Day-By-Day

Discover the Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan in one sweeping voyage


The Nile is Egypt, and along its banks we discover the symbols of cultures that have captivated travelers for thousands of years. Egypt — where scientists, oracles and priests scanned the night sky, watched the fertile river and feared the barren desert that enveloped their land.

Passage through Egypt

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  • DAY 1: Depart

    Fly overnight to Cairo, Egypt.

  • DAY 2: Cairo

    Arrive in Cairo and transfer to the Nile Ritz-Carlton, your home for the next two nights. The hotel has a prime location along the Nile in the heart of this great city, and your room will face the Nile (with the Pyramids visible in the distance, weather permitting).

  • DAY 3: Cairo

    This morning, you will tour the Egyptian Museum, which holds an almost endless collection of some of the greatest masterpieces ever crafted, including the treasures of Tutankhamun, the brightly painted limestone sculptures of Prince Rahotep and Princess Nofret, and the bizarre relief of Akhenaten. You’ll also see mummies of some of Egypt’s pharaohs.

     

    Lunch is included at a local restaurant. This afternoon, explore Old Cairo, founded by the Romans long before the modern city arose. It’s known for its Coptic churches, including the 4th century “Hanging Church” and the Church of Abu Serga, which stands on the spot where the Holy Family is said to have rested. Then stroll through winding streets to the 1000-year-old Ben Ezra Synagogue.

    This evening, we’ll have festive welcome drinks and dinner at our hotel. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 4: Abu Simbel/Aswan

    This morning take a private charter flight to Abu Simbel where we visit the two great temples built by Ramses II. When the Nile was dammed at Aswan, the temples were disassembled and moved, block by massive block, to higher ground. Our aircraft waits for us, and after lunch we take our private flight to Aswan where we’ll visit the Aswan High Dam.

    In the evening, we’ll then embark Oberoi Philae, our home for the next six nights, in time for dinner. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 5: Aswan

    Life along the banks of the Nile is very much in the traditional manner, and as we sail we’re afforded a glimpse into Egyptian life through the centuries. Aswan occupies a glorious location on the Nile, backed by hills, with granite rocks protruding from the riverbed and sailboats (called feluccas) plying the water. It is just downstream of the northernmost Nile cataract, which historically made it a frontier town and a center for trading with Nubia.

     

    This morning we visit the lovely temple of Philae, located on an island in the river and dedicated to the goddess Isis, and the quarries where the famous pink granite was mined, where there is an unfinished obelisk from ancient times. We’ll also visit the fine Nubian Museum. This afternoon, you’ll have high tea at the legendary Old Cataract Hotel, whose view of the Nile cataract is extraordinary, and sail on a felucca (traditional sailboat). (B,L,D)

  • DAY 6: Kom Ombo/Sailing the Nile/Edfu

    This morning we sail to Kom Ombo, strikingly set atop a hill overlooking the Nile. Built during the Ptolemaic era, it is unique in being dedicated to two gods—hawk-headed Haroeris and crocodile-headed Sobek. It is richly decorated, and even has a hieroglyphic calendar. We then return to our ship and sail on towards Edfu. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 7: Esna/Sailing the Nile/Luxor

    We continue sailing to the town of Esna, where we visit the Temple of Khnum at Esna. The part we can explore is relatively small, in contrast to many of the other sites we visit, since much of the temple complex lies beneath the contemporary town of Esna and has not been excavated. The base of the temple sits well below street level, showing how much silt was deposited by the Nile's annual floods. We'll also explore the town of Esna by foot, to get a glimpse of small-town life in Egypt.

     

    We sail to Luxor, arriving the afternoon to explore Luxor Temple, on the banks of the Nile. The temple is guarded by massive statues of Ramses II, and has magnificent pylons, columns, and statues. It has a place of worship for millennia, as attested to by the mosque that was built atop the site. In the late afternoon, we continue to the Luxor Museum, which contains some of Egypt's finest statuary, beautifully lit and displayed. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 8: Luxor

    An optional early morning hot air balloon ride offers you the chance to see a unique and breathtaking view of the West Bank and Nile Valley.

     

    This morning we'll explore Luxor's fabled West Bank. After stopping to see the Colossi of Memnon, we travel through the desert to the Valley of the Kings. For four centuries, this area served as the burial ground for Egypt's greatest pharaohs. Although not all the tombs are always open, there will be many to choose from, including those of Tutankhamon and Seti I (which require special permission, which we will obtain for you). We continue to the Ramesseum, the mortuary temple of Ramses II, which toppled statue inspired Shelley's poem, "Ozymandias."

     

    We have lunch at a restaurant on Luxor's West Bank, then continue our explorations. We've made special arrangements to visit one of the most remarkable tombs of all: that of Nefertari, located in the Valley of the Queens. The tomb paintings are in vivid colors, show Nefertari's beauty, and depict her journey to the afterlife. After our visit we'll continue to the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, which lies in a dramatic setting beneath sandstone cliffs, and which contains wonderful interior reliefs that tell the story of the Queen's expedition to the land of Punt. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 9: Dendera/Luxor

    This morning we drive or sail, depending on water levels, northward to visit the beautifully preserved temple of Dendera. It was constructed during the time of the Roman emperors, and the reliefs on the temple walls depict the empress Cleopatra. Also notable are the dramatic columns topped with images of cow-headed goddess of love, Hathor. Return to Luxor this afternoon. (B,L,D).

  • DAY 10: Luxor/Giza

    We disembark Oberoi Philae this morning and visit Karnak Temple, where for 2,000 years some 30 pharaohs added their own monuments and shrines. Karnak’s scale is vast. The 134 columns of the great hall create a forest of stone 70 feet high, while the towering obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut shadows the rear of the temple. The reliefs and carvings, created by some of Ancient Egypt’s finest artisans, are dramatic.

     

    Later we explore exquisite Luxor Temple, on the banks of the Nile. The temple is guarded by massive statues of Ramses II, and has magnificent pylons, columns and statues. It has been a place of worship for millennia, as attested to by the mosque that was built atop the site. In the late afternoon, we continue to the Luxor Museum, which contains some of Egypt’s finest statuary, beautifully lit and displayed.

     

    Our private aircraft awaits us for our flight to Cairo this afternoon. Transfer to the exquisite Four Seasons First Residence, located next to the botanical gardens on the Giza side of the Nile. From this luxurious hotel, we have easy access to the sites we have yet to explore on our journey—the pyramids of Giza, Saqqara, and the treasures of Islamic Cairo. You are encourages to enjoy all of Four Seasons' amenities including full spa and wellness center, large elegant rooms with pyramid-view (weather permitting), opening swimming pool with views of the city, and more. Dinner is at the hotel. (B,L,D)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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