Wonders of the Nile: Cairo to Aswan

Visiting: Egypt


Duration: 14 Nights

Physical rating: Please contact Riviera Travel if you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility.

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Please contact Riviera Travel with specific dietary requests.

Tour Operator: Riviera Travel

Age range: 18-99

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: 0

Tour Overview

Egypt, just the name is enough to set your imagination spinning back to the start of recorded human history - to a time when all-powerful Pharaohs controlled a mysterious and fabulously wealthy empire which lasted virtually intact for over 5,000 years! Our Nile cruise explores the mighty monuments, the intriguing history and the extraordinary artistic masterpieces from the greatest and oldest of all the ancient civilizations.

We start in Cairo, the heart of modern-day Egypt. The largest city on the African continent and much-maligned for its traffic congestion, Cairo remains a fascinating fusion of western, Islamic and Christian culture, all mixed up with something a lot more ancient. The iconic symbols of these ancient roots are the three Great Pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza, on the edge of the city.

Visited by the greatest names in history, from Alexander the Great, to Caesar and Napoleon, the Pyramids are actually the world's oldest tourist attraction! Right in the centre of Cairo, the Egyptian Museum houses so many priceless treasures, that it would take months to see it all. Its Tutankhamun exhibition alone contains over 3,500 finds from the small tomb that Howard Carter discovered in 1922. Although the centre of the collection is the mesmerising solid gold funerary mask, equally impressive is the section devoted to the daily life of the ancient, as are the touchingly realistic funerary portraits from Egypt's Graeco-Roman period.

We'll also visit the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, just south of Cairo and built over 4,600 years ago, this is Egypt's first proper pyramid, and is now considered to be the oldest stone building in the world.

After two days of relaxing sailing on the world's longest river our tour continues with visits to the tombs of Beni Hassan, followed by one of the most imposing temples in all of Egypt, at Abydos. Our exploration continues with the temple of Hathor at Dendera, built during the time of the Ptolemies, heirs to Alexander the Great's empire. This part of the tour is ideal for anyone who has visited Luxor and Aswan before and wants to delve deeper into some of the rarely-visited sites mentioned above. From here on we continue to the well sights of Luxor and beyond.

Luxor, known as Thebes in ancient times, was centred around the two great temple complexes of ancient Egypt - Karnak and Luxor. These are both on the East bank of the Nile and dedicated to the sun god, Amun Ra, the giver of life. The West bank, where the sun set, was reserved for the tombs and funerary temples of the Pharaohs, their families and high officials.

Today's Egyptians are immensely proud of their ancient lineage and with typical middle-eastern courtesy and hospitality they are some of the most welcoming and friendly people you are likely to meet.

Highlights

  • icon 14 nights on board the MS Darakum, with a choice of spacious cabins and suites, all with river views
  • icon Happy by day two or we'll bring you home with a full refund
  • icon Marvel at of Egypt’s best preserved temples at Dendera
  • icon Visit the Pharaohs’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings &amp
  • icon coffee
  • icon Covid Cancellation protection included as standard
  • icon Guided tours of amazing, yet rarely-visited sites such as the city of Amarna, created by the pharaoh Akhenaten and Nefertiti
  • icon All meals included, including complimentary on-board tea &amp
  • icon Marvel at the Golden Mask of Tutankhamun on our visit to the incomparable Egyptian Museum
  • icon the temple of Hatshepsut
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Places You'll See

Countries:

Itinerary

Map Image
icon DAY 1

You should arrive at the airport to take your direct flight to Cairo. After our late evening arrival, we transfer to our home for the next 14 nights, the MS Mövenpick Darakum.

icon DAY 2

Today we drive out of the city towards the Giza plateau for our first close-up view of the Great Pyramids. The truly gigantic size of the three main pyramids only becomes fully apparent when they tower above you in all their majesty. For the more adventurous, entry into the pyramids is available at extra cost payable locally, but for the Great Pyramid of Cheops there’s a daily limit to the number of visitors and there’s no guarantee of an entry. A little further down the hill is the mighty Sphinx, the world’s largest free-standing sculpture. King ‘Tut’s’ tomb held so many treasures that it took 10 years to examine, photograph, catalogue and finally remove all 5,398 of them. The collection forms the centrepiece of the Egyptian Museum, without question one of the world’s greatest museums, a treasure-house overflowing with artefacts of remarkable ancient craftsmanship, ranging from the mundane to the mystical. The famous Royal Mummy room may be entered, upon payment of a small additional fee.

icon DAY 3

We head south to the pyramids at the necropolis of Saqqara. Soon the lush fields give way to barren desert and we see the giant ‘step’ pyramid looming above the palms. Built using smaller blocks than the Great Pyramids at Giza, it’s easy to see how the architecture of pyramid-building evolved from a simple square flat-topped mound upon which similar smaller mounds were added. This afternoon we’ll explore Old Cairo’s Christian history with a visit to the ‘Hanging Church’, built over a gateway to the Romanera Babylon fortress. We continue to the Coptic Museum and the nearby Ben Ezra synagogue, said to be where the Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses in his basket amongst the reeds.

