Experience the ancient lands of Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine on this amazing 23-Day itinerary which showcases the ancient wonders, sites, and monuments from the pages of history. Explore the grand Pyramids of Giza and ancient life on the Nile in Egypt, the colourful Nabatean, Crusader, Christian and Roman history in Jordan and step through the pages of the Old and New Testament in Israel. Experience sites famed throughout the world and discover why these ancient lands are held sacred by so many.Highlights:
- Wake to the inspiring view of the sun rising over the Pyramids of Giza from your Pyramids view room
- Cruise the life blood of Egypt at a leisurely pace with a 6-night deluxe Nile Cruise on the Sonesta Moon Goddess – each cabin having its own private veranda from which you can admire the lands of ancient Pharaohs, drifting by
- Marvel at the treasures in the new Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Cairo
- Have ancient sites of the Pharaohs, Nabateans, Saladin, Hadrian, and Lawrence of Arabia brought to life by experienced local guides
- See the Rose Red City of Petra emerge in front of your eyes as you walk through the narrow Siq entranceway
- Take an adventurous 4WD drive adventure through the Wadi Rum desert, lands so out of this world they were used as a backdrop for the Matt Damon movie The Martian
- Trace the areas holy heritage from Jerusalem and Nazareth through to Galilee, visiting renowned historic and Biblical sites
- Important Information
PRE-TOUR OPTION: Anzac Day in Cairo 24-25 April 2024Special pre-tour option to join Anzac Day commemorative service in Cairo (Additional Cost)
Day 1: Cairo
Welcome to Egypt. You will be met inside immigration, by one of our wonderful Cairo based airport team and assisted with visa formalities by our local airport representative. Gain your first experience of Egypt as you are transferred to the Steigenberger Pyramids Hotel where you are reserved overnight.
Day 2: (BD)
Early this morning, join Mike and Nicky Doyle. Transfer to the Heliopolis War Cemetery for the Anzac Day commemorative service and wreath laying ceremony hosted by the New Zealand Embassy in conjunction with the Australian Embassy. Arrive by 6.15am for the Dawn service which will begin at 6.30am. Share in memories of the Battle of El Alamein, and the many brave service men and women, who are laid to rest in Egypt. Later return to your hotel. Day at leisure until joining your travel colleagues for a welcome dinner this evening.
MAIN TOUR: 25 April - 17 May 2024
Day 1: Cairo (D)
Welcome to Egypt. You will be met inside immigration, by one of our wonderful Cairo based airport team and assisted with visa formalities by our local airport representative. Gain your first experience of Egypt as you are transferred to the Steigenberger Pyramids Hotel where you are reserved for three nights in a Pyramid view room. Take the opportunity this evening to meet your travel companions with a welcome dinner.
Day 2: Cairo (BL)
Begin your day with a visit to Memphis and Sakkara. Memphis which served as the capital of Upper and Lower Egypt some 5000 years ago during the First Dynasty was the home of many pharoahs, including King Tutankhamun. Continue to Sakkara one of the most exciting historical and archaeological areas in all of Egypt. Dominated by the famous Step Pyramid of King Zoser this was the first pyramid to be built in ancient Egypt preceding those at Giza by many centuries. Lunch is included today at the recently opened 9 Pyramids restaurant, with spectacular views of the Pyramids. This afternoon visit the great Pyramids of Giza and the legendary Sphinx along with more iconic monuments. The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex and Egyptologists believe that the pyramid was built as a tomb over a 10 to 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC.
