early bird special: book and pay by 27 november 2018
Small Group Tour, First Class Accommodation and Nile Cruise
Guaranteed with 3 travellers, maximum 12.
2019 Departure Dates:
07, 28 January; 25 February; 01, 29 Apr; 03 June; 02, 30 September; 28 October; 02 December
- Explore Egypt in more leisurely style with some free time included to add your own finishing touches
- Your personal welcome to Cairo starts inside immigration
- Maximise your visit by our two location Cairo stay. Explore the Pyramids area from Le Meridien Pyramids in a Pyramids view room. On your return from Upper Egypt make the most of your central city stay location at the Steinberger City Hotel
- Experience comfortable First Class accommodation with daily buffet breakfasts
- Join a cooking school in Cairo and learn some of the secrets of Egyptian cuisine
Day 1: Monday: Cairo (B)
Welcome to Egypt. Our local representative who will meet and assist you inside immigration and guide you through. Transfer directly to the Pyramids area in Giza where you are reserved for two nights at Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel in a pyramids view room. This evening meet your guide at 6pm for a welcome drink and tour briefing. Dinner is included this evening at the hotel.
Day 2: Tuesday: Cairo (B)
A day to remember! The ancient capital of Memphis and the enduring monuments of Sakkara will have their secrets revealed by your private Egyptologist guide. Explore the sand strewn temples and tombs before travelling to the incomparable Pyramids of Giza and mysterious Sphinx. The largest and oldest pyramid was built by Pharaoh Khufu over 3800 years ago.
Dinner this evening is reserved at the Mediterranean restaurant at your hotel. Your choice from an a la carte menu (own cost).
Optional: Attend the spectacular Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids this evening is a perfect way to end an unforgettable day.
Day 3: Wednesday: Cairo: - Aswan (B D)
This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Aswan. On arrival transfer to the Movenpick Hotel set amidst tropical gardens in an island location overlooking the Nile. Take time to relax before departing late afternoon on an Aswan markets tour. Egypt is recognised as the origin for the ancient oils of aromatherapy with the first distillation of essential oils dating back to 3500 B.C. Visit an essential oil shop and sample therapeutic essential oils and fragrances. Cotton growing is another old tradition and Egyptian production is renowned for its quality with exports since the 1800’s. Visit a cotton shop for the opportunity to purchase locally. As the evening approaches continue to the traditional markets and souk bartering if you wish to purchase local products. Later return to your hotel. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 4: Thursday: Aswan (B + High Tea)
Optional Abu Simbel Tour: Very early this morning transfer to the airport and fly to Abu Simbel. On arrival transfer to the entrance from here walk into this amazing complex to view the magnificent Temples of Ramses II. These celebrate this mighty Pharaoh often regarded as the greatest of all the pharaohs (also known as Ozymandias by the ancient Greeks) and Queen Nefertari a famed Queen and diplomat in her own right. Marvel at the amazing engineering that saved the temples from a watery grave below Lake Nasser. At the conclusion of your tour walk to the exit for your airport transfer and flight to Aswan.
Optional Nubian Museum Tour: The Nubian Museum is an important museum in Upper Egypt. Discover the incredible history and treasures that Nubia accumulated with over 3,000 antiquities contained from the Geological, Pharaonic, Roman, Islamic and Coptic eras. First constructed in the 1960s on the Aswan High Dam, it was moved by UNESCO to avoid higher waters, to Aswan and is surrounded by natural botanical gardens.
Later this afternoon at approximately 4pm transfer to the Sofitel Old Cataract Hotel for a High Tea whilst watching the sun sinking slowly over the Nile. Originally built in 1899 by Thomas Cook this historic hotel reflects the olde worlde charm of a by gone era. Agatha Christie was inspired to write Death on the Nile during her stay at the Old Cataract. Later transfer back to the hotel or you may choose to remain at the Old Cataract or further explore Aswan and make your way back to the hotel. Dinner own arrangements this evening.
Day 5: Friday: Aswan (B L D)
This morning time at leisure in Aswan to soak up the feeling of the city that in antiquity was the frontier town for the south of the Egyptian empire then later this morning transfer to the Nile Goddess Cruise Boat at (or similar) for your three night cruise to Luxor. Lunch is served on board this afternoon take a relaxing felucca sail around the islands of Aswan including Elephantine where some claim the Ark of the Covenant was hidden for a time. This evening welcome aboard at the Captain’s
cocktail party (non-alcoholic drinks are included) followed by dinner and a Nubian folkloric show.
