Combining the pyramids, sphinx and Egyptian Museum in Cairo with a luxury Nile Cruise is one of the world's classic holidays, and one of our most popular. You will see and learn about some fascinating ancient history while enjoying some of Cairo's very best hotels and watching rural Egyptian life pass by as you sail up-river on a 5-star deluxe level cruise boat.
We begin in Cairo with an introduction to Egyptian Pharaonic history at the pyramids and Sphinx at Gisa. In the afternoon we explore the huge Egyptian Museum with its famous Tutankhamun exhibit, and vast collection of statues and artefacts.
We leave Cairo and fly south to Luxor, commonly described as the world's largest open air museum. After a night in a 5-star hotel and a visit to the huge temple complex at Karnak we board your 5-star-deluxe level Nile cruise boat to check in. The afternoon is free to explore Luxor's markets, or perhaps visit the Mummification Museum. In the evening we visit Luxor temple in the centre of town when it is beautifully lit up. We start early the next morning to explore the West Bank of the Nile before the big crowds and the extreme heat of the middle of the day arrive. Our tours here take in the Valley of the Kings, where many Pharaohs were buried, the unique temple to Queen Hatchepsut, and also the less visited Medinat Habu temple which has some of Egypt's deepest carved hieroglyphs and colourful wall paintings, really giving a sense of how these temples used to look at their peak. Our final stop is at the Colossi of Memnon before we head back to the cruise boat.
The cruise boat then departs and heads south, up-river and through the locks on the Nile at Esna, before arriving at Edfu where we overnight. After visiting Edfu temple, we sail further up-river, stopping at Komombo, before reaching the laid-back town of Aswan, which sits beside the cascading waters of the Nile.
Here you can relax and watch myriad feluccas sail lazily around the many small islands or experience traditional Egyptian life with a stroll along the mazy streets of the town’s colourful bazaar. Our tours in Aswan include a boat trip to the lovely island Philae temple, the Aswan Dam, and a felucca sailboat trip on the river to some of the islands. You can also take the opportunity to visit the temples to Ramses II at Abu Simbel, which were dismantled and rebuilt when Lake Nasser was flooded.
From Aswan you return to Cairo by air and our last tour takes in the Citadel with great views over the city, several beautiful mosques, the ancient churches of Coptic Cairo, and the bustling Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. Your tour ends in Cairo with a transfer to the airport for your flight home.
- All accommodation as stated in the itinerary in 4 & 5-star hotels
- All transport and transfers in private AC vehicles
- Domestic flights from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan to Cairo
- 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
- Sightseeing tours as detailed in the itinerary
- Services of a local Egyptologist guide for all the sightseeing tours
- Entrance fees to sites visited
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- International flights (available on request)
- Visa fees (USD 25 available on arrival for most nationalities)
- Travel Insurance (mandatory, available on request)
- Meals not indicated in the itinerary
- Tipping kitty (allow US$45)
- Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
- Tour guide tips
- Hotel Gala Dinners (if charged by the hotels on 24 & 31 Dec, see Tour notes)
- Any other items not mentioned above
Hotel Gala Dinners
Many of Egypt's hotels and Nile cruise boats arrange a very special gala dinner with entertainment in the evening on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Payment for these is often optional on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) but may be compulsory on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$50 to over US$150 per person. Final decisions on prices and whether dinners are compulsory are made relatively close to the time. We aim to always select hotels that make their Gala Dinners optional, though this is is not always possible. Gala dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, but will be added to your booking if they become required. More information is available on request.