- Combine two historic hotels in Luxor and Aswan and sail aboard the Steam Ship Sudan, following in the footsteps of Agatha Christie
- Contemplate everyday life along the banks of the Nile and explore magnificent sites and unknown temples far away from the crowds
- The Old Winter Palace & The Old Cataract, two legendary Egyptian hotels
- The itinerary includes private transfers, access to our on-site Concierge and all our usual additional services.
Contact one of our Egypt specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
THE NILE ON THE STEAM SHIP SUDANBuilt at the turn of the 20th century for Thomas Cook & Sons, the Steam Ship Sudan is the last historic steamboat on the Nile. It stands out from other cruise ships due to its small capacity and its desire combine its authentic atmosphere from the past with modern comfort. The double hardwood deck sits over an ink-black hull that for almost a century has plied the waters of the sacred river, guided by the slowly turning paddlewheels as the ship pumps out steam at regular intervals. The boat has 23 cabins including five suites, each named after people related to the history of the ship or Egypt: Agatha Christie (who was inspired to write 'Death on the Nile' after her stay aboard), Herodotus and many others. We are proud of the quality of service on board, along with catering (The Steam Ship Sudan is the first ship to be supplied with 100% organic fruit, vegetables and eggs on the Nile ) and recruitment of guides present throughout the cruise. The boat was recently docked in order to undergo a complete renovation. During sailing hours you can sit on the deck in front of your cabin, or relax on the upper deck - equipped with deckchairs - while enjoying the hypnotising sight of the Nile river banks slipping by.
YOUR HOME IN LUXOR - SOFITEL WINTER PALACEOn the banks of the River Nile, near Luxor Temple, stands another historic landmark: the Old Winter Palace. Built in 1886, the inauguration of this prestigious hotel marked the beginning of tourism to the region. Comfort has adapted to the demands of the modern traveller, but the Victorian atmosphere still remains, with the imposing marble staircase and the exceptionally elegant lounges. Bellboys wearing sirwals (loose fitting trousers) and fezzes and concierges in tailcoats add to the atmosphere. The hotel boasts around 100 rooms at the Palace that more resembles a museum than a modern hotel. The rooms may feel on the small side, but they were considered fine in the old days. Don't forget to take a quick look at the photo collection; a lot of very famous people have stayed there. In the modern section, called the Pavillon, the rooms are larger, more modern and well appointed.
Simply a must - Find a spot on the terrace after nightfall overlooking the beautiful gardens to fully take in the magic of the place.
YOUR HOME IN ASWAN - SOFITEL LEGEND CATARACTThis hotel keeps the past alive like almost nowhere else. Without disturbing the essence of the hotel, the historic wing has seen many of its rooms turned into suites. The 'Elephantine' wing (Nile Wing) - where you'll be staying - offers contemporary elegance, while the whole complex boasts a spacious spa measuring 13,000 square feet with an indoor swimming pool. Guests such as Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill and famous statesmen of the 20th century contribute to the aura of the place, and the palace maintains traditional hospitality, comfort and refined and flawless service. Behind its ochre walls, framed by the river and the rocks, the allure lingers on.
Cuisine - Eastern and fine-dining cuisine at restaurant 1902 / Cosy feel and all-day service at Al Saraya / Mediterranean flavours and service on the terrace at Oriental Kebabgy / Tropical and informal atmosphere at Palms by the pool / Afternoon tea and drinks at The Terrace.
Flight to Cairo - Luxor
International flight to Cairo then a domestic flight to Luxor. Welcome on arrival, private transfer and overnight stay at Sofitel Winter Palace.
On site facilities - Three restaurants including the famous '1886', two swimming pools, one of which is indoors, and a beautiful garden where you can happily relax under a flamboyant (by name and nature) tree and listen to the birdsong.
Things to see and do - Have afternoon tea at the Old Winter Palace and try a refreshing 'karkade', a drink made from hisbiscus flower / Attend the sound and light show at the Karnak temple.
Luxor - Qena
Private transfer, embark on the Steam Ship Sudan and get settled in your cabin. Lunch on board. In the afternoon, discover the East Bank of Luxor with a visit to the Karnak Complex, one of the world's largest sacred monuments. A particular point of interest is the temple of the sovereign god of Karnak - Amun - which was built over nearly two thousand years ago between the Middle Kingdom and the later Ptolemaic era. Then visit the Temple of Luxor, the most elegant of the Ancient Egyptian buildings built under Amenhotep III, and extended by another great builder, Ramses II. Return to the boat and begin sailing towards Qena, north of Luxor. This part of the Nile, where few cruise ships go, is very beautiful, and you can enjoy your first sunset along the Nile. Dinner and overnight stay on board in Qena.
