This 13 day itinerary features exclusive historical and luxury accommodation throughout. With a 4 night Nile cruise on an all-suites ship included, this exceptional holiday is for those who want to ensure the memories they make while in Egypt are the kind they will cherish forever.
- Savour sundowners while gazing over the Pyramids or the Nile
- Experience a captivating retreat at the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile & sipped cocktails.
- Cruise the waters of the Nile on the luxurious all-suites Sonesta Star Goddess. Recline on your private balcony and admire the lands of ancient Pharaohs drifting by
- Discover Egypt behind the scenes with a VIP access to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo prior to the public opening (optional)
- Discover the hidden treasures of the Valley of the Kings with exclusive entry to Seti I & Nefertari Tombs
Day 1: Cairo
After being met inside immigration and assisted with entry by our local representative, gain your first experience of Egypt as you are transferred to the remarkable Mena House Hotel which sits in the shadows of the great Pyramids of Giza. Spend the rest of the day unwinding as you gaze across the most iconic of Egypt’s monuments.
Day 2: Cairo (B)
Begin the your first full day in Egypt with a private Egyptologist guide who will unlock the secrets of the ancient capital of Memphis and the step pyramids of Sakkara. This most ancient of pyramids was the first to be built in ancient Egypt preceding those at Giza by many centuries. Essentially a sequence of decreasingly sized mastaba placed atop each other, this architectural advance of raising tombs closer to the heavens ultimately led to the creation of the next destination on your day of exploring – the Great Pyramids of Giza. These iconic monuments are the only survivors from the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and for many are the epitome of Egypt. The Great Pyramid has stood for 4500 years and was the tallest structure on earth until as recently as 1894.
You will also see the mystical Sphinx, once lost to antiquity when it was buried up to its shoulders in sand. Tt was Thuthmose IV who in the 14th century BC first partially uncovered it to its paws on the command of the sun god Ra. In more recent times it is reported that Napoleon's troops used the face for target practice with their rifles. The pock marks are still visible to this day.
An optional end to the day is a highlight for many who attend. The sound and light show projected onto these magnificent monuments provides a visual counterpoint to the thousands of years of history on display in the Giza Plateau.
Day 3: Cairo (B)
This morning discover an often neglected side of Egyptian heritage as you explore Old Cairo with its Coptic Christian Churches as well as synagogues. The Coptic Museum houses many beautiful artefacts and artworks that celebrate the Egyptian contribution to Christianity and the influence of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman cultures. Continue to Ben Ezra Synagogue which is surrounded by serene gardens and contains a number of artefacts including the manuscript known as the "Atlas of Moses" and a fifth century copy of the Torah printed on gazelle skin.
Day 4: Cairo – Luxor (B)
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Luxor where you can experience a bygone era of Egyptian exploration at the faithfully restored house of famed archaeologist Howard Carter. Gain a fascinating insight into the life and mind of the man who spent years convinced that the Valley of the Kings had not relinquished all of its secrets finally to be rewarded with the discovery of Tutankhamen’s Tomb and the greatest Egyptian find of modern times. Later this afternoon (subject to clearances) visit one of the most stunningly restored tombs in the Valley of the Queens - Neferati's tomb.
An optional visit to the Mummification Museum offers further insight into the ancient Egyptian rites and ceremonies performed to evoke immortality.
Day 5: Luxor (B L D)
Embark on your luxury ship where you will spend the next 5 days exploring the reaches of the Nile. After lunch begin discovering one of the world’s greatest open air museums - Thebes. Visit the magnificent Luxor Temple where you can follow the Avenue of the Sphinx to the Temple complex of Karnak. The site comprises a vast mass of temples, chapels, pylons, shrines, and intricately carved columns. It is a gigantic and imposing monument showcasing precious relics of ancient Egyptian Dynasties.
Day 6: Luxor – Esna – Edfu (B L D)
Cross the Nile to the West Bank. Today is full of highlights including the Necropolis of Thebes and the Valley of the Kings where you can follow in the footsteps of Howard Carter as you explore the surrounds. With a previously undiscovered tomb being unearthed as recently as 2005, the prospect of more treasures awaiting discovery is tantalising. Visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and see the Colossi of Memnon, famed for the unearthly noise it is said to have made at sunrise in ancient times bestowing luck on those who heard it. This afternoon sail to Esna and cross the lock to Edfu.
