A Portrait of Egypt (sailing Luxor to Aswan)

With so much to discover in this alluring destination, Egypt deserves in-depth exploration and that’s how we’ve tailored the journey.

Journey Overview

With so much to discover in this alluring destination, Egypt deserves in-depth exploration and that’s how we’ve tailored the journey. You’ll be guided to the most iconic museums and ancient monuments around Cairo and along the Nile and be introduced to some unexpected attractions that will take you off the beaten path. See a different side of Cairo in its Coptic neighbourhood and browse the stalls of its oldest bazaar, explore some unexpected tombs at Aswan and key WWII battlegrounds in the Western Desert with time to soak up the Mediterranean vibe in Alexandria.

Journey Highlights

  • Marvel at the mighty Pyramids and Sphinx and recently excavated tombs of their builders
  • Stay in grand Victorian style at two Nile-side palace hotels
  • Cruise for four nights in luxury aboard the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV
  • Admire vivid wall paintings in Aswan’s tombs of the Nobles
  • Discover Roman ruins and the ultra-modern Library in Alexandria
  • Learn sobering stories of Australian soldiers at the renowned war site of El Alamein
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Cairo

Receive a warm A&K welcome on your arrival and transfer privately to your luxury hotel on the banks of the River Nile. Cairo, the bustling Egyptian capital is home to colourful markets, authentic Arabic restaurants and an inspiring art scene. Spend time orientating yourself with a leisurely walk around the tree-lined streets of the Garden City neighbourhood, admiring celebrated local artworks in the lobby or simply meandering along the waterfront Corniche.

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza

Day 2: Cairo

Journey south of Cairo to the necropolis of Sakkara and the impressive Imhotep Museum located at the foot of the complex. In addition to the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser, (also known as Saqqara Pyramid), and the step tomb built during the reign of the Third Dynasty, Saqqara is home to different monuments and burial sites. There were 16 royal pyramids here and some still remain. The Imhotep Museum houses relics from the Saqqara area including a Ptolemaic mummy discovered during the excavation of the Pharaoh Teti's pyramid complex and a large double statue that was found near the causeway of the Unas complex. The statue depicts the 19th Dynasty High Priest of Mut, Amenemopet, and his wife.

Continue to the 4,500-year old Pyramids of Giza, built for Pharaohs Cheops, the oldest and largest, Chephren and Mycerinus, the smallest. The Great Pyramid of Giza (Pyramid of Cheops) is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence and you’ll have privileged access into the tomb. Just to the east lies the legendary Great Sphinx rising from the Giza plateau. Having inspired the imaginations of emperors, poets, artists, scholars and travellers for centuries, it remains a truly enigmatic feature of Cairo.

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza | Meals: BL

Day 3: Cairo

Wander through 7,000 years of history accompanied by your private Egyptologist at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities and uncover the treasures of Tutankhamun and the Mummy Room. Designed by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon, the Egyptian Museum is home to more than 120,000 ancient artifacts including the funerary mask of Tutankhamun made from 11kg of solid gold, discovered by Howard Carter in 1925. Cairo has so much more to offer: ancient monuments, glittering mosques, imposing citadels, a labyrinthine bazaar and old Coptic churches. This afternoon, choose a walking tour of Islamic Cairo and an adventure in the Khan El Khalili bazaar; or a visit to old Cairo including the Coptic Museum.

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza | Meals: BL

Day 4: Cairo – Luxor

Set off on your morning flight south to Luxor where you are met and transferred to your elegant hotel on the Corniche facing the Nile River. After time to refresh, drive north to Dendera to discover the Ptolemaic temple of the goddess Hathor, who enjoyed great devotion as the deity of maternal and family love, beauty and music, and whom the Greeks associated with Aphrodite. This wonderfully preserved temple complex is almost intact, allowing a special glimpse of its former glory. Hathor is portrayed throughout with a cow head or cow ears. Return to your accommodation where the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Tonight, witness a dazzling Sound and Light show at the Temple of Karnak. Wander through the history of the world's largest-ever temple complex, narrated by the voices of the pharaohs, and watch the shadows play off the enormous columns in the grand Hypostyle Hall.

Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor | Meals: B

Day 5: Luxor

Transfer to the private riverside dock to board Sanctuary Sun Boat IV or Sanctuary Nile Adventurer, your luxurious home afloat the River Nile. This morning, you have an opportunity to visit the strikingly, graceful Temple of Luxor.

After lunch on board, join your Egyptologist on a tour of the West Bank of Luxor to explore the Valley of the Kings, most famous for the tomb of Tutankhamun, with its legendary treasures, discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.2 There are 63 tombs here, with different ones open each day. You also have the chance to visit at least one tomb in the Valley of the Queens and visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. On your way back to the river pass by the famed Colossi of Memnon, the two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep II. This evening on board enjoy drinks, dinner and a cultural performance.

Sanctuary Sun Boat IV or Sanctuary Nile Adventurer | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Luxor – Edfu

After breakfast on board, begin your day with a visit to the Temple of Karnak, the world’s largest religious site. Spread over 200 acres, this complex of ruined temples, pylons, sacred lakes and chapels is breath-taking and an insight to the extraordinary achievements of the pharaohs. Lunch is served in the lounge whilst you sail to Esna.

After lunch, explore the Greco-Roman Temple of Khnum at Esna. The beautifully-preserved Great Hypostle Hall was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius; it was excavated from the silt that had accumulated through centuries of annual Nile floods and is about nine meters lower than present-day street level. Back on board enjoy afternoon tea and later dinner as the ship cruises to Edfu.

Sanctuary Sun Boat IV or Sanctuary Nile Adventurer | Meals: BLD

Day 7: Edfu – Aswan

Following breakfast, explore the extraordinary Temple of Horus, one of the best-preserved shrines in Egypt.

Back on board, lunch is served as you cruise to Kom Ombo. Venture ashore to the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to the crocodile-god Sobek. The temple stands at a bend in the Nile where, in ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the riverbank. Later, afternoon tea is served in the lounge and you have the chance to take part in an Egyptian cooking lesson as you sail to Aswan, a bustling market town in the south. Tonight, an Egyptian themed event is planned on board with traditional entertainment and local cuisine.

Sanctuary Sun Boat IV or Sanctuary Nile Adventurer | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Aswan

A breakfast buffet is served on board and the morning is at leisure.

After lunch, board a motorboat for the short ride to the Island of Agilika where you visit the majestic Philae Temple, a beautiful shrine dedicated to the goddess Isis, which was rescued from the rising waters of the Aswan Dam in the 1960s and rebuilt stone by stone on higher ground. Next stop is the Granite Quarries, which supplied the ancient Egyptians with most of the hard stone used in their pyramids and temples, here you will also see the Unfinished Obelisk, located in the northern region of the stone quarries.

You will also have a chance later today for a short cruise on a felucca (a typical Egyptian sail boat) around Elephantine Island, Lord Kitchener’s Botanical Gardens and the Aga Khan Mausoleum. Tonight, there will be a farewell dinner.

Sanctuary Sun Boat IV or Sanctuary Nile Adventurer | Meals: BLD

Day 9: Aswan

Disembark this morning and take a short flight to one of Egypt’s most awe-inspiring sights – the colossal temples of Ramses II and Queen Nefertari at Abu Simbel. Built by Ramses the Great on the edge of his empire to impress his might and power upon all those entering Egypt through the south, these massive temples were moved stone by stone in 1964 to higher ground to escape the rising waters of Lake Nasser. Following your visit return to Aswan and your hotel.

