All aboard the Steam Ship Sudan! Take a luxury cruise on the Nile and explore Egypt's ancient sites in style on this ten-day adventure hosted by Original Travel and the UK's leading Egyptophile, Anthony Sattin.
Dates: 30th September - 9th October 2020
Your journey starts with an early afternoon flight from London to Cairo, which takes around five hours.
On arrival you'll be met by one of representatives who will have your visa for you, and help you through customs to meet your driver for a private transfer to The Four Seasons Nile Plaza Cairo, your centrally-located home for the next two nights which overlooks the Nile.
Today is all about exploring Cairo and its fascinating history, culture and architecture. Take your time to discover this ancient metropolis that has attracted armies, archaeologists and artists across its 5,000-year history.
Start with an early breakfast before you meet your guide in the hotel lobby then make your way to the incredible Pyramids of Giza for your private guided tour with expert local guides.
Constructed on the orders of the Pharaohs over 4,000 years ago, these magnificent structures well deserve their place among the Seven Wonders of the World and today is your chance to roam around and see them for yourself. Venture inside for an alternative view, and make sure you head to the viewpoint to see the landscape of the city of Cairo laid out before you.
You'll also have time to visit the mysterious Sphinx before making your way to the Grand Bazaar - or El Khalili - of Cairo. Your guide will lead you through the maze of stalls, giving you a glimpse into the local culture, before you stop for lunch and heading back to the hotel.
Enjoy a couple of hours downtime before joining Antony Sattin for a short talk before you head out to the Museum of Cairo. Sattin is an award-winning author, journalist, and broadcaster and undoubtedly the UK's leading Egyptophile. A prolific writer, he also reviews books for the Sunday Times, sits on the editorial board of Geographical magazine and provides pieces on Arabic culture to BBC radio. He is the author of many titles including The Pharaohs' Shadow: Travels in Ancient and Modern Egypt, The Gates of Africa and A Winter on the Nile. He has escorted many travellers up the Nile (where he says, 'history is constantly on your shoulder') sitting with guests over a drink and entertaining them with talk of the duality of Seth and Osiris, or how both Florence Nightingale and Flaubert discovered themselves over the course of a winter on the river.
At the museum, you will be accompanied by expert local Egyptologists for a two-hour tour of this extraordinary museum. After soaking up the incredible history and culture displayed here, head back to the hotel for dinner at your own leisure.
Enjoy a final leisurely breakfast in Cairo before you take your transfer to the airport for your midday flight to Aswan, which takes an hour and 20 minutes.
On arrival your driver will take you to your hotel which is just a 30-minute drive away. The Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan sits on the banks of the Nile in central Aswan, which has a much more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere than other Egyptian cities.
This evening you'll meet by the hotel dock for a sunset boat cruise to Kitchener Island and a leisurely walk through the beautiful botanical gardens. Cruise back to the hotel for cocktails before dinner at your leisure. Enjoy your evening at the hotel and your last night on land before you embark on the Steam Ship Sudan tomorrow morning where your Nile cruise really begins.
After breakfast at your hotel, jump in the car for a quick ten-minute ride to the SS Sudan, your home for the next five nights.
Over the next six days you'll experience a wealth of culture and history as you sail north along the Nile to Abydos and back down again to Luxor, stopping off at multiple places along the way with expert guides, and making the most of included activities onboard and on land.
After you've unpacked and enjoyed a light lunch, spend your first afternoon exploring the Temple of Philae, just south of Aswan, with your guide. As the domain of the goddess Isis, Philae remained as one of the most important shrines in ancient Egypt for over 4,000 years.
Wander the colourful markets of Aswan before heading back to the SS Sudan for dinner and a relaxing drink at the bar.
Rise early this morning for a light breakfast before heading to Kom Ombo Temple, right on the banks of the Nile. Dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god, the temple dates back to 180BC, during the Ptolemaic era, with Roman structures added later.
Lunch is served on board. Then enjoy the rhythm of the cruise as you continue your journey 90 miles north along the Nile to Edfu.
Then enjoy an afternoon exploration of the temple at Edfu. Built in honour of the falcon-headed sky god, Horus, the temple lay buried under a protective coating of sand until it was excavated by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette in the 1860s. For this visit, you will be travel to the temple by traditional horse and cart.
Dinner will be served on board SS Sudan, while it navigates through the lock at Esna, where the boat will dock for the night.
This morning, enjoy a slow morning and scenic breakfast overlooking the Nile Valley as the ship continues its leisurely cruise north.
After a relaxing morning and lunch you will arrive in Luxor where you'll have the afternoon to explore the Temple of Karnak. This city of temples was constructed over a 2,000-year period and houses the Temple of Amun, the largest religious structure ever built. Walking through this huge site of obelisks, pylons and sanctuaries, browse the incredible illustrations that honour the glory of the pharaohs and their gods, all brought vividly to life by your expert guide.
Come evening, discover the Temple of Luxor where they hold the annual festival Opet, which celebrates the fertility of the Nile.
Head back to the ship for dinner onboard the SS Sudan.
The morning you will again have a leisurely wake up as the boat sails to Qena, north of Luxor. Only a few ships sail this splendid stretch of the river so enjoy a relaxing morning admiring both banks of the Nile.
After lunch on board the ship, head towards the Temple of Dendera, around an hour away from Qena.
Dendera is the temple of Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of love and joy who is also known for protecting women and nursing pharaohs. With its richly decorated chapels, mazes of corridors and stairs, and iconic columns topped with the carved head of the goddess Hathor, this unique site is one of the best-preserved ancient Egyptian monuments. For incredible views after you've finished exploring, head to the temple's roof to look out over the Egyptian countryside.
Tonight you'll enjoy dinner onboard the SS Sudan again.
This morning you will have an early start as you'll need to hit the road early.
It's a two-hour drive, with a light breakfast en route, to the amazing site of Abydos, a holy city and the cult centre of Osiris, regent of the Kingdom of the Dead and god of resurrection. The Temple of Seti I is particularly lovely, with its colourful and fine bas-reliefs which mark the birth of Ramesside art.
You will return to the boat in time for a late lunch, and then a leisurely afternoon cruise back upstream to Luxor for your last evening on board the SS Sudan.
It's another early start again this morning as you head to the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens, situated in the heart of the Theban Necropolis on the West Bank in Luxor.
You'll have time to explore the Valley of the Kings, where the magnificently decorated royal tombs depict the afterlife and journey of the dead, before you move on to the Valley of the Queens, the secret necropolis of royal wives.
Next, in the Valley of the Nobles, be sure to take in the Tomb of Ramose, which showcases the art of the Akhenaten's era, before you visit the Temple of Medinet Habu where Ramesses III engraved for eternity the successful battles against the Sea People.
After exploring, you will then leave the Steam Ship Sudan behind and make your way to the elegant grande dame hotel the Sofitel Winter Palace where you can take some time to relax before enjoying a beautiful dinner at restaurant 1886 on your last night in Egypt.
Your journey home starts with a morning flight from Luxor to Cairo, where you'll have time for a long lunch before you transfer to your afternoon flight back to London, where you'll arrive late evening.
A Private Cruise on the Steam Ship Sudan Header: Olivier Romano | Day 4 Steamship: Olivier Romano | Day 5 Sunset: Olivier Romano | Day 6 Sitting on Deck: Olivier Romano | Day 7 Dining Table: Olivier Romano | Day 8 Sunset Boat: Olivier Romano