Itinerary Highlights
    • Enjoy a private tour of the Pyramids of Giza and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
    • Spend six nights cruising the River Nile aboard the historic Steam Ship Sudan
    • Discover the ancient lost city of Petra – one of the New Seven Wonders of the World – with a private guide

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Delve into ancient Egyptian and Jordanian history on this 12-day itinerary. Not only will you discover archaeological wonders in these lands, but you’ll also set sail down the River Nile on the spectacular Steam Ship Sudan. A cruise on this iconic vessel, that inspired Agatha Christie to write Death on the Nile, is an unforgettable experience and (in our humble opinion) the best way to see Egypt’s historic treasures.

The adventure begins in Cairo, where you’ll explore the Pyramids of Giza and visit the city’s most famous sites. You’ll then travel to Luxor for an overnight stay, before embarking on a five-night cruise aboard the Steam Ship Sudan. In Luxor, you’ll visit the Karnak Complex, before sailing up to Qena to spend the night in the quay.
You’ll then explore the holy city of Abydos and the Dendera complex, before heading back to Luxor for your second night on the ship. The next stop is the Theban Necropolis, where you’ll discover ancient royal tombs from the Pharaonic period, before setting sail for Edfu. The next day, discover the magnificent Temple of Edfu and Kom Ombu, before heading back to the boat for dinner. For the final leg of the cruise, you’ll float down towards the end of the Nile into ancient Nubia. Here, discover the impressive Temple of Philae, and the ancient trading centre of Elephantine Island. You’ll spend your final night aboard the ship in Aswan. The next morning, say farewell to the ship and explore the botanical gardens on Kitchener’s Island, before heading to your nearby hotel for the night. Jordan awaits the next day, so catch a flight to the capital, Amman, where you’ll explore the city’s rich history with a knowledgeable guide. The final leg of your journey then begins, as you embark on the scenic drive to Petra. You’ll spend two nights here, ticking the magnificent Petra off the bucket list with a private tour of the ancient site.


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Flight to Cairo

Your trip of a lifetime begins today, so it’s time to head to the airport for your morning flight to Cairo. Leave enough time to relax in the lounge before your five-hour flight departs for the Egyptian capital. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by our local representative who will whisk you through customs, where your driver will be waiting to welcome you and transfer you to your hotel. Located in the lushly landscaped Maadi district, you’ll be spending the next two nights in a recently refurbished hotel built in the 1920s. Relax in the airy, sophisticated interior or on one of the sundecks surrounded by lemon, mango and guava trees.


Pyramids of Giza

Enjoy an early breakfast in your hotel this morning, before a full-day private tour of the city’s most famous sites. The first stop is the ancient Pyramids of Giza, the remains of a vast funeral complex built around the middle of the third millennium B.C. Visiting the oldest tourist site in the world is a truly unforgettable experience, so remember your camera as you marvel at the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the highest and oldest of the three, nestled in between Khaphre and Menkaure. You’ll also discover the Sphinx – guardian of the necropolis – and the Megalithic Valley Temple. Along the way, your knowledgeable guide will give you a history lesson in all things ancient Egyptian, so pay attention (there’s lots to learn).

After a morning spent wandering the remnants of the ancient world, you’ll have worked up quite the appetite. Luckily, your trusty guide is on hand to recommend a local restaurant for lunch. Enjoy sampling Cairo’s cuisine before your sightseeing tour continues. Next stop: the Egyptian Museum of Cairo. Fit to bursting with ancient Egyptian antiquities, the museum was founded in 1827 by famous French archaeologist Auguste Mariette. It houses an unparalleled collection of objects from the Pharaonic civilisation and you’ll see all kinds of artefacts, including the golden treasures of Tutankhamun. Once you’ve had your fill of ancient history, head back to your hotel for dinner, or consult your Dossier for our recommended eateries nearby.


Explore Islamic Cairo

During today’s excursion, you’ll discover Cairo’s historic highlights. Led by an experienced local guide, you’ll visit a number of impressive mosques, including the huge Mosque-Madrasa of Sultan Hassan, located in the dramatic Citadel, on the eastern edge of the city. The half-day tour will also include a visit to the famous Khan Al-Khalili Bazaar, so get your haggling hat on if you want to buy a souvenir or two. Exploring the maze of bustling alleyways is hungry (and thirsty) work, so you’ll stop at a local restaurant for a late lunch. Soak up the atmosphere of the vibrant city before heading back to your hotel for some chill time.

This evening, you’ll be privately transferred back to Cairo airport, where you’ll board a one-hour flight to Luxor for the next part of your trip. You’ll be spending the night in a grand hotel overlooking the River Nile. Oozing old-style elegance, your hotel also has beautiful gardens, so take an evening stroll or enjoy cocktails in the piano bar before dinner.


