16 Days ex Cairo 14 Days ex Aswan
The lower reaches of the Nile between Cairo and Luxor have been closed to Nile cruises for over 15 years. This cruise offers an exciting chance to be one of the very first to sail this route again and admire the Nile in its full splendour, sailing all the way from Cairo down to Aswan. Start in Cairo and gaze in awe at the beauty of the Sphinx and the pyramids before embarking on a classic cruise through Lower Egypt. Discover some of Egypt’s most important historical sites that are seldom visited and that this cruise is now making more accessible such as the rock tombs of Beni Hassan, the ruins of Tuna el-Gebel, or Hermopolis. Sightseeing days alternate with days of navigation to admire the scenery, watch rural Egyptian life pass by, or simply enjoy the sheer pleasure of sunbathing or reading as you sail along the Nile.
- A unique cruise charting the Pharaonic period from the first Pyramids and pharaohs to Cleopatra's rein.
- Float serenely down the Nile and appreciate the significance these waters bring to the region
- Discover some of Egypt’s most important historical sites that are seldom visited and that this cruise is now making more accessible; rock tombs of Beni Hassan the ruins of Tuna el-Gebel temple of the Rebel pharaoh Akenaten and Hermopolis a legendary site where the Ancient Egyptians believed creation began.
Note: Cruise itinerary may be changed without prior notice due to navigational circumstances. The sequence of sightseeing and may vary is subject to change. Please use as a guide only.
Day 1 Cairo (D)
Welcome to Cairo. Upon arrival you will have a VIP meet and assist prior to customs and immigration and then be privately transferred to board the Movenpick M/S Darakum Nile Cruise Boat which will be your floating hotel for the next fourteen nights. Seeing the Nile for the first time one can understand the words of Herodotus ‘Egypt is the gift of the Nile’. Overnight Cairo.
Day 2 Cairo (BLD)
Visit the Egyptian Museum where you can view the treasures from the Tomb of the Boy King Tutankhamun. After lunch, discover the famous Pyramids of Giza and the enigmatic figure of the nearby Sphinx. The Cheops Pyramid, reckoned by the Greeks to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is especially interesting since its interior burial chambers are open for inspection by the public. Not far from the Pyramids you will also see the Great Sphinx of Giza hewn from natural yellowish limestone and standing 65 feet high.
Day 3 Cairo (BLD)
This morning visit Memphis and Sakkara. Your tour begins with a visit to Memphis, which served as the capital of Upper and Lower Egypt some 5000 years ago during the First Dynasty. 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. After lunch back on the boat, explore Coptic Cairo. Visit the famous Coptic Museum which is built on the site of the Roman fortress of Babylon, constructed about 30BC. Inside the fortress are several Coptic churches and the richest collection of Coptic art in the world. Visit Ben Ezra Synagogue which stands in a pleasant shady garden in the centre of Cairo. It contains a number of artefacts including the manuscript known as the ‘Atlas of Moses’.
Day 4 Cairo – Beni Suef (BLD)
Sail to Beni Suef. Unwind on board while you follow the relaxing rhythm of the Nile. Egyptian wine tasting on board.
Day 5 Beni Suef – Minya (BLD)
Leisurely sail towards Minya.
Day 6 Beni Hassan - Minya (BLD)
Today visit Beni Hassan tombs. The site lies on the Eastern Bank and houses 39 rock-cut tombs decorated with scenes depicting local and regional life during the Middle Kingdom. The visit will include Tomb of Baqet III (BH15), Tomb of Khety (BH17), Tomb of Khnumhotep II. Then visit Tuna El Gebel and the Tomb of Petosiris, which is a fusion of Greek and Egyptian styles. Also explore the ruins of Hermopolis, a legendary site where the Ancient Egyptians believed creation began. Overnight in Minya.
Day 7 Minya - Assiut (BLD)
Early morning departure to Tel El-Amarna, the home of the Amarnian Experience. Arrive in Amarna and learn about tombs and the temple of the Rebel pharaoh Akenaten who built his capital here for himself and his famous queen Nefertiti. Visit the northern tombs Tomb of Ahmose (EA3), Tomb of Meryre (EA4), Tomb of Pentu (EA5), Tomb of Panehesy (EA6), Royal Tomb of Akhenaten (EA26), the Great Palace of King Akhenaten, and the small and great temples of Aten before returning to the ship for lunch. Sail to Assyut and stop in front of Prince Tawdrous Monastery to view the monastery from the boat.
Day 8 Assiut - Sohag (BLD)
Pass the lock of Assiut and sail south towards Sohag.
Day 9 Sohag – Naga Hammadi (BLD)
Morning visit to Abydos, the ancient holy city of the God Osiris Temple. Visit the unique L shaped temple which served seven gods of Ancient Egypt. Sail to Nagas Hammadi via the bridges.
