Arrive in Cairo, where you will be welcomed and privately transferred to your luxury riverside hotel. You can relax after your flight or, if keen to start exploring this inspiring capital, add a private guided tour of Coptic Cairo in the old quarter.
Today is earmarked for a tour of the highly anticipated opening (to be confirmed) of the Grand Egyptian Museum, the largest archaeological museum in the world. Overlooking the pyramids of Giza, this modern architectural wonder houses King Tutankhamun’s complete collection of 4,500 artefacts displayed for the first time. To enter, you will pass the colossal statue of Rameses II, which is more than 3,200 years old. Once inside, you can view 100,000 Pharaonic antiquities and virtual-reality experiences. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide a panoramic outlook of the pyramids and desert beyond.
Until the museum opens, the activities on this day are flexible. Please speak to your consultant who will help you plan this day.
Today, you can join your private Egyptologist who will take you to the remarkable Giza Plateau. See the great pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure. Enter the Great Pyramid of Cheops - the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – stepping back in time some 4,000 years. See the iconic figure of the Sphinx still standing guard and pop into the Solar Boat Museum. Round off the day with a visit to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, which houses one of the biggest collection of mummies or head to the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar and get ready to haggle over rugs and spices.
Follow the flow of the meandering Nile from the sky as it leads you to Abu Simbel. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the magnificent temple of Ramses II, and marvel at the four enormous statues of the pharaoh that grace its façade. Amazingly, the site was raised up the hillside to avoid floodwaters caused by the Aswan High Dam project. Returning to Aswan, board the elegant Sanctuary Sun Boat IV. Enjoy floor to ceiling views in your main deck cabin. After lunch explore Aswan, once one of the most strategically important places in ancient Egypt. Sail by felucca (traditional sailing vessel) around Elephantine Island and Lord Kitchener’s Botanical Gardens.
After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy a boat trip out to Philae Temple, located on Agilkia Island. Later, back on board, you can learn how to knock up some tasty Egyptian treats with the chef. Over lunch, the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV will travel to the crocodile god Sobek’s Temple of Kom Ombo in Edfu. Disembark for a walking visit to this Greco-Roman temple dedicated to Haroeris (the sun god) and Sobek (the crocodile god). View the mummified remains of crocodiles that once basked along the ancient Nile shore, just as their descendants do today. Dinner tonight will be followed by oriental music, with dancing for everyone.
Enjoy sunrise over the mighty Nile – the perfect time to capture this timeless scene to share with family and friends. After breakfast you will visit the well-preserved Temple of Horus, dedicated to the falcon-headed god. Later today you will be guided around the Greco Roman Temple of Khnum at Esna. Back on board take afternoon tea on deck as you watch life playing out along the banks as you sail towards Luxor.
Spend the day with your Egyptologist exploring the ancient monuments of Luxor. Visit the East Bank’s Temple of Luxor and Karnak Temple, home to the Great Hypostyle Hall with its 134 huge columns. On the West Bank explore the Valley of the Kings. Enjoy enhanced access to the tomb of Tutankhamun and beautifully decorated Tomb of Seti I, discovered over one hundred years ago. In the Valley of the Queens, you will enter the colourful tomb of Nefertari, known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of Ancient Egypt’ before passing the Colossi of Memnon, two enormous, seated statues of Amenhotep III as you return for dinner.
As the sun rises you take to the skies above Luxor in a hot-air balloon and enjoy panoramic views of the world's greatest open-air museum. Your scenic flight over Egypt’s iconic monuments promises to be one of the highlights of your cruise down the Nile. View the magnificent temples of Karnak and Hatshepsut, among many other privileged sights. Today you disembark and check in to the Hilton Luxor in Karnak village, situated directly on the riverside overlooking the West Bank. A tranquil end to your journey, enjoy relaxing on your last day, perhaps a spa ritual or just a chance to unwind poolside and contemplate your voyage of discovery.
After a leisurely breakfast, gather your souvenirs together and transfer to the airport for your flight.