Set Sail on the Steam Ship Sudan

This morning, you’ll have time to savour a leisurely breakfast at your hotel before the next leg of your trip begins. A six-day cruise on the magnificent Steam Ship Sudan awaits, so make like Agatha Christie and pack your bags. You’ll be privately transferred to the iconic ship late morning and, once aboard, will have some time to settle into your cabin before a delicious lunch. Built at the turn of the 20th century, the ship is the last steamer to navigate the Nile today. On board, you’ll be stepping back in time to the Belle Epoque era as you cruise the river from Luxor to Aswan over the next six days.

This afternoon, you’ll be making a stop at the fascinating Karnak Temple Complex where You’ll learn all about the history of this site, which was built for the god Amon, protector of the Pharaohs of the new empire. After you’ve explored, head back to the boat to travel onwards towards Qena, located north of Luxor. This part of the Nile is rarely visited by cruise boats, so enjoy beautiful coastal panoramas in the peaceful waters. Tonight, you’ll be treated to dinner on board before retiring to your luxurious cabin for your first night’s sleep on the river.


Ancient Exploration

Today, you’ll have an early start, stepping off the boat for a two-hour drive towards the ancient city of Abydos. This holy city dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, Seti 1st, and was built for Osiris, the God of resurrection. Seti’s reign is distinguished for its regard for art and culture, illustrated by the exquisite colourful reliefs at the site which mark the birth of the Ramesside art.

After admiring the skill and ingenuity of the ancient Egyptians at Abydos, you'll visit the Dendera Complex. Located in a remote desert region with few crops, the ancient city of Dendera is one of the best preserved in Egypt. Marvel at the richly decorated chapels, columns, hallways and stairs, along with the impressive Temple of Hathor, built to honour the goddess who personified feminine love and motherhood. Make sure to take in the stunning views of the Upper Egyptian countryside from the temple’s terraces and rooftops. Afterwards, you’ll make your way back to the boat to enjoy an early afternoon lunch, as the ship cruises onwards to Luxor. Relax on the deck as you sip a cocktail and admire the gorgeous scenery on the banks of the Nile. Dinner is served on board, before you spend your second night at the quai in Luxor.


Tour Ancient Tombs

It’s time to discover more of Upper Egypt’s ancient wonders today. This morning, you’ll be privately transferred to the Theban Necropolis. Believed to be the domain of the god Osiris, you’ll discover a land of mysteries used for ritual burials for most of the Pharaonic period. You’ll also visit the impressive Valley of the Kings, home to 64 royal and private tombs; the Valley of the Queens, the secret necropolis of the royal wives; and the Valley of the Nobles. Ranging from winding labyrinths with many chambers to small, pit tombs, you’ll see some of the most distinctive examples of funerary decoration here. One of the notable tombs is that of Rameses VI, which measures an impressive 380ft long.

On this excursion, you’ll also see the vast ancient craftsmen’s village of Deir El-Medina, created to house the sculptors, painters and stonemasons working on the Necropolises. At lunchtime, return to the boat for a tasty meal on board, before settling in for an afternoon sailing towards the ancient city of Edfu. This evening, you’ll tuck into another delectable dinner before heading to your cabin for the night.


Tantalising Temples

You’ll be journeying further into Egypt’s ancient past today as you make a trip to the Temple of Edfu. Built to honour Horus – the falcon-headed god – and Hathor (with whom you're well acquainted), this is one of the best-preserved shrines in Egypt. You’ll observe traditional Egyptian elements as well as Greek influences as you tour the imposing structures. After taking in the historic site, it’s time to return to the boat for a filling lunch, as the boat cruises along to your next destination and the afternoon’s adventure: Kom Ombo.

Arriving at sunset, you’ll visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, and marvel at the intricately engraved columns of this unusual double temple. Built during the Ptolemaic period, Kom Ombo honours the crocodile-headed Sobek and falcon-headed Horus. Once you’ve finished exploring, head back to the ship for another wonderful dinner and peaceful night’s sleep.


Next up, Ancient Nubia

After a restful sleep aboard the boat, it’s time to set sail towards the end of the Nile Valley, where ancient Nubia begins. Relax on deck as you observe the landscape changing around you, with sandy banks replacing cultivated lands, then disembark to discover Elephantine Island, which has been a trading centre since the third century. The ancient region of Nubia – which means ‘gold’ in Nubian – had a rich soil, enabling trade in precious goods including soldiers, wood, ivory and gold.