Day 10 Naga Hammadi – Qena - Luxor (BLD)
Visit the one of the best preserved temples of Egypt, the splendid Denderah Temple dedicated to Hathor, the goddess of love music and fertility. Return to the boat and sail to Luxor. Cookery lesson on board this afternoon
Day 11 Luxor – West Bank (BLD)
This morning cross the Nile to the West Bank. Today is full of highlights including the Necropolis of Thebes and the Valley of the Kings where you’ll find the tombs of the Theban rulers such as Ramses II and Tutankhamun. Also tour the Valley of the Queens, the Mortuary Temple of Hatchepsut - the only woman Pharaoh to rule ancient Egypt. See the famed Colossi of Memnon facing the Nile. (Entrance fees to Tutankhamen’s Tomb to be paid locally).
Day 12 Luxor East Bank – Edfu (BLD)
This morning in an unforgettable excursion drive to the Luxor Temple built by two kings Amenophis III and Ramses II. After touring Luxor Temple continue to Karnak Temple the main centre of worship in ancient Egypt. This afternoon cruise via Esna lock to Edfu.
Day 13 Edfu – Kom Ombo – Aswan (BLD)
In Edfu visit to the temple dedicated to the god Horus and one of the largest and best preserved Ptolemaic temples in Egypt. Sail to Kom Ombo for a visit to the twin temple dedicated to Sobek and Haroeris. Overnight in Aswan.
Day 14 Aswan (BLD)
Highlights today will include the Aswan Dams at the end of Lake Nasser and the re-sited Temple of Philae. This afternoon visit the Nubian Museum.
Day 15 Aswan – Cairo (B)
Disembark after breakfast. Optional excursion to Abu Simbel, a fitting end to your Nile Cruise experience on the banks of Lake Nasser.
Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Cairo. Spend one last night in Egypt overlooking the Pyramids – the culmination of your Ancient Egyptian cruise experience.
Day 16 Cairo (B)
Breakfast overlooking the pyramids and a private transfer to the airport.
- Welcome Visa Service inside Immigration / Airport Greeting on Arrival
- Private airport transfers.
- 1 nights accommodation in a deluxe hotel overlooking the Pyramids including breakfast
- 14 night Nile Cruise Cairo to Aswan
- All meals included on cruise
- Group sightseeing with an Egyptologist guide on the cruise
- All Entrance fees
- Flight Aswan /Cairo
- International airfares
- Optional tours and excursions
- Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal Expenses
- Departure taxes
- Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
- Visas (unless specified)
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Accommodation based on the below or similar
Movenpick M/S Darakum
Mariott Mena House
Cruising the NilePlease use cruise itineraries as a guideline only. The order of sightseeing and overnight destinations may vary and are subject to change due to the operation of Esna Lock, or at the discretion of the of the cruise company. Should a change of boat be required due to any unforeseen circumstances prior to departure, an alternative of the same standard or better will be offered if available
There are many river boats that cruise between Luxor and Aswan. They provide accommodation and transportation for the majority of tourists travelling to Egypt. Each night and whilst moored for sightseeing, it is common for 4-5 cruise boats to be parked abreast of each other. The location of your boat will vary from port to port however in many cases your view from your cabin will be restricted to cruising periods only.
Sightseeing on Nile Cruise boats is operated by the cruise company. You will be allocated an English speaking guide and small group of other English speaking tourists for sightseeing upon embarkation. The order of sightseeing may vary depending on the local port authorities. If a tomb or temple is unable to be visited an alternative will be provided where possible.
Sightseeing (non cruise)All sightseeing unless specified is on a private basis with a driver and guide. Sightseeing generally takes place in the cooler periods of the day ie early morning or late afternoon therefore on occasion some early starts may be necessary to avoid the heat
Valley of the Kings: Not all the tombs within the Valley are currently open to the public. Many are closed periodically for resting and renovation (Entrance fees to three tombs is included in tour packages. Entrance fees to Tutankhamen’s Tomb is not included. Currently EGP100pp - subject to change).
RamadanDuring the Holy Month of Ramadan Muslims fast, abstaining from eating, drinking & smoking during daylight hours (approx. 7am-6.30pm). As a sign of respect, tourists should also try to refrain eating in public during the fasting hours. Restaurants and Cafes in Hotels and Cruise boats will be open, however limited alcohol may be available over this time. In 2019, Ramadan should begin around 05 May. After 30 days, or on sighting the full moon, Eid Al Fitr is celebrated & most public and private institutions close for at least three days.
Domestic Flights in Egypt.Flight times will reconfirmed by the local operator upon arrival in Egypt.Note, Flights from Cairo to Aswan and Luxor generally involve early morning starts due to flight schedules in the summer season. For flights to Abu Simbel certain flights are allocated to clients travelling for day trips from Cairo and overnight programmes. These flights are set by Egypt air and are outside of the operators control
Dress CodesModest dress is required for entrance to holy sites – Men: Long pants, Women – skirt or long pants and shoulders covered.
HotelsHotels in regional areas (i.e Abu Simbel/ Siwa/ St Catherine ) can be of a lower standard than the properties in the main tourist centres., with more basic/ less developed infrastructure due to location and surrounding conditions. The options chosen are the best available.
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. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). 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.