Board your overnight flight to Cairo to meet your Sisters!
Upon arrival, your driver will meet you in the arrivals hall to transport you to your hotel. You’ll have an entire day and night for rest, rejuvenation, and independent exploration. Hotel: Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino
Today, we’ll begin our journey in Cairo, a modern megalopolis with an intriguing past. We’ll get a glimpse into ancient Egypt’s Pharaohs, power struggles, and dynasties during an introductory talk before navigating Cairo’s famous traffic on our way to the remarkable collections of the Grand Egyptian Museum.* See the statues, reliefs, sarcophagi, and treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun. This evening, we’ll gather for a Welcome Dinner overlooking the banks of the Nile. (B, D) Hotel: Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino
The day is yours to experience the energy of Cairo’s buzzing streets. Wander a maze of stalls at the market, relax at a local café, or maybe even spend time in one of the city’s many museums. Perhaps you will join a full-day exploration of Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city; you’ll discover the city’s Hellenic roots and Greco-Roman architecture, set in unique harmony with ultramodern facades like the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Or you may join a local guide for a Sakkara and Djoser’s Step Pyramid tour. (B) Hotel: Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino
Early this morning, we’ll fly to Luxor, the site of Ancient Thebes (UNESCO) and home to the expansive Karnak Temple. Wander through this 4,000-year-old complex of pylons and obelisks, often of near-mythic proportions. This afternoon, we’ll board our cruise ship for a voyage on the Nile River. Relax aboard and take in the views from the sundeck, or participate in an informative talk covering Egypt from the past to the present.
We’ll begin our evening with a nighttime visit to Luxor Temple. After dusk, the temple is lit, boasting fascinating plays of light and shadow of the reliefs and colonnades. Explore the temple’s inner chambers, including Amenhotep III’s “birth room,” which depicts scenes of the Pharaoh’s symbolic divine birth. Walk along the Avenue of Sphinxes, a 1.5-mile stretch once connecting Luxor Temple to Karnak Temple and lined with mysterious human-headed sphinxes. Then, we’ll delve deeper into the local culture with a visit to the historic Abu al-Haggag Mosque, perched atop the ruins of Luxor Temple. We’ll cap our evening off with a visit to a local café for a taste of mint tea. (B, L, D) Movenpick Royal Lily
We’ll start the morning by venturing thousands of years into the past. First, we’ll cross over to the West Bank of the Nile for a day in ancient Thebes. Explore the Valley of the Kings,** including the world-renowned tombs of Tutankhamun and Ramses VI. We’ll visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon before returning to the ship for lunch. Relax as we continue down the Nile towards Esna on your way to Edfu. You’ll be able to join a culinary demonstration and learn about the staples of Egyptian cuisine from our chef. This evening, dress up and join the fun during a traditional galabeya party. (B, L, D) Movenpick Royal Lily
Step into another world at the well-preserved Temple of Horus at Edfu. Peruse the endless carvings of scenes depicting the power and grandeur of the pharaohs. After lunch, we’ll sail for Kom Ombo and continue to Aswan, the Nubian City. After dinner, we will enjoy a folklore show featuring a belly dancing performance. (B, L, D) Movenpick Royal Lily
Today, we’ll board a motorboat towards the sanctuary island dedicated to the goddess Isis. Philae Temple (UNESCO) is among the architectural wonders rescued from the rising waters of the Nile during the construction of the High Dam. Then, we’ll learn about Aswan’s ancient trade of granite extraction and carving techniques during a visit to an ancient quarry and its unfinished obelisk. The afternoon is yours to explore more of Aswan independently with your Sisters. Perhaps you’ll visit the fascinating artifacts at the Nubian Archeological Museum. (B, L, D) Movenpick Royal Lily
This morning, we’ll disembark the ship and sail to the lush oasis of Kitchener Island, where we’ll embark on a stroll through the botanical gardens. Aboard a felucca (wooden sailboat), we’ll take in the views of the tall sand dunes on the western shore of the Nile before arriving at our hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Perhaps you’ll stroll along the Corniche, Aswan’s waterfront promenade, before regrouping for dinner at our hotel. (B, D) Hotel: Movenpick Resort Aswan
Pre sunrise, we’re going to visit the great sun temples of Abu Simbel, built by Ramses II at the height of his New Kingdom reign. In one of the world’s most extraordinary cooperative preservation efforts, these temples were dismantled and moved in 1968 to save them from the flooding of the Aswan Dam. The Temple of Ramses II was constructed so that the sun’s rays would illuminate four statues of Egyptian deities within the sanctuary on his birthday and on the anniversary of his coronation, October 20 and February 20. The temple is fronted by four colossal figures of Ramses II seated with the gods and attended by his Queen and daughters. The smaller temple is dedicated to Queen Nefertari, who appears as Hathor, the goddess of love, joy, and fertility. Early this morning, we’ll return to Cairo. We’ll walk along el-Moez Street, admiring the elegant Islamic architecture of Historic Cairo (UNESCO), and enjoy some free time to shop in the world-famous souk of Khan el Khalili. Peruse colorful trinkets, hand-painted crafts, polished pendants, and more. (B)
Hotel: Intercontinental Citystars Cairo
Today, fulfill a lifelong dream and head to nearby Giza (UNESCO). We’ll embark on an in-depth visit to the Pyramids of Giza, one of the world’s seven ancient wonders. Marvel at the iconic Great Sphinx, one of the world’s oldest and largest monuments. Then, it’s your choice! You can meet with a local archeologist to learn about the most recent findings in Egyptology and how they influence the active digs on the Giza plateau -OR- channel your inner explorer and venture inside the largest Pyramid of Giza via the Robber’s Tunnel, winding through the inner chamber. This evening, join your Sisters for a farewell dinner. (B, L, D) Hotel: Intercontinental Citystars Cairo
Our epic adventure comes to a close today. We’ll all return home with a new understanding of this mystical land and the experience of making lifelong friendships and memories in our hearts. (B)