Sonesta St George Exterior
Pharaohs, Mummies and The Nile In Style
Pharaohs, Mummies and The Nile In Style
Ancient Ruins of Karnak Temple
Edfu Temple Carvings on the Wall
Kom Ombo Temple
Aswan Old Cataract Hotel Tea
Pharaohs, Mummies and The Nile In Style
Pharaohs, Mummies and The Nile In Style

Pharaohs, Mummies and The Nile In Style

Regular price
Sale price

***Early Booking Special Offer***
 Book and pay deposit of NZ$500 per person by 30 August 2024 and receive a
NZ$500 per person optional tour credit
Pharaohs, Mummies and The Nile in Style
Small Group Tour (min 8 / max 16 passengers)
11 Days ex Cairo
2025 Departure Dates : 10 Jan, 14 Feb, 28 Mar, 05 Sep, 10 Oct, 07 Nov
Women only tour, with a licensed female Egyptologist (contact us for details)
2025: 02 May

A small group tour crafted by Innovative Travel
Discover the ancient wonders of Egypt on a small group carefully crafted tour, with Innovative Travel. Benefit from almost 35 years of designing safe holidays in Egypt, with the privileged partnership of Cairo based Director, Elhamy ElZayat, “the grandfather of Egyptian tourism”, and recipient of Queens Birthday Honour, the New Zealand Order of Merit. M.N.Z.M. The enduring partnership, in combination with New Zealand based Innovative Travel, a renowned Egyptian expert since 1990, enables full support at multiple levels, from our local Egyptian offices in 7 locations, with 24/7 back up.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Your Egypt experience begins, PRIOR to immigration when you will be met by a licensed representative, assisted with your Egyptian visa, and expressed through immigration
  • Your seamless welcome experience continues with the benefit of our local representative, who will accompany your arrival transfer, passing on handy tips and assisting with your check in at the five-star Hyatt Regency Cairo West Hotel
  • Meet your fellow travellers at a welcome dinner
  • Experience the comfort of Deluxe hotels in strategic locations
  • Savour sailing down the Nile aboard the stylish deluxe cruise ship, the Sonesta St George. Each cabin features floor to ceiling opening windows, in French balcony style
  • A licensed Egyptologist guide throughout the programme, with a minimum of 8 and maximum of 16 participants.   (NOTE: If less than 8 participants, a dedicated local Egyptologist will guide at each location)
  • Bonus: All tipping is included, for all included services

Day 1: Cairo (D)

Welcome to Egypt.   On arrival in Cairo, you will be met by our friendly local representative PRIOR to immigration to assist with your included Egyptian visa. No need to be concerned about jet lag with the Innovative Travel special express service through immigration. You will then be transferred in a private vehicle to the Hyatt Regency Cairo West Hotel.   Remainder of the day at leisure. A welcome dinner is included this evening, meeting your guide and fellow travellers.
We recommend arriving by 2pm to allow time for immigration and transfer to the hotel.

Day 2: Cairo (BD)

Embark on a morning visit to the impressive site of the Pyramids. Construction began in 2690 BC, the Pyramids of Mycerinus, Chefren and the Great Pyramid of Cheops are the only survivors of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Face the mystical Sphinx, reputedly used as target practice by Napoleon’s troops. Lunch is in your own time. Continue to the ancient capital of Memphis and visit the Step Pyramids of Sakkara – the oldest surviving Egyptian pyramid.   Dinner this evening, is in a special restaurant, on the roof top bar, overlooking the pyramids.

Day 3: Cairo - Luxor (B) 

This morning visit the nearby GEM, Grand Egyptian Museum, dedicated to the boy king Tutankhamun. The museum is currently in a “soft opening” phase. See the grand statue of Ramses II, relocated from Tahrir Square dominating the foyer, plus many other ancient Egyptian wonders. The GEM has an excellent choice of cafes and gift shops, so perhaps take a coffee break during your exploration. Transfer to Cairo Airport and fly to Luxor. On arrival you will be assisted by our local Luxor Airport team and transferred to the Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel for an overnight stay. It was here that Howard Carter announced from the grand staircase, that he had discovered the tomb of boy king Tutankhamun. Dinner this evening is your choice at a range of restaurants in the hotel, or perhaps dine locally.  

Day 4: Luxor (BLD) 

Optional visit (surcharge applies): This morning visit the Mummification Museum, dedicated to this ancient art of embalming applied to humans and for animals. The process is believed to have taken 70 days and involved a careful process. Here view ancient mummies, including that of General Amun el Thebes.

