Fraiday - Aswan (High Dam, Philae, Obelisk)

Embarkation on Cruise Ship, start a tour of Aswan High Dam, Egypt's modern example of building on a monumental scale. Next, proceed to the granite quarries which supplied the ancient Egyptians with most of the hard stone used in pyramids and temples. The quarries still hold the Unfinished Obelisk, possibly intended as a companion to the Lateran Obelisk, originally at Karnak but now in Rome. It would have weighed over 1,100 tons and would have been the world's largest piece of stone ever handled. Continue by a short motor-boat ride to the Temple of Philae on the island of Agilka. The temple was dedicated to Isis, sister/wife of Osiris and patroness of the Ptolemaic rule. Then transferred back to your cruise vessel for lunch, in the afternoon sail around Elephantine Island on a felucca, the traditional Egyptian sail boat Return to your cruise vessel and sail to Kom-Ombo, Dinner on board and overnight in Kom-Ombo. (B, L, D)

 

Saturday - (Kom Ombo & Edfu)

After breakfast, visit the Temple of Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of fertility and creator of the world. The temple stands at a bend in the Nile where, in ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the riverbank. Return to your cruise and sail to Edfu, set out by horse-drawn carriage to visit the Temple of Horus, the largest and most perfectly preserved of all the Nile temples. Horus, also known as Haroeris, was the falcon-headed solar war god. Back to cruise and sail to Esna. Cross the lock of Esna Dinner, overnight on Luxor. (B, L, D)

 

Sunday - (Luxor – West & East Banks)

After breakfast on board, cross to the West Bank of the Nile and visit the wondrous Valley of the Kings, a vast city of the dead, where the magnificent tombs of 62 pharaohs have been discovered. The tombs were carved deep into the desert rock, richly decorated and filled with treasures for the afterlife of the pharaohs. Visit several of the tombs. Next, visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. This beautiful monument to the reign of the only female pharaoh rises out of the desert plain in a series of terraces and merges with the sheer limestone cliffs that surround it. On the way back stop at the famed Colossi of Memnon, two 66ft, 1 thousand ton statues of Amenhotep III. These colossal statues were known by the ancient Greeks to emit haunting voices at dawn. Though damaged by nature and ancient tourists, the statues are still impressive, back to cruise and Lunch on board. In afternoon visit Karnak Temple, called by some “the Temple of Temples.” It is the largest place of worship ever built. Its ancient name Ipet-Isut means “the most sacred of places.” The temple, or, more correctly, the complex of temples, was built over more than two thousand years by generation after generation of pharaohs. Within the complex, the great “Hypostyle Hall” is an incredible forest of giant pillars covering an area larger than the whole of Notre Dame Cathedral. Proceed to the graceful Temple of Luxor built by Amenhotep III and Ramses II for ritual and festivals and dedicated to the god Amun. Return buck to cruise for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)

 

Monday - Luxor

After breakfast, disembarkation from the ship (B)