Legends of the Nile

Legends of the Nile

Discover ancient Egypt along the Nile River. This exhilarating, 10-night active adventure features four nights on a deluxe ship, five nights in Cairo and one night in Luxor. The Great Pyramids of Giza, the Valleys of the Kings and Queens and the tomb of King Tutankhamen come to life with an expert, licensed Egyptologist by your side during all excursions. Stroll the burial grounds at the Temple of Karnak, gaze at Tutankhamen’s gold burial mask and sarcophagus in the Grand Egyptian Museum and learn how ancient treasures are preserved with special access at the Oriental Institute’s Chicago House in Luxor. Marvel at the Great Temple of Ramses II carved out of a mountain in Abu Simbel, seek out treasures in Cairo’s old bazaar and visit venerable mosques and Coptic Christian churches. This small-group trip features four flights within Egypt, including round-trip to Abu Simbel; deluxe and first-class hotels; and a generous meal plan with wine at dinner.

Trip Itinerary:

February 22 Depart Gateway City

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Cairo, Egypt. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: CAI.

Meals – Appropriate in-flight meal service

February 23 Cairo, Egypt

Arrive at Cairo International Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Accommodations – Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
Meals – Appropriate in-flight meal service

February 24 Cairo

Each morning, savor a sumptuous breakfast. Look forward to exciting discoveries as your Egyptologist brings ancient Egypt to life during your excursions!

Discovery: Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). This afternoon, tour this highly anticipated, newly opened museum that showcases precious relics spanning 7,000 years of ancient Egyptian history. After passing through the soaring, translucent stone façade that pays homage to the neighboring pyramids of Giza, visitors enter a dramatic entrance court dominated by a 36-foot-tall, 83-ton statue of Ramses II. This vast, modern complex provides a safe and protected environment for a dazzling collection of 100,000 artifacts, including 20,000 never before exhibited. Two halls are devoted to King Tutankhamen’s burial treasures, an incomparable trove of 5,000 objects which are displayed together for the first time since his tomb was discovered in 1922.

Tonight, in the hotel, mingle with your fellow travelers and get better acquainted at a Welcome Reception.

Accommodations – Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
Meals – Breakfast

February 25 Sakkara | Giza | Cairo

Discovery: Sakkara. Journey to Sakkara, an immense burial site that served as the necropolis for the ancient capital of Memphis, and visit the Mastaba of Mereruka and the Pyramid Tomb of King Teti. Sakkara is also home to the Step Pyramid of Djoser, considered the first pyramid. Before Djoser’s reign, tombs had been rectangular, flat-roofed structures made of dried clay bricks, known as mastabas, the Arabic word for bench. Over King Djoser’s 20-year reign, his architect Imhotep adopted a new plan of adding six stepped layers of stone above a square-based mastaba. When it was completed more than 4,600 years ago, it was the tallest structure of its time.

Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Discovery: The Pyramids of Giza. Your next adventure takes you to the Great Pyramid of Giza, the sole surviving and oldest monument of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and a masterpiece of ingenious engineering. The largest of the three Old Kingdom pyramids in the complex, it was built for the pharaoh Khufu out of approximately 2.3 million massive blocks of stone. In the Solar Boat Museum, see a cedar vessel thought to be over 4,500 years old that was intended as a means of transport for a pharaoh in the afterlife. Standing guard nearby is the instantly recognizable, mysterious Sphinx, a mythological creature with the head of a human atop a reclining lion’s body. Visit this imposing limestone statue, which stretches 240 feet in length and towers 66 feet overhead.

During today’s visit, you may have an optional opportunity to go inside the Great Pyramid. At the time of publication, the entrance fee is EGP 400 (approximately USD 25).

Accommodations – Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

February 26 Cairo

Discovery: Islamic and Coptic Cairo. Discover the many mosques, churches and temples of Islamic and Coptic Cairo. Pass through the walls of the Citadel, a medieval Islamic fortress complex, to visit the Mosque of Mohammed Ali, also known as the Alabaster Mosque. Continue to the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan and the grand Al-Rifai Mosque, one of Cairo’s largest, where many members of Egypt’s modern royal family are entombed. Then visit the city’s most famous Coptic Christian church, the Hanging Church, nicknamed for its original suspended appearance atop the gate of a Roman fortress. Afterward, head to the Church of St. Sergius, believed to be built over a cave where Mary, Joseph and Jesus once rested after fleeing to Egypt. Step inside the 9th-century Ben Ezra Synagogue, one of the most-visited Jewish sites in Cairo. While in the area, see beautiful rice-straw paper being made by hand at the El-Nafeza Foundation, a cooperative artisan workshop that provides training and job opportunities for impoverished people.

Then relax over lunch in a local restaurant and sample delectable Egyptian specialties.

Free Time: Afterward, venture into the colorful and exhilarating Khan el Khalili bazaar on your own for an exotic shopping experience filled with sensory delights.

Accommodations – Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

February 27 Cairo | Luxor

Very early this morning, check out of the hotel and transfer to Cairo’s airport for your flight to Luxor.

Discovery: Luxor Museum. Through the museum’s informative and elegantly displayed exhibits, experience the glory of ancient Thebes as you admire artifacts collected from its temples and necropolis.

Continue to the Sonesta St. George Hotel Luxor and check in. Relax over lunch in the hotel.

Discovery: The Temple of Luxor. Aboard a felucca boat, sail along the Nile River, and arrive at Luxor Temple. The complex’s construction began during the reign of Amenhotep III, and subsequent rulers, including Tutankhamen, Horemheb, Ramses II and Alexander the Great, added to it until 323 B.C. During the Opet Festival, one of ancient Egypt’s most significant religious festivals, statues of several revered deities were transported to this temple in processions from the Temple of Karnak.

