Egyptian Expedition

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Day 1: Departure from USA

Finally, today we depart for our Egyptian adventure. All international air flights will coordinate in New York at JFK departing for our non-stop flight to Cairo, arriving Thursday February 3rd.

Day 2: Cairo

Upon our arrival in Cairo, we will be met by our Egyptian contact that will assist us in making our Egyptian Visa Applications.

Cairo Egypt Tour

Purchasing our visa here is much more convenient and less expensive (approx. US$15/person) than completing the application process in the USA. After we have completed this process, a private vehicle will transfer us to our five-star hotel, well known for its splendid location and services, conveniently located in the vicinity of the Giza Pyramids. The Step Pyramids, Cairo Museum, and the Citadel, are only a short distance away. For the next two nights, all this luxury will be ours to enjoy.

Later this evening we will enjoy a welcome dinner, so that we can all get to know each other better.

Please Note: The method for visas will be used for all clients with a valid USA passport. If you hold a passport from another country it will be necessary for you to advise us at the time you make your reservation so that other arrangements can be made.

CAIRO, the capital of Egypt, is one of the largest cities in the Middle East and Africa. It lies at the centre of all routes leading to and from the three continents:  Asia, Africa and Europe.

Cairo Egypt Tour

Known as the Jewel of the Orient, the City of the Thousand Minarets, the Cradle of Civilization and the Beacon of Religion, it is a city where past and present meets. Here, the Nile divides into its two distributaries: on its east side stands the evidence of 2000 years of Islamic, Christian Coptic, and Jewish culture which still flourishs to this day. On its west side lays the Ancient Egyptian

Cairo Egypt Tour

city of Giza, the renowned capital of the Old Kingdom and the site of the Pyramids, the only wonder of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World still surviving. A journey through Cairo is a journey through time and the history of an immortal civilization. Tomorrow you begin your journey. Be prepared -- mornings at this time of the year can be cool, but as the day wears on the temperature rises. A thin scarf is a good addition to your travel wardrobe. The winds circling over the desert may present you with your first taste of the Sahara.
Overnight Pyramids Park
Tonight Welcome Dinner in a Private Egyptian Home

Day 3: Cairo

This morning following breakfast we will be met by our guide the renowned Egyptologists, Professor Mohammad Shata, who will accompany us as we visit the Egyptian Museum, Mohammed Ali Mosque and the Khan El Khalili Bazzar. You will find Professor Shata’s explanation about these sights to be both entertaining and interesting.

Mohammed Ali Mosque:
The most famous landmark of Cairo’s skyline is the spectacular Ottoman Mosque, named for Muhammad 'Ali Pasha', who is buried here in an ornate white marble tomb just to the right of the entrance. The exterior of the Mosque, with its huge domes and soaring minarets, is an impressive site, perched on the summit of the citadel built between 1828 and 1848, a conscious revival of the Ottoman imperial style, rivaling that of the mosque built by Sultan Ahmet in Istanbul, Turkey some 200 years earlier.

Muhammad Mosque Cairo Egypt Tour
Inside you will see great chandeliers illuminating the huge domed space, casting light on the colorful walls and gleaming gold wooden surfaces showing strong European influence, characteristic of Ottoman architecture.

Khan El Khalili Bazaar:
Once known as the Turkish bazaar during the Ottoman period, now it’s usually just called the 'Khan'. One of Cairo's most important shopping areas, the market represents the tradition which established Cairo as a major center of trade. In the past, Egyptian markets such as this were involved in the spice monopoly controlled by the Mamluks, who were soldiers of slave origin who had converted to Islam. Over time, Mamluks became a powerful military caste in various Muslim societies, particularly in Egypt.

Khan El Khalili Bazaar Cairo Egypt Tour

During its early tumultuous period, the market was also a center for subversive groups who suffered numerous raids. This situation prompted Europeans to search for new spice routes to the east, indirectly leading to Columbus' voyages and the discovery of America. We will have fabulous lunch at the Panoramic Alazhar Park .

The Egyptian Museum:
Houses the largest collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts in the world and owes its existence to the Egyptian Antiquities Service, established by the Egyptian government in 1835 to limit the looting of Egypt's priceless artifacts.

