Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights

Jewel of the Nile Sun Festival

11 days  |  Starts/Ends: Cairo  |  from USD $2,229  |   Guaranteed Departures  4 reviews

Staying in deluxe hotels and cruising aboard a premium 5 star Nile cruiser, see the best of ancient Egypt and get the rare opportunity to witness the grand Sun Festival of King Ramses II at legendary Abu Simbel on this first-class holiday.

Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Inclusions
Reviews

Itinerary

Day 1

Cairo

Saturday 14 October 2017. Welcome to Egypt and the start of your holiday! Upon arrival at Cairo airport you will be met by a local representative and transferred to your hotel, located by the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Overnight: Cairo

    Cairo
Day 2

The Pyramids of Giza

Cairo - Luxor. We start the day with a visit to the legendary pyramids and iconic Sphinx at the 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 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.

This evening we board an overnight sleeper train south to Luxor, with a light dinner served onboard. If you'd prefer not to travel by overnight sleeper train, you can opt to fly from Cairo to Luxor 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  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

Luxor & Valley of the Kings

Early this morning we arrive into Luxor. The massive pair of statues known as the Colossi of Memnon are the first monuments you’ll see during our morning visit to the West Bank - home to the legendary Valley of the Kings. You’ll also see the colonnaded Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Return to Luxor for check-in on board our Nile 5 star cruiser. Lunch at leisure and time to relax until our early evening visit to the Temple of Luxor. Luxor Temple looks stunning at dusk and is beautifully illuminated at night.

Note: Dependent upon Nile Cruiser scheduling it maybe required that we also undertake our excursion to Karnak Temple this afternoon. Should this occur, day 5 will be spent at leisure.
Overnight: Nile Cruising  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Luxor & Nile Cruising

Luxor - Nile cruising. Take flight over Luxor with an optional hot air balloon ride early this morning before we tour the ancient city of Thebes (the East Bank), taking in the magnificent Temple of Karnak. More than a temple, Karnak is a gigantic and stunning complex of sanctuaries and pylons dedicated to the Theban gods. Anchors away this afternoon as we set sail downstream to Esna and the Temple of Horus at Edfu.
Overnight: Nile Cruising  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Cruising & Kom Ombo

Nile cruising. Relax as we sail the Nile. Today we visit the Temple of Kom Ombo. A unique riverside temple, it is unusual in that everything architecturally is doubled and perfectly symmetrical along the main axis of the temple including twin halls, courts, colonnades, sanctuaries and entrances. In the evening we arrive into Aswan, a prosperous town at the crossroads of the ancient caravan routes late evening.
Overnight: Nile Cruising  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Aswan

After a relaxing morning we take a felucca sailing trip to Elephantine and Kitchener Island this afternoon. Feluccas are simple sailboats based on a unique design and have plied the mighty Nile since ancient times. This evening watch an amazing sunset in Egypt’s southern most town straddling the River Nile and enjoy your last night on board the cruise ship.
Overnight: Nile Cruising  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 7-8

Aswan - free time to explore

Nile Cruiser - Aswan. In the morning on day 7 we check out of our Nile Cruiser and transfer to our hotel in Aswan for check-in. Today we visit the High Dam and take a short boat trip to Agilika Island for Philae Temple - dedicated to the goddess Isis. The temple dates from 4th century BC but the Ptolomies and the Romans up to 3rd century AD built most of the existing structures. In danger of being completely submerged by the rising water of Lake Nasser, in 1972 UNESCO stepped in and an 8-year rescue effort was undertaken to relocate the entire temple 20m higher on nearby Agilika Island. In the evening we'll visit the local market and shop in the colourful souqs.

Day 8 is free time for you to independently explore the city. Return to the colourful markets, relax and sip on a cocktail by the hotel pool, or consider taking High Tea at the historic and delightful Old Cataract Hotel. We recommend having an early night because in the early hours of the morning, at approximately 4am, we embark on our coach journey to the Grand Temples of Abu Simbel. Here we await the first rays of sunlight, signifying the start of the Sun Festival of the mighty King Ramses II.
Overnight: Aswan Hotel/coach journey to Abu Simbel  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 9

KING RAMSES II SUN FESTIVAL – ABU SIMBEL

22 October. 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: Sleeper Train  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10

Cairo - your way

This morning have breakfast in your train cabin and upon arrival into Cairo transfer to the hotel and check in. Enjoy a guided visit to the Egyptian Museum today. 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 Tutankhamun. Made of solid gold and weighing 11kg, the mask was found covering the head of the mummy, where it lay inside a series of 3 sarcophagi. You can also opt to see also the Royal Mummies, if you wish.

The rest of the day is free for you to spend at leisure, relax by the pool or perhaps head to Khan-el-Khalili bazaar and pick up a few souvenirs. Alternatively there is an optional Cairo city tour available to book locally.
Overnight: Cairo  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Cairo

Tuesday 24 October 2017. Our tour concludes after breakfast and included onward departure transfer to airport.
Breakfast

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.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons.

4+ places available
Limited places
Sold out
On Request (Please Contact Us)
2017
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $2229
USD $959
2018
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $2229
USD $959

Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Pre Tour Accommodation
USD $129
USD $70
Post Tour Accommodation
USD $169
USD $100

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Le Meridien Pyramids, Cairo

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Set within beautifully manicured gardens, Le Meridien Pyramids is a stunning modern hotel affording amazing views of the Pyramids. The guest rooms have been designed with optimum taste and comfort in mind and include state of the art facilities. The outdoor swimming pool includes waterfalls and hydro jets. head to the Citrus Pool Bar in the afternoon for a refreshing beverage under the gaze of the pyramids! Well located in Giza close to the world famous pyramids and Sphinx.

