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: (19 Days) February 5-23 2019
(DETAILS OF OUR JORDAN TOUR ARE BELOW Saturday February 23)
Land only Tour: $6,799 Canadian/person Starts in Amman, Jordan and ends in Cairo, Egypt
AIRFARE: Our flights specialist estimate the cost of the airfare to be approximately $1,650 CAD departing Vancouver BC to Amman, Jordan returning from Cairo, Egypt. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN ESTIMATE FROM VANCOUVER ONLY VALID AT THE TIME OF POSTING
EGYPT ONLY (13 Days) February 11-23 2019
LAND TOUR: $3,999 Canadian/person Starts & finishes in Cairo, Egypt.
AIRFARE: Our flights specialist estimate the cost of the airfare to be approximately $1,500 Canadian departing Vancouver to Cairo ( & returning from Cairo.) PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN ESTIMATE FROM VANCOUVER ONLY VALID AT THE TIME OF POSTING
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 August 27 2018: Limited to 24 participants + Norman & Julie Bruce
(PLEASE NOTE NEW DEPARTURE DATES & Jordan section has been updated)
DAY 1 Monday February 11 2019
Our LAND tour begins this evening in the Giza area of Cairo, close to the Pyramids.
First of 3 nights in Cairo. Le Meridian Pyramids Hotel or similar. No meals.
DAY 2 Tuesday February 12
Old Cairo tour + Egyptian Museum
This morning 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.
This afternoon we visit Old Cairo (also known as Coptic Cairo) where we 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.
Second of 3 nights in Cairo. Le Meridian Pyramids Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
DAY 3 Wednesday February 13
Memphis + Saqqara
This morning 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.
DAY 4 Thursday February 14
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.
Overnight in Alexandria. Paradise Inn Le Metropole Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
DAY 5 Friday February 15
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.
Later this afternoon we drive back to Cairo.
Overnight in Cairo. Le Meridian Pyramids Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
DAY 6 Saturday February 16
lslamic Cairo - Aswan ( FLY)
This morning 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. This afternoon we fly from Cairo to Aswan, deep in the south of Egypt, where the graceful Felucca sailboats glide among the islands of the Nile.
Because of the time of our flight Cairo - Aswan, we include lunch together in Cairo. Dinner is at your own expense at the airport or after we arrive in Aswan
First of 2 nights in Aswan. Movenpick Resort or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.
DAY 7 Sunday February 17
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. Later this afternoon we 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.
Second of 2 nights in Aswan. Movenpick Resort or similar. Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 8 Monday February 18
This morning we get up early and drive from Aswan through the desert to Abu Simbel. At Abu Simbel we see 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. We board our luxurious cruise ship in time for lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax by the Nile or explore Aswan’s lively markets.
First of 3 nights on our 5-Star cruise ship MS Living Stone or similar. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DAY 9 Tuesday February 19
Nile Cruise + Kom Ombo Temple + Edfu Temple
Leaving Aswan early this morning, we make our way down 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, enjoying breakfast and lunch as we glide by the riverbank villages that have changed very little since Pharaonic times. This afternoon we 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. This evening we pass through the locks at Esna and continue cruising down the Nile, with the lights of the villages twinkling all around us, to Luxor.
Second of 3 nights on our 5-Star cruise ship MS Living Stone or similar. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 10 Wednesday February 20
Valley of the Kings + Queen Hatshepsut + Luxor Temple
Starting out early this morning, 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. We also have a guided tour of the funerary temple of the first woman to rule as a pharaoh, Queen Hatshepsut. 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. On our way ba