Egyptian Museum Cairo Tour

Roughly 120,000 items are on display, including a very interesting exhibit of artifacts found in the tomb of Tutankhamen and the Royal Mummy Room located upstairs, which houses 11 royal mummies from pharaonic times. There are so many articles present that it is necessary to be selective as to what we visit. We will place ourselves in Professor Shata's capable hands to lead us to the most important sites.
Overnight Pyramids Park
B/L (Dinner on your own)

Day 4: MORNING - DRIVE TO ALEXANDRIA IN A DELUXE AIR CONDITIONED VAN WITH EGYPTOLOGIST; VISIT NATIONAL MUSEUM, CATACOMBS, POMPEY'S PILLAR AND THE LIBRARY

The Alexandria National Museum inaugurated in 2003 has continued to grow in importance and is now considered one of Egypt's finest museums. It is one more addition to the reasons one should visit this grand old city. Located in a restored palace it contains about 1,800 artifacts that narrate the history of Alexandria throughout the ages. There are also some modern pieces, including 19th century glassware, silverware, chinaware and precious jewels, which provide an idea of the richness of the court of Mohammed Ali and his descendants.Mummies are shown in a special underground chamber.

Catacombs -- The Catacombs lie 35 meters below ground. The cemetery dates back to the 1st century A.D and was used until the 4th century A.D. It was discovered in 1900 by pure chance when a donkey drawn cart fell into a pit leading to the discovery. The Alexandria Catacombs are similar to the Christian Catacombs in Rome, consists of 3 levels cut into the rock, a staircase, a rotunda, the banquette hall, a vestibule, an antechamber and the burial chamber with three recesses in it; in each recess there is a sarcophagus. The 2nd level was opened to visitors in 1995, but the lowest level is still submerged. The entrance leads to a spiral staircase of 99 steps that go around a shaft, used to lower the body of the deceased by ropes, to prevent any damages. Slits were cut into the shaft to light the staircase. Some carvings have been removed to the Alexandria Museum.

Pompey's Pillar -- One of the few remaining relics of ancient Alexandria is this imposing column of red granite, popularly known as Pompey's Pillar. The shafts entire height is 104 feet, exclusive of capital and pedestal. For years it was supposed that this handsome monument was dedicated to the memory of Caesar's illustrious rival, Pompey the Great, who fled after the battle of Pharsalia and was murdered on the Egyptian coast. But the inscription proves that it was erected by a certain Roman prefect named Pompey, who placed it here in honor of the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, about 300 years after Christ. It may have been hewn then from the granite for this purpose, but it is more likely that it was brought here from some old temple up the Nile, and is of far greater antiquity. Unfortunately this fine architectural jewel has now no proper setting. It stands alone upon a dreary eminence near a desolate Arabian cemetery. Nevertheless, it rises as an elegant memento of the past, reminding us that close by once stood the magnificent Temple of Serapis, which is said to have surpassed in splendor every building in the world except the Roman Capitol, and contained the priceless library of Alexandria, all of whose precious manuscripts were destined at last to perish in flames.

The Royal Library of Alexandria -- The Bibliotheca Alexandrina shown here was inaugurated in 2003 near the site of the old library, once the largest library in the world. It is generally assumed to have been founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC, during the reign of Ptolemy II of Egypt. At its peak, the Royal Library is believed to have held about half a million books and was initially organized by Demetrius Phalereus. It has been reasonably established that the library was destroyed by fire, but to this day the details of the destruction remain a source of controversy. The loss of the library is widely considered a great loss to humanity. It contained the compiled history of generations of the ancient world, not just of Egypt. The five hundred thousand or so volumes were scrolls, made of papyrus and written by hand. Scientists and learned men of the time would visit the library from many areas to study, and add to the great collection. It is said that Archimedes once visited Alexandria, studying for hours in the library and museum. Often, scientists would re-write old scrolls that were badly written or growing brittle with age. The modern version is still quite impressive. I get a sense of having one foot in the past and one foot in the future when visiting there.

