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Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday! Arrive Cairo, included transfer to hotel and overnight
Today we tour the Pyramids at Giza Plateau. Gaze in awe at Cheops (Khufu) - the largest of the three great pyramids. Constructed from over 2.5 million limestone blocks, it is thought to have taken more than 20 years to construct. The other two - Chephren and Mycerinus are equally impressive. Afterward we tour the tomb-strewn necropolis of Saqqara, featuring King Zhoser’s step pyramid. Constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh’s chief architect in 2700 BC, this was the template for all future pyramid construction.
Today we head from our hotel to Cairo Airport to catch our included flight to Aswan. On arrival in Aswan we check into our hotel before taking an excursion to Abu Simbel. Created to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler King Ramses II. In a fit of architectural wisdom, Ramses II had the entire temple carefully angled and oriented in order that the sun’s rays would allign twice a year on his date of ascension to the throne (in February) and on his birthday (in October) and illuminate the inner sanctum of the temple. The other rock cut temple at Abu Simbel is the Temple of Hathor, fronted by six massive standing statues. Four of King Ramses II and two of Queen Nefertari.
This morning we transfer from out hotel to our Nile Cruise. We take a visit to Philae Temple and Aswan High Dam. Philae temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis, was rescued in an enormous UNESCO effort in the 1970s. Due to high water levels in the resevoir created by the Old Aswan Dam and further aquatic drama due to the creation of the mighty High Dam, Philae temple was relocated stone by stone on higher ground on nearby Agilika Island.
Continuing our sail today we make stops to visit the Kom Ombo Temple and the Edfu Temple. Having the distinction of being the largest and most completely preserved pharaonic, albeit Greek-built, temple in Egypt, the Temple of Horus at Edfu, dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus, was one of the last monumental temples built on a large scale.
Our cruise continues to Luxor today, where we visit the Karnak and Luxor Temples on the east bank of the river. Karnak is a spectacular myriad of sanctuaries, pylons, chapels, halls and obelisks, all dedicated to the Theban gods and to the greater glory of Egypt’s Middle and New Kingdoms rulers.
On our final cruise day we visit the west bank of the Nile and explore the best of Ancient Thebes; Valley of the Kings, Colossi of Memnon and the Temple of Hatshepsut. This afternoon we disembark our cruise and are transferred to the airport for our return flight to Cairo. On arrival you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel.
On our final day of sightseeing we venture to old Islamic Cairo, the Citadel and Coptic Churches, and the Egyptian Museum, home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. Arguably the most famous exhibit is the stunning solid gold funerary mask of the boy-King Tutankhamen. An entire gallery is devoted to the treasures unearthed by Howard Carter at Tutankhamen’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in 1922.
Today we say good by to Cairo as we are transferred to to the airport for our departing flight. (flight not included)
As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, 4000-year old Luxor has frequently been characterised as the "world's ...