Accommodations – Sonesta St. George Hotel Luxor
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

February 28 Luxor

After breakfast, check out of the hotel.

Discovery: Luxor’s West Bank ~ The Valleys of the Kings and Queens. Visit the spellbinding Valleys of the Kings and Queens, where New Kingdom pharaohs and their families awaited immortality. These once-hidden tombs were designed to resemble the passage to the underworld. Amazingly, the hieroglyphics that adorn the walls still spring to life with vibrant color. Explore several tombs, including that of the legendary King Tutankhamen. Then, below dramatic limestone cliffs, walk up the ramp that leads into the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, designed with sweeping, colonnaded terraces. Afterward, stop at an alabaster workshop. Continue to the tomb of Amun-her-Khepeshef featuring superbly preserved murals, and then snap some photos at the majestic Colossi of Memnon.

During today’s visit, you may have optional opportunities to explore the Tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings and the Tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens. At the time of publication, the entrance fee to the Tomb of Seti I is EGP 1,000 (approximately USD 60) and the Tomb of Nefertari is EGP 1,400 (approximately USD 87).

Travel to the pier to begin your Nile River cruise. Embark the Sonesta St. George I, and enjoy a delicious lunch.

Discovery: The Epigraphic Survey, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago (The Chicago House). Enjoy an exclusive visit to the Chicago House in Luxor, which preserves Egypt’s ancient cultural heritage through documentation, conservation and restoration. Founded in 1924, the Chicago House has completed epigraphic surveys of important archaeological sites in and around Luxor and has produced numerous publications on ancient Egyptian monuments. These publications often represent the only reliable scientific documentation of endangered and deteriorating monuments. Learn more about their important work and see their unique documentation methods firsthand.

This evening, after your dinner on board the ship, delight in a belly-dancing performance.

Accommodations – Sonesta St. George I
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

March 1 Karnak | Cruising the Nile

Discovery: The Temple of Karnak. This morning, visit the Karnak Temple, an enormous complex spread across 60 acres. Within this important ancient religious center are numerous pylons, halls, smaller temples and chapels. In the Temple of Amun-Ra, feel dwarfed by the veritable forest of 134 gigantic sandstone columns as you wander through its great hypostyle hall.

After lunch on the ship, enjoy the ship’s amenities during your leisure time this afternoon. Later, watch from the rail as the ship passes through the Esna Lock.

Accommodations – Sonesta St. George I
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

March 2 Cruising | Edfu | Kom Ombo

Pursue your own interests this morning as the ship cruises to Edfu. Perhaps you’ll admire the tranquil Nile scenery from your spot on the sun deck.

Discovery: The Temple of Horus at Edfu. Go ashore to visit one of Egypt’s best-preserved shrines, built circa 237 B.C. and completed almost 200 years later. The outstanding condition of its decorative reliefs have provided historians with invaluable details about ancient religious rituals and political life.

This afternoon, the ship sails to Kom Ombo. After lunch, gain insights during an engaging discussion with an Egyptologist.

Discovery: Temple of Sobek and Haroeris. Arrive at Kom Ombo to explore the unusual double temple complex of Sobek and Haroeris. The building’s symmetrical ground plan unifies two adjacent temples, one dedicated to the crocodile-headed Sobek, god of fertility, and the other to the falcon-headed Haroeris, god of the sky.

Tonight, enjoy a traditional Nubian show on the ship.

Accommodations – Sonesta St. George I
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

March 3 Aswan | Abu Simbel | Aswan

This morning, the ship docks in Aswan, where it remains for the day. After breakfast, transfer to Aswan’s airport for your flight to Abu Simbel.

Discovery: Abu Simbel. Visit the colossal Great Temple of Ramses II, a monument that commemorates triumphs over the Nubians, Hittites and Syrians. Marvel not only at the structure’s gargantuan size but also at the mammoth feat of engineering that was required to reconstruct it on this higher ground, overlooking the Nile waters amassed by the Aswan Dam. Equally captivating is the smaller, neighboring temple dedicated to the goddess Hathor.

Depart for the Abu Simbel airport to catch your flight back to Aswan. When you return, relax during free time this afternoon.

Tonight, at a festive Farewell Reception and Dinner on the ship, gather together for a final celebration of your Egyptian adventure.

Accommodations – Sonesta St. George I
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

March 4 Aswan | Cairo

After breakfast, disembark the ship.

Discovery: The Temple of Philae and the Aswan High Dam. Board a felucca and sail to the island temple complex of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis, for a guided tour. When the rising waters of the High Dam threatened the complex’s beautiful structures in the 1970s, they were dismantled and reassembled on higher ground about 500 meters from their original site. Following your tour, learn about the ancient process of handcrafting papyrus at the Papyrus Institute. Continue to the High Dam, an engineering marvel built in the 1960s, which has helped to control the Nile’s annual flooding and improved the nation’s power supply.

Transfer to Aswan’s airport for your flight to Cairo. Upon arrival, refresh and relax in your evening room at the InterContinental CityStars Cairo, prior to an early morning departure for your connecting flights home.

Accommodations – InterContinental CityStars Cairo
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

March 5 Depart for Gateway City

Very early this morning, bid farewell to Cairo and the legendary Nile River.

AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land/Cruise Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Cairo International Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals – Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service

NOTE: Itinerary may change due to local conditions


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