Egypt And Jordan Solar To The Stars
DAY 1: Make your own way to the International Airport to check-in for your flight to Cairo. Enjoy in-flight meals and services.
DAY 2: Welcome to Cairo! Cairo, dubbed Al-Qahirah in Arabic, is not only one of the largest cities in Africa with a population of 17 million but is the political and cultural center of the Arab World. Cairo’s old quarters retain their ancient charm with many streets known by descriptions given to them by medieval chroniclers. Modern Cairo’s architecture is distinguished by Ottoman and later European influences, especially in commercial architecture as the city’s population boomed during the 19th century. Upon arrival at Cairo International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Overnight in Cairo.
DAY 3: This morning you will be transferred back to Cairo International Airport for your flight to Luxor. Upon arrival in Luxor, prepare to be escorted to the cruise ship for embarkation. This will be our home for the next four nights. Enjoy lunch on board, and in the afternoon, we will visit the Luxor and Karnak Temples. Luxor Temple was the center of the most important festival, the festival of Opet. Built largely by Amenhotep III and Ramses II, the temple served as a setting for the rituals of the festival, which was held to reconcile the human aspect of the ruler with his divine office. The procession of images of the current royal family began at Karnak and ended at the Luxor temple. Karnak Temple was erected in 1928 BC as a small shrine dedicated to Amun, the god of Thebes. The Temple of Karnak consists of three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples — all constructed over 1300 years. The three main temples of Mut, Monthu and Amun are enclosed in enormous brick walls, with the temple of Amun situated at the center. Karnak is now the largest and oldest temple compound on earth.
Dinner and Overnight Onboard in Luxor
DAY 4: After breakfast, cross the newly constructed Luxor Bridge to visit the Valley of the Kings, which includes the tombs of the Theban rulers, Seti I and Tutankhamen. The Valley of the Kings in Upper Egypt is home to many pharaonic tombs of the New Kingdom, including those of King Tutankhamun and Ramses the Great. Each king's formal name and title are inscribed in his tomb, adorned with images and statues. Most of the tombs were cut into limestone following a similar pattern: three corridors, an antechamber, and a sunken sarcophagus chamber. Explore several amazing Royal Tombs. From there you will visit the Valley of the Queens which consists of 75 to 80 tombs. These tombs belong to Queens of the 18th, 19th, and 20th Dynasties. Among these lies the famous tomb of Nefertiti, one of the five wives of Ramses II. Afterwards tour the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, the only woman Pharaoh to rule ancient Egypt. The mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut of the 18th dynasty was built just north of the Middle Kingdom temple of Mentuhotep Nebhepetre, amid the bay of cliffs known as Deir El-Bahri. In ancient times the temple was called Djeser-djeseru, meaning the sacred of sacreds. The female pharaoh chose to build her temple in a valley sacred to the Theban Goddess of the west, on a direct axis with Karnak Temple of Amun on the East Bank. After lunch on board, we will sail to Edfu via Esna. Ancient Nubia was known to the pharaohs as the “Land of Gold,” and its wealth and lands were eventually incorporated into Egypt around 1500 BC. In the afternoon you may join your shipmates for tea.
Dinner and Overnight Onboard in Edfu
Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash
OPTIONAL: HOT AIR BALLOONING OVER THE VALLEY AT SUNRISE:
Available: Every Day
Departure Time: Approx. 4 AM - *Pick up time may vary depending on the location / pick up point / flight time
Meeting Point: Cruise Lobby
Discover the ancient sights of Luxor from the air. See this spectacular landscape from the unique viewpoint that only hot air ballooning can provide. Glide majestically over the temples and burial grounds of the Pharaohs and allow history to come to life before your eyes.
DAY 5: Enjoy breakfast on board before visiting the Temple of Edfu. This complex is not only the best-preserved ancient temple in Egypt but also the second largest after Karnak. It was believed it was built on the site of the great battle between Horus and Seth. Hence, the current complex was but the last in a long series of temples built on this location. From there we will sail to Kom Ombo to enjoy lunch and afternoon tea on board the cruise. In the afternoon, disembark the ship and head on a short walk to the Temples of Kom Ombo. This magnificent complex consists of two temples: The Temple of Sobek and the Temple of Haroeris. In ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the riverbank near here. The complex has scanted remains, due first to the changing Nile, along with the Copts who used it as a church, and finally by builders who used the stones for new buildings. As we sail toward Ancient Nubia you may participate in an Egyptian Galabeya Party.
Overnight Onboard in Aswan
DAY 6: Today you will visit the Aswan High Dam (completed in 1971) and the Old Dam (completed in 1902). You will also see 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. Situated just north of the border between Egypt and Sudan lies the Aswan High Dam, a huge rockfill dam that captures the world's longest river, the Nile, in the world's largest artificial reservoir, Lake Nasser. The dam, known as “Sadd El-Aali” in Arabic, was completed in 1970 after 10 years of work. Later take a short trip on a motorboat to discover the Philae Temple. The boat ride will bring the visitor to a magnificent vista of the island, before landing at what would have been the ancient quay on the south side. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Isis and has many legends connected to it. The most well-known legend tells the story of how Isis found the heart of Osiris here after his murder by his brother Seth.
Overnight Onboard in Aswan
DAY 7: Disembark the cruise after breakfast before being transferred to Aswan Airport for your flight back to Cairo. There, you will be met and escorted to the hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure or perhaps join an optional tour.
