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Pharaoh at the Temple of Luxor, Egypt at night

Passage Through Egypt: Luxor to Aswan

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Oberoi Philae
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Explore Egypt's numerous facets. Stay in the finest hotels, cruise the Nile aboard the Oberoi Philae, the Nile's most luxurious ship, and travel with the best Egyptologist guides and a professional photographer on board. Visit all of the must-see attractions, including the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx, the Karnak Temple near Luxor, the Ramses II-built Abu Simbel, and the rarely-visited tombs of Seti I and Nefertari, which include colorful artwork. Throughout the journey, learn about the people who live along the Nile's banks and the customs they follow. Modern Egypt is also very interesting, and there is a sense of optimism here that shows that things are getting better.
Egypt Hieroglyphics in Valley of kings closeup detail. Luxor, Egypt.Facade of Kom Ombo Temple by nightView of the Great Nile in AswanFelucca Nile cruisePhilae templePharaoh at the Temple of Luxor, Egypt at night
Highlights
  • Discover ancient Egypt's pyramids, Sphinx, Valley of the Kings, and Abu Simbel.
  • Admire the dramatic columns and magnificent ceilings of the Temple of Dendera.
  • Walk around the contemporary town of Esna.
  • Sail through the longest river in the world, the Nile
Activities
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1-4: Cairo

Arrive in Cairo and check in to the Nile Ritz Carlton, your home for the next four nights. The hotel overlooks the Nile in the heart of this great city, and your room will face the Nile, with the Pyramids visible in the distance (weather permitting)

Day 5: Luxor | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fly via private charter flight to Luxor, in Upper Egypt, where we’ll visit Karnak Temple. For 2,000 years some 30 pharaohs added their own monuments and shrines to this vast temple. The 134 columns of the great hall create a forest of stone 70 feet high, while the towering obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut shadows the rear of the temple. The reliefs and carvings, created by some of Ancient Egypt’s finest artisans, are dramatic. We’ll then embark the elegant, privately chartered Oberoi Philae, our home for the next six nights, in time for lunch. Onboard you will find spacious cabins, warm public areas and a welcoming Egyptian crew offering impeccable service. This afternoon we will tour the Luxor Museum, which contains some of Egypt’s finest statuary, beautifully lit and displayed, including the mummies of Ahmos I and Ramesses

Day 6: Dendera | Sailing the Nile | Luxor Temple

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We start the day sailing through some of Upper Egypt's most stunning scenery to arrive at the remote temple of Dendera, constructed during the time of the Roman emperors, noted for its dramatic columns and magnificent ceilings. The reliefs on the temple walls depict the empress Cleopatra. Hundreds of years of black soot were delicately removed to reveal the stunning and colorful artwork beneath, considered among the finest in all Egypt. Next, we explore the exquisite Luxor Temple, guarded by massive statues of Ramses II, with magnificent pylons, columns, and statues. It has been a place of worship for millennia, as attested to by the mosque that was built atop the site. Luxor Temple is well-lit in the evenings and a wonderful site to visit after sunset. After dinner onboard have an opportunity to enjoy the evening in Luxor. 

*Please note that you will ride motorcoaches between Luxor and Dendera Temple if our arrival coincides with low water, and cruise this section of the Nile during high water times.

Day 7: West Bank | Sailing the Nile

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rise early for an optional hot air balloon ride and a panoramic view of the Luxor area. This morning we will cross the Nile to the fabled West Bank and Valley of the Kings, burial ground for hundreds of years to Egypt's greatest pharaohs. Explore and photograph the tombs of Set I and Tutankhamun. Visit the Valley of the Queens and the most remarkable tomb of them all: that of Nefertari. Vivid paintings show the queen's beauty and depict her journey to the afterlife in exquise color and quality found nowhere else in Egypt. See the temple of Hatshepsut, dramatically set beneath sandstone cliffs.

Return to the ship for lunch and time to relax as we cast off from Luxor on the most luxurious ship on the Nile to spend the afternoon marveling at the rich and verdent riverbanks and farmland that has sustained life along the Nile for thousands of years. Enjoy the views from your suite or join your friends in the lounge or on the top deck to watch life and history go by. We'll continue our program with presentations and Recap from your Egyptologists and Certified Photo Instructor later this evening. Pass through the lock before enjoying an elegant dinner and overnighting in Esna.