Your adventure into ancient Nubia continues with a visit to the Temple of Philae, home to Isis (the goddess of marriage, fertility, motherhood, magic and medicine) and one of the most important sanctuaries in Egypt and Nubia. After delving into this archaic temple, you’ll have some time to wander around the riverside city before dinner. Tonight, you’ll have the option to return to the Temple of Philae for a ‘Light and Sound show’, which will see the imposing buildings lit up with dramatic colour. After the evening’s activities are done, head back to the ship for your final night aboard the charming boat, which will stay overnight in Aswan.


Night on the Nile

Enjoy your final breakfast on board the Steam Ship Sudan, as sadly it’s time to disembark the iconic vessel. You’re not heading back to land just yet though, as it’s time to climb aboard a traditional sailing boat, a felucca, which will take you to your hotel. En route, stop at Kitchener’s Island, home to a lush botanical garden. It will take approximately two hours by boat to reach your hotel for the night, located on a small island in the middle of the Nile, so sit back, relax and enjoy the views.

For the rest of the day, relax at your hotel, which has a tranquil outdoor pool and gorgeous gardens to explore. For dinner, there are three restaurants to choose from, after which we recommend heading to the rooftop bar for panoramic views across the Nile. And if you fancy treating yourself, unwind with a massage or spa treatment (you deserve it).

DAY 10

Jet off to Jordan

You’ve got an early start this morning, so wave goodbye to the River Nile as it’s time to head to the airport. A private transfer will take you to Aswan airport for a short domestic flight to Cairo. Upon arrival, you’ll be whisked through the airport to board your connecting two-hour flight to Jordan, which lands in the capital, Amman, mid-afternoon. Once you’ve touched down, meet your driver who will transfer you 40 minutes to your hotel, a stylish boutique property.

For the rest of the day, you’ll be in the capable hands of a local private guide, who will take you on a tour of Amman’s best sites, including a number of archaeological ruins which are dotted around the city. Our favourites are the Roman Theatre, built around 151 AD, and the Roman Citadel, which houses the ancient Temple of Hercules and offers spectacular views over downtown Amman. There are also numerous museums to while away the hours in, such as the Jordan Archaeological and the National Museum. Head to the neighbourhood of Jabal Amman, located on one of the city’s seven hills, to peruse the atmospheric souqs and soak up the historic charm of old Amman. Tonight, consult our Dossier to find the best gastronomic delights in the city, before returning to your hotel.

DAY 11

Petra Calling

The next destination on your Jordanian itinerary awaits, so settle in for the 186-mile-long journey to Petra. You’ll leave bright and early this morning for your private transfer via the scenic King’s Highway, an ancient road which tells the story of the Kingdom of Jordan. You’ll stop at sites such as Madaba, famous for its beautiful mosaics, and the crusader fortresses of Kerak and Shobak, and you’ll also pass Mount Nebo, which houses the tomb of Moses. Enjoy spectacular views from the religious site, along with the remarkable mosaics in the church, dating back to the fourth century AD. The famous King’s Highway also crosses natural wonders including the beautiful river canyon, Wadi Mujib and the vast Wadi Araba desert. It will take a full day to reach your historic hotel in Petra, where you’ll arrive this evening for a two-night stay.

DAY 12

Private Tour of Petra

The lost city of Petra, constructed by the prehistoric Nabateans as early as 300 BC, has recently been classified as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Today, you’ll be taken on a private guided tour of this bucket-list destination, which is carved into the distinctive pink sandstone cliffs. Your walking tour will last around six hours, first taking the Main Trail and passing sites such as the Obelisk Tomb, the ancient Dam, the Great Temple and the castle of the Pharaoh's daughter (Qasr Al Bint Temple).

You’ll then continue north along a second path, passing by the Lion Fountain and the Garden Triclinium, before reaching the Monastery. The walk is just over six miles of moderately difficult terrain, including 800 steps up to the Monastery. And while your legs won’t thank you, you’ll feel nothing but satisfaction when you reach the top and see unforgettable views over the whole ancient site of Petra.

This evening, return to your hotel and put your feet up or take a cooling dip in one of the swimming pools. Later, if you fancy venturing out again, the nearby town of Wadi Musa is home to some lovely restaurants serving traditional Jordanian dishes. There’s also delicious barbequed food served at your hotel, so you needn’t stray far. It’s your final night of the holiday, so soak up all you can of this beautiful country.

DAY 13

Return Flight

This morning, bid Petra a fond farewell before being privately transferred back to Amman. Pick up any final souvenirs from the airport before your six-hour flight back to the UK. Landing back in the UK around midday, you may experience the dreaded holiday blues, but don’t despair; you’ll be reminiscing about your ancient adventure for years to come.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The cost for this trip starts from £6,600 to £9,400 per person.

The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote.

The average starting price for this trip is £7,600 per person.
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