The Lighthouse of Alexandia dates back to 247 BC. This tower was built mainly to guide the ships in the hours of darkness. The height of this structure is about 140 meters. Once included in the list of the ancient wonders of the world. It was the first lighthouse worldwide, In ancient times a mirror was positioned inside it producing a light effect in excess of 35 miles. Overnight: Cecil Alex Hotel, Alexandria Egypt - Meals: B/L/D

Day 5: VISIT THE CITADEL AND THE MONTAZAH PALACE IN ALEXANDRIA THEN RETURN TO CAIRO LATE IN THE DAY

The sumptuous Montazah Palace was built in 1900 by Khedive Abbas Hilmy the last Khedive ruler of Egypt and the Sudan under the Ottoman Empire, as his summer residence. The palace sits atop a rocky bluff that over looks the Mediterranean, surrounded by lush gardens and grounds, including a semi-private beach. Last used as a royal residence by King Farouk, it's now used by the current Egyptian President, the building itself is off limits to the public. However, you can still get a glimpse of the privileged life of yesteryear in the gardens that surround the buildings, planted with palm and pine trees among other greenery. A second palace, known as El Salamlek, was built on the grounds as a hunting lodge for the Khedive's Austrian wife and its forest was stocked with live game for the royal residents. Today it enjoys a second life as a luxury hotel and casino.

Qaitbay Citadel in Alexandria was an important part of the city's fortification system in the 15th century A.D. In 1477 A.D Sultan Qaitbay visited the site of the old lighthouse in Alexandria and ordered a fortress to be built on its foundations. The construction lasted about 2 years, and is said to have cost more than a hundred thousand Dinars. The builder was Edifices Mason who went on to become the Viceroy of Alexandria and governor of Syria. Sultan Qaitbay was one of the most important and prominent Mameluke Sultans, ruling for about 29 years. He was known as a brave king, who tried to initiate a new era with the Ottomans by exchanging embassies and gifts. Fond of travel he made many prominent journeys. Later in the afternoon when we have enjoyed our sumptuous lunch we’ll drive back to Cairo, arriving in time to prepare for tomorrows adventure Overnight Pyramids Park meals: B/L/ D - ON OWN

Day 6: Luxor

Luxor Egypt Tour

This morning after breakfast, we will transfer to the airport for our short flight to Luxor. Before checking into our hotel, we will visit the Karnak and Luxor temples. Luxor, "Harem of the South," has often been called the worlds greatest open air museum. The number of preserved monuments here are unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Actually, what most people think of as Luxor is really three different areas, consisting of the City of Luxor on the East side of the Nile, the town of Karnak just north of Luxor and Thebes, which the ancient Egyptians called Waset, located on the west side of the Nile across from Luxor.

Karnak Temple:

karnak temple luxor egypt tour

The scale of every other Pharaonic Temple, with over 100 acres devoted to the Gods. For thirteen centuries, successive Pharos added their share to make this the most magnificent complex in the entire ancient world. It was not only a religious capital but also one of the most important intellectual centers in antiquity. The local god Amun started to grow in importance early in the middle kingdom period. Six centuries later he was promoted to state god and Karnak soon became the most important religious center in Egypt. Egyptian temples can be divided into two groups: State or cult temples often built on the sites of earlier shrines, intended for worship of local or state deities, and Mortuary temples, built for a focus on continuing the rites for dead pharos, originally built on or near the Pharos’s tomb. As Pharos sought greater security for their remains, mortuary temples were built at some distance from the royal tombs, which were sealed and intended to never be visited.

Luxor Temple:
In ancient times ordinary people were barred from entering temples, but now the temple of Luxor lies in the heart of town. During 1987, the Verdi opera "Aida" was staged here. Luxor Temple is huge in scale, once housing an entire village within its walls. The entrance to the temple is a wide pathway lined by Sphinxes, known as the "Sacred Way" or "Avenue of Sphinxes", leading to the temple proper with a 24-metre high pylon built by Ramesses II, decorated with scenes of his military triumphs. Later pharaohs also recorded their victories there. Also surviving is a 25-metre-tall pink granite obelisk. It was one of a matching pair until 1835, when the other one was taken to Paris where it now stands in the centre of the Place de la Concorde. A gigantic statue of Ramses II wearing the double crown of Lower and Upper Egypt as a symbol of the united country also resides here.
Overnight Luxor Sheraton
B/L/D

luxury luxor egypt tour

Day 7: Dendera & Abydos

Dendera Luxor Egypt Luxury Tour

Today after breakfast, with lunch boxes in hand, we travel to Dendera and Abydos.

