- Float down the timeless River Nile aboard the Steam Ship Sudan and experience all of the great attractions away from the crowds
- Take a private tour of the Pyramids of Giza, visit the Grand Egyptian Museum and tour Cairo alongside a local guide
- Stay in two historic and world-class hotels before and after the cruise
Contact one of our Egypt specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Begin your ten-day luxury Egyptian adventure in the ancient city of Cairo, which is as bustling as it is charming. Through the ages, various dynasties have left their mark on the sprawling capital and you’ll be able to experience its rich history through visits to various sites and museums alongside local guides. Once you’ve got a sense of the city, head to Luxor to board the iconic Steam Ship Sudan, the last historic steamboat still shuttling up and down the River Nile. Beloved by Agatha Christie (who was inspired to write 'Death on the Nile' following her stay on board), a Nile cruise aboard the steamship is the best way to see all of Egypt’s most famous sites and ancient treasures.
ARRIVE IN EGYPT
Your adventure in Egypt begins with a five hour flight from London to Cairo, arriving in the late evening. From the airport you’ll be privately transferred to your luxury hotel in Cairo, where you’ll stay for two nights.
Today you’ll discover the Pyramids of Giza and the Egyptian Museum alongside a private tour guide. Symbols of the Pharaonic civilisation, the Pyramids of Giza are the remains of a vast funeral complex built in the middle of the third millennium BC – a testimony to the power of the Pharaohs during the Ancient Egyptian Empire. The Great Pyramid of King Khufu is the only surviving example of the Seven Wonders of the World, the ultimate witness to the splendour of a bygone era. Take a tour to discover the entire site, including the Sphinx – the guardian of the Giza Necropolis – followed by the megalithic valley temple and the three pyramids of Khufu, Khafra and Menkaure. The day will continue with a visit to the brand new Grand Egyptian Museum near the pyramids (provided your travel dates coincide with its hotly anticipated opening) or the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, founded in 1857 by French archaeologist Auguste Mariette. The former is a highly anticipated and colossal project, bringing together 3,000 years of history and almost 100,000 objects across nearly 124 acres, including Tutankhamun’s treasure. The latter contains some of the most extraordinary examples of Ancient Egyptian genius and gives us unparalleled records of the evolution of man, with 120,000 historical objects from prehistoric to Greco-Roman times.
CAIRO TO LUXOR
Spend the morning discovering Cairo in the company of an English-speaking local. Get a feel for the city as if you live there, uncovering hidden gems and local landmarks that get left out of guide books. There’s no set itinerary and the walk is adapted to each traveller’s interests. For example, some might like to explore Cairo’s café scene (known as ahawi), which act as places for both relaxation and entertainment, as well as represent one of the foundations of Egyptian social life. Some will prefer to head to the historic side of Cairo, home to the largest concentration of Islamic monuments in the world (including Bab al-Futuh and Bab Zuweila), alongside plenty of UNESCO-restored monuments. After lunch, a private transfer will take you to Cairo airport for your domestic flight to Luxor. Upon arrival, a second private transfer will transport you to your Luxor hotel, a historic institution, oozing with old-style elegance and equipped with every luxury comfort. Enjoy a laid-back dinner, before taking a stroll through the gardens and enjoying uninterrupted views of the Nile.
ALL ABOARD THE STEAM SHIP SUDAN
This morning you’ll be privately transferred from Luxor to the Steam Ship Sudan (owned by our parent company, Voyageurs du Monde), to begin your Nile cruise. Settle into your cabin and enjoy lunch onboard the steamship before spending the afternoon visiting the Karnak Temple Complex, dedicated to the god Amun, followed by the Luxor temple, the most elegant of the Ancient Egyptian buildings built under Amenhotep III. After returning from the tours, the boat will begin sailing to Qena, north of Luxor. This part of the Nile, which is rarely frequented by cruise ships, is magnificent and offers beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, especially at sunset. Enjoy a delicious dinner on board and stay overnight at the dock in Qena.
It’s an early start today as you disembark the boat and drive two hours to reach Abydos. The holy city - and the city of Osiris, king of the underworld - has been attracting visitors since the Ancient Egyptian era. The city’s temple, which dates back to the reign of Seti I, is filled with large colourful engravings, whose exquisite execution marks the birth of Ramesside art. The route back to the steamship includes a visit to the Dendera Temple and the spectacular temple of Hathor, goddess of joy and love. In the ancient city of Dendera you’ll find intricately decorated chapels, columns topped with cow heads, hidden passages and a roof which boasts a splendid view of the Upper Egypt countryside. It's then time to get back on board for lunch as the boat resumes sailing towards Luxor. Dinner will be served on board and you’ll spend the night docked in Luxor.
VALLEY OF THE KINGS
This morning is devoted to the discovery of the Theban Necropolis and the Valley of the Kings, whose ornately decorated tombs tell the story of their journey through the afterlife. Combine this with a visit to the Valley of the Queens – the secret necropolis of royal wives – along with the Valley of the Nobles. Finish off the unforgettable morning with a stop at the Temple of Medinet Habu, where Ramses III engraved his victorious battles against the Sea Peoples, before heading back to the boat for lunch. Resume sailing to Esna, then Edfu, enjoying dinner on board and spending the night docked in Edfu.
FROM EDFU TO KOM OMBO
Today you’ll disembark the steamship to visit the Temple of Edfu, built in the third century BC and dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus, to his wife Hathor - goddess of beauty and love - and to their son, Harsomtous. This is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. It's then time to get back on board for lunch as the boat resumes sailing towards Kom Ombo for a sunset arrival. Here you can visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, which is unique in Egypt because it’s dedicated to two deities: the hawk-headed god Horus and the crocodile-headed god Sobek. Return to the boat for dinner on board, where you’ll be docked in Kom Ombo for the night.
ARRIVAL IN ASWAN
Embark on the final leg of your journey towards Aswan, where the Nile River ends and Nubia begins. The harvested fields bordering the river give way to large sand dunes, which were once considered to be the border of civilisation. You'll spend the afternoon visiting the Temple of Philae, the domain of the goddess Isis, a universal and magical deity reigning over life, death and the underworld. Philae was one of the most important shrines in Egypt and Nubia until 550 AD, when the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I ordered its closure. After the tour, you will have some free time in Aswan to explore the city’s markets and haggle over some souvenirs in the souq. Head back to the steamship for one final delicious dinner and good night’s sleep on board.
This morning you’ll leave your floating home on the Nile and be privately transferred to your next hotel in a traditional Egyptian sailing boat, known as a felucca. Stop along the way on El Nabatat Island, otherwise known as ‘Kitchener’s Island’, after a former British Consul-General in Egypt turned this deserted island into a lush botanical garden. The west side of the island offers magnificent views of the west bank of the Nile and the desert beyond. Your hotel in Aswan is another timeless classic, boasting historic charm and plenty of contemporary comforts. During you stay in Aswan you can visit the island of Elephantine, home to an impressive wealth of ancient ruins.
Sadly, your luxury Egyptian adventure ends today and you’ll be privately transferred to the airport for a domestic flight to Cairo. From Cairo, you’ll catch your international flight home.
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GO ONE STEP FURTHER – ABU SIMBEL
186 miles from Aswan, in the heart of the ancient kingdom of Nubia, stand the temples of Abu Simbel. Built to honour the great pharaoh Ramesses II, they were carved out of two sandstone hills that face the Nile. Bathed in African light, this magnificent site enhanced the pharaoh's power in the eyes of the people from the south, over whom Egypt asserted its supremacy.
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