December 9 – 17, 2021
From Cairo to Luxor to Aswan, discover your love of Egypt with Mary Eisenhower!
Day 1: Tuesday, December 9, 2021 │ Arrival in Cairo
Upon arrival to Cairo International Airport (CAI), your guide will transfer you to the
InterContinental Cairo Semiramis Hotel located on the banks of the Nile. Meet your fellow delegates and gather in one of the hotel’s private ballrooms for a welcome cocktail reception.
Day 2: Wednesday, December 10, 2021 │ Cairo
After breakfast at the hotel, join students from a local school for a Welcome Speech. Next, travel with these students to the Right to Live Association (RTLA), a non-profit organization founded in 1981 on the behalf of Egyptian children with special needs. Meet with RTLA’s Founder Ms. Abeer Khamis, Resource Development Coordinator, and the committee. They will discuss their project and training to aid mentally handicapped children. Enjoy lunch this afternoon with the children. Then take a unique walking tour through Cairo’s old gates towards El Khayameya street. Find the oldest part of the Bazaar, which is devoted to the workshops and stalls of traditional applique craftsmen. Their art, unique to Egypt, began as a means to decorate the brightly colored hangings used to make traditional tents. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Day 3: Thursday, December 11, 2021 │ Cairo
After breakfast, gather for a presentation about Egypt’s education system by a speaker from the Egyptian Association for Educational Resources (E-ERA). E-ERA is a nonprofit global network that enables young people to use the internet and other new technologies to engage in collaborative education projects that both enhance learning and make a difference in the world.
Afterwards, visit the Grand Egyptian Museum. This museum contains over 100,000 artifacts of Egypt’s past ranging from prehistory to the Graeco-Roman period. One of the most impressive exhibits is that of the boy-King Tutankhamun, which displays over 5,000 artifacts recovered from his tomb, including his gold mask. Behold the museum’s enormous statue of King Ramses II and its 28-meter-high glass façade overlooking the pyramids of Giza.
Next, your guide will chronicle Egypt’s fascinating 7,000 years of history on the drive to the Pyramids of Giza. The Great Pyramids of Giza are the only present-day survivors of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, built about 4,500 years ago as giant tombs for the pharaohs Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, who were father, son, and grandson respectively. In the ancient Egyptian religion, the sides of the pyramids were likened to sun rays on which the Pharaoh ascended to heaven. The pyramids are truly monumental in scale, with the largest, Khufu’s, made of over 2 million blocks. Nearby sits the enigmatic Sphinx, guarding the pyramids. About a thousand years after the Sphinx was built, it was buried in sand until a young prince had a dream in which the Sphinx told him
that he would become Pharaoh if he cleared the sand away. This story is told on the “Dream Stela” that was placed between the Sphinx’s paws by King Tuthmose IV. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before retuning to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Day 4: Friday, December 12, 2021│ Cairo – Luxor
Board your domestic flight from Cairo to Luxor this morning, then ride to the 5-star deluxe Sanctuary NileAdventurer Cruiseship. On board, you will be welcomed by the reception staff, who will offer you chilled fruit juice and assist you with your checkin.
Enjoy a delicious lunch aboard before an afternoon visit to the West Bank of Luxor. There, explore the Valley of the Kings, a vast City of the Dead where magnificent tombs were carved into the desert rocks, decorated richly, and filled with treasures for the afterlife by generations of Pharaohs. You will also have the chance to visit at least one tomb in the Valley of the Queens.
Rising out of the desert plain in a series of terraces, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut (Ancient Egypt’s only female Pharaoh) merges with the sheer limestone cliffs that surround it, as if nature herself had built this extraordinary monument. On the way back to the river Nile, stop for photos at the famed Colossi of Memnon. Back aboard the cruise, the boat manager will greet everyone and introduce you to the boat staff and then review on-board facilities and your cruise program for the next few days.
Enjoy a gourmet dinner with complimentary Egyptian wine and beer.
Day 5: Saturday, December 13, 2021 │ Luxor – Esna
Enjoy a breakfast buffet on board and then visit the Fantasia Cultural Center. The center focuses on strengthening confidence, communication, and collaboration among local children (4 to 16 years old) using tools such as the arts, gardening, poetry, nutrition, health, and coding.
Then visit the Temple of Karnak, built over more than a thousand years by generations of Pharaohs. Return to your boat for lunch while sailing to Esna. An expert Egyptologist will guide you around the Greco-Roman Temple of Khnum at Esna. The beautifully preserved Great Hypostyle Hall, built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius, was excavated from the silt that had accumulated through centuries of annual Nile floods. It is an incredible forest of giant pillars, covering an area larger than the whole of Notre Dame Cathedral. After your adventure, enjoy afternoon tea and dinner during the cruise to Edfu.
Day 6: Sunday, December 14, 2021 │ Edfu – Kom Ombo
After breakfast on board, visit the Temple of Edfu and explore the largest and most completely preserved Pharaonic—albeit Greek-built—temple in Egypt, the extraordinary Temple of Horus at Edfu. Lunch will be served on board while cruising to Kom Ombo. After lunch, visit 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. Return to your Nile Cruise boat for afternoon tea in the lounge. You will also have the chance to take part in an Egyptian cooking lesson while the boat is sailing to Aswan.
Tonight’s entertainment will be an “Egyptian Night” costume party for all guests, with a chance to dress up in traditional Egyptian “galabeyyas.” Dinner will be a lavish buffet of Egyptian specialties.
Day 7: Monday, December 15, 2021 │ Aswan
A breakfast buffet will be served on board, after which the morning is at your leisure. Enjoy lunch on board, followed by a short motorboat ride to visit the majestic Philae Temple on the Island of Agilika. Next, proceed to the Granite Quarries, which supplied the ancient Egyptians with most of the hard stone used in the pyramids and temples. Take a chance to ride on a felucca (a typical Egyptian sailboat) around Elephantine Island, Lord Kitchener’s Botanical Gardens, and the Agha Khan Mausoleum. Rest and enjoy afternoon tea again in the lounge. Tonight’s farewell dinner will be a gala dinner with waiters serving gourmet cuisine.
Wrap up the night with a Folkloric show and a Dervish show after dinner.
Day 8: Tuesday, December 16, 2021 │ Aswan – Cairo
Enjoy a buffet breakfast on board before check-out time. Disembark and take an air-conditioned vehicle from the Sanctuary Nile Adventurer Cruise ship to Aswan International Airport for your domestic flight. Upon arrival in Cairo, your guide will escort you to Abdeen Palace, which was constructed in 1863 as part of Khedive Ismail‘s plan for a modern Cairo. Inspired by the architecture coming out of Paris at the time, he planned to have the Palace finished by the opening of the 1869 Suez Canal, but the 500 rooms weren’t completed until 1874. The Palace acted as the royal residence until the monarchy was abolished in 1952. Walk through the front archway to explore the museum, which features a large collection of weapons and medals, and admire the incredible architecture. Lunch will be at your leisure, and tonight’s dinner will be held in a private ballroom at the InterContinental Cairo Semiramis Hotel with a closing speech by Mrs. Mary Eisenhower.
Day 9: Wednesday, December 17, 2021 │Depart Cairo
After your final breakfast in Egypt, you will be transferred to the Cairo International Airport (CAI) for your flight home.