Pentravel
Pentravel

Splendors of Egypt & the Nile with Uniworld

Pentravel
12 days
28 Sep 24 to 09 Oct 24
Book by 31 Jul 24
Embark on a majestic 12-day journey cruising the Nile, once the realm of queens and pharaohs. Indulge in luxury as you explore Egypt's most extraordinary sites, including the awe-inspiring Temple of Karnak and the enchanting Temple of Luxor. Delve into history as you traverse the Valley of the Kings, the sacred burial grounds of Egyptian rulers, following the paths of legendary scholars and explorers. Your adventure begins and ends in Cairo, where you'll marvel at the renowned Egyptian Museum's treasures and gaze upon the iconic Pyramids and Sphinx in Giza.

Includes

  • 12 Day Uniworld Boutique River Cruise
  • 7-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the gorgeous S.S. Sphinx or the elegant River Tosca
  • 4 nights in Cairo at the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza or at the Nile Ritz-Carlton (or similar)
  • Flights included between Cairo and Luxor
  • Delicious, five-star, farm-to-table cuisine: 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Welcome & Farewell Receptions
  • Complimentary house wine, local beer, soft drinks, tea, and coffee will be served during lunch and dinner onboard
  • 8 days of excursions, all fully hosted by English-speaking trained Egyptologists
  • Gratuities for onboard and onshore personnel (ship staff, crew, Cruise/Tour Manager or Egyptologist, local experts, drivers) are included both during the cruise/tour as well as on any pre- or post-cruise land extensions

Excludes

  • Flights
  • Arrival / departure transfers
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature

Extras

  • Note
  • The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.
  • This program is an active one, including plenty of walking and early starts on most days to take advantage of the favorable morning weather. Flights between Cairo and Luxor may require wake-up calls at 5:00am or earlier. Please contact your travel agent for additional details.
  • *Note: Due to cultural differences and other factors, the beverage policy for our Egypt program differs from our European programs.

Highlights

  • 7-night cruise onboard S.S. Sphinx or River Tosca
  • 4 nights in at the Four Seasons Hotel or at the Nile Ritz-Carlton (or similar)
  • All meals onboard
  • Carefully curated excursions

Itinerary

Day 1: Cairo

Arrive at Cairo International Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, a Uniworld representative will be on hand to greet you and escort you to the opulent Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza or to the stunning Nile Ritz-Carlton (or similar). Masterpiece Collection Alexandria (PRE) 12 hours Activity Level: Intermediate R 2 805 NOTE: Alexandria excursion requires an extra night stay. The duration of the excursion is split between approximately 4 hours in destination and 4 hours of driving in each direction. Once the largest and most prosperous city in the world, Alexandria is a can’t-miss destination for your Egypt tour A Night at the Bazaar 3 hours Activity Level: Easy R 765 The famous medieval marketplace that is the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar is a must-visit for travelers to Cairo. Made up of a seemingly endless system of tight alleyways overflowing with textiles, spices, lanterns, and more, you can easily spend hours here.

Day 2: Cairo

The ancient quarter of Cairo is intense—the colors, the sounds, the density of people—and it’s likely been this way for thousands of years. Your local expert will show you a 12th-century citadel, the beautiful Alabaster Mosque and an unsurpassed collection of priceless artifacts, including mind-boggling treasures once buried with the boy king Tutankhamen. Note: Dressing modestly is recommended as a show of respect for the culture and customs of the Egyptian people. In particular, women should ensure that shoulders are covered and legs are concealed at least to the knee on all shore excursions throughout this itinerary. Featured Excursion Citadel of Salah al-Din, Alabaster Mosque and Egyptian Museum Your tour of this historic city includes a visit to the Citadel of Salah al-Din, a massive compound containing mosques and museums and offering breathtaking views of Cairo. Founded in the seventh century by Arab conquerors, the Fatimid dynasty rulers made Cairo their capital and named it al-Qahira (“the Victorious”). Masterpiece Collection A Night at the Bazaar 3 hours Activity Level: Easy R 765 The famous medieval marketplace that is the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar is a must-visit for travelers to Cairo. Made up of a seemingly endless system of tight alleyways overflowing with textiles, spices, lanterns, and more, you can easily spend hours here.

