Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece

Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece

Regular price
Sale price

A Special Pilgrimage Tour to Egypt & Greece
Hosted by Reverend Mike & Patsy Hawke
(minimum 15 passengers)
25 Days from Auckland or Christchurch
04-28 September 2024
1) Option available for share twin request for solo travellers. Subject to availability of suitable room-mate.
2) Business class upgrades available on request.

You are invited to join a Christian Pilgrimage tour with Rev Mike Hawke, former Dean of Nelson Cathedral and his wife Patsy, a retired teacher.
This is your invitation to visit Ancient Egypt. This is where the Holy Family fled, and where many years earlier, Joseph became Prime Minister. It is also where Moses received the message from God to “Let my people go.” (Known as the Exodus.) It is reputed that St Mark also founded the first Christian Church in Africa.

A highlight, besides the pyramids, will be staying within the Cairo Cathedral area where you will experience being involved in the Christian community. You will also experience a three night river cruise on the Nile. Then it is off to the Mediterranean where Christianity flourished in the later first century.
Get to know St John as you re-live his house arrest on the island of Patmos. Visit the cave where he lived and wrote the book of Revelation. Continue on to mainland Greece where you will re-live much of the New Testament. This is where St Paul established a number of churches, be it in Corinth, Philippi, or Thessalonica, all of which are featured in the Book of Acts. With the pinnacle being Paul’s ministry in Athens. Walking these ancient lands, where followers of Jesus, walked, talked and ministered is such an enriching experience.
So join Mike and Patsy on this latest pilgrimage in association with Innovative Travel.

Tour Highlights:
  • View the awe-inspiring Pyramids of Giza from your hotel
  • Cruise the life blood of Egypt from Aswan to Luxor discovering temples and tombs of the Pharaonic Age
  • Marvel at the treasures in the Ancient Civilisations Museum in Cairo
  • Discover the hidden treasures of the Valley of the Kings including the tomb of the famous boy king, Tutankhamun
  • Visit the tomb of boy king Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings
  • Let the monuments come to life under the guidance of your Egyptologist guide
  • Visit Patmos Island in Greece where St John wrote the book of Revelation – visit the Monastery of St John
  • Visit two 14th Century Monasteries at Kalambaka/Meteora
  • UNESCO site of Phillipi in Kavala & Thessaloniki
  • Ancient Corinth & Corinth Canal
  • Grand Acropolis of Athens  


Day 1: Auckland/Christchurch - Dubai 

Fly Auckland/Christchurch to Dubai with Emirates.

Day 2: Dubai - Cairo (D) 

Fly from Dubai to Cairo. Welcome to Egypt. On arrival, prior to immigration, your local representative will assist with your pre-paid Egyptian visa formalities. They will arrange your visa and assist you to your transfer. Transfer to your hotel ideally situated at the Pyramids, where you are reserved for two nights. Remainder of your day is at leisure. A Welcome Dinner at your hotel is included this evening.

Cairo is a vibrant, exhilarating, exotic, fascinating and welcoming city. Home to some of the best Pharaonic, Coptic, and Islamic sights in Egypt, this city is where you never know what incredible, half-forgotten monument you might stumble across while wandering around. Wander down to Islamic Cairo. View Giza’s famed pyramids, visit the capital's medieval markets by Khan El-Khalili, or simply sit at a café terrace while watching the life of the city whirl past as it has for eons.

Day 3: Cairo (BL) 

Explore the most illustrious sites of ancient Egypt, with your personal Egyptologist guide – the Great Pyramids of Giza and the legendary Sphinx, the iconic monuments. The Great Pyramid of Giza (which is also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three Pyramids in the Giza Pyramid Complex. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one to remain largely intact. Egyptologists believe that the pyramid was built as a tomb over a 10 to 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC. At 146.5 metres the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years.  

This afternoon visit Memphis and Sakkara. Your tour begins with a visit to Memphis which served as the capital of Upper and Lower Egypt some 5000 years ago during the First Dynasty. Continue to Sakkara one of the most exciting historical and archaeological areas in all of Egypt. Dominated by the famous Step Pyramid of King Zoser this was the first pyramid to be built in ancient Egypt preceding those at Giza by many centuries. Lunch is included today at the 9 Pyramids Restaurant, providing spectacular views over the pyramids plateau.  