Sleeper Train, Cairo

Our Category:    |   Regional Category:

When taking the train in Egypt, the most comfortable way to go is in a sleeper carriage. Cabins are equipped with 2 beds (one above the other), a sink, electric points and air conditioning. Each carriage has toilets at each end and there is a club car as well. In the early evening an attendant will come round and make up your beds for you. Cabins also come with interconnecting doors so perfect for families and groups of 4.

M/S Farah, Nile Cruising

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 star cruise boat

The M/S Farah is a stylish and modern cruise boat, with large cabins that face out over the Nile. Contemporary in decor, the Farah has a large sun deck and swimming pool.

Amarco Nile Cruise, Nile Cruising

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Deluxe Cruise

The award-winning Amarco cruise ship combines contemporary style with classic service for a memorable trip along the Nile River. There are 53 cabins and suites split across five decks and each features panoramic windows from which to enjoy the views. Guests can unwind with the professional spa services offered on board and enjoy international cuisine at the restaurant.

Helnan Aswan, Aswan

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Set in manicured gardens, the Helnan Aswan is an elegant hotel with impressive views of the Nile. Guest rooms are spacious with modern interiors and located next to the beautiful pool. Wi-fi is available in the lobby and by the pool. There are also two restaurants and bars, a bowling alley, a swimming pool and a cinema. Why not relax by the pool before exploring the rest of Aswan. The hotel has an excellent location on the Corniche in the heart of Aswan, just a few minutes from the Nile.

Conrad Hotel, Cairo

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Soaring impressively above the Nile River, the luxury Conrad Cairo offers elegant and some of the largest guest rooms with panoramic views of the Nile, private balconies and spacious bathrooms with separate showers.

InterContinental Semiramis, Cairo

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The InterContinental Semiramis is very modern in style. It has tastefully appointed spacious rooms with comfort in mind.

Trip Highlights

Cairo - Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza Plateau, Necropolis of Saqqara, and The Egyptian Museum
5 star cruising on the River Nile
Abu Simbel - at sunrise, witness the grand accomplishment and feat of precision mastered by King Rames II at the Abu Simbel Sun Festival in 2017.
Luxor - Temple of Karnak and Luxor Temple by night
Elephantine Island and Kitchener island - felucca sailing
Aswan - High Dam, Philae Temple, local market & souq
Kom Ombo - Temple of Kom Ombo
Edfu - Temple of Horus
Valley of the Kings, Colossi of Memnon and Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

Included

Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 6 dinners - (2 aboard sleeper train)
Return bus trip (3.5hrs) to Abu Simbel
2 overnight trains: Cairo - Luxor and Aswan - Cairo (2 berth, 1st class sleeper cabin)
Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1 and day 11
Escorted by an Egyptian tour guide degree qualified in Egyptology
Group tip kitty included (excl. gratuities for your tour guide and Nile Cruise staff)
4 nights aboard 5 star deluxe Nile cruiser (twin/double cabin with en suite bathroom)
3 nights 5 star hotels - Cairo, 1 night 4 star hotel in Aswan
Felucca sailing afternoon, boat journey to Philae Temple
Touring of Cairo, Giza, Saqqara, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Kom Ombo, Edfu & Luxor
All relevant transfer and transportation in private modern air-conditioned vehicles
Guided visit to Abu Simbel at sunrise for the Sun Festival of King Ramses II including Abu Simbel and Sun Festival entrance fee

Not Included

International flights and visa
Entrance Fees: USD$105-11, paid in local currency
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow $3 - 5 USD per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture.

Reviews

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on 4 recent reviews

The guide was fantastic and had a wealth of knowledge. He was incredibly helpful and very understanding. Could not recommend him enough!

• Submitted 10 Feb 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

We had an excellent time and had a great tour guide with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Couldn't fault anything, would recommend it to anyone and hope to do it again.

Having saleeb as our tour guide made the trip as he gave information about the sites we wouldn't get from others and he picked the best times to see the sites before the crowds got there. Very impressed with your company thank you.

• Submitted 03 Nov 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

I had a wonderful experience with OTG. I have already recommended to friends and family as value for money. A wonderful tour group. My guide had excellent knowledge in terms of history and was very accommodating to everyone's needs in the group.

The tour exceeded my expectations. I will definitely use OTG again.

• Submitted 03 Nov 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

Sal was the best guide you ever imagine having.

I had a wonderful time and will highly recommended it.

• Submitted 28 Oct 2014
Tour
Guide
Country

Jane,

Thank you for booking us a remarkable trip. My mom and I have never been on a better vacation. The accomodations were fantastic and our tour guide Hani was the best ever. He went above and beyond for us even arranging a dinner in the Nubia village for us. I couldn't even tell you the highlight of our trip because all the sights were phenomonal. I would definitely choose on the go again. It was so easy with all of our entrance fees included and there was no hassle what so ever. I can't wait to head back to Egypt as soon as possible. Thank you for all your help with my questions. I will never forget this trip.

Gina Isabelli • Submitted 16 Oct 2008

Tour Details
Starts
Cairo
Ends
Cairo
Departs
14 Oct 2017
Hotel Rating
5 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes, escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 10, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 6

Tour Bolt-ons

Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons

Jewel of the Nile

USD $539 / flight option
Extra Tour Info
Abu Simbel Sun Festival FAQ
All you need to know about the bi-annual event

The guide was fantastic and had a wealth of knowledge. He was incredibly helpful and very understanding. Could not recommend him enough!

Chloe Barry-Hang
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