Day 3: Cairo, fly to Luxor (embark) cruising the Nile river, Dendera

Luxor Prepare to be amazed at the legendary Temple of Karnak, a massive and absolutely astounding site, with gigantic columns, broad avenues lined with stone sphinxes and halls of truly epic proportions. This evening, you’ll revel in a Welcome Reception and Dinner onboard. Note: Flights to Luxor depart early in the morning to take advantage of more favorable weather and traffic conditions, and to optimize tour scheduling. Before dinner onboard this evening, guests will be treated to a folkloric dance performance. A local band of dancers, in traditional costumes representing different Egyptian districts, will perform a Whirling Dervish show. Featured Excursion Temple at Karnak After a short flight to Luxor on the east bank of the Nile, you can stroll through the grand avenues of sphinxes and halls of gigantic columns of the magnificent Temple of Karnak. This vast complex, situated about 2 miles (3.5 kilometers) from the Temple of Luxor, was originally established during the Middle Kingdom (1991-1633 BC), and various dynasties over the next 1,300 years continued to expand it. Karnak is a massive and simply astounding site, reflecting the combined achievements of many generations of ancient builders—as many as 80,000 laborers took part in its creation during the 19th Dynasty alone. The Uniworld Cup Step off the ship and head to a nearby field to play a sport the whole world has in common: soccer (or football, as it’s known in most countries outside the US). Take this chance to bond with young locals, your fellow passengers and the ship’s crew over a friendly match.

Day 4: Dendera, cruising the Nile river, Luxor

Dendera Like its twin shrine, the Temple of Karnak, the Temple of Luxor stands on the site of ancient Thebes, the once flourishing capital of Egypt’s New Kingdom. It was built over hundreds of years and even in ruins it is still an extraordinary place. You’ll also visit the Temple of Hathor, dedicated to the goddess of love and beauty. Featured Excursions Temple of Hathor The impressive Temple of Hathor at Dendera was dedicated to the goddess of love and beauty. The temple dates to Egypt’s Ptolemaic era, when the heirs of Alexander the Great ruled over Egypt and adopted Egyptian culture and religion as their own. Temple of Luxor Enter the temple through the great pylon—a ceremonial gateway—where two enormous statues of Ramses II still stand, along with a pink granite obelisk (its mate stands in the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France).

Day 5: Luxor, cruising the Nile river, Kom Ombo

The word “colossal” will take on a whole new meaning after today’s excursion to the gigantic twin statues known as the Colossi of Memnon. And that’s just the beginning—you’ll also visit the temple of one of Egypt’s rare female pharaohs as well as the Valley of the Kings, used as a royal burial place for nearly 500 years and where the mummified remains of Tutankhamen are on display. After dinner onboard tonight, guests will enjoy a Galabeya Party with music, dancing and singing by crew members. Guests are encouraged to bring their own Galabeya clothing. Featured Excursion Colossi of Memnon, Hatshepsut Temple and Valley of the Kings Get an up-close view of two gigantic statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, better known as the Colossi of Memnon. Sixty feet (18 meters) tall and gazing eastward toward the rising sun, the statues depict Amenhotep seated on his throne.

Day 6: Kom Ombo, cruising the Nile river, Aswan

Kom Ombo After visiting a temple dedicated to a crocodile god today (don’t miss the display of some of the 300 mummified crocs found in the local area), hop aboard a small boat for a bird-watching excursion along the Nile. Featured Excursions Kom Ombo Temple The Kom Ombo Temple, unlike most ancient Egyptian temples, is dedicated to two gods—the crocodile god Sobek and the falcon god Horus the Elder. Construction began under the reign of Ptolemy VI Philometor (180-145 BC) and continued under later rulers, most notably Ptolemy XIII (47-44 BC). Life on the Nile Tour by Motorboat After a scenic cruise to Aswan, take a small boat along the banks of the Nile on a bird-watching excursion. Watch out for colorful native birds, different species of herons, kingfishers, vultures, sunbirds and other wildlife that thrive in the marsh grass along the riverbanks. Masterpiece Collection Dune Surfing & Swimming in the Nile 1 hours Activity Level: Easy R 476 Add this tour onto today’s boat tour to experience the environment of the Nile from a different perspective. Start by surfing the sand dunes of the Aswan desert, then cool off from this thrilling adventure with a dip in the Nile River before riding a motorboat back to the ship. Please note: this excursion departs directly from the Life on the Nile Tour by Motorboat excursion. You must participate in the earlier excursion to be able to join this tour.

