Three night Nile Cruise, travel to Cleopatra's port city of Alexandria and journey as far south as Abu Simbel (+ optional tour to Jordan!)
EGYPT & JORDAN: ( 20 Days) February 8-27 2019
(DETAILS OF OUR JORDAN TOUR ARE UNDER DAY 14 )
Land only Tour: $6,799 Canadian/person Starts in Amman, Jordon and ends in Cairo, Egypt
AIRFARE: $1,650 CAD approximate cost of airfare departing Vancouver BC to Amman, Jordan returning from Cairo, Egypt. NOTE: You do NOT have to come to Vancouver to join the tour please contact us for a quote to depart other cities.
EGYPT ONLY ( 14 Days) February 14-27 2019
LAND TOUR: $3,999 Canadian/person Starts & finishes in Cairo, Egypt.
AIRFARE: $1,500 Canadian approximate cost departing Vancouver to Cairo ( & returning from Cairo).
NOTE: You do NOT have to come to Vancouver to join the tour please contact us for a quote to depart other cities.
OUR TRAVELERS SAY:
"Thanks to Norman and Waleed for an exceptionally well organized tour. In two weeks, we could never have seen or done ,on our own , all the the wonderful things Egypt has to offer. There was a good balance between activity and rest. I loved cruising the Nile, riding the camels, and hot air ballooning. Most of all, I was spellbound by the splendor of the Pyramids and Temples." PM Victoria BC March 2017
"The tour was well organized and very
well designed to maximize the iconic attractions of Egypt in such a way we were
not overwhelmed or exhausted. This was due to the tour operator and the excellent
Egyptian guide being sensitive to the group’s needs. For example, we switched
around one day’s itinerary with the next because of back-to-back early starts.
This cost us nothing in terms of lost visits but allowed us all to be
well-rested and eager to continue. It was fun, safe and very, very educational!"
DW QB March 2017
"The sites and activities
were wonderful but what made it most special were the tour guides, Waleed, and
Norman - who were so informative, flexible and attentive to every detail"
JS Victoria BC February 2017
"(I liked) The small group and unhurried itinerary. I also appreciated the optional activities offered and the adequate time to enjoy these. The local guides were terrific - extremely knowledgeable, thoughtful and considerate. Norman was also a huge source of information and very helpful with suggestions about optional activities.” Egypt March 2018 DH Vancouver BC
Updated April 15 2018: Limited to 22 participants + Norman & Julie Bruce
Thursday February 14 2019
This afternoon our group flights fly from North America overnight via Europe to Cairo.
Friday February 15
This evening we arrive in Cairo and transfer to our hotel in the Giza area of Cairo, close to the Pyramids.
First of 3 nights in Cairo. Meridian Pyramids Hotel or similar. No meals.
Saturday February 16
Old Cairo tour + Egyptian Museum
This morning we visit Old Cairo (also known as Coptic Cairo) where we will explore the narrow streets and visit some of the Coptic (Egyptian Orthodox) churches found within the city walls. One of the churches is reputed to be built over a cave where the Holy Family rested during their flight to Egypt.
We also visit the Ben Ezra Synagogue.
This afternoon we visit the Egyptian Museum with its collection of thousands of priceless artefacts from Ancient Egypt. Of course, the most famous pieces in the museum are those which were found in the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun, including the solid gold death mask. The English version of the sound & light show at the Pyramid & Sphinx [which is very near our hotel] is offered this evening as an optional tour.
Second of 3 nights in Cairo. Meridian Pyramids Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Sunday February 17
Memphis + Saqqara
This morning we have a relaxing start before we take a guided tour of the Old Kingdom capital of Memphis where we see a gigantic statue of Pharaoh Ramses II. At the Old Kingdom burial site of Saqqara we see the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, a precursor of the Great Pyramids.
Third of 3 nights in Cairo. Meridian Pyramids Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Monday February 18
Pyramids & Sphinx + Drive to Alexandria
This morning we visit the Pyramids and Sphinx. Built around four and a half thousand years ago, the Pyramids are the only monuments of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World which are largely intact today. This afternoon we drive north through the desert to the Mediterranean coast and enter Egypt's second largest city - Alexandria. Today Alexandria is a city principally of 19th and 20th century buildings but it is built over what was one of the most important cities in the Greco-Roman world. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, the city grew in size and stature under the Ptolemies - the Greek-speaking rulers of Egypt for the next 300 years. Alexandria was a famous centre of learning and housed the most important library in the Ancient World.