Qena - Abydos - Dendera - Luxor
Early departure to Abydos(two-hour drive). Abydos - known as the holy city and the city of Osiris - king of the underworld and god of the afterlife - has been drawing visitors since the Ancient Egyptian era. The temple, which dates back to the time of Seti I, is a wonder to admire, with large colourful engravings whose exquisite execution marks the birth of Ramesside art. The route back includes a visit to the Dendera Temple and the spectacular temple of Hathor, goddess of joy and love, protector of women and also nurse to the pharaohs. Bordered by different cultures and the desert, the remains of the ancient city of Dendera are particularly well preserved. Find intricately decorated chapels, columns topped with cow heads, dark passages and stairways, terraces and a roof which boasts a splendid view of the Upper Egypt countryside. Return on board for lunch, before spending a beautiful afternoon sailing to Luxor. Dinner and overnight stay in Luxor.
Luxor - Esna - Edfu
Early in the morning, visit the Theban Necropolis located in the Valley of the Kings, where you'll find hypogea (underground tombs) belonging to many pharaohs of the New Empire. The royal wives are buried in the Valley of the Queens, including Nefertari, wife of Ramses II, 'the one for whom the sun shines'. In the Valley of the Nobles, the tomb of Ramose (Vizier of Upper Egypt under Amenhotep III and Akhenaten) stands out with its splendid painted facade. Then visit the Temple of Ramses III in Medinet-Habu; almost entirely preserved, it is a perfect example of funeral temples from the Ramesside dynasty. Return aboard and depart for Esna Lock before heading to Edfu. Dinner and overnight stay on the boat.
Edfu - Kom Ombo
In the morning, visit the Temple of Edfu, built in the third century BC and dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus, to Hathor his wife - goddess of beauty and love - and to Harsomtous, their son. This is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. Have lunch on board and sail to Kom Ombo for a sunset arrival. In the evening, visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, a very special place in terms of architecture and religion. Unique among the temples of Egypt, Kom Ombo is dedicated to two deities with two temples combined in one place. The southern part was dedicated to the ancient falcon god Horus (Haroeris) and the northern part to the crocodile god Sobek. Dinner and overnight stay on board.
Kom Ombo - Aswan
Sail to Aswa, the gateway to Nubia. The farmed river banks are replaced by large sand dunes. This was once considered the border of civilisation. By the third millennium BC, Elephantine Island was a major trade centre. Nubia (meaning gold in Nubian) was a rich land, providing Egypt not only with gold but also with soldiers, sought-after timber and precious ivory. In Aswan, visit the Philae Temple, which was moved to the island of Aguilkia in 1974 (Philae being submerged by water due to a dam on the river). This sanctuary was dedicated to Isis, a universal and magical goddess reigning over life, death and the underworld. The cult of the goddess continued for a long time, until the temple was transformed into a Coptic church by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the fifth century. Dinner and final night on board.
Disembark after breakfast and take a private transfer to the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract. Overnight stay in the Nile Wing, the modern part of the hotel. It was originally built to house Russian and Egyptian engineers during the construction of the Aswan Dam. Thanks to renovation works and new interior design by renowned interior designer Sybille de Margerie, the rooms and suites are luxurious and modern. They all overlook the river and mirror the colours of ancient Egypt: shades of green, turquoise and sand corresponding to the aquatic colours of the landscape.
The itinerary includes Tea on the Terrace, one of the hotel's bars, with a selection of teas accompanied by sweet buns, strawberries and cream.
Things to see and do - Relax by the pool or treat yourself to spa treatments / Visit the island of Elephantine, centre of the cult of Khnum - master of the cataracts - which houses an impressive wealth of ancient ruins / Head to the Museum of Nubia.
Aswan - Cairo - Return flight
Early in the morning, private transfer to the airport and domestic flight to Cairo, then international flight home.
A la carte
ABOARD THE STEAM SHIP SUDAN
You can book hieroglyphic classes, cooking classes with the boat chef and more.
ASWAN - FISHING ON LAKE NASSER FISHING
Lake Nasser is the world's largest man-made lake and it is known as one of the best freshwater fishing spots. The lake is home to many species, including tigerfish, yellowfish, catfish and the famous Nile perch, which can reach record sizes (up to 200 lbs!)
Option - Private boat
WITH A FEW EXTRA DAYS – ABU SIMBEL
186 miles from Aswan, in the heart of Nubia, stand the temples of Abu Simbel. Built to honour the great pharaoh Ramses 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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