Later this morning transfer to embark via the centrally located, private dock for the Sonesta St George Nile cruise ship. This deluxe five-star ship offers the ultimate in comfort, elegance, and design. Featuring 47 deluxe cabins, each 22 sq. metres, with full French balcony sliding doors and Presidential Suites. As you embark, a welcome drink is included.
Facilities include: BBQ area on the top deck, outdoor pool with Sundeck bar, restaurant, bar, gym, spa, sauna and jacuzzi, (optional Spa treatments by appointment-surcharge applies), Wi-Fi.  
Cabin amenities feature: L’Occitane toiletries, welcome bottle of wine, tea & coffee tray refilled daily, a bottle of mineral water delivered daily.  
Tea, coffee, and mineral water included daily with all meals.
Option available to upgrade to a Presidential suite with full balcony.

This afternoon, visit the magnificent Luxor Temple, built in the 14th century BC by two kings – Amenophis III and Ramses II. Follow the Avenue of the Sphinx to the Karnak Temple complex and gaze in awe at this imposing monument housing precious relics of Ancient Egyptian dynasties.  

Day 5: Luxor - Esna (BLD) 

Optional Hot Air Balloon Trip (surcharge applies)

Early this morning cross to the West Bank and visit Thebes Necropolis and the burial ground of the Pharaohs – the Valley of the Kings – where Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. Proceed to the nearby Valley of the Queens, the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon facing the Nile. Explore the myriad of tombs and temples before cruising via Esna lock to Edfu. Your visit today includes a special upgraded ticket to include access to the boy king Tutankhamun and the special tomb of Pharoah Seti 1, from the 19th Dynasty. Rediscovered in 1817, it is one of the most colourful and best-preserved tombs on the West Bank. The last stop this morning is at the Habibi Cotton factory, located on the West Bank and providing employment for local women. Here high-quality Egyptian cotton garments, scarves, and beautiful art works, along with many other goods are produced, the opportunity to purchase is available. Continue and return to the ship with lunch on board. Lunch is served whilst sailing to Esna. This evening attend the captain’s welcome Cocktail party (non-alcoholic drinks served), followed by dinner. Overnight in Esna. Note: Whilst crossing through the Esna Lock, entrepreneurial local families arrive by boat and cheerfully throw various handmade local ware up to the boat for inspection. We encourage our clients to support this local initiative, a key form of income for local families, with some local Egyptian cash on hand.

Day 6: Esna - Edfu - Kom Ombo (BLD)

Early morning departure to Edfu, with a delicious breakfast aboard. Here visit the Temple of Horus, one of the best-preserved temples of the Greco-Roman era. Continue cruising to Kom Ombo and visit this Temple shared by two Gods – Sobek & Horus. The temple is perfectly symmetrical, ensuring neither God was offended. The collection of crocodile mummies held here is fascinating. Overnight in Kom Ombo, with the opportunity to view the sun setting over this spectacular temple.

Day 7: Kom Ombo - Aswan (BLD) 

Early morning sailing to Aswan. This morning take your local boat across to the Philae Temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis and rescued from the rising waters of Lake Nasser at the time of the High Dam’s construction. Later visit the High Dam. Return for lunch on board and time to relax.   Mid-afternoon transfer to the Sofitel Old Cataract, base for Dame Agatha Christie as she penned “Death on the Nile”. Savour a High Tea whilst sitting on this famous terrace overlooking the Nile. Later return to the ship for dinner this evening, followed by a colourful Nubian Show.

Day 8: Aswan - Cairo (B)

Optional: Join a small group Abu Simbel tour including airport transfers, flights, entrance fees and tour with an Egyptologist. NZ$890 per person (pre-booking required).

Disembark this morning, with time to explore Aswan. This afternoon transfer to Aswan Airport and fly to Cairo. On arrival our Cairo Airport team will meet and assist. Transfer to the Cairo Marriott Hotel where you are reserved for three nights. Dinner this evening own arrangements.

Day 9: Cairo (B)

Today you will explore this modern cosmopolitan capital with a rich heritage of cultural influences and echoes of ancient civilisations. This morning visit the magnificently curated National Museum of Ancient Civilizations. The Museum’s vision is to bring the rich tapestry of tangible and intangible Egyptian heritage to life within a vibrant cultural, artistic and scientific context. After your visit which spans many millennia, move downstairs to the Mummy Room, to view their spectacular Mummy exhibits, in your own time. Time for a coffee break before departing to Mohammed Ali Mosque, and the Citadel which dominates Cairo’s skyline. Continue to the Khan El Khalili Bazaar, open since the 1382, with time for shopping. Conclude your day on a rooftop bar, watching the sun set over Cairo’s skyline, with a local drink of wine, beer or juice included. Return to the Cairo Marriott Hotel. Dinner this evening own arrangements.

Day 10: Cairo (BD) 

Optional Activities (surcharges apply):

Option 1: A morning visit to old Cairo’s Coptic Churches, including the Hanging Church.
Option 2: An early morning departure for a full day safari visiting Fayoum Oasis and the Valley of the Whales.
Option 3: Half day golf.

