Private Holiday and Boutique Dahabiya Nile Cruise
- The Single Room price displayed above is for a single room in conjunction with other travellers. A solo traveller may incur a supplement
Sail back in time as you meander along Egypt's life-giving Nile on board a traditional dahabiya. These delightful ships can be seen depicted on the walls of Pharaonic tombs, and are surely the most regal way to experience the Nile. With sightseeing and many meals included, this is the ideal itinerary for those with an appreciation of the historic grandeur of Egypt.
- Savour sundowners while gazing over the Pyramids or the Nile
- Experience a captivating retreat at the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract where Agatha Christie wrote "Death on the Nile" inspired by the majestic views and life on the Nile
- Cruise the waters of the Nile on the boutique dahabiya and admire the lands of ancient Pharaohs drifting by
- Option to discover more hidden treasures of the Valley of the Kings with exclusive entry to Seti I OR Nefertari Tombs
Day 1: Cairo
Welcome to Egypt. Our local representative will meet you inside immigration and assist with your arrival procedures. Transfer to the historic Mena House, a beautifully restored a royal lodge which the Khedive Ismail, used as a rest house for himself and his guest when hunting in the desert or visiting the Pyramids at Giza. This hotel has incredible views over the most iconic of Egyptian landmarks – the Great Pyramids of Giza. Unwind after your travels with incredible views of these timeless monuments.
Day 2: Cairo (B)
After breakfast visit the ancient capital of Memphis and the Step Pyramid of Sakkara – the oldest surviving tomb to be raised to the heavens and forebear of the Pyramids at Giza. This afternoon the secrets of the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx will be revealed by an Egyptologist on a special guided tour. Top off an unforgettable day with an incredible evening attending the Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids.
Day 3: Cairo – Luxor (B)
After breakfast transfer to the airport. Fly to Luxor and transfer to the Sofitel Old Winter Palace. This accurately preserved historic British colonial era hotel is where famed archaeologist Howard Carter updated the world’s press with progress of his recovery of Tutankhamun’s treasures on the hotel noticeboard. This afternoon is free time to savour the local atmosphere or simply soak up the marvellous views across the Nile. Optional visit to the Seti I or Nefertari Tombs subject to availability.
Day 4: Luxor – Dahabiya Cruise (BLD)
Today embark on a boutique Dahabiya, a traditionally inspired Egyptian boat from the time of the Pharaohs, to sail the Nile in the style. Step back in time as the winds and tides set your course along the life-giving Nile. Visit the temple complex of Karnak and the Luxor Temple built in the 14th century by two kings - Amenophis III and Ramses II. Overnight aboard your luxuriously appointed sail boat as you taste a chef-prepared meal moored alongside the West Bank.
Note: Our on-board chef is expert at preparing appetizing Egyptian and international cuisines while barbeques and picnics will be organized on the riverbanks and islands in the Nile. Your meals are all inclusive along with tea and coffee as well as a daily high tea. Passengers are however invited to bring their own alcoholic beverages - none are available on board due to licensing restrictions - with the ice and the mixers at no additional charge. Prior to embarkation we will check on your requirements and assist in the purchase and storage of your drinks for the cruise.
The Dahabiya is powered by the winds and the current. In some circumstances a small tug may provide assistance.
Day 5: Luxor – Esna (BLD)
This morning visit the West Bank Necropolis and the burial ground of the Pharaohs – the Valley of the Kings. This is where Howard Carter spent 5 years exploring before he discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, thus proving that not all of the treasures had been released from this mysterious site. Later, visit the nearby Valley of the Queens (if visiting Nefretaris tomb, the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon which is believed to bestow great fortune on those who hear its fabled wailing noise. After lunch board your Dahabiya and set sail for Esna. Moor tonight at an island and experience the tranquillity of a dinner on the Nile under the stars
Day 6: Esna – Edfu (BLD)
Sail towards Edfu and visit one of the best preserved temples of the Greco-Roman era dedicated to Horus. This god, the son of Isis and Osiris, was the patron of many Pharaohs, and along with his parents formed the Egyptian holy trinity.
