We tentatively plan to 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. Final flight details will not be determined until September 2018.
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. Final flight details to be confirmed in September 2019.
Transfer to the Hilton Heliopolis hotel l (or similar) for a much-needed night's rest.
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 will visit some of the earliest pyramids: the Bent Pyramid, the Red pyramid, the pyramid of Zozar, and the pyramid of Titi. We will also visit the Mastaba of Kagemeni, the Sed temple, and if time allows, see the Statue of Ramses II at Memphis.
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 and the Great Sphinx. We will also visit a papyrus factory.
After an early breakfast, we head to the Cairo airport to catch our 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. Our first stop will be to see 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.
After lunch, 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.
And our final stop will be 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.
At the end of the day we will board the Movenpick Royal Lotus ship for our Nile cruise.