Day 6: Saturday Aswan - Kom Ombo – Edfu (B L D)
See the huge Aswan High Dam the Granite Quarries and the Temple of Philae which was almost covered during the construction of the High Dams but for an international effort to move the entire temple complex. Later cruise to the Temple of Kom Ombo shared by two Gods Sobek and Haeroris from the heliocentric solar system and surgical instruments to the crocodile mummies this temple is unforgettable. This evening a Galabeya Party is on board an opportunity to relax and dress in local costume.
Day 7: Sunday: Edfu - Esna – Luxor (B L D)
An early morning visit to explore the mysterious Horus Temple in Edfu constructed upon the site of the final battle between the good and just god Horus and his strong Uncle Seth who was trying to steal Horus’s crown. The battle culminated when Seth turned himself into a hippopotamus only to have Horus to finally defeat him. Later sail to Luxor with breakfast and lunch served on board. An opportunity to relax as you sail past Egyptian countryside where land is often farmed traditionally. For your final evening on board experience dramatic Whirling Dervish dancing and a traditional Belly Dancing Show.
Day 8: Monday Luxor (B D)
Disembark your cruise ship after breakfast. Spend an unforgettable day exploring the Valley of the Kings. (Entrance to 3 tombs plus special entrance to Tutankhamun’s Tomb is included). At the entrance see the Colossi of Memnon this giant statue is named for the Ethiopian King who brought his army to Troy’s defence during the Trojan War before being killed by Achilles. Visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut one of Egypt’s ruling female Pharaoh’s. Later explore the awesome grandeur of the Luxor and Karnak Temples before transferring to the Sonesta St George hotel located in the centre of Luxor and overlooking the banks of the Nile. Dinner is included this evening at your hotel.
Day 9: Tuesday: Luxor (B)
Today you may wish to explore the streets of the Nile and nearby Luxor markets or relax by the hotel pool overlooking the Nile or make your way to the Winter Palace Hotel for a drink it was here that explorer Howard Carter announced from the stair case that the tomb of Tutankhamun has been discovered. Dinner this evening is your own choice.
Half Day Mummification Museum tour and learn about the ancient rites of mummification and see on display various animals pots implements and jewellery that were buried with each Pharaoh.
Or: Visit the spectacular temples of Seti 1st or Queen Nefertari and the original house where archaeologist Howard Carter located on the West Bank.
Day 10: Wednesday: Luxor - Cairo (B D)
This morning transfer to the Airport and fly to Cairo. On arrival travel into the city centre to visit Egypt’s Museum where you will view many sparkling treasures and understand more of Egyptian history providing same final insights in ancient history with your Egyptologist guide. Following your visit transfer to the centrally located Steinberger city hotel where you are reserved for two nights including breakfast. Time to relax or further explore the city from your central location. Later this afternoon transfer to a cooking school here you will learn about Egyptian techniques for some traditional dishes and later sample this local cuisine
Day 11: Thursday: Cairo (B D)
This morning depart for the Cairo Bazaar visit this age old bazaar the heart of trading for centuries which was rebuilt by El Khalili in 1511 complete with massive gates and several perpendicular streets in an Ottoman era style market place. Some free time to shop and barter for local bargains. Continue to Tent Street which originated in the 1600’s. This 300 metre street is also known as El Khayameya and takes its name from the bright coloured fabrics including appliqué works cushions covers Egyptian cotton bed covers wall hangings and traditional Egyptian Galabeyas. Time to barter before returning early this afternoon return to your hotel where there is time free for shopping or further exploring the central city. This evening farewell you tour companions with dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 12: Cairo (B)
Check out is normally by midday. A departure transfer to the airport is included.
Or continue to Jordan to join an Innovative Travel First Class Small Group tour or perhaps fly to Tel Aviv or Istanbul to discover more of these countries.
