Welcome to Egypt - a mystical and timeless land, where the ancient and modern world live side by side. On arrival in Cairo, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the Mena House Hotel, your luxury five-star accommodation for the next two nights. Having welcomed numerous heads of state over the years, you’ll be treated to the same luxuries, and striking views of the pyramids from the private balcony of your room. In the evening, get to know your Travelling Concierge and fellow guests over a welcome drink at the hotel.
After meeting your Travelling Concierge, a knowledgeable Egyptologist, head for one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Great Pyramids at Giza and their guardian Sphinx. Your exploration of Cairo with your Egyptologist includes entry into one of the Pyramids. Continue to Sakkara to see the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, the oldest in the world, dating back to 2700 BC. Nearby lies Memphis; famous capital of ancient Egypt. See the colossal statue of Ramses II and the great Alabaster Sphinx. As night falls, attend a magical Sound and Light show at the world famous Pyramids, which literally illuminates the ancient history of Giza!
Wake early and transfer to the airport for your flight to Luxor. Famed for its ancient treasures and the grandeur of its monuments, this beautiful city is a treasure trove for those looking to delve further into Egypt’s grand history. On arrival head to Karnak, the largest temple complex ever built by man. This striking complex was constructed over a period of 1,500 years. Walk through the avenue of ram-headed sphinxes, past the statue of Rameses II, to stand in awe among the huge columns of the vast Hypostyle Hall. Later, board your luxury cruise ship, one of the most stylish and spacious in Egypt. The all-suite River Tosca provides a relaxing and comfortable setting for guests as they cruise the legendary Nile River. Featuring a stylishly adorned lounge, with full-service bar, a cosy library, restaurant, fitness rooms and swimming pool, you’ll take in the sights in the utmost luxury. In the evening, enjoy an onboard gala reception and dinner.
In the morning, visit the Temple of Hathor. Built in the 1st century B.C., it remains one of the best-preserved temples in all of Egypt and contains a rare depiction of Cleopatra VII and Caesarian, the son of Julius Caesar. Return to Luxor for some leisure time before visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Temple of Luxor for a VIP, after-hours visit. Founded in 1400 B.C. during the Golden Age of Thebes, the temple complex blends in seamlessly with the surrounding city.
Travel to the West Bank of the Nile. Stop for photos at the Colossi of Memnon – these gigantic twin stone statues of Amenhotep III once guarded his mortuary temple. Venture on to the amazing Temple of Hatshepsut, Egypt's first female pharaoh who ruled from 1479 to 1458 BC. Next, head to the Valley of the Kings, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Later, experience a warm welcome as you meet a local family and take a tour of their village. As you stroll through the streets, hear stories of local life and the importance of family contribution, ensuring all members of the village are looked after. Part of this communal practice is the baking of traditional sun bread, where each group of families in the village will have their own bakery oven. A member from each group is chosen to be the assigned baker to provide bread to the community. Watch as the family demonstrates the bread-making process and enjoy a taste of the delicious bread, paired perfectly with a cup of Egyptian tea. In the evening, join in the fun at an Egyptian dinner and a lively galabeya party.
Visit the unique double-temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to both the crocodile-headed Sobek and the falcon god, Horus the Elder. In this sacred place near the riverbank, captive crocodiles were worshipped in life and mummified after death. Then, begin your return voyage along the Nile. Back on board, relax and enjoy a visual feast as you cruise along the Nile to Aswan. Stretch out on a Nile felucca, a traditional sailboat, for a peaceful ride around Kitchener's Island. Known for the Aswan Botanical Garden and its tropical plants and palm trees, this petite island is less than a kilometre long. In the evening, you will indulge on dinner aboard the ship, before you are treated to an Egyptian belly dancing performance.
In the morning, your luxurious cruise experience comes to an end. Sightseeing today includes a visit to the modern Aswan High Dam and the ancient Granite Quarries, where one of Queen Hatshepsut's obelisks lies abandoned in the bedrock. Cross the Nile by motorboat to the well-preserved Philae temple complex. Revered by locals, it was moved stone-by-stone to its current location to avoid being ruined by rising water levels, following the construction of the High Dam. Next, take a small boat along the banks of the Nile with the birdman of Aswan. Keep a lookout for colourful native birds as you travel to his small Nubian village. Visit the traditional dwelling of a local family and enjoy Nubian-style hospitality as you learn more about the area's unique culture. Later, join the likes of Winston Churchill and Agatha Christie before you for a colonial-style afternoon tea at the Old Cataract Hotel.
In the morning you will board to flight back to Cairo. Why not head on a Locally Available Experience by air to Abu Simbel? In an amazing feat of modern engineering, these extraordinary temples were carved out of the cliffside by Rameses II and later transported out of the rising waters of Lake Nasser. In the evening, check into the famous Four Seasons at the First Residence, a hotel originally built to attract the nobility of Europe.
After breakfast, enjoy a city tour where you will visit the towering Alabaster Mosque, commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848. Enjoy incredible hilltop views over the city from the imposing Citadel of Salah El Din. This massive 12th century compound was home to Egypt's rulers for more than seven hundred years. Visit the Egyptian Museum, to witness the priceless treasures recovered from the Tomb of Tutankhamun. Next, head to Khan el-Khalili, a major souk in the historic centre of Islamic Cairo,stock up on local goods and put your bargaining skills to the test.
It’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers, as you wake early for your transfer to Cairo Airport.