First of 2 nights in Alexandria. Paradise Inn Metropole Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Tuesday February 19
Today we tour Alexandria's important sites from the Greek and Roman eras. We include a visit to the Catacombs which descend three levels underground and include some beautifully decorated tombs which combine Roman and Egyptian decorations in a unique way. We visit the Bibliotheca Alexandrina library, a 21st century version of the great classical Library of Alexandria. Included are three museums and five specialized research institutes. We also visit Pompey's Pillar. Originally from the temple of the Serapis, it was constructed in honour of the Emperor Diocletian.
Second of 2 nights in Alexandria. Paradise Inn Metropole Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Wednesday February 20
Alexandria - Cairo + fly to Aswan
After a relaxing start, we drive back to Cairo where we visit Islamic Cairo, including the Citadel and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. This high point affords commanding views across the sprawling city of Cairo. Tonight we fly from Cairo to Aswan, deep in the south of Egypt, where the graceful Felucca sailboats glide among the islands of the Nile.
First of 2 nights in Aswan. Helnan Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.
Thursday February 21
Aswan Dam + Philae Temple + Nubian Village
This morning we take a guided excursion to the Aswan High Dam which was started by the Soviets but finished with Western aid in 1964. The dam has drastically affected many aspects of Egyptian life by controlling the flow of the Nile and creating the enormous Lake Nasser. We will also cross the
Old Aswan Dam built by the British in the 1890's. From the very earliest times Aswan has been the source of a special pink granite used in statues for thousands of years. We visit one of the ancient quarries to see the Unfinished Obelisk, a monument abandoned in situ when it broke while being
carved out. Also this morning we take a motorboat out across a lake for a guided tour of the beautiful island Temple of Philae. We also take a motorboat ride to visit the local Nubian people to see how the ordinary people of today's Egypt live in their simple villages. After returning to the hotel for dinner, we still have time to explore the African-style night markets of Aswan.
Second of 2 nights in Aswan. Helnan Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner
Friday February 22
This morning we drive from Aswan through the desert to Abu Simbel. At Abu Simbel we take a guided tour of the two huge temples which were built in the 13th century B.C. and dedicated to Ramses II and his favourite wife, Nefetari. The four enormous seated statues of Ramses are among the most
famous images of ancient Egypt. The interior of the Ramses temple is also fascinating, being decorated with images of the Battle of Kadesh fought
between the Egyptians and the Hittites of what today is Turkey. The two temples are carved out of the solid hillside and so the task of cutting them
up, moving them piece by piece and reassembling them in the 1960s is considered one of the marvels of modern engineering. This afternoon we board our luxurious cruise ship. First of 3 nights on our 5-Star cruise ship Radamis II or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Saturday February 23
Nile Cruise + Kom Ombo Temple
This morning we make our way along the Nile to the famous temple of Kom Ombo. This is an unusual temple in that it is dedicated to two Egyptian gods - Horus the falcon god and Sobek the crocodile god. One interesting frieze shows ancient birthing and other medical techniques. Our guided tour also includes the Nilometer, a well-like structure used to measure the bounty of the Nile and as a way of setting tax levels. Reboarding our cruise ship we set sail again. We spend tonight on board with the lights of the villages along the Nile twinkling all around.
Second of 3 nights on our 5-Star cruise ship Radamis II or similar. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Sunday February 24
Edfu Temple + Luxor Temple + Karnak Temple
Early this morning we leave the ship and take horse-drawn carriages for a guided tour of the gigantic Temple of Edfu, the most perfectly-preserved temple in Egypt. Although built by the Greek-speaking Ptolemies between 237 BC and 57 AD, the temple building and decorations are in the ancient Egyptian style. We return to the ship for breakfast and spend most of the rest of the day cruising down the Nile to Luxor.
When we arrive in Luxor we have a guided tour of Luxor Temple. As with most Egyptian temples, this temple is really a series of buildings begun by one Pharaoh (in this case the 13th century BC Pharaoh Amenhotep III) and added to by several subsequent rulers. Later we have a guided tour of the Temple of Karnak. This is a vast complex of buildings added to and rebuilt over thirteen centuries but reaching its apex during the New Kingdom period when the capital of Egypt was located in Thebes (today's Luxor) and the temple's main god, Amun-Ra, was made the state god. One of the most impressive sections of the temple is the Great Hypostyle Hall with its 137 huge columns.