Dendera:
The Temple of Hathor, at Dendera was dated through astronomical information to 1,700 BC. Found buried in the sand, it is one of the best preserved temples, if not the best, in all Egypt. It includes astrological signs of the constellations, the zodiac symbols and interesting hieroglyphs. The catacombs that run under the temple contain hieroglyphs and inscriptions so often quoted as being 'electric light bulbs'.

Luxor, Cairo Luxury Egypt Tour

The interpretation of these hieroglyphs is still uncertain. The ceiling of the Hypostyle is decorated with vultures, winged disks, and the union between Hathor and Horus, the colors are beautiful and most are still original.

Dendera Luxor Egypt Tour

The rest of the ceiling is a symbolic representation of the north and south halves of the sky, the hours of day and night, the constellations and the regions of the moon and sun. The bays to the right show the northern stars while the left shows the southern stars. The figures of Nut dominate each end of the hall. The continuing cycle of a day is represented by Nut. Her dress is the sky; between her legs is the birth of the sun, which disappears at night as she swallows it.

Abydos for the Ancient Egyptians, was one of the holiest sites in the world. The seat of the principal Sanctuary of Osiris was where the head of the God, the most important relic, was believed to be preserved. All ancient Egyptians had to go to Abydos at least once in their lives.

Abydos Luxury Egypt Tour

Today, Abydos is a large archaeological site often visited in conjunction with nearby Dendera. The worship of Osiris in his various forms appeared at Abydos in the 22nd Dynasty and became increasingly important, until the entire site was considered sacred primarily to him. The main monument is the Temple of Seti I, built around 1300 BC by Seti and his son Ramses II. It is especially notable for its fine reliefs, by identifying himself with the great gods and previous rulers of Egypt. Seti added legitimacy to his ruling family that had been mere warriors. Overlooking the second court is a facade covered with reliefs of Ramses II greeting Osiris, Isis and Horus. One of the roof lintels in the Outer Hypostyle Hall bears a cartouche that has become famous for including the so-called "Abydos helicopter." Internet theorists hold that the ancient engraving shows a helicopter and submarine. Archaeologists disagree and explain the unusual shape results from erosion and the layering of one cartouche over another. The Inner Hypostyle Hall contains brightly colored reliefs on the back wall showing Seti being anointed and crowned by the gods. Behind the Inner Hypostyle Hall are seven sanctuaries, which contain the best reliefs in the temple. Each one, roofed with false vaults, end in false doors, except for Osiris’ sanctuary, which has a real door to his inner sanctuaries. Behind the seven sanctuaries are the inner sanctuaries of Osiris, with three side chapels dedicated to Isis, Seti and Horus respectively. The reliefs in these chapels retain much of their bright colors, but have been blackened by mold in the last few decades.
Overnight Luxor Sheraton
B/L/D


Day 8:
West Bank; Nile Cruise

Visit West Bank and check in for our Nile cruise on the Ti Yi or similar 5-star ship.

Nile Cruise Egypt Tour

The West Bank of the Nile. Ancient Egyptians believed that the sun setting in the west is a symbol of life's end, therefore tombs and mausoleums are built in the west.

Luxury Egypt Tour

Life-giving temples are built in the East. Our west bank tour includes; Valley of the Kings with Ramses VI and Tutankhamen tombs - Queen Hatshepsut Temple and the Colossi of Memnon.

 

 

The Valley of the Kings:

Valley of the Kings - Egypt Luxury Tour

For a period of nearly 500 years dating from the 16th to the 13th century BC, tombs were constructed for Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom in the Valley of the Kings. The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes, now known as Luxor. The valley is known to contain 63 tombs and chambers ranging in size from a simple pit to a complex tomb with over 120 chambers. The royal tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues to the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period. The area has been a focus of archaeological exploration since the end of the eighteenth Century. In modern times, the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. We can also visit the tomb of Ramses VI one of my favorites.