Construction began during the reign of Ptolemy III around 237 BC with the temple finally being completed 180 years later. You will arrive at the temple by horse-drawn carriage. Moor overnight beside Al Ramady Island.
Day 7: El Sheikh Fadl Island (BLD)
A relaxing day today letting the wind and the current dictate your pace on the Nile. Sail overnight to Aswan.
Day 8: Aswan (BLD)
Aswan is the heart of Nubia. Here you will transfer by small boat to the Philae Temple dedicated to the Goddess Isis and the purported burial site of her husband Osiris. Later view the High Dam, the Old Dam, and the ‘Unfinished Obelisk’ lying in the ancient granite quarries of Aswan, for a fascinating insight into how the ancients were able to construct such marvels. Afternoon at leisure to explore the market or relax and observe life on the Nile.
Day 9: Aswan (B)
Farewell your Dahabiya for the Sofitel Old Legend Cataract. One of Egypt’s finest hotels, guests have included Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, and Agatha Christie who set portions of her novel "Death on the Nile" at the hotel. The 1978 film adaptation was also filmed at the hotel. Savour the superb views of the Nile and Elephantine Island as you soak up the colonial atmosphere of this magnificent old world hotel. Optional visit to Abu Simbel. (Supplement applies)
Day 10: Aswan – Cairo (B)
Fly to Cairo and transfer to the Marriott Hotel, a stylish converted palace overlooking the Nile. This afternoon walk along Al Moez Street viewing the magnificent Islamic architectural heritage and medieval houses that date from the Fatimid and Mameluke Eras. Reenergize with a refreshing drink at Fishawy Café amidst the Khan El Khalili Bazaar. Finish the tour by Bab Zweilla and tent makers before returning to your hotel.
Day 11: Cairo (B)
Today explore a lesser known side of Egyptian history visiting Old Cairo’s Coptic Churches (including the Hanging Church), Roman Fortress, and the unique Ben Ezra Synagogue. This Egyptian contribution to the great religions of the world provides a fascinating insight into just how long these lands have been a centre point for civilisation. Later visit the famous Egyptian museum where your personal Egyptologist will unlock the glittering treasures of the Pharaohs. The lively Khan El Khalili Bazaar then awaits where you can savour the delicious local delicacies and discover shopping bargains in this traditional market.
Day 12: Cairo (B)
Soak up one last Egyptian experience as you are transferred through the streets of Cairo to the Airport.
- Welcome Visa Service Inside Immigration
- Private Airport Transfers
- Deluxe / Historic accommodation: 2 nights Mena House Cairo, 1 night Winter Palace Luxor, 1 night Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, 2 night Marriott Cairo (or similar)
- 5 nights boutique Dahabiya Nile cruise
- Daily breakfasts and all meals on Dahabiya
- Small group sightseeing with professional English-speaking local guides on the Cruise, private sightseeing with an Egyptologist in Cairo
- Domestic Flights; Cairo – Luxor, Aswan – Cairo
- Visa for Egypt
- Daily drinking water
- Travel Notes – issued by Innovative Travel
- 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
A note on the Dahabiya:
In the case of local uncooperative weather conditions, your Dahabiya may be assisted by a powered vessel.
Accommodation based on the following or similar:
Cairo Pyramids Area
Mena House (Pyramids View Room) - 3 nights
Sofitel Old Winter Palace (Classic Garden Room) - 1 night
Merit Dahabiya - 5 nights
Sofitel Legend Old Cataract (Premium Room Nile Wing) - 1 night
Marriott - 1 night
Cruising the Nile Please 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).
Ramadan During 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 5 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 Codes Modest dress is required for entrance to holy sites – Men: Long pants, Women – skirt or long pants and shoulders covered.
Hotels Hotels 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.