Day 4: Cairo - El Alamein - Alexandria (BD) 

Travel via the Alexandria Desert Road to El Alamein, located 105kms from Alexandria.   Visit the Allied cemetery near the famous battle site of World War II, where the legendary conflict between Rommel and Montgomery took place. Also visit the El Alamein Museum which holds many fascinating exhibits relating to the period. Continue to Alexandria for two nights at the Cecil Hotel located on the corniche in the centre of Alexandria. It was here that Field Marshall Montgomery was based for part of the war. The historically restored Monty’s bar remains open today.   Dinner tonight is on the rooftop at the historic Windsor Hotel, with spectacular views of Alexandria

Day 5:  Alexandria (BD)

Visit the Library - Bibliotheca Alexandria which was once the cultural centre of the ancient world. The library was built near the Ptolemaic Royal Palace. First damaged by fire in 47AD and then destroyed in 642AD. In 1988, the Egyptian President Mubarak laid the first stone in rebuilding this great library. The library was inaugurated in 2000 with 800,000 books. Shaped like a massive, partly hidden, tilted disc rising from the Mediterranean, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina evokes the image of a rising sun, a source of light and enlightenment. Continue with a visit to the Citadel of Qaitbay, 15th Century defence fortress. Continue to visit St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, the first church of Africa, founded by the disciple, St Mark, in 49AD. Dinner is included this evening at the Cecil Hotel.  

Day 6: Alexandria - Wadi El Natrun Monasteries - Cairo - Aswan (BL) 

Depart Alexandria this morning and travel south. En route visit the El Natrun Monasteries, established in the 4th century, which remain open today. Visit two monasteries and meet some of the 400 local monks, before continuing to Cairo Airport. Transfer directly to Cairo Airport for your flight to Aswan for two nights at your Nubian Hotel.  

Day 7: Aswan (B) 

Day at leisure in Aswan with time to relax or explore the local markets.
OPTIONAL (additional Cost of $280 per person): An overland tour to Abu Simbel – including lunch.
Early morning start to travel by road to Abu Simbel, one of the most impressive archaeological sites in all of Egypt, not only for its historical significance, but for the great engineering success in moving these temples to their present location. Of all the temples of Egyptian antiquity, amongst the most spectacular and best preserved are the Temples of Abu Simbel. The master builder was Ramses II, one of Egypt’s greatest Pharaohs. The larger temple celebrates the Pharaoh himself while the smaller one honours his wife, Queen Nefertari. When the new Lake Nasser Dam was built in the 1960s, the temples were moved to save them from a watery grave. In an amazing feat of engineering, the temples were hewn into huge blocks of thirty tonnes each and relocated 180m further inland. Return to Aswan late this afternoon.  

Day 8: Aswan - Nile Cruise (BLD)

Transfer to your Nile Cruise boat for the next three nights. The Blue Shadow has 54 deluxe cabins, featuring modern design. Cabins feature A/C, minibar, satellite flat screen TV, panoramic windows & safe box. Facilities include on board entertainment, restaurant, lounge and pool bars, relaxing sauna, and massage area (additional charge,) and library.  

Seeing the Nile for the first time one can understand the words of Herodotus ‘Egypt is the gift of the Nile’. Today visit the Aswan High Dam (completed in 1971); the Old Dam (completed in 1902). You will also visit the Philae Temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis, a structure rescued from the rising waters of Lake Nasser at the time of the High Dam's construction. Overnight in Aswan.

Day 9:  Aswan - Kom Ombo - Edfu - Luxor (BLD)

Sail to Kom Ombo and view its famous temple completed during the reign of Ptolemy during 181-146B.C. This temple was shared by the two Gods, Sobek and Haroeris. See the beautiful murals, bas relief and fine views of the river.

Continue to Edfu where remains from the Old Kingdom can be viewed as well as the Temple of Horus and houses of the Byzantine period Travel by horse drawn carriage to and from the Temple. Sail to Esna and cross the lock. Continue to Luxor for overnight.

Day 10: Luxor (BLD) 

This morning cross the Nile to the West Bank. Today is full of highlights including the Necropolis of Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, which includes the tombs of the Theban rulers, including Tutankhamun. Tour the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, the only woman Pharaoh to rule ancient Egypt. See the famed Colossi of Memnon facing the Nile.

This afternoon in an unforgettable excursion, explore Luxor Temple, built by two kings, Amenophis III and Ramses II.  
(An upgraded Entrance ticket is included to Tutankhamen’s and Ramses VI Tomb, which has flatter access)

Day 11: Luxor (B) 

Disembark from your cruise ship and continue touring to Karnak Temple, the main centre of worship in ancient Egypt and the Temple of Luxor, built by one of the kings of the 12th dynasty & completed by the well-known Pharoah, Ramses II. Transfer to your hotel for overnight.  

This afternoon visit Luxor Museum which houses many Christian & Pharaonic antiquities, and the Mummification Museum. Dinner is included this evening at the Guest house.

Day 12: Luxor - Cairo (B) 

This morning transfer to Luxor Airport for your flight to Cairo where you are reserved for two nights in a centrally located hotel. Afternoon at leisure in Cairo.  

