Tour Itinerary: Days 1-5
June 25: Depart from USA
We leave Seattle at 5:35 pm on Emirates #230 and arrive in Dubai at 6:55 pm (Monday, June 26). Flight time is 14 hrs 20 minutes on a Boeing 777-300ER. We will have a 3 hour layover in Dubai.
June 26: Arrival in Cairo, Egypt
After arriving in Dubai at 6:55 pm, we have a 3 hr layover in the airport. Our evening flight to Cairo, Egypt departs at 9:55 pm and arrives at 11:45 pm. Flight time is 3 hr 50 min on Emirates Flight #925. We will be flying on an Boeing 777-300ER.
Transfer to the Movenpick Pyramids Hotel (or similar) for a much-needed night's rest.
June 27: The Egyptian Museum and Ancient Cairo
Today we tour the secrets of ancient Cairo. Our day will begin with a visit to the Egyptian Museum. The museum contains 120,000 ancient Egyptian antiquities, including its famous mummies room! After the museum we will cross the street for a visit to the Papyrus Factory, where we will learn how ancient papyrus (paper) was made from papyrus reeds.
After lunch, which is provided during our entire time in Egypt, we visit several fascinating ancient sites. We will begin with a trip to the Hanging Church, the most famous Coptic Christian church in Cairo, and which dates back to the 7th century. Next we stop at an even older church, the Church of St. Sergius. This church is traditionally believed to have been built on the spot where Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus Christ, rested at the end of their journey into Egypt. The church dates back to the 4th century. Our final stop before dinner is the Synagogue of Ben Ezra. According to local folklore, it is located on the site where baby Moses was found.
After dinner, our day clouds with a trip to Giza to watch the Pyramids Sound and Light Show.
June 28: Giza Pyramids and the Great Sphinx
Following breakfast, we depart for an amazing adventure at the Giza Pyramids. According to scholars, these ancient structures date back to about the year 2,500 BC--basically to the time of Abraham. In addition to marveling at the pyramids from the outside, you'll also have the chance to go inside and climb the narrow passage way leading into the King's Chamber!
After lunch, we will visit the Solar Barque Museum, where we will see the reassembled Khufu ship--an ancient ship that disassembled around the funeral rites into 1224 small pieces before being buried near the pyramids in the boat pit. Our final stop will be to Saqqara, the ancient burial ground in Egypt where we will see numerous pyramids, including the world famous Step pyramid of Djoser.
June 29: Abu Simbel and Great Temple of Ramses II
After an early breakfast, we head to the Cairo airport to catch our flight to Abu Simbel and Aswan. In Abu Simbel we will visit two massive rock temples, the Great Temple of Ramesses II and the smaller Temple of Hathor, personified by Nefertari, Ramesses's most beloved of his many wives. Nefertari.
After seeing the great temples of Abu Simbel, we will head to the airport for our short flight to Aswan. Aswan is a busy market and tourist center located just north of the Aswan Dams on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract. After lunch, we will head off to visit the ancient St. Simeon’s Monastery--including the 15 minute camel ride it will take for us to get there. The abandoned Monastery of St. Simeon is one of the largest and best preserved Coptic monasteries of all Egypt. The construction of the monastery begun in the 6th century, but it’s believed that it was not completed until the 7th century. It was first dedicated to Amba Hadra, a bishop of Aswan who lived in the fourth century. It is said that Amba Hadra, on the day after his wedding, encountered a funeral procession which inspired him to live the remaining years of his life as a hermit.
Our day will conclude with a visit to the Aswan Market for some souvenirs.
Dinner & overnight at the Basma Aswan Hotel (or similar).
June 30: The Temple of Isis and a Nile Cruise
After breakfast at the hotel, we will head out for a full day tour visiting the Unfinished Obelisk at the ancient Egyptian Granite Quarry. The Unfinished Obelisk is the largest known ancient obelisk that exists today. It was ordered by Queen Hatshepsut (1508–1458 BC), who many believe to have been the princess who rescued baby Moses. It is nearly one third larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk ever erected. If had not cracked , the finished obelisk would have measured around approximately 137 fee and would have weighed nearly 1,200 tons.
Next we head on board our 5 Star Nile Cruise Boat just in time for lunch. We will enjoy a nice leisurely lunch followed by trip to the Temple of Isis on the Island of Philae. Philae in Greek or Pilak in ancient Egyptian, meaning ‘the end,’ defined the southern most limit of ancient Egypt. It was begun by Ptolemy II and completed by the Roman Emperors.
Dinner and Overnight on board our cruise ship.
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