Day 8: Esna | Sailing the Nile

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Walk to the nearby Temple of Khnum, which lies beneath the contemporary town of Esna and has not been fully excavated. Your Egyptologist will explain how silt from centuries of the Nile's annual floods buried the temple, which sits below street level. Walk back to the ship through the narrow streets of Esna, talking with locals, sharing stories and smiles, and learning about everyday Egyptian small-town life. Enjoy more time onboard where you can relax, dip into the ship's library of Egyptian history, or take a cool swim in the pool. Presentations and Recap onboard will cover Egyptology as well as modern Egypt plus photo instruction that take into account the sites and lighting you are experiencing. We overnight in Kom Ombo, just under the riverside temple

Day 9: Kom Ombo | Aswan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Set strikingly atop a hill overlooking the Nile we will visit Kom Ombo, built during the Ptolemaic era, dedicated to two gods—hawk-headed Haroeris and crocodile headed Sobek. It is richly decorated, and even has a hieroglyphic calendar. Stand on deck as we approach Aswan, a glorious location on the Nile, backed by hills, with granite rocks protruding from the riverbed and sailboats (called feluccas) plying the water. It is just downstream of the northernmost Nile cataract, which historically made it a frontier town and trading center with Nubia. This afternoon we visit the fine Nubian Museum where you’ll learn about the Nubian history and culture of Upper Egypt, as well as the architectural marvel that is Abu Simbel. We will end the day with High Tea at the legendary Old Cataract Hotel, from where commanding views of the Nile and Elephantine are sure to please. This evening enjoy a Nubian cultural show onboard Oberoi Philae

Day 10: Aswan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning we visit the lovely Temple of Isis on the island of Philae, from which the Oberoi Philae gets its name. In Greek, Philae means "the end" and the island was aptly named due to its border with ancient Nubia. Like Abu Simbel, the Temple of Isis would have been lost to the floods caused by the building of the High Dam if not painstakingly dismantled, moved and reconstructed at its present location. Visit a granite quarry to learn about how massive obelisks and other structures were carefully cut from solid rock and transported to the river for sailing the Nile. Get a good look at an unfinished obelisk on site. This afternoon enjoy a relaxing sail on a traditional felucca as the Nubian crew sing local songs and show you the beauty of the cataracts in the afternoon light.

Day 11: Aswan | Disembark | Abu Simbel | Cairo

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Disemark Oberoi Philae and fly by private-charter to southern Nubia and the remarkable site of Abu Simbel, on a sun-baked island in the azure waters of Lake Nasser. Two temples are found here; one large, dedicated to Ramses II's victory at Kadesh, and one small, dedicated to his beloved Queen Nefertari. Contructed in the mid 13th century BC, Abu Simbel was excavated from the sand in 1817. The temples were moved piece-by-piece to where it sits today to avoid being lost again, this time not to sand and neglect but to the creation of modern Lake Nasser.

After lunch, reboard our privately-chartered aircraft to Cairo and check-in to the 5-star InterContinental Citystars Hotel. Gather for our final dinner with the group this evening

Day 12: Cairo

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.

Ship/Hotel

Oberoi Philae

Oberoi Philae Exterior
Oberoi Philae Sun deck
Oberoi Philae Sun Deck

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$12,340
Oberoi Philae Category 1 cabin plan
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Category 1
These spacious cabins have a mix of queen beds or two single beds, a large window, and a shower.
Oberoi Philae Category 2 deck plan
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Category 2
These spacious cabins have two single beds (which can be pushed together), a large window, and a shower.
Oberoi Philae cat 3, 4 and 5 Deck Plan
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Category 3
These spacious cabins have two single beds (which can be pushed together), a large window, and a shower.
Oberoi Philae cat 3, 4 and 5 Deck Plan
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Category 4
These very large suites have an adjoining seating area, a queen-size bed, large windows that open, a shower, and a bathtub.
Oberoi Philae cat 3, 4 and 5 Deck Plan
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Category 5
These very large suites have a queen-size bed, side and stern-facing windows that open, a shower, and a bathtub. Each has a large private outdoor terrace with a private spa tub.
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • The Guidance and Company of the Expedition Staff
  • Hotels Ashore as Indicated in the Itinerary
  • Sightseeing & Entrance Fees
  • Special Access Permits, Park Fees, Port Taxes
  • Zodiac & Kayak Explorations
  • Snorkeling, Including Wetsuits, Masks, Fins & Snorkel Where Relevant
  • Presentations and Guest Speakers in the Lounge
  • Complimentary Parka - available only for the duration of the voyage.
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Regional charter flight fees not included, pricing varies by departure
  • Scuba Diving
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Alcoholic and non specified beverages
  • Additional Hotel Nights 
  • Private Transfers
     
  • Expedition Extensions 
  • Laundry 
  • Internet & Phone Charges

Map

When to Go

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Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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