Ramses II - Luxury Egypt Tour
Egypt Luxury Tour
Tutankhamen - Egypt Luxury Tour
Ramses slaying his enemies
Ramses VI Tomb
Tutankhamen

 

 

Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut:
A favorite of Mohamed's, was the fifth pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful lady Pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an Egyptian dynasty. Although poor records of her reign are documented, today it is generally recognized that Hatshepsut assumed the position of pharaoh for almost twenty-two years, since she was assigned a reign of twenty-one years and nine months by the third-century B.C. historian, Manetho, who had access to many records that now are lost. Her death is known to have occurred in 1458 BC, which implies that she became Pharaoh in 1479 BC. Compared to other female Pharaohs, Hatshepsut's reign was long and prosperous.

Hatshepsut Tomb - Luxury Egypt Tour

She was successful in warfare early in her reign, but it is generally considered to be a pharaoh who inaugurated a long peaceful era. She re-established trading relationships lost during a foreign occupation and brought great wealth to Egypt. That wealth enabled Hatshepsut to initiate building projects that raised the caliber of Ancient Egyptian architecture to a standard, comparable to classical architecture that would not be rivaled by any other culture for a thousand years.

 

The Colossi of Memnon:

For the past 3400 years the two massive seated statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III gazing eastwards have stood across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor.

Colossi of Memnon - Egypt Luxury Tour

Two shorter figures carved into the throne front alongside his legs are his wife Tiy and mother Mutemwiya. The side panels depict the Nile god Hapi. The original function of the Colossi was to stand guard at the entrance to Amenhotep's memorial temple. A massive cult centre built during the pharaoh's lifetime, where he was worshipped as a god-on-earth both before and after his departure from this world. In its day, this temple complex was the largest and most opulent in Egypt. Rivals such as Ramses II or Ramses III were unable to match it in area. Even the Temple of Karnak, as it stood in Amenhotep's time, was smaller. In 27 BC, a large earthquake reportedly shattered the eastern colossus, collapsing it from the waist up and cracking the lower half. Following its rupture, the remaining lower half of this statue was then reputed to "sing" on various occasion, always within an hour or two of sunrise, usually right at dawn. The legend of the "Vocal Memnon", the luck that hearing it was supposed to bring, and the reputation of the statue's oracular powers, travelled the length of the known world. A constant stream of visitors, including several Roman Emperors, came to marvel.
Overnight on the Ship
B/L/D
:

Day 9:

Sail through the Nile lock in Esna and continue to visit the Temples of Isis & Osiris in Edfu.

Cruise the Nile - Egypt Luxury Tour

Today will be a relaxing day on the Nile. You can choose to nap or sit on the upper deck and watch as we slide by the sites of inner Egypt. But we don’t want to miss the ship maneuvering thru the locks on the way up the Nile. It's usually necessary to wait our turn for the lock lift. The lock will have lifted our ship up about 16 or 17 feet, before we continue our leisurely progress toward Edfu. Two barrage bridges straddle the Nile at this point; one built by the British in 1906, and the "Electricity Bridge" built in the 1990s.
Overnight on the Ship
B/L/D

Peddler - Egypt Luxury Tour
Eygpt Market Stands - Luxury Tours

Eygpt Luxury Tours - Market Stands

Day 10:
Visit the Edfu Temple sail to Kom Ombo Temples

Edfu Egypt - Luxury Tour

Edfu Temple:
After breakfast we will be transported to the Edfu Temple of Horus dedicated to the falcon-god. The inner walls of the enclosure depict the story of how Horus was conceived from parts of his father, Osiris. The god Seth of the desert, storms, darkness, and chaos or underworld chopped Osiris up into little pieces and cast his parts into the Nile. Isis used her magic to restore Osiris to life, only to have Seth do the same thing again. The second time Isis was unable to restore Osiris, so she used his parts to conceive Horus. Later in a conflict Horus slays Seth but loses an eye in the battle.

Orisis - Egypt Luxury Tour

The eye of Horus is an important religious symbol in ancient Egyptian theology. The Temple of Horus in Edfu is considered the best-preserved cult temple in Egypt. Partly because it was built later than most, by Ptolemy III in 237 BC and finished 200 years later by Ptolemy XIII, father of Cleopatra .

Eygpt_Tour - Temple of Horus in Edfu

Despite its later construction date, it reflects traditional pharaonic architecture and provides an excellent idea of how all the temples once looked. Edfu is very large. In fact it's the largest in Egypt after the Karnak Temple.