Day 13: Cairo (BD) 

Embark on a full day tour of Coptic Cairo, Mosque, Citadel, Bazaar. Continue to the Cave Church (also known as the Monastery of Saint Simon, the Tanner Monastery). Final dinner in Egypt is included this evening to reflect on your journey.

Day 14: Cairo - Athens (B) 

Transfer to the airport for your onward Egyptair flight to Athens. Fly Cairo/Athens. Welcome to Greece. On arrival at Athens Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel for two nights.

This afternoon visit the Acropolis, the crown jewel of Greece, Mars Hill and the Ancient Agora. Visit Mars Hill-where the Apostle Paul confronted the idolatrous beliefs of the “Men of Athens” and delivered his famous speech about the identity of "the Unknown God." (Acts 17). Return to your hotel. A welcome briefing with your local tour director and a welcome drink is included this evening on the rooftop of your hotel.

Day 15: Athens - Corinth - Athens (BD) 

Meet with your tour director and proceed with your tour of Athens including a panoramic tour and a visit to the Acropolis Museum.  

Depart for Ancient Corinth via the Corinth Canal for a photo opportunity. Visit ancient city of Corinth, the once glorious city near the Isthmus, where Paul met Aquila and Priscilla and spent a year and a half preaching the Word of God. Corinth is the city that inspired many of Paul's most familiar letters, 1st & 2nd II Corinthians. Visit the Archaeological Museum, the Forum, the Temples, and the famous Bema. The ruins of this important cultural center are fascinating as we walk along the stone path that the Apostle Paul walked.   Free time for lunch.

This afternoon travel to the Ancient Port of Kechries in Corinth, where St Paul departed Greece for Syria. Later return to Athens. Dinner is included this evening in the Plaka area at a local restaurant.

Day 16: Athens - Patmos (BD) 

Morning at leisure.

This afternoon transfer to the port for your ferry to Patmos (Inside cabins are included - dinner is included on board).
Arrive Patmos at approximately 10pm. On arrival transfer to your hotel for two nights.

Day 17: Patmos (BD) 

This morning embark on a tour of Patmos Island. Start at the Port of Skala and drive halfway up the mountain to the Cave of St John to visit the most important site of the island. Here is where St John the Theologian wrote the Revelation, the last book of the New Testament.
Continue to the Monastery of St John. Saint Christodoulas, Servant of Christ, built the Monastery in 1088. Its castle-like structure crowned all around with battlements has a total of eight chapels inside. Once inside the courtyard you can see the intricately designed frescoes adorning the main chapel entrance. Return to the hotel.

This afternoon walk into the Old Town of Chora with Mike.  
Dinner is included at a local restaurant this evening. Return to your hotel for a rest before transferring to the port for your return ferry to Piraeus in Athens.

Day 18: Patmos - Athens - Delphi (BD) 

Overnight ferry to Piraeus (nside cabins - breakfast included on board.) Arrive at Piraeus Port and depart by coach to Delphi.

This afternoon visit the picturesque Arachova Village and free time for lunch. Check in to your hotel in the Delphi area and spend the afternoon at leisure, perhaps visit the local churches with their well-preserved frescoes. Dinner is at your hotel this evening.

Day 19: Delphi - Thessaloniki (BD) 

Discover Delphi, the centre of Ancient World - the "Omphalos" (Navel of Earth) - whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic World. From the 4th Century, Delphi had its own bishop.   On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. Visit the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the Museum containing such masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias. After lunch (own expense) continue to Thessaloniki for overnight. Dinner is at your hotel this evening

Day 20: Thessaloniki - Kavala - Thessaloniki (B) 

Embark on a full day tour to the UNESCO archaeological site Phillipi and the beautiful Kavala in Northern Greece on the Aegean Sea, the principal seaport of eastern Macedonia. The Apostle Paul founded the first Christian church in Europe at Kavala. It was here that the first Christian women in Europe, Lydia was baptised. Overnight in Thessaloniki. Dinner is your own arrangements this evening.  

Day 21: Thessaloniki - Meteora (BD) 

This morning discover Thessaloniki, one of the early centres for Christianity. Whilst on his second mission journey, the Apostle Paul visited the city’s chief synagogue on three sabbaths and sowed the seeds for Thessaloniki’s first Christian church.   Continue to Meteora for an overnight stay.
Dinner is included at the hotel this evening.

Day 22: Meteora - Athens (BD) 

This morning, visit the area of Meteora, where the world-famous Byzantine monasteries perch precariously on top of rock pinnacles. These are built directly on the rock's surface without foundations as such. Religious life, starting in the form of hermits’ dwellings, can be traced to around 1,000 AD. The first monastic community emerged in the 14th century and was most successful during the 15th and 16th centuries. By the 17th century, the monastic population had dwindled to one-third of its original size. The monasteries represent a unique example of monastic life since the 14th century. You will have an opportunity to visit two of the monasteries.  
Return to Athens for overnight and dinner at your hotel.

