramids of Giza. These unsurpassable monuments represent a time in which faith in immortality ruled all. Witness the mighty and mysterious Sphinx and return to the city to visit the Egyptian Museum. After perusing the extensive collection of rare Egyptian artifacts we visit the Citadel of Saladin and the Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali. At the end of our tour, enjoy a stroll through the 14th century Khan El Khalili Market.
Spend the day at leisure to explore Cairo on your own, or take an optional half-day tour to Memphis and Saqqara, or a full-day excursion to Alexandria. The Memphis & Saqqara excursion will take us first to Memphis, the former capital of Egypt for many dynasties and the site of the impressive 80-ton Alabaster Sphinx. Then,head to Saqqara the Necropolis, the oldest burial site of Ancient Egypt, dating back more than 3500 years. A day tour to the cosmopolitan port city of Alexandria begins with a visit to the red-granite Pompey’s Pillar, followed by tours of the Roman Amphitheatre, and the 15th century Qaitbey Fort.
Fly to Luxor where we board our cruise ship and begin our journey upstream the River Nile. As the lifeline of Egypt’s civilization since the Stone Age, the Nile flows from the mountains in the south to the Mediterranean Sea in the north. After lunch, board the ship and cruise to the East Bank to visit the Luxor Temple and the Karnak Temple Complex. The vast Karnak represents over thirteen hundred years of Egyptian architecture and culture. Today it remains one of the most spectacular pharaonic monuments and the largest ancient religious site in the world.
This morning we disembark at the West Bank to tour the Colossi of Memnon, two 1000-ton statues of the funerary temple of Amenhotep III. Continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the secluded Valley of the Kings.which contains numerous tombs for pharaohs and nobles of the New Kingdom. In the evening, return aboard the ship for dinner and sail to Esna, where we dock overnight.
Continue our cruise Edfu and disembark at the Temple of Edfu. On the west bank of the Nile, the temple, dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus, is the best preserved and second largest temple in Egypt. At noon, we return to the ship for lunch and sail to Kom-Ombo to explore the majestic Temple of Kom-Ombo on a hillside overlooking the Nile. We complete the day with dinner aboard the cruise and dock overnight in Kom-Ombo.
Today we sail to Aswan, the ancient gateway to Africa. Spend the aftternoon enjoying a traditional felucca (wooden sailboat) ride around the scenic Elephantine Island, the Botanical Garden, and the Mausoleum of Agha Khan. Return to the ship for dinner and dock overnight in Aswan.
This morning we may take an optional air- excursion to Abu Simbel to visit the Great Temple of Ramses II, one of Egypt’s most recognizable structures. This spectacular temple features four massive statues of Ramses II and was rescued by conservationist in the 1960s-80s from rising waters of the Nile. In Aswan, we disembark on a tour of the city’s architectural wonder, the High Dam, which required eighteen times the amount of materials used to build the Great Pyramid of Cheops. Along with the Aswan Dam, the High Dam provides electricity and irrigation for all of Egypt. After touring the dam we visit the 1168-ton Unfinished Obelisk. This massive stone was never erected due to a fatal crack which left the project abandoned in a quarry. We then visit the Temple of Philae and transfer to the airport for our flight back to Cairo.
Depart the hotel and board our flight back to the US, carrying with us all the treasures we’ve acquired on this amazing trip.
Departure and Return Details