Day 3: Cairo - El Alamein - Wadi El Natroun Monasteries - Cairo (BD)
This morning, travel north to the renowned WWII battleground of El Alamein. Visit the Cemetery and El Alamein Museum. Take a guided tour of El Alamein, site of one of the most decisive battles of World War II. Continue to the historic Wadi El Natrun Delta, located 22 metres below sea-level and 38 metres below the Nile. Listed amongst the seven oases of the Temple of Edfu and known in Coptic, as Mountain of Salt. According to Coptic tradition, the Christian history of the valley began when an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, the husband of Mary, urging him to take his wife and child to Egypt. In the late 3rd Century, the first monastery of St Macarius was established, with three more later built. Today over 400 monks inhabit the monasteries. Our visit today will include two monasteries. Return to Cairo. Dinner is included this evening at your hotel.
Day 4: Cairo - Luxor (B)
This morning visit the new Grand Egyptian Museum. This project has been under construction for over a decade. Previously displayed items belonging to this famed boy-King will be on display for the first time. The GEM currently has a ”soft-opening”, so your tour will focus on the entrance and lobby with various statues on display. (A fuller tour will be included if the GEM has opened). Then transfer to the airport for your flight to Luxor. On arrival you will be met and transferred to the Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel. En-route to your hotel there will be a stop at the Sofitel Old Winter Palace, it was here that Howard Carter announced from the hotel’s grand staircase, that he had discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun. Time to explore Luxor in your own time or dine at one of the many restaurants at your hotel.
Day 5: Luxor (BLD)
Optional: Hot Air Balloon Tour.
This morning visit the Mummification Museum on the West Bank to view a model of the Tomb of Tutankhamun. Continue to embark your Nile Cruise Boat, the deluxe Sonesta Moon Goddess, which will be your floating hotel for the next six nights. This afternoon, visit the East Bank to view the temples of Karnak and Luxor. Return to the ship for dinner this evening.
Day 6: Luxor - Esna (BLD)
This morning, cross the Nile to the West Bank to the Valley of the Kings where you will find the tombs of the Theban rulers, such as Ramses II and Tutankhamun. Continue to the Valley of the Queens and the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, the only woman Pharaoh to rule ancient Egypt. See the famed Colossi of Memnon facing the Nile. (Upgraded entrance fees are included today at the Tutankhamun Tomb and the beautiful tomb of Queen Nefertari).On your return stop at the Habibi Cotton Factory (time permitting), which employs employment for local women, to view high quality cotton artwork and clothing. Return to the ship for lunch and sail to Esna. This evening attend the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail party.
Day 7: Esna - Kom Ombo (BLD)
Early this morning sail to Edfu. Breakfast on board and free time. Mid-morning sail to Kom Ombo. Late this afternoon visit the famous Kom Ombo temple completed during the reign of Ptolemy during 181-146B.C. This temple was shared by the two Gods, Sobek and Haroeris. See the beautiful murals, bas relief and fine views of the river. This evening attend the Galabeya party on board. Overnight in Kom Ombo.
Day 8: Kom Ombo - Aswan (BLD)
Early morning sail to Aswan. Highlights today will include a visit to the Aswan Dam at the end of Lake Nasser, the re-sited Temple of Philae and the granite quarries which provided stone for Karnak & Luxor Temples. This afternoon sail by felucca (Egyptian Sailboat) around Kitchener Island. Return to the ship for afternoon tea. Later this evening attend a colourful Nubian Folkloric show. Overnight in Aswan.
Day 9: Aswan - Abu Simbel (Optional) - Aswan (BLD)
Day at leisure to explore Aswan.
Optional Abu Simbel Tour. Abu Simbel is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in all of Egypt, not only for its historical significance, but for the great engineering success in moving these temples to their present location. Of all the temples of Egyptian antiquity, amongst the most spectacular and best preserved are the Temples of Abu Simbel. The master builder was Ramses II, one of Egypt’s greatest Pharaohs. The larger temple celebrates the Pharaoh himself while the smaller one honours his wife, Queen Nefatari. When the new Lake Nasser Dam was built in the 1960s, the temples were moved to save them from a watery grave. In an amazing feat of engineering, the temples were hewn into huge blocks of thirty tonnes and relocated 180m inland.