Day 23: Athens - Dubai (B) 

Transfer to the airport for your Emirates flight to Dubai. Fly Athens/Dubai.

Day 24:  Dubai (B) 

In transit Dubai. Fly Dubai/Christchurch or Auckland.

Day 25: Christchurch or Auckland (B) 

Welcome back to New Zealand.


  • Tour Hosted by Reverend Mike & Patsy Hawke ex New Zealand
  • Economy class airfares on Emirates Christchurch or Auckland/Dubai/Cairo & Athens/Dubai/Christchurch or Auckland
  • Meet and assist on arrival and departure
  • Egypt visa on arrival
  • All transfers airport - hotel return (group transfers only)
  • Transport in air-conditioned coaches
  • English speaking guide throughout in Egypt
  • English speaking tour director and local guides in Greece
  • Accommodation with private facilities – a combination of 3* and 4* hotels
  • Sightseeing as specified & entrance fees
  • Breakfasts daily
  • Welcome dinner in Cairo and Athens
  • All meals on Nile Cruise
  • Four additional lunches in Egypt
  • Dinner at Windsor Hotel in Alexandria
  • Farewell dinner in Cairo
  • 3 dinners at hotels in Greece
  • 3 dinners at local restaurants in Greece
  • Porterage
  • Partial Group tipping
  • The support of local regional offices in Egypt and Greece
  • Egypt and Greece Travel Notes – issued by Innovative Travel


  • Personal Expenses
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Early check in / Late check out
  • Local hotel taxes in Greece
  • Meals not specified & minibar
  • Fuel surcharges
  • Abu Simbel excursion - optional
  • Additional group tipping of approx. USD150 per person - to be pre-collected prior to departure
  • 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.



Cecil Hotel


Nile Cruise

Blue Shadow 3


Sonesta St. George








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)
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. Upgraded entrance to Tutankhamun and Ramses VI Tombs are included.

Dress Codes
Modest dress is required for entrance to holy sites – Men: Long pants, Women – skirt or long pants and shoulders covered.

The Greek government implemented a tourist tax (which came into effect in 2018 - Law 4389 / 27-05-2016 article 53 Accommodation Taxation) for all tourists staying in any kind of Hotel, Apartment, Villa, etc. in any destination in Greece. This tax will be applied locally and is payable at check-in or checkout depending on your hotel. The tax is a fixed Euro amount based on the property rating.  

Accommodation Type   Stayover tax per room/villa per night effective 01/03/24
3* hotels   € 3,00
4* hotels   € 7,00

Itineraries are prepared as a guideline only. Some variations may apply due to prevailing local conditions in a country. Transfer times, ferry schedules and flight schedules booked by Innovative Travel may be reconfirmed by the local operators upon arrival and are subject to change.

Itinerary descriptions and photographs: All photos and hotel descriptions are general impressions of the property booked. These do not necessarily represent the room or view you will receive.  

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.
Hotel check-in/out times: Nnormally IN: 2pm /OUT: 12noon
The only way to guarantee an early check-in or late check-out is to pre-book the night before (early check-in) or night after (late check-out). Otherwise, early check-in and late check-out are subject to availability when you are there.

Double Beds: Please note we can request a double-bedded room if requested, but cannot guarantee one will be available upon check in.

Non-Smoking Rooms: As a policy Innovative Travel request non smoking rooms for all guests. These rooms are requested and are subject to availability.

Tipping: Please remember that tipping is an accepted practice throughout the world. In most countries tipping acts as a supplement to a basic wage. Tipping is precollected for most group activities. Your tour leaders will tip for all included sightseeing, transfers, and porterage. Please ensure that you have some USD or EURO cash in some smaller denominations such as 1, 5 and 10’s for non-included tipping. Innovative Travel will provide guidelines in the final comprehensive travel notes provided with your documentation.

On a lighter note:   Please remember that religious beliefs, traditional customs, and daily manners may differ from country to country, these may seem quite strange at first. These idiosyncrasies are part of what makes travelling a special experience. Please be patient if you think things are happening a different pace than you are used to and respect the differences in culture.  

Dress Codes: Modest dress is required for entrance to holy sites – Men: Long pants, Women – skirt or long pants and shoulders covered.   A scarf is often required to be worn– please pack one. Shoes are often removed to enter a holy site.

General tour conditions apply as per the Ancient Kingdoms brochure. Specific tour conditions apply as per the details on your registration form. Signing your registration form is deemed to have accepted the tour conditions.

Travel Advisory Information can change at any time, and we suggest clients refer to The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Travel Trade Advisory website at www.safetravel.govt.nz at the time of booking for the latest up to date information and general advice regarding the countries you are visiting.

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.

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