icon DAY 4

This morning our ship starts its long journey out of Cairo. As we leave the city behind and pass small farms, canals and plantations of date palms along the way, you’ll see how productive this land has been for so many generations. Enjoy the first of a couple of fascinating lectures on both modern and ancient Egypt. In the afternoon we arrive at the small town of Beni Suef where we moor overnight.

icon DAY 5

After a sumptuous breakfast buffet, relax under one on one of the many comfortable shaded sun loungers or Balinese-style canopied day-beds as the unchanged landscape of the Nile Valley slips by. This afternoon we arrive in Minya where we will moor for two nights.

icon DAY 6

After breakfast, set out with a visit to Tuna El Gebel, the necropolis of Hermopolis, sacred to the Greek god Hermes and his Egyptian counterpart Thoth, god of writing and wisdom. Explore the tomb of Petosiris and the catacombs which once held thousands of mummified ibis and baboons. After lunch on board, we continue with a tour of the tombs at Beni Hassan, with wonderful views across the valley.  

icon DAY 7

This morning we arrive in Amarna, site of the short-lived capital of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and his queen Nefertiti. We’ll visit Akhenaten’s tomb, as well as those of some of his courtiers. We return to our ship in time for lunch and continue our journey, sailing by Egypt’s Coptic monasteries. We moor in Assyut overnight.

icon DAY 8

Today we continue our journey southwards, with a full day’s cruising, ideal to relax after the busy last couple of days and before seeing the monuments and temples of the second part of our journey.

icon DAY 9

Abydos remains one of ancient Egypt’s most mysterious sites, with the Great Temple of Seti I as its centrepiece. Dedicated to the cult of Osiris, god of the dead, Abydos was a pilgrimage centre for thousands of years. The temple is known for its Gallery of the Kings, which lists all the pharaohs, as well as some hieroglyphs which look like modern machines! We sail on to Qena where we moor overnight.

icon DAY 10

The temple of Hathor is one of the most complete and best-preserved in all of Egypt. Hathor was the Egyptian goddess of love, beauty, joy and healing, and her temple, although only completed in Roman times, nevertheless follows the architecture and style of much older temples. We sail the short distance to Luxor where we moor overnight.

icon DAY 11

Anyone staying on for the full itinerary to Aswan will continue the tour crossing the Nile to the West Bank for the Valley of the Kings! We also visit Howard Carter’s house which has been beautifully preserved and is next to the newlyopened replica of King Tut’s tomb. Our tour ends at the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh, with its stunning colonnaded terraces. We return to our ship at lunchtime and the rest of the day is at leisure.

icon DAY 12

This morning we visit the Temple of Karnak. The astounding Hypostyle Hall is the most aweinspiring part of this vast complex, said to be the largest religious centre of the ancient world. We also visit the Temple of Luxor. After lunch we set sail for Edfu where we moor overnight.  

icon DAY 13

The temple at Kom Ombo is unusual in that it’s dedicated to two gods, Horus and Sobek, the crocodile. The temple had a lake with sacred crocodiles and many mummies for them have been found nearby. We sail to Aswan and moor overnight.

icon DAY 14

This morning is our last full day in Egypt and we visit one of modern Egypt’s greatest achievements – the Aswan High Dam. We continue to the temple of Philae, which had to be rescued from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. After a visit to the Nubian museum, we take to the water on a felucca sail as the sun sets in the west, to Kitchener Island, which the general converted to a botanical park.

icon DAY 15

Early this morning we make our way to Aswan airport for the return flight, via Cairo, back to the UK after unique and truly fascinating tour.

What's Included

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    The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin. Sole occupancy is available at the relevant supplement. The price includes: Fourteen nights’ accommodation on the MS Movenpick Darakum Daily breakfast, lunch, and;dinner Scheduled flights to Cairo and from Luxor via Cairo to the UK Transfers and all internal coach travel The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager Included excursions: guided tours of Cairo, the Giza Pyramids & Sphinx, entrance to the Egyptian Museum; Beni Hassan tombs, Amarna, Abydos & Dendera temples, a guided tour of Karnak and Luxor temples, the Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut temple, Kom Ombo temple, Philae temple, Aswan dam Visa not included.

Book with Confidence

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    Low Deposit

    Riviera Travel requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 56 days before departure..

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


Travel, Your Way

Good reasons for travelling privately

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    Personalise your trip

    Make changes to the itinerary, accommodation, or transport method

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    Increased safety during COVID

    Spend the majority of time amongst your group to reduce exposure to others

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    Travel more exclusively

    Your tour guide can focus all their attention on your group

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    Travel for a special occasion

    Celebrate an important event by only travelling with your friends or family

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