This evening, transfer to the Sofitel Old Cataract Hotel, base for Dame Agatha Christie as she penned “Death on the Nile”, for dinner. This gracious old hotel has hosted many famous clients over the years and offers spectacular views over the Nile.
Day 10: Aswan - Kom Ombo - Edfu (BLD)
This morning after breakfast travel by boat to the island of Soliel to visit a picturesque Nubian village and discover more of their history. Later return to the ship for lunch. This afternoon sail along the Nile with the opportunity to view fertile banks, and timeless farming practices. Later relax on board, revisit the Kom Ombo Temple or take time to explore the local village. Later sail to Edfu for an overnight. This evening relax on deck or attend a Galabeya party.
Days 11: Edfu - Luxor - Cairo (BL)
Early morning visit to the Edfu Temple. See the remains from the Old Kingdom, the Temple of Horus, and houses of the Byzantine period. Sail to Luxor, arriving late afternoon. Afternoon Tea on board, prior to your transfer for your flight to Cairo. On arrival in Cairo, you will be met and transferred to the JW Marriott Hotel where you are reserved for two nights.
Day 12: Cairo (BD)
Today relax or take part in optional activities.
This afternoon transfer to the historic Khan El Khalili Bazaar and the Festival City Mall with time for shopping. This evening a farewell dinner is included in your hotel.
Day 13: Cairo - Amman (BD)
Morning at leisure until your departure. Connect with your international flight to Amman. Welcome to Jordan. On arrival at Amman Airport, you will be met inside immigration by our local representative and receive your Jordanian visa on arrival. Transfer to the Kempinski Hotel where you are reserved for two nights. Dinner is included this evening at your hotel.
Day 14: Amman (BD)
After breakfast prepare to be intrigued. Journey north to the best-preserved example of Roman civilization, the city of Jerash. The city features theatres, churches, temples (Zeus and Artemis), a Nymphaeum and colonnaded streets. Continue to Ajloun Castle, originally built in 1184 to defend against the Crusaders. Return to Amman for a brief orientation tour, then visit the Daret Al Funon Gallery which features local Jordanian art. This evening partake in a cooking class and dinner at the renowned, Beit Sitti Cooking School (non-alcoholic venue).
Day 15: Amman - Madaba - Mt Nebo - Kerak - Petra (BD)
This morning depart Amman and travel south to Petra on one of the oldest highways on earth, the Kings Highway. This fascinating road into history will include highlights of Madaba where you can view the oldest known map of the "Holy Land' inlaid in mosaics, Mt Nebo where Moses looked out over the 'Promised Land' and Kerak Crusader Castle before arriving at Petra. You will be based at the Movenpick Hotel for 2 nights. Dinner is included this evening at your hotel.
Optional: Petra by Night tour.
Day 16: Petra (B)
This morning explore the famous Nabatean rock-cut tombs and temples of Petra. Entry is via a narrow ‘Siq’, reaching hundreds of feet high. Your first sight is of Al Khazneh - the Treasury, carved ornately in the red rock. Other sights include the 3,000-seat theatre (1st C. AD) and the Palace Tomb designed in Roman style. After lunch, an optional trek is available to the High place (this is a steep climb) or further explore the many rock carved locations. We recommend stopping for a drink at the unique Cave Bar at the Petra Guesthouse, as you exit Petra. Perhaps explore a local restaurant this evening for dinner.
Day 17: Petra - Wadi Rum - Aqaba (BLD)
Today travel south to Wadi Rum where Lawrence of Arabia rode across the desert with his Arab liberation army. Take an adventurous, off-road desert 4WD ride through this impressive moon-like landscape, with its dramatic canyons and dunes. Lunch is included today at Wadi Rum. Travel south to Aqaba and check-in to your hotel, the Double Tree by Hilton, your base for two nights. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 18: Aqaba (BC)
Day 19: Aqaba - Arava Border - Jerusalem (BD)
This morning transfer to the Jordan-Israel border. After completing immigration facilities, meet your Israeli guide and coach. Drive north to the roman fortress of Masada in the Judean Desert. Take the cable car over the long winding path to the fortifications constructed around 30 BC. See the remains of King Herod’s Palace. Continue to the Dead Sea, experience floating in the lowest point on earth. Then continue to Jerusalem your base for the next three nights. Dinner this evening is included.
