Jewel of the Nile Sun Festival - 11 days

FROM USD $2,299

Premium Tour. Staying in some of Egypt's smartest hotels and cruising aboard a luxury 5 star Nile cruiser, you'll see the best of legendary Egypt and witness the grand Sun Festival of King Ramses II at Abu Simbel!

Day 1: Cairo
Tuesday 14 October 2014. Welcome to Egypt and the start of a wonderful holiday! Arrive Cairo airport, meet and greet service and included transfer to our hotel, located by the Great Pyramids of Giza. Overnight - Cairo
Cairo - Luxor. Today we visit Egypt's most loved sight - The Great Pyramids of Giza. We explore the Giza plateau, pyramids and massive lion-headed Sphinx. Later, we tour Saqqara - an ancient necropolis with many half-buried tombs and the famous Zhoser’s step pyramid. Tonight we take an overnight sleeper cabin train south to Luxor. Overnight - Sleeper Train (B, D)
Jewel of the Nile Sun Festival - 11 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
A couple standing in front of the step pyramid
Home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak, 4000 year old Luxor is ancient Egypt at it’s best. Upon arriving to Luxor, hotel check in and some rest and relaxation. Later this afternoon we visit the grand temples of Karnak. More than a temple, Karnak is a spectacular complex of sanctuaries, pylons and obelisks - built on a grand scale. During the height of Theban power, Karnak was the most important place of worship. Later, we visit to the Temple of Luxor built by Pharaoh Amenophis III. Luxor Temple looks stunning at dusk and is beautifully illuminated at night. Overnight - Luxor (B)
An early start allows us to avoid some of the fierce midday heat as we venture to the tomb strewn Valley of the Kings. The massive pair of statues known as the Colossi of Memnon are the first monuments you’ll see during our visit to the West Bank of the River Nile. After we tour the famed Valley of the Kings and the colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Return to Luxor for check-in aboard our Nile 5 star cruiser. Overnight - Nile Cruising (B, L, D)
5 star cruising on the River Nile at sunset
Anchor's away! Pull up a deck chair and relax as we sail upstream toward Temple of Horus at Edfu. Overnight - Nile Cruiser (B, L, D)
A relaxing day as we sail the Nile. Later today, we visit the waterside Temple of Kom Ombo. Arrive Aswan late evening and remainder on the evening at leisure. Overnight - Nile Cruiser (B, L, D)
Sunset over the River Nile in Egypt
Nile Cruiser. Arriving to Aswan, we visit the Philae Temple. Later after lunch, a visit to the High Dam and take a felucca boat journey to Elephantine and Kitchener Island. As the sun sets, free time to shop in the colourful souqs and markets or simply relax and watch an amazing sunset in Egypt's southern most town straddling the River Nile. Overnight - Nile Cruiser (B, L, D)
Amazing Abu Simbel in Egypt
Day 8: Aswan - free time to explore
Today we check out from out Nile Cruiser and check into our Aswan hotel. The day offers free time for you to explore Aswan your own way. Return to the colourful markets, simply relax and sip on a cocktail and watch the feluccas ply their way or consider taking High Tea at the historic and delightful Old Cataract Hotel.

In the wee hours of the morning we rise and embark upon on our coach journey toward the Grand Temples of Abu Simbel. In readiness we await for the first rays of golden sunlight to touch the temple gate signifying the start of the Sun Festival of the mighty King Ramses II. Overnight - Aswan Hotel/ coach journey to Abu Simbel (B)
Wednesday 22 October 2014. Abu Simbel – Aswan - Cairo. Possibly the most awe-inspiring temple of all ancient Egypt, with its gargantuan rock-cut façade, the great Sun Temple of King Ramses II at Abu Simbel was created to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler King Ramses II. Celebrating a life that spanned nearly a centenary, Ramses had plenty of time for his more than 200 wives and concubines who produced him some 96 sons and 60 daughters.

Built by Ramses II to demonstrate his political clout and divine backing to the ancient Nubians, Abu Simbel is an awesome self-tribute. Guarding the entrance to the temple (built between 1290 and 1224 BC) hewn into the side of a mountain are four famous colossal statues of the pharaoh himself, which sit majestically staring out across the desert, seemingly since time began. Over the centuries, the desert sands imperceptibly shifted until the temple was all but lost to humanity. It was rediscovered by chance in 1813 by a Swiss explorer called John Lewis Burkhardt. Only one of the heads of the pharaohs was showing and only a small part of the rest of the colossal temple peeked above the desert sands. It wasn’t until the British happened upon Abu Simbel and starting excavating, that the full glory of the temple of Abu Simbel was revealed to the modern world. The other rock cut temple at Abu Simbel is the Temple of Hathor, which is fronted by six massive standing statues. Four of them represent King Ramses II, whilst the other two are of his beloved wife, Queen Nefertari.

The temple was dedicated to the deified Pharaoh, King Ramses II, known also as the great builder and the gods Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ptah. In a fit of precision and architectural egotism, Ramses II had the entire temple carefully angled and oriented in order that the sun’s rays would align twice a year on his date of his ascension to the throne (21 February) and on his birthday (21 October) and illuminate the inner sanctum of the temple. This incredible natural phenomenon provides for a most spectacular sight, which has come to be referred to as the Sun Festival of King Ramses II. Crowds pack in to the temple before sunrise and watch the shafts of light slowly creeping through the rock hewn inner Hypostyle Hall (replete with further statues of the king) and through to the Sanctuary. Significantly, the sun illuminates statues of Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ramses the god, whilst the statute of Ptah - the god of darkness - remains in the shadows.

After returning to Aswan there is time to relax and enjoy the hotel facilities (a number of day use rooms will be provided for the group). Later this evening we board the overnight train for our journey back to Cairo. Enjoy a light dinner in the comfort of your sleeper cabin. Overnight - Sleeper Train (B, D)
Statues of Ramses II illuminated in the Luxor temple
Arriving into Cairo we embark on a guided tour of the Egyptian Museum with its dazzling array of prized antiquities. Amongst the many exhibits are the treasures of King Tutankhamen. After hotel check in the afternoon offers free time for you to relax and enjoy the hotel facilities or opt join us for an optional city tour visiting old Cairo and the Islamic citadel. Overnight - Cairo (B)
Day 11: Cairo
Friday 24 October 2014. Our tour concludes after breakfast and included onward departure transfer to airport. (B)

Cruise schedules & hotels

Cairo Accommodation: Your tour includes a first and second stay within greater Cairo. One stay (either first or second) will commence at a hotel located in the Pyramids area and the other will be undertaken in a downtown area. The choice as to which location will be used first and second will be notated upon your tour voucher.



Tour Details
  • Starts in: Cairo / Ends in: Cairo
  • Departs: 14 October 2014
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:10, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 6
  • Hotel Rating: 5 star Superior
  • Tour Guide: Yes, escorted by a tour guide
The On The Go Theatre
On tour in Egypt. Pyramids, Nile cruising, Abu Simbel & Red Sea!