Small Group Tour.
This special holiday harks back to the golden age of travel when travel was as much about the experience and style as the sites. Embark on your Dahabiya journey and get a sense of travel in the 1920's. Relying on the natural Nile river currents our Dahabiya will sail you back in time to a gentler gracious era. This is a unique experience.
- Sail down the Nile on your luxury Dahabiya experiencing age old traditions along the banks of this life-giving river
- Watch the sun rise over the pyramids from your hotel
- Relax with a cocktail as you watch the sunset on the Nile
- Recapture the golden era of travel while staying in historic palaces and colonial era hotels
Day 1: Tuesday: Cairo
Welcome to Egypt. Our local representative will meet you inside immigration and assist with your arrival procedures. Transfer to the historic Mena House, a beautifully restored palace hotel with incredible views over the most iconic of Egyptian landmarks – the Great Pyramids of Giza. Unwind after your travels with a drink in the bar with incredible views of these timeless monuments.
Day 2: Wednesday: Cairo (B)
After breakfast, the secrets of the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx will be revealed by an Egyptologist on a private guided tour. Then continue to the ancient capital of Memphis and the Step Pyramid of Sakkara – the oldest surviving tomb to be raised to the heavens and forebear of the Pyramids of at Giza. Top off an unforgettable day with an incredible evening attending the Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids.
Day 3: Thursday: Cairo (B)
Today explore a lesser known side of Egyptian history visiting of Old Cairo’s Coptic Churches (including the Hanging Church), Roman Fortress, and the unique Ben Ezra Synagogue. This Egyptian contribution to the great religions of the world provides a fascinating insight into just how long these lands have been a centre point for civilisation. Later visit the famous Egyptian museum, where your personal Egyptologist will unlock the glittering treasures of the Pharaohs. The lively Khan El Khalili Bazaar then awaits, where you can savour the delicious local delicacies and discover shopping bargains in this traditional market.
Day 4: Friday: Cairo – Luxor (B)
After your transfer to the airport, fly to Luxor and transfer to the Sofitel Old Winter Palace. This accurately preserved historic British colonial era hotel is where famed archaeologist Howard Carter updated the world’s press with progress of his recovery of Tutankhamun’s treasures on the hotel noticeboard. This afternoon is free time to savour the local atmosphere or simply soak up the marvellous views across the Nile.
Day 5: Saturday: Luxor – Embark on Dahabiya cruise (BLD)
Today embark on a boutique Dahabiya, a traditionally inspired Egyptian boat from the time of the Pharaohs, to sail the Nile in the style. Step back in time as the winds and tides set your course along the life-giving Nile. Today visit the temple complex of Karnak and the Luxor Temple built in the 14th century by two kings - Amenophis III and Ramses II. Overnight aboard your luxuriously appointed sail boat as you savour a chef-prepared meal moored alongside the West Bank.
Day 6: Sunday: Luxor – Esna (BLD)
This morning visit the West Bank Necropolis and the burial ground of the Pharaohs – the Valley of the Kings. This is where Howard Carter explored for five years before he discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, thus proving that not all of the treasures had been released from this mysterious site. As recently as 2015 yet another unopened tomb was unearthed raising the tantalising prospect of more riches awaiting discovery. Later visit the nearby Valley of the Queens, the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, and the Colossi of Memnon which is believed to bestow great fortune on those who hear its fabled wailing noise. After lunch board your Dahabiya and set sail for Esna. Moor tonight at an island and experience the tranquillity of a dinner on the Nile under the stars.
Day 7: Monday: Esna – Edfu (BLD)
Sail towards Edfu, one of the best preserved temples of the Greco-Roman era, dedicated to Horus. This god the son of Isis and Osiris was the patron of many Pharaohs and, along with his parents, formed the Egyptian holy trinity. Making the experience unforgettable you will arrive at the temple by horse-drawn carriage. Moor overnight beside Al Ramady Island.
Day 8: Tuesday: El Sheikh Fadl Island (BLD)
A relaxing day today letting the wind and the current dictate your pace on the Nile. Sail overnight to Aswan.
Day 9: Wednesday: Aswan (BLD)
Arrive to Aswan the heart of Nubia. Take a small boat to the Philae Temple dedicated to the Goddess Isis, and the purported burial site of her husband Osiris. Later view the High Dam, the Old Dam and the ‘unfinished Obelisk’ lying in the ancient granite quarries of Aswan for a fascinating insight into how the ancients were able to construct such marvels. Afternoon at leisure to explore the market.
Day 10: Thursday: Aswan (B)
Farewell your Dahabiya for the Sofitel Old Legend Cataract. One of Egypt’s finest hotels, guests have included Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, and Agatha Christie who set portions of her novel Death on the Nile at the hotel. The 1978 film adaptation was also filmed at the hotel. Savour the superb views of the Nile and Elephantine Island as you soak up the colonial atmosphere of this magnificent old world hotel.
Optional visit to Abu Simbel. (Supplement applies)
Day 11: Friday: Aswan – Cairo (B)
Fly to Cairo and transfer to the Marriott Hotel, a stylish converted palace overlooking the Nile. This afternoon walk along Al Moez Street viewing the magnificent Islamic architectural heritage and medieval houses that date from the Fatimid and Mamluke Eras. Reenergize with a refreshing drink at Fishawy Café amidst the Khan El Khalili Bazaar. Finish the tour by Bab Zweilla and tent makers market before your Egyptian adventure is wrapped up with a farewell dinner with your companions.
Day 12: Saturday: Cairo (B)
Soak up one last Egyptian experience as you are transferred through the streets of Cairo to the Airport.
- Air-conditioned transfers to and from all airports attractions and your vessel
- Domestic flights
- Deluxe accommodation: 3 nights Mena House Cairo 1 night Winter Palace Luxor 1 night Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan 1 night Marriott Cairo (or similar)
- 5 nights boutique Dahabiya Nile cruise
- Daily breakfasts and all meals on Dahabiya
- Small Group sightseeing with professional English-speaking local guides including an Egyptologist in Cairo
- Activities as per the itinerary
- Entrance fees as per itinerary
- International airfares
- Optional tours and excursions
- Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal Expenses
- Departure taxes
- Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
- Visas (unless specified)
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Please note: In the case of local uncooperative weather conditions your Dahabiya may be assisted by a powered vessel
Accommodation based on the following or similar:
Cairo Pyramids Area
Mena House Pyramids View - 3 nights
Sofitel Old Winter Palace (Classic Garden Room) - 1 night
Merit Dahabiya - 5 nights
Sofitel Legend Old Cataract (Premium Room Nile Wing) - 1 night
Marriott - 1 nights
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 2019, Ramadan should begin around 05 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.