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan | Meals: BL

Day 10: Aswan

Venture to the desert cliffs of Aswan's west bank to seek out the tombs of ancient Egyptian governors and nobles from the 23rd to the 18th century BC. Many of the tombs still have vivid wall paintings showing scenes of everyday life in ancient Egypt and hieroglyphic biographies of the nobles. The 12th dynasty tombs of Sarenput I and Sarenput II are the most elaborate. In the latter, look out for the stone slab used for sacrifices with a drainage spout for the blood. This evening visit the vibrant Aswan Spice Market, featuring an eclectic mix of merchandise from colourful and fragrant spices piled high, to souvenirs produced by local artisans including perfumes, scarves and baskets.

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan | Meals: B

Day 11: Aswan – Alexandria

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cairo and journey by road to Alexandria, the “Pearl of the Mediterranean". This seaside city has been a destination for travellers since its foundation by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. After declining into a sleepy fishing village, Alexandria was revived in the 19th century as an important port with immigrants from Europe and the Levant arriving here to settle, bringing a cosmopolitan flair that was so aptly captured in Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet.

On arrival the remainder of the day is at leisure to relax at the hotel – you may choose to enjoy its private stretch of sandy beach or instead amble through the San Stefano neighbourhood, known for its architecture, fine dining and high-end shopping.

Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano | Meals: BL

Day 12: Alexandria

Descend into the Catacombs of Kom El Shugafa, the largest Roman burial site in Egypt and the final resting place for 300 individuals, whose tombs are cut into the bedrock in massive tiers. The artisans who built the tombs in the second century AD combined ancient Egyptian and Graeco-Roman motifs in a fascinating style.

Continue to the Library of Alexandria which was reborn in a daring design in 2002 on the supposed site of the ancient library, an important seat of leaning which burned to the ground in the fourth century AD. Afterwards, continue to the Roman Amphitheatre and imagine the crowds cheering at a musical performance or a wrestling match. The amphitheatre is the only one of its kind in Egypt and has room for 800 spectators on white marble seats. The acoustics are such that if you stand on the stage and whisper, a person in the back row should be able to hear you. After lunch take a short drive to view the Abu El-Abbas Mosque and a photo stop at the Qait Bay Fortress.

Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano | Meals: BL

Day 13: Alexandria – Cairo

Departing Alexandria, journey west along the Mediterranean coast to El Alamein, scene of two of the most decisive battles of World War II. Follow the stories of Australian diggers in the Military Museum and Commonwealth War Cemetery, where 7,000 tombstones overlook the desert battlefield. Transfer back to Cairo for your last night.

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza | Meals: BL

Day 14: Depart Cairo

Private transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

Meals: B

Journey Details

Note: For select dates, the sailing component of this itinerary can be operated on the Sanctuary Nile Adventurer'.

Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo

A Portrait of Egypt (sailing Luxor to Aswan)
A&K Favourite

The majestic Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza is a beacon of sophisticated hospitality on the legendary Corniche along the bank of ... Read more

Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor

A Portrait of Egypt (sailing Luxor to Aswan)
A&K Favourite

The Winter Palace was built in 1886, within a tropical garden on the banks of the Nile. The hotel has a central location, just minutes fr... Read more

Sanctuary Sun Boat IV

A Portrait of Egypt (sailing Luxor to Aswan)
A&K Favourite

This beautifully appointed and perfectly designed vessel offers a cruise experience like no other. The craft is spacious, intimate and el... Read more

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan

A Portrait of Egypt (sailing Luxor to Aswan)
A&K Favourite

A favourite hotel in Egypt for old world charm with a delightful old world elegance. Positioned on a pink granite outcrop overlooking the... Read more

Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano

A Portrait of Egypt (sailing Luxor to Aswan)
A&K Favourite

Four Seasons rekindles the glamour and prestige of San Stefano, Egypt's legendary Mediterranean resort. It's impossible not to be impress... Read more

Journey Dates & Prices

As this suggested itinerary can be personalised to your specific requirements, it is not available for online booking.

Depending on your preferred dates and arrangements, final pricing will vary from low season to peak season travel.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry to book this journey.

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