Day 7: Aswan

Today is an epic day, filled with wonders from start to finish. You’ll visit a marvel of modern engineering—the Aswan High Dam—as well as the Unfinished Obelisk and the beautiful Philae Temple complex, which was moved from one island to another back in the 1970s. But wait, there’s more. You’ll also take a ride in a felucca—a traditional Egyptian sailboat—and enjoy afternoon tea at a famous hotel depicted in Agatha Christie’s novel Death on the Nile. After dinner onboard this evening, you’ll be treated to an enchanting Nubian show featuring traditionally attired performers, live music and dancing. Featured Excursions The Aswan High Dam, completed in the 1970s, is a marvel of modern engineering that boasts some truly epic dimensions—it is 11,800 feet (3,597 meters) long; 3,215 feet (980 meters) wide at its base; and 304 feet (93 meters) high—with a reservoir capacity nearly five times that of the Hoover Dam. You’ll also visit the Unfinished Obelisk, commissioned by Queen Hatshepsut yet never completed due to a flaw discovered in the stone. If completed, it would have been the largest and heaviest obelisk ever attempted, weighing more than two million pounds (907,185 kilograms). Boat Ride in Traditional Nile River Felucca and Sunset Tea at the Old Cataract Hotel Aswan Today you will sail serenely down the Nile in a felucca— a small traditional boat with large triangular sails—a wonderful way to experience the river as Egyptians have for a thousand years. Later, relax over tea at the historic Old Cataract Hotel Aswan, a colonial-era gem that counts Winston Churchill and Princess Diana among its former guests. This famous hotel was depicted in Agatha Christie’s acclaimed mystery novel Death on the Nile. Note: Feluccas are wind-powered and thus will operate only if weather conditions permit. Masterpiece Collection Philae - Sound & Light show 2.5 hours Activity Level: Intermediate R 1 020 While many visit Philae Temple to explore the during daylight hours, tonight guests will take advantage of an entertaining and educational option instead—the Philae Temple Sound and Light Show. In order to save the temple from the rising waters of the lake, a massive operation went underway to physically move the temple to higher ground, and today, Philae Temple stands on nearby Agilkia Island. This achievement in itself makes the area worth visit. When you see the temple standing today, it really is astounding to think than the entire complex was actually moved from one location to another.

Day 8: Aswan, cruising the Nile river, Edfu

Spend the day at leisure or join us for an optional excursion to see the magnificent temples of Abu Simbel. Masterpiece Collection Temples of Abu Simbel 6 hours Activity Level: Intermediate R 6 715 The Temples of Abu Simbel were constructed by King Ramses II—one of Egypt’s most celebrated Kings. Built in 1244 B.C., Abu Simbel sat on the west bank of the Nile River for 3,000 years. In the 1960s, the entire temple complex was dismantled and rebuilt on a higher hill to accommodate Aswan High Dam—a remarkable effort co-operated by the Egyptian government and UNESCO. Today, the temples are still one of the most recognizable ancient sites in Egypt. From Aswan, you will take a short flight to Abu Simbel. Once arriving on site, your guide will give you a history of the temple. Afterwards, take time to marvel at the exquisite detail as you wander through the temples yourself. Don’t forget to take pictures! You will then take a flight back to Aswan.

Day 9: Esna, cruising the Nile river, Luxor

On today’s excursion, you’ll learn how the Temple of Esna was buried under debris for many centuries and is one of the last great Egyptian temples ever built. Your Egyptologist guide will share all sorts of fascinating insights about this significant cultural site and show you the façade bearing the last known hieroglyphic inscriptions ever recorded in Egypt. Later, savor the Nile’s majestic scenery as the ship cruises to Luxor. Featured Excursion Temple of Khnum The Late Roman Temple of Esna lies on the west bank of the Nile about 34 miles (55 kilometers) south of Luxor. Buried under debris for many centuries, the temple is just a short walk from the ship through the local market. It dates from the Ptolemaic and Roman period (180 BC to AD 251) and is one of the last Egyptian temples ever built. Visitors can see two large inscriptions praising Khnum, the ram-headed god of creation, who fashioned mankind on a potter’s wheel from the clay mud of the Nile. There’s also a hypostyle hall with 24 pillars and a ceiling depicting Egyptian astronomical figures and Roman zodiac signs. On the temple’s western wall, look for images of Horus, the god of victory, and Khnum, dragging a net full of fish. At the foot of this façade are the last known hieroglyphic inscriptions ever recorded in Egypt.