Kom Ombo Temples:

Egypt Luxury Tours

There are two temples at Ombos, constructed of stone obtained from neighboring quarries. The more magnificent of the two stands at the top of a sandy hill, and appears to have been a type of Pantheon, since, according to inscriptions, it was dedicated to Apollo. The smaller temple to the northwest was sacred to Isis. Both are imposing architecture, and still retain the brilliant colors with which their builders adorned them. The crocodile was held in honor by the people of Ombos, and in the adjacent catacombs are occasionally found mummies of the sacred animal. The satirist, Juvenal, has given an eye-witness description of a fight, between the Ombitae and the inhabitants of Tentyra, who were hunters of the crocodile.

Eygpt_Tour - Kom Ombo Temples

On this occasion the men of Ombos had the worst of it, and one of their men, having stumbled in his flight, was caught and eaten by the Tentyrites. In Kom Ombo there is a rare engraved image of what is thought to be the first representation of medical instruments for performing surgery, including scalpels, curettes, forceps, dilator, scissors and medicine bottles dating from the days of Roman Egypt.
Overnight M/S Tiyi
B/L/D


Day 11:
Today tour the Aswan area and Felucca on the Nile

Aswan:
We are touring Aswan at the best possible time of the year. Aswan is Egypt's southern most city, with a population of 230,000 people, mostly of Nubians. Originally from Sudan these farmers and ivory traders are known for their extreme hospitality and their winning smiles. It's renowned for its many islands, the Elephantine, Kitchener’s and Philae, as well as the thousands of felucca’s with white sails going back and forth between them. There are various Pharaonic sites in Aswan, the most important of which is the Philae Temple and island. During British occupancy, the area was very popular as a winter resort. It is here that Agatha Christie based and wrote her best seller, "Death on the Nile." Ancient Aswan was also famous for its granite quarries. Thousands of Egyptian statues, obelisks, shrines and even pyramids are constructed out of the granite mined here. Aswan is also home to Egypt's High Dam, the main source of power for the entire nation. The Aswan Dam is the general name for two dams, both of which are situated across the Nile River in Aswan, Egypt., Prior to the building of the Dams, the water of the Nile flowed down the valley from its East African drainage basin causing flooding each summer.

As it had since ancient times, these floods brought high water, plus natural nutrients and minerals that continuously enriched the fertile soil along the river and made the Nile valley ideal for farming. As Egypt's population grew and conditions changed, a need developed to control the flood waters, both to protect and support farmland and the economically important cotton fields. In high-water years, the whole crop might be wiped out, while in low-water year's widespread drought and famine occurred. Now with the reservoir storage provided by these dams, the floods can be lessened, and the water can be stored for later release.

Philae Temple:
Philae Island was a rocky island in the middle of the River Nile. Here the ancient Egyptians built a beautiful and magnificent Temple for the Goddess Isis, but the Temple became submerged after the first Aswan dam was built in 1906. It was not until the seventies that many nations attempted to save the Temple. Many countries, together with UNESCO, selected a suitable place, but had to wait for the water to stabilize after the completion of the High Dam, in 1971.

Philae Temple - Egypt Luxury Tours

The new island was called Egilica, and was completely reshaped to imitate Philae Island. First, a cofferdam was built around the Temple and the water was drained. Next, the Temple was dismantled and transferred, stone by stone, from the submerged Philea Island to the redesigned Egilica Island. Each and every stone had to numbered, and then replaced, in the same position, in the new location. It was a massive, and complicated, project taking over 9 years to accomplish. The main Temple is the one dedicated to Isis is one of the greatest and it occupies about a quarter of the island. The original construction began during the reign of King Ptolemy II, and was built in the same style as the Temples of the New Kingdom.
Overnight M/S Tiyi
B/L/D

Felucca on the Nile - Egypt Luxury Tour

Felucca On The Nile:
Later this afternoon we will enjoy a sailboat ride known as a Felucca. Cruising on the Nile is a wonderful experience, as this ageless river has been the cradle of Egyptian civilization. A ride in a felucca is truly relaxing and the stunning vista of the scarlet sunset over the River Nile from the felucca is an unforgettable experience. In the evening you will find the birds returning to their home and the ships and other vessels returning to their destinations. Overnight on the Ship
B/L/D