Third of 3 nights on our 5-Star cruise ship Radamis II or similar.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Monday February 25
Valley of the Kings + Medinet Habu + Village life
We travel across the Nile to the West Bank, the location of the tombs of the great pharaohs of the New Kingdom. We take a guided tour of several of the most important tombs in the Valley of the Kings. On the way we stop to view the gigantic Colossi of Memnon statues. We also have a guided tour of the funerary temple of the first woman to rule as a pharaoh, Queen Hatchepsut. Some of the most interesting painted scenes in the temple are of a trading expedition she mounted to the Land of Punt on the Red Sea coast. After our tours we transfer to our hotel in Luxor. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax by the Nile or explore Luxor. Alternatively, you may wish to visit Luxor's excellent museum.
Overnight in Luxor. Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Tuesday February 26
Fly Luxor - Cairo
This morning you are free to relax or explore Luxor's shops for some of the wonderful bargains in gold, Papyrus paper, cotton, leather and other unique
This afternoon we fly from Luxor to Cairo, but for this visit we stay close to the airport.
Overnight in Cairo. Novotel Cairo Airport or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Wednesday February 27
Fly Cairo - Home Today we fly from Cairo via Europe to North America, arriving the same afternoon.
Please note that our Nile Cruise schedule may force us to see the above noted sites in a different order than we have listed here. We will, however, see them all.
8 Day JORDAN Pre-Tour: Beginning February 8 2019
Friday February 8 This afternoon we fly from North America overnight via Europe to Amman.
Saturday February 9
Early this evening we arrive in Jordan’s capital and transfer to our hotel. First of 3 nights in Amman. Crown Plaza Hotel or similar. No meals.
Sunday February 10
Driving north from Amman we tour Jerash, one of the finest examples anywhere of a Roman provincial city. We enter the city by the elaborate gateway known as Hadrian's Arch and make our way to the Forum. Walking along the Colonnaded Street you can still see the grooves worn by the Roman chariot wheels. Near the ruins of the immense Temple of Zeus we enter the South Theatre which was one of three theatres in Jerash and could seat 3,000 people. On our guided tour of Jerash we see the remains of many important buildings from Roman times including the Temple of Artemis and several Roman baths. We also see later Byzantine churches including those of St John, St George and St Theodore
Second of 3 nights in Amman. Crown Plaza Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Monday February 11
Amman & the Dead Sea
This morning we descend into the Jordan Valley and make our way to the shores of the Dead Sea - the lowest point on the surface of the Earth. Small, seasonal streams and the River Jordan flow into the Dead Sea bringing in water plus minerals but no rivers flow out. Thus, water leaves the Dead Sea only by evaporation, leaving behind the minerals which over the millennia have concentrated to the point where the Dead Sea is the 'saltiest' major body of water in the world. Those who wish to may take a float in the Dead Sea (the water is too buoyant for swimming!) or try smothering onto their skin the mud from the lake, which is supposed to have many therapeutic properties.
Returning to the city this afternoon, we take a driving tour of the main highlights of Amman, including the Citadel Hill with the remains of a Roman Temple dedicated to Hercules and a small but excellent Museum where we see some of the inscribed containers that the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in. From the hilltop we can look down on the Roman theatre, which could seat 6,000. We also drive through some of Amman’s very expensive neighbourhoods. Third of 3 nights in Amman. Crown Plaza Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Tuesday February 12
Amman - Kings Highway Petra
We travel today down the ancient trading route known as the King's Highway. Our first stop is the town of Madaba, famous for its mosaic floors. Especially important is the mosaic map found in the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St George. Laid around 560 AD, this is the earliest surviving mosaic map of the Holy Land. From Madaba we drive to Mount Nebo, from where Moses and the Children of Israel first looked down on the fertile Jordan Valley. On a clear day we can also see the Dead Sea and the city of Jerusalem. We visit the 6th century Monastery of Syagha dedicated to Moses by Egyptian monks. Further along the King's Highway we drive down into the huge gorge of the Wadi al-Mujib (known as "Jordan's Grand Canyon") and up the other side.