A farewell dinner is included this evening at a local restaurant.

Day 11: Cairo (B) 

Two departure transfers are available to the airport, including one early morning and one mid-morning.  


  • Return Airport to hotel transfers
  • Meet and assistance on arrival at Cairo Airport, PRIOR to immigration
  • Egyptian visa on arrival (offer valid for NZ, Australian, UK, USA & Canadian passport holders). Other nationalities on application
  • Check in assistance on Day 1 into Cairo hotel
  • Local representative airport assistance in Cairo, Luxor & Aswan
  • 6-nights accommodation in Deluxe class hotels, Cairo and Luxor
  • 4-night Nile cruise on a Deluxe ship
  • Daily breakfasts
  • Welcome dinner on Day 1
  • Dinner on Day 2 at a local restaurant overlooking the pyramids
  • All meals on the cruise (4 lunches & 4 dinners); Welcome bottle of wine on cruise
  • High Tea at the Sofitel Old Cataract Hotel
  • Farewell dinner in Cairo on Day 10
  • All touring and transfers in air-conditioned transportation
  • Private English-speaking Egyptologist in Cairo and Luxor
  • Sightseeing on the Cruise in small groups with English speaking guide
  • Activities and entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Visit the Pyramids & Sphinx, Memphis & Sakkara
  • Upgraded VIP Valley of the Kings ticket to include the tombs of Tutankhamun and Seti I
  • Domestic flights Cairo/Luxor and Aswan/Cairo
  • Porterage
  • Tipping and gratuities for guides, drivers and transfers
  • Egypt Travel Notes - issued by Innovative Travel


  • International airfares
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Tipping/Gratuities (for non-included optional activities)
  • Personal expenses
  • Meals not specified or hotel / cruise minibar
  • Optional sightseeing or activities
  • Optional guided visit to the Mummification Museum
  • Optional small group Abu Simbel tour
  • Optional tour to the Valley of the Whales
  • Afternoon transfer on Day 11 to Cairo Airport
  • Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above

Accommodation based on the following or similar.
The hotel selection may change – please use this as a guideline only.

Cairo (Giza)

Deluxe Class:  Hyatt Regency Cairo West

Hyatt Regency Cairo West Exterior
Hyatt Regency Cairo West Pool
Hyatt Regency Cairo West Reception
Hyatt Regency Cairo West Standard Double Room


Deluxe Class: Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel

Sofitel Winter Palace Exterior
Sofitel Winter Palace Pool
Sofitel Winter Palace Dining

Nile Cruise

Deluxe Class: Sonesta St George Nile Cruise Ship

Sonesta St George Nile Cruise Ship Exterior
Sonesta St George Nile Cruise Ship Interior
Sonesta St George Nile Cruise Ship Pool
Sonesta St George Nile Cruise Ship Cabin

Cairo (Downtown)

Deluxe Class: Cairo Marriott Hotel

Cairo Marriott Hotel Exterior
Cairo Marriott Hotel Entrance
Cairo Marriott Hotel Spa Reception
Cairo Marriott Hotel King Guest Room
In addition to the Innovative Travel general terms and conditions, the following applies:
  • Small group tours operate with a full time Egyptologist, with a minimum of 8 and maximum of 16 clients.
  • If between 2 and 6 clients, a local Egyptologist will host you in each city. Small group sightseeing on the Nile cruise.
  • If between 2 and 6 clients, the tour will operate with a surcharge of NZ$450 per person.
  • A registration form is required to secure your place.
  • The Egyptian visa is available for NZ, Australian, UK, USA, and Canadian passport holders, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your return to your home country. Other nationalities may have to apply directly to your embassy. Please check with your travel agent at the time of reservation.
  • A nonrefundable deposit of NZ$500 per person, within 7 days of confirmation
  • An interim deposit of NZ$1,000 is required 6 months prior to departure. Full payment is due 10 weeks prior to departure.  
  • Cancellation fees:
    • Confirmation until 4 months prior to departure: NZ$500 per person
    • 15 to 11 weeks: NZ$1,000 per person
    • 10 – 6 weeks: 50%
    • within 41 days: 100%
    • No refunds are available for unused services after travel.

Please note: Egypt has many ancient sites which require walking along ancient, cobbled streets, uneven surfaces /or sand. For health and safety reasons, all participants must be able to walk at least 1 kilometre unaided and be able to walk up steps and staircases, to enter ancient sites


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

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 2025, Ramadan should begin around the 28th February. 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 be 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

Dress Codes
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. All featured tour itineraries and offers may be 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 available in some destinations 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.

Realm of the Pharaohs

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Pharaohs, Mummies and The Nile In Style

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Showcasing Ancient Egypt

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The Nile Encompassed

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