Ancient wonders, endless golden sands and atmospheric local souqs make Egypt the ultimate travel destination. From the enigmatic aura of the Sphinx, to the imposing glory of the Pyramids, step into the Land of the Pharaohs and discover the exotic charms of evocative Egypt.
1 Depart the USA
Today you’ll depart the USA on your transatlantic overnight flight to Cairo, Egypt.
2 Cairo, Egypt
Upon arrival, you’ll be met by a representative of Mayflower Cruises & Tours and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure in this remarkable city that offers renowned history and culture.
Your day begins with a visit to the iconic Citadel of Saladin and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Continue on to Khan El Khalili market and stroll along El Moez street as you wander through the world’s oldest marketplace, dating back as far as 1382. After an included lunch at a local restaurant, return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Meals: B, L
After breakfast, tour the Grand Egyptian Museum. See the spectacular treasures of King Tutankhamen and the extensive collection of Egyptian artifacts covering 5,000 years of history. Following an included lunch, depart for the Giza Plateau to witness the last remaining ‘wonder’ of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Great Pyramids of Giza are perhaps the most famous and discussed structure in history. Marvel at the size and majesty of the Great Sphinx - a symbol that has represented the essence of Egypt for more than 4,500 years.
This evening immerse yourself in local culture with a visit to the home of an Egyptian family, who will host an authentic dining experience. Meet the family, see their home, learn about local life, and enjoy a delicious home-cooked food! Meals: B, L, D
5 Cairo / Luxor
Depart for the Cairo airport for an early morning flight to Luxor, previously known as Thebes, and founded in 1400 BC. Upon arrival, exploration begins with a visit to the temples. Two grandiose seated statues greet you upon entering the Luxor Temple Complex, one of the best-preserved ancient sites in the world. Filled with courtyards, statues, and a 32-column Hypostyle Hall, the grounds are sure to amaze.
In comparison, the Karnak Temple Complex is much larger and is the largest religious building ever constructed. Decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and a large Hypostyle Hall with carved columns will leave you in awe. Reboard the coach for the short journey to the embarkation point of your ship. Enjoy a relaxing lunch onboard and time to acquaint yourself with the amenities of the vessel. This afternoon, join your guide for a visit to the Papyrus Institute to learn about this important product, how it’s made, and its use throughout history. This evening, you may choose to join the optional Sound and Light Show at Karnak Temple excursion. Meals: B, L, D
6 Luxor / Edfu
Begin the day with an optional sunrise hot air balloon ride over the amazing sites of the area. After breakfast, today’s excursion visits the stunning tombs at the Valley of the Kings where, for a period of nearly 500 years, tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom.
The walls of the tombs are covered with hieroglyphic writing including text from the Book of the Dead. You’ll visit King Tut’s tomb, and the Queen Hatshepsut Temple which took fifteen years to complete, between the 7th and the 22nd years of her reign. A photo stop is made by the giant Colossi of Memnon before reboarding the ship and departing Luxor. This afternoon, sail to Edfu located on the west bank of the Nile River, some sixty miles south of Luxor. Its ancient name was Wetjeset-Hrw, or “The Place Where Horus is Extolled.” Meals: B, L, D
7 Edfu / Kom Ombo
After breakfast, visit the Temple of Horus in Edfu which is dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god. Not only is this the best preserved ancient temple in Egypt, but it is the second largest after Karnak. In the afternoon, sail to Kom Ombo, a pleasant agricultural town and home to many Nubians. Visit the unusual Temple of Kom Ombo dedicated to both Horus and the crocodile god Sobek. After re-embarking, the ship sails for Aswan. Relax on the Sun Deck as you cruise along the Nile. This afternoon, enjoy a cooking class onboard. Meals: B, L, D
After breakfast, enjoy a tour to the lovely Temple of Philae, one of the last outposts of Egyptian religion, surviving two centuries after the Roman Empire converted to Christianity. This afternoon, enjoy a scenic felucca ride on the Nile. A felucca is a traditional sailboat, relying solely on wind-power, used to transport people and goods on the river. What a great way to enjoy some of the stunning views of the Nile, just as Cleopatra did so many centuries ago! Meals: B, L, D
9 Aswan / Abu Simbel / Cairo
This morning, it’s time to disembark the vessel and encounter one final spectacular sight. Transfer to the Aswan airport for the short flight to Abu Simbel for a visit of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the ‘Nubian Monuments’. Built by one of Egypt’s greatest Pharaoh’s, Ramses II, the larger temple celebrates himself, and the smaller honors his favorite wife, Queen Nefertari. A light lunch is provided at the airport before re-boarding the flight to Cairo. This evening, your Tour Manager hosts a farewell dinner at the hotel. Meals: B, L, D
10 Cairo / USA
This morning, transfer to the Cairo airport and return home with memories of the life enriching experiences from Egypt and your cruise along the Nile River. Meal: B