Day 20: Jerusalem - Bethlehem (BD)
Drive to Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the city. Stop at Mount Zion to visit King David’s Tomb, Room of Last Supper and the Dormition Abbey. Enter the Old City and walk through the Armenian and Jewish quarters to the recently excavated and restored Cardo, the Roman road. See the Jewish Wailing Wall, the Kotel, and continue to the Christian quarter. Walk along the Via Dolorosa and visit the Church of Holy Sepulchre. This afternoon, drive to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Visit the Church of Nativity, visit the birth grotto beneath ground, the longest continuously used site for Christian services. The Church was originally commissioned by Constantine the Great in AD 333. Continue to Manger Square where Christmas Eve services are held. Take the opportunity to visit a local store specialising in detailed wooden carvings. Dinner in Bethlehem this evening then return to your hotel.
Day 21: Jerusalem - Nazareth - Sea of Galilee (BD)
Day 22: Jerusalem - Coastal Route - Tel Aviv (BD)
This morning check out of your hotel. Drive north, along the coastal road to Caesarea, the ancient Roman capital and port. Take a walking tour of the theatre and the archaeological ruins and excavations. Continue to Haifa for a scenic view of the city, the Port and the magnificent Bahai Gardens and Shrine. Continue on to Acre, the Old City recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site; walk through the market, the mosque, and the old port; visit the remarkable underground Crusader City and crypt and discover more about Crusader history. Travel to Tel Aviv where you are reserved overnight including dinner in the old port of Jaffa (Joppa).
Day 23: Tel Aviv - Departure Day (B)
Departure transfer to Tel Aviv Airport this morning.
- Tour Hosts Michael (Mike) & Nicky Doyle, ex Cairo to Tel Aviv
- Meet and assist inside immigration in Cairo
- Egyptian visa on arrival
- All airport transfers
- Modern air-conditioned vehicles for transfers & transportation
- All sightseeing with a private, licensed Egyptologist in Egypt
- Activities & entrance fees as per itinerary
- Visit to the WW II site of El Alamein & Wadi El Natroun Monasteries
- Visit to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM)
- Upgraded VIP West Bank visits to King Tutankhamun & Queen Nefertari Tombs
- A bottle of water available on board each touring day
- Economy class domestic flights: Cairo/Luxor/Cairo
- Deluxe class accommodation in Egypt
- 3 nights at the Steigenberger Hotel Cairo, adjacent to the Pyramids
- 1 night at the Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel in Luxor
- 6-night Nile Cruise aboard the deluxe 5-star Sonesta Moon - cabin with private veranda
- 2 nights at the JW Marriott Cairo
- Daily buffet breakfasts
- Welcome dinner in Cairo
- Lunch at the 9 Pyramids Restaurant at the Pyramids
- All meals aboard the Nile Cruise
- Farewell dinner at the JW Marriott Hotel
- 24/7 Support from our Egyptian offices in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel
- Economy Flight from Cairo to Amman
- Meet and assist inside immigration at Amman Airport
- Jordanian visa on arrival in Amman
- All transfers on A/C coach
- Licensed Jordanian Tour guide
- 2 nights Amman at the five-star Kempinski Hotel
- 2 nights Petra at the five-star Movenpick Hotel
- 2 nights Aqaba at the five-star Double Tree Hotel by Hilton
- Breakfast daily
- 4 Dinners
- 1 Lunch in Wadi Rum
- Sunset cruise in Aqaba with canapes (C)
- Horse ride in Petra
- 4WD ride in Wadi Rum desert
- Departure Tax: USD14 per person for land departure Jordan/Israel
- 24/7 support from the Jordan office