Our last stop today is the Crusader castle of Kerak. Built in 1136, this became the principal centre of the Crusader province of Outre-Jordan. Kerak formed a key link in the chain of Crusader castles from Aqaba on the Red Sea through Crak des Chevaliers in Syria to Turkey. Within the castle we explore the labyrinth of corridors, storerooms and chambers, both above and below ground. Continuing south we come to Petra, the legendary Rose Red City "half as old as time."First of 2 nights in Petra. Crown Plaza Guest House or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Wednesday February 13
Today we have a full day of guided sightseeing at Petra, one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the world. We enter the site via a long, narrow gorge known as the Siq. At the end of this gorge we suddenly emerge in front of one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, the Treasury ( El Kazneh.) Continuing into the site you have an opportunity to climb to the High Place where we believe human sacrifices took place. On the lower level we pass an amphitheatre which could seat 8,000. Entering the main valley where the city of Petra itself was located we find the remains of the Colonnaded Street, the Temple of the Winged Lion and the Great Temple. Above the valley we can explore the most substantial group of tombs, including the Urn Tomb, the Silk Tomb and the Corinthian Tomb. At the far end of the valley are the Triumphal Arch and the Museum. For those who wish there is a long but gentle climb to one of Petra's most spectacular tombs, the Monastery (El Deir). You will have free time for your own explorations of Petra. Second of 2 nights in Petra. Crown Plaza Guest House or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Thursday February 14
Petra - Wadi Rum - Aqaba
This morning we leave Petra and travel further south into the Jordanian Desert to visit Wadi Rum which was Lawrence of Arabia's base for his struggle against the Ottoman Empire during World War One. This afternoon we arrive in Aqaba, Jordan's only port. Overnight in Aqaba. Golden Tulip Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner
Friday February 15.
Aqaba - Amman ( Jordan) + fly to Cairo ( Egypt)
This morning we tour Aqaba, including a visit to the public aquarium where we can see some of the spectacular fish and corals of the Red Sea. Later, we take the fast Desert Highway back to Amman and fly to Cairo. Today we include lunch in Jordan together. This evening you are free to choose your own restaurant for dinner in Cairo. First of 3 nights in Cairo. Meridian Pyramids Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Lunch
- Accommodation in 4 and 5 Star hotels in Egypt. All our hotels have en-suite bathrooms and air-conditioning.
- 3 nights on Deluxe Nile cruise ship. Land and water transport by coach, taxi, felucca sailboat, cruise ship, horse-drawn carriage and ferry.
- Flights: Cairo - Aswan and Luxor - Cairo.
- Sightseeing and entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary.
- All tips for group activities.
- Porterage for one piece of luggage per person when available. Please make sure your luggage has wheels so you can move your own luggage when necessary.
- Breakfast & dinner daily plus 3 lunches on Nile Cruise ship.
- Guiding by Royal Heights tour leaders Julie and Norman Bruce with assistance of our expert Egyptian guides.
- Visa fees. Canadian passport holders require a visa for Egypt (currently $25 US), which can be obtained on arrival at Cairo Airport. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the date you leave Egypt (i.e. until at least September 30 2019.)
- Lunches - except on March 8th and when aboard our Nile Cruise ship.
Trip Cancellation / Interruption and Medical Insurance. We offer insurance coverage with Manulife Insurance. Please contact us for a quote.
- Single Supplement charge, if requested ($850 Canadian)
Personal Expenses such as souvenirs, laundry, drinks not included at meals.
-arrival & departure transfers- please contact us for a quote. We can arrange individual or group transfers when we have confirmed the arrival & departure times of the flight.
Our group flights from Vancouver are normally with Air Canada and Egyptair via London Heathrow into Cairo and returning from Cairo via Heathrow. You do NOT have to come to Vancouver to join this tour. Please let us know if you would like us to put you in touch with our flight specialist.
If you wish to be guaranteed a single room, there is a Single Supplement charge of $850. Our price is based on 2 people sharing a room. Those people travelling alone but wishing to share will be informed 3 months prior to departure if a roommate is not currently available. At that point you will be invoiced for the Single Supplement ($800). If a roommate subsequently joins the tour, your single supplement will be refunded with the final documentation.
Sound & Light shows at Philae (in Aswan), Karnak (in Luxor) and at the Pyramids in Cairo. Hot air ballooning in the Valley of the Kings.
PAYMENT : Land portion of the tour must be booked directly with Royal Heights ToursYou can secure your place on the tour with a $400 per person non- refundable deposit. We take payment by cheque, Visa or Mastercard for the $400 /person deposit. The invoice for the Land tour will be sent in early November 2018. Payment will be due early December 2018. Price quoted is for FINAL PAYMENT by cheque. Should you wish to pay the outstanding amount for the LAND tour by credit card there will be an administration fee of 3% on the outstanding amount.
Our office staff are not medically qualified to advise you on which immunizations you require. Please consult your local travel health clinic.
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