Day 10: Luxor (disembark), fly to Cairo

Disembark in Luxor and transfer to the airport for your return flight to Cairo. Then, check in to your luxury hotel where you’ll have time to relax before dinner. Note: Flights to Cairo depart early in the morning to take advantage of more favorable weather and traffic conditions, and to optimize tour scheduling. Masterpiece Collection National Museum of Egyptian Culture 2 hours Activity Level: Intermediate R 1 105 Hatshepsut, the most powerful female Pharaoh of all time, and the expansionist Thutmose the Great boast two of Ancient Egypt's most enduring legacies. They can also both be seen today on a tour of The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC), amongst 18 other royal mummies displayed in the Hall of Mummies. Step back in time with your expert guide on a visit to this awe-inspiring museum to learn about the evolution of Egyptian civilization from pre-historic times to the modern day. Grand Egyptian Museum Trial Visit 3 hours Activity Level: Intermediate R 1 870 The Grand Egyptian Museum—or the “GEM”—is set to be the largest archeological museum in the world. For now, much of the highly anticipated museum has yet to open to the public. In the meantime, however, you can join a “trial phase” tour of the main hall, which houses the colossal statue of Pharaoh Ramses II, as well as the museum store. A Night at the Bazaar 3 hours Activity Level: Easy R 765 The famous medieval marketplace that is the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar is a must-visit for travelers to Cairo. Made up of a seemingly endless system of tight alleyways overflowing with textiles, spices, lanterns, and more, you can easily spend hours here. Get the most out of your visit by going with a local guide, and cap off your evening at the bazaar by sitting for Egyptian tea at a local cafe.

Day 11: Cairo

It’s a day of Bucket List Moments today as we venture to see a number of amazing monuments—including the enigmatic Great Sphinx. You’ll have a thrilling opportunity to view the pyramids from an up-close perspective, the only way to fully appreciate their remarkable size and grandeur. Pyramids at Giza, the Great Sphinx, and Sakkara Visit At the Giza Necropolis, the face of ancient Egypt—the Great Sphinx—awaits your visit. With the body of a crouching lion and the head of a man, it is the largest monolith statue in the world. Experts believe that the Sphinx (known to the early Arabs as Abu al-Hol, “Father of Terror”) was built in the 26th century BC during Khafre’s reign, perhaps as a portrait of the pharaoh himself. Unfortunately, much of this monument has either eroded or been deliberately destroyed over the years. Some of its facial features are no longer intact, such as the beard and the nose—the latter of which was not shot off by Napoleon’s soldiers, as widely believed, but chiseled away many centuries earlier. A number of excavations in modern times have removed the sand that built up around the Sphinx over the centuries and kept much of it buried. Despite its timeworn condition, the Sphinx still kneels gracefully as it has for thousands of years, looking toward the east with an enigmatic smile. Masterpiece Collection A Night at the Bazaar 3 hours Activity Level: Easy R 765 The famous medieval marketplace that is the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar is a must-visit for travelers to Cairo. Made up of a seemingly endless system of tight alleyways overflowing with textiles, spices, lanterns, and more, you can easily spend hours here. Get the most out of your visit by going with a local guide, and cap off your evening at the bazaar by sitting for Egyptian tea at a local cafe.

Day 12: Depart Cairo

Check out of your hotel and transfer to the Cairo International Airport for your flight home, or extend your trip with a memorable optional extension in Jerusalem. Note: Ship schedule and order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Tour to port of destination by motorcoach and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to the impact of water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors.

Ship info

S.S. Sphinx
Uniworld's S.S. Sphinx is a jewel on the Nile, bringing the epitome of luxury river cruising to Egypt. Launched in 2020, this meticulously crafted vessel offers a singular experience as it navigates the iconic river, showcasing the rich history and mesmerizing landscapes of Egypt.

Terms & conditions

Prices are per person twin share, include discounts, and are subject to availability and rate of exchange changes. Offers above are a guide only and will vary depending on departure date, our guide price is based on the cheapest departure within the stipulated season and availability is correct at time of loading. Visas may be necessary and insurance is essential. Pentravel and Tour Operator terms and conditions apply, and can be requested. Excludes flights, transfers, visas, travel insurance and anything not mentioned. Savings are not valid on all itineraries and/or departure dates, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. High season supplements and block out dates may apply, pricing varies pending departure date. Package excludes flights. You can do optional free-time add-on experiences in your free time and pay for them as you travel (additional costs apply). Uniworld reserves the right to withdraw promotional offers and adjust savings anytime. All savings / discounts mentioned have already been included in the advertised price. Advertised price is based on 28 September 2024 departure. At time of loading this may not be a definite departure. Pentravel and Tour Operator reserves the right to withdraw or amend promotional offers at any time. These packages are based on CASH price. E&OE;.

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Save R60,000
R164,000
R104,000
per person sharing
Details
Valid on 28 Sep 2024
Stay
12 days
Dates
28 Sep 24 to 09 Oct 24
Book by
31 July 24
Experience ID
675
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