- Innovative Travel ‘s pre tour travel guidelines and tips
- Arrival transfer from Eilat to Jerusalem, visiting Masada and the Dead Sea enroute
- 3 nights in Jerusalem at the Prima Park Hotel, or similar (Moderate First Class)
- 1 night in Tel Aviv at the Dan Panorama Hotel, or Similar (Deluxe Hotel)
- Daily breakfasts
- Licensed Israeli Guide
- Bethlehem visit with local Christian guide
- 3 x day tours
- 2 dinners Jerusalem
- 1 dinner in Bethlehem
- Sound & Light Show at the City of David
- Farewell dinner in Jaffa
- Entrance fees
- Group departure transfer to Tel Aviv Airport
- 24/7 support from the Israeli office
- International air flights ex NZ
- Optional tours
- Optional Golf in Aqaba or Cairo
- Optional Abu Simbel tour, ex Aswan
- Optional snorkelling in Aqaba – reserved directly in Jordan
- Tipping for non-included group activities
- Mini Bar
- Early check-in/late check-out
- Pre & Post tours or hotel accommodation
- Departure taxes
- Non specified meals
- Extra departure transfer to Tel Aviv Airport, if not included with group
- Group tipping
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Note: A tipping fund of USD 200 per person, will be included with the final invoice.
OPTIONAL TOUR PRICES:
- Pre-Tour Option: Anzac Day in Cairo (2D/1N) – NZ$395 per person share twin / NZ$659 per person on a single basis
- Half Day Coptic Cairo Tour – NZ$99 per person
- Abu Simbel Tour - NZ$870 per person, ex Aswan
- 18 holes of golf at the JW Marriott in Cairo – NZ$210 per person (includes green fees, golf cart and club hire)
- 18 holes of golf at the Hyatt Regency in Aqaba - NZ$295 per person
Accommodation based on the below or similar
Cairo Pyramids Area
First Class - Steigenberger Hotel, Giza
First Class - Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel
Deluxe Class - Sonesta Moon Goddess (Cabin with private veranda)
Deluxe Class - JW Marriott
Deluxe Class: Kempinski Hotel
Deluxe Class: Movenpick Hotel
Deluxe Class: Double Tree by Hilton Hotel
Moderate First Class - Prima Park Hotel
Deluxe Class- Dan Panorama Hotel
- The tour price is subject to a minimum of 20 participants. If there are less than 20 participants, the price will be subject to increase.
- A maximum of 3 single rooms are available.
- A Tour registration form must be signed and returned by each participant, along with your deposit within 7 days of confirmation. An additional deposit of $3,500 will be required by 18 Oct 23, per person. Final payment by 01 Feb 2024. All payments should reference file INOB 142859.
- Travel insurance is compulsory, it is recommended to have a policy that includes covid cover. A copy of your travel insurance is required prior to final documents being released.
- For travellers over 75 years of age, a Doctors Certificate is required with your registration form. Final hotels will be specified on the final itinerary.
- The tour is subject to the general conditions of Ancient Kingdoms Holidays and the general conditions featured on the Innovative Travel website www.innovativetravel.co.nz. A deposit is deemed acceptance of the Innovative Travel terms and conditions.
- Cancellation fees: Deposit – 30 Sept $1,000 pp; 01 Oct – 31 Oct $2,500 pp; 01 Nov 23 – 15 Jan 24 $4,000pp; 16 – 30 Jan: 50%; 01 Feb – 10 Feb 24: 75%; 11 Feb to departure 100%.
- Travel Advisory Information can change at any time, and we suggest clients refer to The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Travel Trade Advisory website at www.safetravel.govt.nz prior to departure for the latest up to date information and general advice regarding the countries you are visiting.
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.