Egypt is forever an enigma. It has been a source of fascination since the days of Alexander and Cleopatra. Exploring its landscape and diving into its rich culture, we have designed a unique journey combining the leisure of a Nile cruise and on-land explorations. Our Egyptian voyage has three main components: Cairo and the Pyramids of Giza, an intimate Nile River cruisebookended by a journey to the ancient city of Luxor. Your voyage to Egypt will be extensive. After the hustle bustle of Cairo you’ll welcome the peaceful pace of the cruise before your whirlwind and breathtaking tour of the ancient sites in Luxor and Abu Simbel.
Stand in Awe of the Oldest Wonder of the World
Seeing the Great Pyramids of Egypt while in Cairo is a “bucket list” destination for most. And they won’t disappoint, especially when you experience them in the way we’ve designed.
Contemplate the construction of the Pyramids on a private visit after hours, sans the crowds. Our special permit lets you crawl into the tunnels unhindered by crowds and affords the opportunity to meditate and find your peace in the cavernous tomb of Pharaoh Khufu, constructed over 5,000 years ago! In sheer awe you can’t help but wonder how in ancient times, without steam, electricity, or machinery, the Egyptians built this immense monument. Only once you witness them in person can you truly grasp why they’ve captivated scholars of every discipline.
Cairo is a bustling city replete with modern trappings of glitzy hotels, river cruise boats and grand mosques. But its best showcase is the Cairo Museum, home to artifacts, sculptures, complete temples and the famous collection of Tutankhamun’s tomb treasures. The scale of the might, wealth and ingenuity of the Pharaonic times is abundantly evident.
Not to miss is the off the beaten track Djoser Pyramid and the surrounding necropolis in Saqqara. It is even older by a few dynasties than the Grand Pyramids in Giza. The surrounding temples and tombs are home to some exquisite wall art and the thrill is that more intact tombs are being discovered to this day! The majesty of the pyramids will soon lead to one of the most ancient and iconic journeys in the world.
Sail down the Nile as Ancient Egyptians Did
For most of us, “cruise” conjures up images of floating Las Vegas casinos packed with people, but our Nile cruise is anything but. With a crew of only about eight local experts, we’ve chartered an entire dahabiya, a type of sailboat that has glided along the Nile since the Pharaohs ruled. It beckons you on deck to immerse yourself in all that the Nile offers.
The larger cruise boats offer opulent cabins, spas and infinity pools. Our curated voyage on this life-giving river is intimate and tailored to your tastes. You and the crew will be on a first-name basis by the time you disembark!
One of the best things about sailing down the Nile on a dahabiya is the opportunity to experience the landscape and rhythm of Egyptian life. It’s leisure travel personified. The greatest advantage of a dahabiya over larger cruise ships is its ability to drop anchor anywhere along the shore. Only then can you visit off-the-beaten path historic sites, like El Kab, once capital of ancient Egypt and home to the temple of Nekhbet. The city of Edfu with its magnificent Greco-Roman edifices is also a must-see; most miss this gem aboard the big cruises. We sail leisurely during the day rather than at night. Stand on the shady, cool deck and be astonished by the quiet beauty of the desert, the vastness of sugar cane fields, and everything else this ancient land offers. Allow the staff to provide you with refreshments while your guide describes what you’re seeing. Your Nile adventure will enrich your knowledge of the history, culture, and the nuances of Egyptian life.
Unique Experiences along the Nile
Despite the relaxed pace, there’s still plenty to do on our Egyptian Nile River cruise. Each day aboard the dahabiya is distinct. One evening, we may dock in a quiet village to enjoy sundowner cocktails on the shores of the life-giving Nile. We’ll then make our way to dinner, meandering along village by-lanes to imbibe the local color before dining on whatever’s fresh. On another day, we will drop by to enjoy tea at the home of one of our Egyptian friends! We’ve cultivated relationships with local merchants and residents along our path, and these connections help us provide our fellow travelers with an authentic experience. Ever wonder where the sandstone & granite for Egypt’s monuments came from? Well, aboard our dahabiya you will explore an ancient quarry and wonder how these gigantic stones weighing several tons were lowered down the cliffs. This overnight stop at the flood lit quarry of Gebel el-Silsila is only possible on a Dahabiya.
Luxor – The Valley of the Kings and the Karnak Temple
By now you will be rejuvenated by the serenity and beauty of the Nile, and it’s time to visit those places you’ve always dreamed of. The magnificence of the pyramids might be quickly overshadowed when you see the incredible temple complexes, artifacts, and intricate wall paintings in the tombs and temples in the city of Luxor. The drumbeat increases in pace.
The Valley of the Kings has captivated travelers since Tutankhamun was unearthed in the 1920s. Even in this century, archaeologists have continued to make extraordinary revelations of new, untouched tombs. New discoveries have unfolded as each year passes with new opportunities for you to uncover more of this ancient civilization’s mysteries.
You might be surprised by how fascinating it is to see the contrast between the ruins and the raided tombs and the more recently discovered resting places that are still almost intact. Your imagination will run wild as the opulence of the places comes to light. Imagine the lengths that the tomb raiders went through to carry out their crimes and the astonishment they must have felt when they finally broke in.
Our journey back in time continues as we visit the gargantuan Temple of Karnak. You will be transported into the cradle of civilization as you stand in the heart of the ancient city of Thebes. This vast complex was constructed over the course of centuries. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it contains artifacts, colossal statues, unbelievable feats of engineering, all constructed between about 1970-30 BC.
Hold your breath as your Egyptian travels continue, as no visit to Luxor is complete without a climb down into the depths of Tutankhamun’s tomb. While his tomb is simple and relatively bare the burial chambers of SETI 1 and Nefertari’s are anything but. The opulence and sheer scale of the wall paintings will leave you awe struck. The lengths the builders went to decorating these tombs is beyond words. These tombs need special tickets making for a very private and relaxed peek into ancient times.
Immerse Yourself in the Adventure of a Lifetime
We have labored to find the words in this blog post to convey the sheer wonder of the things you’ll see on this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Seeing them is believing; pictures can never do them justice.
We visit during a time of the year when the weather is most amenable and strive to deliver a unique, customized experience for all our guests aboard the dahabiya and in the ancient cities. Contact us to learn more and begin your planning process. We can’t wait to experience Egypt with you.