Overnight in Cairo
OPTIONAL: MORNING VISIT TO ABU SIMBEL :
This morning you will transfer to Aswan Airport to board a flight to Abu Simbel. Upon arrival in Abu Simbel, you will be transferred to the temple site. Visit the Temple of Ramses and Temple of Queen Nefertari. Not only are the two temples located at Abu Simbel among the most magnificent monuments in the world, but their removal and reconstruction were historic events. Two of the temples, Rameses II (primarily dedicated to Re-Harakhte), and that of his wife, Nefertari (dedicated to Hathor) were originally located in Lake Nasser (280 km from Aswan) but had to be relocated due to the risk of sinking.
Available: Every Day
Departure Time: Approx. 7 am - *Pick up time may vary depending on the location / pick up point / flight time
DAY 8: Today you will visit the Pyramids & Sphinx — reckoned by the Greeks to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. A single pyramid is built from 2,300,000 blocks, each weighing an average of two and one–half tons. In the face of such immensity, one cannot help but feel the wonder and awe that so many writers and artists have sought to convey over the centuries. The Cheops Pyramid is particularly interesting since its interior burial chambers opened for inspection by the public. Not far from the Pyramids lies the Great Sphinx of Giza, dating from the time of Chephren (2620 BC). Hewn from natural yellowish limestone, standing 65 feet high and 187 feet long, this unforgettable statue combines the head of a Pharaoh with a lion’s body. From there you will return to the hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure or perhaps book one of the following optional tours.
Photo by José Ignacio Pompé on Unsplash
Overnight in Cairo
OPTIONAL: SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW AT THE PYRAMIDS :
This evening you will return to Giza for a spectacular Sound & Light Show. Nothing compares to seeing the Pyramids and the Sphinx illuminated at night; the visual effects, as well as dramatic commentary, make for an unforgettable evening. The show begins with the story of the Sphinx who has been the vigilant guardian of the City of the Dead for five thousand years. The show depicts the story of the building of the Pyramids of Cheops, Kephren, Mykerinos and relates the history of great and famous figures of ancient Egypt such as Nefertiti, Thutmosis IV, Akhnaten, and Tut Ank.
Available: Every Day
Departure Time: Approx. 6 PM - *Pick up time may vary depending on the location / pick up point
In the afternoon, you may experience the most important depository of Egyptian antiquities anywhere in the world. The Egyptian Museum boasts 107 halls filled with approximately 160,000 objects covering 5,000 years of Egypt’s past. It features artifacts from the Pharaonic and Graeco-Roman periods, including the celebrated mummies of ancient Egypt’s king and Tut Ankh Amun treasures.
Available: Every day
Departure Time: Approx. 12 PM - *Pick up time may vary depending on the location / pick up point
Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash
The Citadel, situated on a highly visible spur of the Mokattam Hills of Old Cairo, served as the nerve center of Egypt for nearly 700 years. Construction of the grand structure started in 1176 and was completed by Muhammad Ali Pasha, the Ruler of Egypt, in the late 19th century. Mamluk sultans and Turkish governors resided in the Citadel, which is among the world's most splendid monuments of medieval warfare. Facing the Citadel lies the Mosque of Sultan Hassan, built between 1356 and 1363. This magnificent structure is perhaps the most majestic monument of Arabic architecture in Egypt. The Mosque of Al-Rifai was constructed in two phases from 1869 to 1912. This tour will also take you to visit Khan El Khalili, the Turkish bazaar during the Ottoman period, which was built in 1382 by Emir Djaharks ElKhalili, in the heart of what was historically known as Fatimid City. To this day, the bazaar remains a center of trade and communion in this majestic city and offers a wide array of antiques and handcrafts of gold, silver, and copper, as well as plenty of old coffee shops and local restaurants attracting local Egyptians and tourists alike.
Available: Every Day
Departure Time: Approx. 3 PM - *Pick up time may vary depending on the location / pick up point
DAY 9: You will be met at Queen Alia International Airport and assisted with Jordanian immigration and customs formalities. For early arrivals, you may choose to join a tour in Amman: drive to Jerash, the best-preserved city of Roman times, to see the magnificent theaters, temples, churches, and colonnaded streets. Then, continue your tour to Ajloun and explore the 12th century Saracen Castle built by one of the lieutenants of Saladin in the campaign against the Crusaders.
Overnight in Amman
DAY 10: Drive south along the Kings’ Way to Petra, visiting Madaba with the oldest map of the Holy Land, and its Mosaic School, Mt. Nebo, and the alleged burial site of Moses overlooking the Dead Sea along the Jordan Valley. From there, drive through the magnificent scenery of Wadi Mujib to Kerak to visit the Crusader Castle. Enjoy an optional lunch in Kerak.
Overnight in Petra
DAY 11: Enjoy a full-day visit to Petra, the city that was carved into the rose-red Sharah Mountains by the Nabateans and lost to Civilization until it was rediscovered by the Swiss Burkhardt. Walk through the Siq, a narrow and winding fissure between the cliffs, to reach the Treasury, the Roman Theater, the Courts, Qasr Bint Pharaon, the Temple of the Winged Lion, and other fascinating monuments. Take a break for optional lunch or you may choose to climb up to the Monastery.
Overnight in Petra
DAY 12: After breakfast, depart for Wadi Rum for a 1.5-hour Bedouin ride on a jeep. Magnificent in its natural beauty, Wadi Rum epitomizes the romance of the desert, with its "moonscape" of ancient valleys and towering sandstone mountains rising out of the sand. Wadi Rum is also home to several Bedouin tribes living in scattered camps throughout the area. Climbers are particularly attracted to Wadi Rum because of its sheer granite and sandstone cliffs, while hikers enjoy the empty spaces. Wadi Rum is probably known for its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18. Much of David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia was filmed in Wadi Rum. Afterwards, you will be transferred to Amman International Airport for your onward flight.