Ramses Sunrise - 11 days

FROM USD $2,379

See the best of ancient Egypt with the luxury of a 5 star Nile cruiser & hotels. Explore pyramids, temples & tombs & top it off with the amazing Sun Festival of King Ramses II - observe the awesome spectacle as sunlight floods the temple of Abu Simbel.

Day 1: Cairo
Friday 13 February 2015. Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday! Upon arrival at Cairo airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at your own leisure. Overnight - Cairo
A couple standing in front of the step pyramid
Today we visit the legendary pyramids and the iconic Sphinx at Giza Plateau. Sole survivors from the ancient Greek-listed Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids are the planet’s oldest tourist attraction. Leaving the pyramids behind, we visit a government supervised papyrus emporium where you can buy genuine papyrus at quite reasonable prices.

Continuing to the necropolis of Saqqara, we can explore the myriad tombs and temples at this site and see Zhoser’s step pyramid - constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh’s chief architect in 2700 BC. Overnight - Cairo (B)
Ramses Sunrise - 11 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Cairo - Luxor. Today we embark on a guided tour of the Egyptian Museum. A mind-boggling array of relics and antiquities from almost every period of ancient Egyptian history are housed in the museum, making it one of the foremost in the world. Arguably the most famous exhibit is the solid gold funerary mask of King Tutankhamen. Opt to see also the Royal Mummies, if you wish.

This evening we board an overnight sleeper cabin train, travelling south to Luxor with a light dinner included. If your don't fancy travelling by overnight sleeper train, opt to undertake the journey by flight with our Jewel of the Nile Flight Upgrade. The option includes air travel between Cairo - Luxor and Aswan - Cairo with two nights accommodation in the comfort of 5 star hotels. Overnight - Sleeper train (B, D)
Egypt Tours - Karnak Temple and the Avenue of Sphinxes in Luxor
Luxor - Nile Cruiser. Arriving into Luxor early this morning we embark on a guided tour of the West Bank, home to the legendary Valley of the Kings. The massive pair of statues known as the Colossi of Memnon are the first monuments we see here before continuing into the vast necropolis the region is famed for. We also pay a visit to the colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut before returning to Luxor for check-in on our Nile 5 star cruiser. Enjoy a leisurely lunch on board and time to relax until our early evening visit to the Temple of Luxor. Beautifully illuminated against the night sky, this after dark experience offers a different perspective of ancient Egypt's incredible temples. Overnight - Nile Cruising (B, L, D)
A couple by the pool on the deck of a Nile cruiser
Nile Cruiser. Take flight over Luxor with an optional hot air balloon ride early this morning before heading to the magnificent Temple of Karnak. More than a temple, Karnak is a spectacular complex of sanctuaries, pylons, statuettes and obelisks. Built on a grand scale, Karnak is probably Egypt’s finest ancient temple. Later in the afternoon we begin our cruise down the Nile to Esna for a stop at the Temple of Horus at Edfu. Overnight - Nile Cruising (B, L, D)
5 star cruise ship on the River Nile
Days 6 - 7: Nile Cruising
Nile Cruiser. Relax on deck for these two days and watch life unfold on the banks of the Nile as our cruiser plies its course. Later today we visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, a unique riverside temple. What is unusual about Kom Ombo, is that everything architecturally is doubled and perfectly symmetrical along the main axis of the temple including twin halls, courts, colonnades, sanctuaries and entrances. On the evening of day 7 we arrive into Aswan, a prosperous town at the crossroads of the ancient caravan routes. Overnight - Nile Cruising (B:2, L:2, D:2)
The Philae Temple on Agilika Island
Day 8: Aswan
Aswan. This morning we check out of our Nile Cruiser and in to our hotel in Aswan. Later we take a short boat trip to picturesque Agilika Island where we enjoy a tour of Philae Temple - dedicated to the goddess Isis. We also pay a visit to the High Dam – a modern feat of engineering, which resulted in the creation of the world’s largest artificial lake, Lake Nasser. This evening relax and watch an amazing sunset in Egypt’s southern most town straddling the River Nile. Overnight - Aswan (B)
Feluccas sailing on the River Nile
Day 9: Aswan
This morning we take a felucca sailing trip to Elephantine and Kitchener Island, and then the rest of the day is free for you to do as you please. Perhaps independently explore the city, return to the colourful markets of Aswan, relax and sip on a cocktail by the hotel pool, or consider taking High Tea at the historic and delightful Old Cataract Hotel. In the early hours of the morning we begin our journey south toward the Temples of Abu Simbel, arriving well before sunrise. Overnight - Aswan/Bus to Abu Simbel. (B)
Abu Simbel lit up at night
SUN FESTIVAL – TEMPLE OF KING RAMSES II – ABU SIMBEL Sunday 22 Feb 2015. Abu Simbel – Aswan - Cairo. Possibly the most awe-inspiring temple in all ancient Egypt, the great Sun Temple of King Ramses II at Abu Simbel was constructed between 1290 and 1224 BC to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler himself. Ramses the Bold, Ramses the Great, Ramses the Narcissist are perhaps all apt titles for one of ancient Egypt’s most powerful rulers.

Built by Ramses II to demonstrate his political clout and divine backing to the ancient Nubians, Abu Simbel is an incredible self-tribute. Guarding the entrance to the temple, hewn into the side of a mountain, are four colossal statues of the pharaoh himself. 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 a small part of the rest of the temple peeked above the desert sands. It wasn’t until the British happened upon the temple and started excavating that the full glory 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.

In a fit of precision and architectural egotism, Ramses II had the Great Temple carefully angled and oriented in order that the sun’s rays would align twice a year on the date of his ascension to the throne (21 February) and on his birthday (21 October) to illuminate the inner sanctum of the temple. This incredible phenomenon provides for a most spectacular sight, which has come to be referred to as the Sun Festival of King Ramses II. Crowds assemble in to the temple before sunrise and watch the shafts of light slowly creep through the inner Hypostyle Hall and through to the Sanctuary. Significantly, the sun illuminates statues of Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ramses the god, whilst the statue of Ptah - the god of darkness, remains in the shadows.

Famously, the temple was re-located in a multi-million dollar operation in 1972, further up from the shoreline of Lake Nasser, which had threatened to erode the foundations of this monolithic temple complex. For this reason, the sun now strikes a day later than Ramses had originally planned, though the event this morning itself is no less stunning.

After watching this incredible event unfold we return to Aswan. Here there is time to relax and enjoy the hotel facilities before we board the overnight train for our journey back to Cairo. Enjoy a light dinner in the comfort of your sleeper cabin. Overnight - Overnight Train (B, D)
Day 11: Cairo
Cairo. We have breakfast in our cabins on board the train, before arriving into Cairo this morning. Upon arrival transfer to a hotel to freshen up and relax before your included transfer to the airport. Note: Please do not book a flight that departs before 2pm today. Post tour accommodation can be booked upon request. (B)

Extend our holiday with a day trip to Alexandria

Alexandria Day Trip
Carry on your Egyptian affair before or after your tour with a day trip (with lunch) to amazing Alexandria on the Mediterranean Coast. Founded by Alexander the Great, Alexandria boasts wonderful beaches and an impressive seafront corniche, along which are dotted cafes and restaurants, as well as catacombs, souqs and relics from a bygone age.
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Cairo / Ends in: Cairo
  • Departs: Friday 13 February 2015
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:10, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 6
  • Hotel Rating: 5 star
  • Tour Guide: Yes, escorted by a tour guide
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The On The Go Theatre
On tour in Egypt. Pyramids, Nile cruising, Abu Simbel & Red Sea!