Day 12:
Visit Abu Simbel then fly back to Cairo from Aswan

Abu Simbel - Egypt Luxury Tours

Abu Simbel:
South of Aswan, on the western bank of the Nile River in what was Nubia in ancient times. Construction of the two rock-cut temples began in 1220 BC and lasted for 20 years. Abu Simbel has become one of the most famous monuments in the Nile Valley. The Great Temple at Abu Simbel was the first of a series of four temples built during the reign of Rameses II, which formed a unit, each dedicated to one of the four state gods: Amun-Re, Re-Horakhty, Ptah, and the divine manifestation of the pharaoh. The three other temples were built at Wadi-es-Sebua, and Gerf Hussein. The rock-cut façade, shaped like a pylon, is dominated by four colossal seated statues of the king, each 67 feet high, flanked by much smaller standing images of his mother and wife, with very small figures of sons or daughters standing between his feet.

Abu Simbel - Egypt Luxury Tours

An earthquake in ancient times damaged the colossal figures flanking the doorwa. The upper part of the southern colossus fell, but the northern figure suffered less damage and was restored in the reign of Sety II. Above the main entrance, a massive niche contains a personification of the king’s name. The left doorjamb has a lengthy cryptic inscription of the king’s title. The temple was entirely cut into the rock cliff; the entrance opens onto a hall lined by eight square pillars, with standing statues of the king. Reliefs of the Battle of Kadesh cover the northern wall, with other military scenes in relief on the southern wall. The scenes flanking the door into the hall depict the king, standing in front of Amun and Mut, on one side, with Re-Horakhty and Ius-aas on the other. The seated image of the deified king between the two deities indicates that the deification of Rameses II occurred during the construction of the temple.

Eygpt_Tour/Abu Simbel

The complex consists of two temples: the larger one mentioned above and a smaller temple dedicated to the goddess Hathor, personified by Nefertari, Ramesses's most beloved wife. In total, the Pharaoh had 22 wives and concubines and 159 children. With the passage of time, the temples fell into disuse and eventually became covered by sand. So, why is this magnificent site called Abu Simbel? Tour guides at the site relate the legend that "Abu Simbel" was a young local boy who guided early re-discoverers to the site of the buried temple, which he had seen from time to time in the shifting sands. Eventually, they named the complex after him: "Abu Simbel." Following the decision to build the new High Dam in the early 1960s, the temples were dismantled and relocated on the desert plateau 64 meters west of their original site.
Overnight Pyramids Park
B/D included (Lunch on your own).

Day 13:
The Sphinx, Giza Pyramids, Memphis and Sakkara
and farewell dinner.

The Sphinx and Pyramids:
The last surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the World is the Great Pyramid of Giza. Ancient Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for the pharaohs and their queens. The Pharaohs were buried in pyramids of many different shapes and sizes from before the beginning of the Old Kingdom to the end of the Kingdom. There are 107 ancient Egyptian pyramids known to exist today. The three largest and best-preserved of all were built at Giza at the beginning of the Old Kingdom.

Sphinx and Pyrimads in Giza Egypt Luxury Tours

The most well-known of these pyramids was built for the Pharaoh Khufu, known as the 'Great Pyramid'. There are three main pyramids in Giza each is a tomb for a different King of Egypt; the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Kafhre and the smaller Pyramid of Menkaura They were a Father, Son and Grandfather. In front of the pyramids lies the Sphinx or Abu al-Hol in Arabic, "Father of Terror". Carved out of a single block of stone, this enormous cat-like sculpture has mesmerized millions of visitors. Giza’s three pyramids and the Sphinx were originally thought to have been constructed in the fourth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, arguably the first great civilization on earth. For most of us that translates to about 5,000 years ago. It is believed that about 10,000 laborers used approximately 3 million blocks of stone, each weighing 2.5 tons, just to build the Pyramid of Khufu. The greatest monumental sculpture in the ancient world, "the Sphinx" is carved out of a single ridge of stone 240 feet long and 66 feet high. There are no inscriptions on the Sphinx, or on any of the temples connected to it, that offer evidence of age or construction period. The so-called 'Inventory Stele', uncovered on the Giza plateau in the 19th Century, tells that the Pharaoh Cheops ordered a temple built alongside the Sphinx, confirming that the Sphinx was already in existence at that time. Additional evidence as to the great age of the Sphinx may be indicated by the astronomical significance of its shape, that of a lion. Geological findings indicate that the Sphinx seems to have been sculpted sometime before 10,000 BC, and this period coincides with the Age of Leo the Lion, which lasted from 10,970 to 8810 BC.