Day 7: Edfu – Kom Ombo – Aswan (B L D)
An unforgettable day begins as you watch the sunrise from the balcony of your Nile cruise. After breakfast go ashore to visit Edfu and the Temple of Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris who avenged his father’s murder and dismemberment at the hands of his wicked uncle Seth. Later that day sail to Kom Ombo and visit the fascinating and much underrated Kom Ombo Temple which was shared by the two Gods Sobek and Horus. The temple is perfectly symmetrical thus ensuring neither god was offended. See the beautiful murals and bas reliefs showing such insight into ancient Egyptian technology as the medical instruments and solar system. The collection of mummified crocodiles is also fascinating. Later continue on board your vessel to Aswan.
Day 8: Aswan (B L D)
Visit the Aswan Dams at the end of Lake Nasser and the beautifully restored Temple of Philae. Dedicated to the goddess Isis and said to be where she buried her husband Osiris’s body after she had recovered his scattered remains, the entire temple was moved to this location to save it from being flooded by the High Aswan Dam. The granite quarries which provided stone for Karnak & Luxor temples are then visited, offering a glimpse into how the ancient Egyptians were able to achieve their architectural marvels. Later sail by a traditional felucca vessel around the lush islands of Aswan including Kitchener Island, also known as the Botanical Island due to its collection of tropical plants from as far afield as India.
Day 9: Aswan (B)
After disembarkation visit the Nubian Museum to discover ancient Nubian artefacts plus the art and life-style which had so much influence on the southern reaches of Egypt. Afternoon at leisure to unwind or hunt out the local markets full of exquisite Egyptian cotton products.
Day 10: Aswan (B)
Day at leisure to relish the peaceful atmosphere of Aswan. Indulge in a High Tea at the historic Old Cataract where Agatha Christie wrote "Death on the Nile". Soak up the atmosphere and style of this slice of colonial Egypt before relaxing with a cocktail.
Optional Tour: Abu Simbel Detour
The two temples of Abu Simbel are amongst the most magnificent monuments in the world and considered a must-see by many who visit Egypt. The optional day tour includes return flights to Aswan, meet and assist in Aswan and Abu Simbel, small group or private transfer to the temples, and priority entrance and guides.
Day 11: Aswan – Cairo (B)
After breakfast take in one last sample of life in Aswan as you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Cairo. Once returned to Cairo, uncover the celebrated treasures of ancient Pharaohs at the Egyptian Museum as your Egyptologist guide enriches your experience with fascinating insight. Afternoon at leisure to relax as you gaze across the unforgettable view from your hotel or explore Cairo’s downtown and bustling markets at your own pace.
Day 12: Cairo (B)
This morning visit the Citadel that dominates Cairo’s skyline. This beautiful monument was the heart of the city and of Egypt for almost 700 years since the time it was fortified by the famed ruler Saladin as protection against Crusaders. Continue to the majestic Mosque of Sultan Hassan built between 1356 and 1363. Experience a more contemporary slice of Egyptian life as you spend the afternoon shopping at the 14th century Khan El Khalili Bazaar. Return to your hotel for one last memorable sunset over the pyramids.
Day 13: Cairo (B)
Reflect on your amazing journey through the centuries as you are driven through Cairo to the airport for your departure and your next experiences.
- Meet and assist inside Immigration on arrival at Cairo Airport.
- Air-conditioned airport transfers
- Air-conditioned transportation throughout
- Domestic flights: Cairo – Luxor Aswan- Cairo
- Deluxe accommodation: 3 nights Mena House Cairo, 1 night Winter Palace Luxor, 2 nights Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, 2 nights Ritz Carlton Downtown Cairo (or similar)
- 4 nights Nile cruise on Luxury Sonesta Star Goddess
- Daily breakfast and all meals on cruise
- Private and/or small group sightseeing with professional English-speaking local guides including an Egyptologist in Cairo
- Activities & entrance fees as per itinerary
- International Airfares
- Visas (unless specified)
- Personal Expenses
- Tipping/gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Extra hotel charges (minibar or any other services)
- Meals not specified
- Departure taxes (if applicable)
- Port taxes and fuel surcharges (if applicable)
- Local tourism tax (if applicable)
- Early checkin/late checkout
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
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.