Walk in the footsteps of the Pharaohs and experience the best of Egypt. Discover the secrets of the Great Pyramids in Cairo and unearth the history of the iconic Valley of the Kings. Spend 3-nights under the stars on a Full-Board Nile Cruise and delight in the sights of Aswan, atmospheric Kom Ombo, eternal Edfu and the Temples ofLuxor before relaxing in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.
Ready to explore the wonders of Egypt? Head to your departure airport to check-in for a flight to Cairo. Touch down in Cairo and transfer to the hotel. Once you've settled in the remainder of the day is free at your leisure to get to know the sights and sounds of Cairo, in the shadow of the Great Pyramids! Go shopping at the local souk or sample the national cuisine. We recommend an optional Pyramids Sound and Light Show.* Overnight stay in Cairo.
* Optional Pyramids Sound and Light Show: Experience the iconic Great Pyramids at night, as they are lit with dancing lasers and visuals, accompanied by atmospheric music. The perfect way to kick-start your Egyptian adventure!
Day 2: Cairo
Breakfast at the hotel. Get to know the Egyptian capital today with a tour of Cairo's most emblematic sights. Begin at the Giza plateau, home of the three Great Pyramids, built over 4,500 years ago and one of the Seven Wonders of the World! Explore the pyramids and learn about their fascinating history as you walk in the footsteps of the pharaohs. Continue to the Great Sphinx and the Temple of the Valley to unearth more secrets of Ancient Egypt before visiting the Egyptian Museum. This world-renowned museum is home to the largest collection of jewels, relics and statues from the golden age of the pharaohs. End the day with a walk through the lively Khan el Khalili neighbourhood, home to the largest bazaar in the city. Overnight stay in Cairo.
Day 3: Cairo - Aswan
Breakfast at the hotel. Today, transfer to the airport for a short flight to Aswan, situated on the Nile River and known for its great importance to the Ancient Egyptian civilization. Upon arrival, head to the river to enjoy a cruise on a traditional felucca boat to see the Nile Falls. Watch life along the Nile as you travel along the river. Afterwards, continue to the Granite Quarry, home to an unfinished ancient obelisk and the High Dam of Aswan. Transfer to the port to board your Nile Cruise Boat, your home for the next three nights. Get settled in your cabin and enjoy the views of the river. In the afternoon you have the chance to enjoy an optional excursion to the Island of Philae.* Dinner and overnight on board.
* Optional Island of Philae Excursion: Discover the historic island of Philae, in the reservoir of the Old Aswan Dam. It is home to the ancient ruins of the Temple of Isis and offers a fascinating insight into life and beliefs in Ancient Egypt.
Day 4: Aswan - Kom Ombo
Full-board on board. If you're an early riser, you have the chance to enjoy an optional excursion to Abu Simbel, home to many rock-carved temples.* Today, navigate northwards towards Kom Ombo. Upon arrival explore the twin Temples of Haroeris and Sobek and see the amazing Nilometer, used to measure the rising and falling levels of the Nile, an important life source in Egypt. Afterwards, visit a unique Crocodile Mummy museum, home to a number of mummified crocodiles. Return to the ship and enjoy relaxing on board. Overnight on board.
* Optional Excursion to Abu Simbel: Visit these amazing temples, carved on the western cliff of the desert by Ramses II in the Xl century BC. See the iconic 20-metre high statues, dedicated to the god Amon Ra, and the Temple of Nefertari, dedicated to the goddess Hathor.
Day 5: Edfu - Luxor
Full-board on board. Dock in Edfu today to enjoy a ride in a traditional Egyptian carriage to arrive at the Temple of Edfu in style! Spend some time exploring the temple, dedicated to the Egyptian god of Horus. It's one of the best-preserved monuments in the country as its imposing structure has been protected by the desert sands. Back on the ship, continue to Luxor where the ancient heart of Thebes awaits you. Here, discover the Temple of Luxor, constructed by the two great pharaohs, Amenhotep II and Ramses II. Return to the ship. Overnight on board.
Day 6: Luxor
Breakfast on board. Continue your discovery of the ancient city of Thebes today as you head to the world-famous Valley of the Kings, where the tomb of Tutankhamon was discovered, revealing the riches of the ancient pharaohs. It is here that the most powerful and influential kings of Ancient Egypt were buried. After exploring the site, continue to the Temple of Hatshepsut, an imposing terraced structure, located below towering cliffs. Bid farewell to this world of ancient kings and queens as you cross the river into modern-day Luxor. Transfer to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at your leisure. Overnight stay in Luxor.
Day 7: Luxor - Sharm El-Sheikh
Breakfast at the hotel. Set off early in the morning to visit the Karnak Temple Complex, home to a vast array of decayed temples, chapels, columns, and other ancient buildings. Explore the ruins as you soak up the unique atmosphere and let your imagination run wild as you learn about life in Ancient Egypt. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Sharm El-Sheikh, connecting in Cairo en route. Touch down in breezy Sharm El-Sheikh and transfer to the hotel. Situated on the beautiful Red Sea coast, Sharm is a favourite holiday resort thanks to its gorgeous beaches and fabulous resorts. Dinner and overnight stay in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Day 8: Sharm El-Sheikh
All-Inclusive. Enjoy a day at your leisure in Sharm El-Sheikh. Go snorkelling in the clear, warm waters of the Red Sea, known for its abundant coral reefs, marine life and diving hot spots, or stroll along the promenade at Naama Bay, brimming with bars and restaurants. Why not end the day with a beach-side cocktail? Overnight stay in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Day 9: Sharm El-Sheikh
All-Inclusive. Spend another day at your leisure, kicking-back in sunny Sharm El-Sheikh. Make the most of the facilities at your hotel, indulge in a relaxing massage or simply get stuck into a bestseller on the beach. For a slice of Egyptian culture, we recommend taking a short trip into the Old Town, where bustling bazaars and shisha-pipe cafes will transport you back to the Egypt of yesteryear. Overnight stay in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Day 10: Sharm El-Sheikh - Cairo
Breakfast at the hotel. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport for a flight back to Cairo. Transfer to the hotel and get settled in for your last evening in Egypt. We recommend an optional excursion to the Saladin Citadel.* Overnight stay in Cairo.
* Optional Excursion to Saladin Citadel: Visit the Alabaster Mosque and medieval fortification of Saladin Citadel, perched atop a hill in central Cairo and dating back to the 12th-century. Learn about the importance of the site to Egypt's Islamic heritage before walking through the Coptic Neighborhood, home to various churches.
Day 11: Cairo - UK/Ireland
Breakfast at the hotel. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport for a flight back to the UK/Ireland. Arrive in the UK/Ireland and end your trip.
Depending on the return flight schedule and the hotel breakfast service, you may not be able to enjoy the included breakfast on the last day.
4 breakfasts, full-board on Esmeralda Cruise and all-inclusive in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Visits and entrances fees as indicated in the itinerary.
3-night Nile Cruise.
International flights: UK/Ireland - Cairo - UK/Ireland.