- Meet and assist inside immigration at Cairo Airport
- Return Cairo Airport transfers
- Welcome briefing at Pyramids Hotel and welcome drink (wine beer or juice)
- Welcome dinner Cairo
- Daily buffet breakfasts at all hotels
- Dinner in Luxor at the Sonesta St George Hotel
- Dinner in Aswan at the Movenpick Hotel
- High Tea at the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan
- All private transfers in A/C transportation
- Sightseeing and entrance fees for all specified sights
- Special feature: Entrance to Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings
- All entertainment on the Nile Cruise
- Flights Cairo/Aswan & Luxor/Cairo
- Cooking School in Cairo including dinner
- Farwell dinner in Cairo
- Professional English speaking local guides (3 – 5) participants
- Professional Guide: Cairo/Cairo (for over 6 participants)
- Optional tours
- Local tipping
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- International airfares
- Drinks from the mini bar
- Local costumes for the Galabeya Party (available to hire to purchase)
- Egyptian visa (Enquire about Innovative Travel’s full warm welcome visa service)
Innovative Travel Small Group tours are guaranteed with a minimum of 3 and maximum of 12 participants. If there are 3-5 participants you will be professionally guided in Cairo Luxor and Aswan by local guides and join the guided Nile Cruise tours. Between 6 and 12 participants a guide will accompany the group from Cairo to Cairo.
- Cairo Pyramids: 2 nights Le Meridien – Pyramids view room
- 2 nights at the Movenpick Hotel in Aswan
- 3 Nights First Class Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor with all meals
- 2 nights at the Sonesta St George Hotel in Luxor
- 2 nights in Central Cairo at the Steinberger Hotel in Cairo
Hotels are First Class and maybe replaced with similar hotels.
Cruising the Nile
Please use cruise itineraries as a guideline only. The order of sightseeing and overnight destinations may vary and are subject to change due to the operation of Esna Lock, or at the discretion of the of the cruise company. Should a change of boat be required due to any unforeseen circumstances prior to departure, an alternative of the same standard or better will be offered if available
There are many river boats that cruise between Luxor and Aswan. They provide accommodation and transportation for the majority of tourists travelling to Egypt. Each night and whilst moored for sightseeing, it is common for 4-5 cruise boats to be parked abreast of each other. The location of your boat will vary from port to port however in many cases your view from your cabin will be restricted to cruising periods only.
Sightseeing on Nile Cruise boats is operated by the cruise company. You will be allocated an English speaking guide and small group of other English speaking tourists for sightseeing upon embarkation. The order of sightseeing may vary depending on the local port authorities. If a tomb or temple is unable to be visited an alternative will be provided where possible.
Sightseeing (non cruise)
All sightseeing unless specified is on a private basis with a driver and guide. Sightseeing generally takes place in the cooler periods of the day ie early morning or late afternoon therefore on occasion some early starts may be necessary to avoid the heat
Valley of the Kings: Not all the tombs within the Valley are currently open to the public. Many are closed periodically for resting and renovation (Entrance fees to three tombs is included in tour packages. Entrance fees to Tutankhamen’s Tomb is not included. Currently EGP100pp - subject to change).
During the Holy Month of Ramadan Muslims fast, abstaining from eating, drinking & smoking during daylight hours (approx. 7am-6.30pm). As a sign of respect, tourists should also try to refrain eating in public during the fasting hours. Restaurants and Cafes in Hotels and Cruise boats will be open, however limited alcohol may be available over this time. In 2018, Ramadan should begin around 15 May. After 30 days, or on sighting the full moon, Eid Al Fitr is celebrated & most public and private institutions close for at least three days.
Domestic Flights in Egypt.
Flight times will reconfirmed by the local operator upon arrival in Egypt.
Note, Flights from Cairo to Aswan and Luxor generally involve early morning starts due to flight schedules in the summer season. For flights to Abu Simbel certain flights are allocated to clients travelling for day trips from Cairo and overnight programmes. These flights are set by Egypt air and are outside of the operators control
Modest dress is required for entrance to holy sites – Men: Long pants, Women – skirt or long pants and shoulders covered.
Hotels in regional areas (i.e Abu Simbel/ Siwa/ St Catherine ) can be of a lower standard than the properties in the main tourist centres., with more basic/ less developed infrastructure due to location and surrounding conditions. The options chosen are the best available..
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.