Arrive into Egypt’s ancient capital where you will be met and driven to your hotel away from the some of the hustle and bustle close to the pyramids. Plenty of dining choices for the evenings.
Start your day at the Egyptian Museum. Make a bee-line for Tutankhamun’s resplendent death mask and then the Royal Mummy Room showcasing the remains of once-powerful pharaohs. It would be easy to spend the whole day here but your guide will take you on a whistle-stop tour of Cairo including its hilltop medieval Citadel. Duck into the Muhammad Ali Mosque twinkling with chandeliers. Then pop into the grand Sultan Hassan Mosque to see its soaring vaulted hallways before shopping for souvenirs at the 14th-century Khan el Khalili Bazaar.
Head south west towards Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt and see its stepped pyramid of Djoser, one of the oldest in the world. Then drive to the dusty Giza plateau and its three great pyramids guarded by the Sphinx. You’ll visit the Great Pyramid, the only remaining structure of the original Seven Wonders of the World, where you can explore its chambers once holding a royal sarcophagus. There’s time to visit the Solar Boat Museum, to see the world’s oldest surviving ship.
This morning, fly to the city of Aswan where on arrival you’ll be driven to the banks of the Nile. Hop on a felucca (a traditional wooden boat), which will slowly sail you around the Elephantine Island, once a vital hub on the ivory trading route. You’ll also stop at the nearby Kitchener’s Island to see its 19th-century botanical garden. After exploring here, step aboard a stylish and slickly run vessel that will glide you down the Nile for the next four nights.
Wake up to Nile views and get ready to explore the Greco-Roman Philae temple complex in the reservoir of the Aswan Low Dam.
Meander through the picturesque site built to worship the goddess Isis with an Egyptologist by your side. Afterwards, visit the neighbouring quarry where granite was extracted to build pyramids. Back on board you can partake in an Egyptian cooking lesson and enjoy lunch as you cruise to Kom Ombo temple, built under the Ptolemaic dynasty and your last stop for the day.
This morning, you have the opportunity to explore the sandstone Temple of Horus at Edfu, the largest dedicated to the falcon-headed god, and one of Egypt’s best preserved. Spend time reading its ancient inscriptions and religious imagery before cruising to the city of Esna. Here, your Egyptologist will take you around the Greco-Roman temple of Khnum, one of the earliest-known deities. Marvel at its soaring columns and hypostyle hall showcasing well-preserved carvings from the 3rd-century AD. Head back to your luxury boat.
Spend the morning on the eastern banks of the Nile starting at Karnak Temple to witness the great Hypostyle Hall’s 134 papyrus-shaped columns. Continue to Luxor Temple where you can see two Rameses colossi and an avenue of sphinxes. After lunch, hop over to the western side of the Nile to the Valley of the Kings, the burial site of Tutankhamun. You have the chance to enter the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, an 18th-dynasty pharaoh and one of only a small number of female rulers of Ancient Egypt.
This morning step onto terra firma and catch a flight to Amman, the capital of Jordan. On arrival, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel in the heart of the city.
Set off exploring downtown Amman. Your expert guide will take you to the Hercules Temple in the hilltop Citadel as well as the 8th-century Umayyad Palace. Pause for thought at the 6,000-seat Roman theatre, an impressive example of Roman architecture. Afterwards, journey to Jerash, entering the ancient city through the imposing South Gate. Make your way up the Street of Columns where you can still see wheel marks from years of chariot traffic.
Set off along the King’s Highway, forged by ancient royalty, stopping at Mount Nebo were Moses first caught sight of the Promised Land. After soaking up panoramas of Israel and the River Jordan, travel to Madaba stopping at St. George’s Church to see its Byzantine mosaic floor, the oldest surviving map of Palestine. Then onto Kerak to view its crusader castle, one of the largest in the region and then continue to Petra to check into your hotel.
No visit to Jordan is complete without a visit to its star landmark, Petra. Once a major trading hub in the Nabataean Kingdom, today it is well deserving of its status as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Wind through the kilometre passageway of the Siq, with vertical rock on either side. Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of the Treasury, gloriously carved into pink sandstone. Spend the rest of the day exploring elaborate tombs and Petra’s immense amphitheatre cut into the hillside.
Set off to the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. Your hotel sits on the edge of the pale blue waters blissfully calm with majestic panoramas.
Take the day to unwind in the comfort of your hotel. Perhaps book a Dead Sea facial in the spa or an invigorating massage. A swim in the Dead Sea is a must. Situated more than 400 metres below sea level with highest level of salt content in the world, you can bob around in exotic minerals, famed for their rejuvenating qualities.
Today you will be met and driven to the airport from where you will depart.