Further support for this vast age of the sphinx comes from a surprising sky-ground correlation proven by sophisticated computer programs such as Skyglobe 3.6. These computer programs are able to generate precise pictures of any portion of the night sky as seen from different places on earth at any time in the distant past or future. Graham Hancock explains in Heaven's Mirror that, "computer simulations show that in 10,500 BC, the constellation of Leo housed the sun on the spring equinox. An hour before dawn Leo would have reclined due east along the horizon in the place where the sun would soon rise. This means that the lion-bodied Sphinx, with its due-east orientation, would have gazed directly on that morning at the one constellation in the sky that might reasonably be regarded as its own celestial counterpart." If the Sphinx is indeed this old then contemporary assumptions regarding the development of civilization would need to be entirely reworked.

Memphis Pyrimad - Luxury Egypt Tours

Memphis:
It is hard to imagine the vast enormity of the ancient Egyptian capitol city of Memphis. Most historians believe it extended approximately nineteen miles along the eastern shore of the Nile. If the size of the city alone is not impressive, the age is mind-boggling.

Memphis Sphinx - Egypt Luxury tour

It was believed by Herodotus to be founded by Menes who united the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt, and was the first capitol of a united Egypt – making it well over five thousand years old! For centuries, Memphis, Egypt was the political and administrative hub of the country, and nearby Sakkara with its vast number of royal burial sites attests to the significance of the area.

Memphis Egypt Luxury Tours

During the reign of Akhenaton, the capital was moved from Memphis to Thebes where he built his own special temples to the Sun God “Aton”. Later the pharaoh Tutankhamen returned the capital to Memphis and the old religious beliefs. Our reason for visiting Memphis today is to view two magnificent statues. One a beautiful red granite statue of Ramses II and the other a sphinx carved from a solid piece of alabaster.

Sakkara:
The name "Sakkara" comes from the hawk-headed deity, Sokar, who represented fertility and agriculture. The cult of Sokar was originally based at Memphis. Visiting its plateau allows visitors to imagine how grand and prosperous Memphis must have once been. Beneath its endless golden sand, is where Kings and high ranking officials built their tombs to be buried during the First Dynasty, the world's first stone pyramid was built here.

Cheops' Solar Boat:
Our Guide Mohamed Shata was involved for two years in the re-assembly of Cheops' Solar Boat. Discovered by Kamal el Mallakh, in 1954.

Cheops Solar Boat Egypt Tour

The beautiful boat, stretches almost 150 feet in length. Some of the timbers are made from whole cedars of Lebanon. The prow sweeps upward, with a papyrus end, while the bow curves inward and is tipped with a magnificently carved papyrus blossom. There are hand-carved oars and ropes that might have been made today. The boat's state of preservation is remarkable. It must be the most fantastic find since Tutankhamen's tomb. The story of the solar boat's discovery is also fascinating.

In April 1950, close by the side of the Great Pyramid that faces the Sphinx, a road was being made for the convenience of tourists. As the men continued to dig they came upon pink cement which in turn revealed great slabs. Together with a team of men, Kamal cleared an area large enough to see that the great slabs might indeed form a roof. He then began to scrape down between two blocks that seemed less sturdy than the others, making a deep chink between the two.

On May 26th, 1954, he began digging in earnest, until the hole was large enough for him to be lowered into it head first, rewarding him with the first glimpse of the boat we will see today.

Day 14:
Flight depart Cairo to USA
.

 

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CALL US NOW FOR MORE INFORMATION OR
TO BOOK THIS MOVING AND
EXCITING ADVENTURE:
305-535-2398 or
CONTACT ME AT:
Barbara@LuxuryToursForLess.com

OR

Make your deposit securely online NOW.
You can pay with your PayPal Account or
with your Credit Card.
(For deposits of more than 4 passengers, please call.)

# of Travelers:
Promo Code (if you have one;
discount applied at Final Payment) :

 

*Tour details subject to change without notice.