Secrets of the Nile and Egypt with AmaWaterways
Price: $6,859CAD Per Person
(Price per person, based on double occupancy, cabin category E.)
Video: Journey Through Egypt Along the Nile River on AmaWaterways' River Cruise Ship AmaDahlia
Sail aboard the luxurious AmaDahlia and explore ancient wonders, such as the beguiling Temple of Luxor and the mystifying Valley of the Kings and Queens. Plus, come face-to-face with the last survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Sphinx and the three Pyramids of Giza.
This unforgettable itinerary includes exclusive experiences, such as a private tour of the tomb of Queen Nefertari and a private lunch at the Abdeen Presidential Palace. Uncover the many mysteries and secrets that have shaped Egypt’s past and continue to influence the future of this remarkable land.
Photo: Aerial view of Cairo cityscape at sunset
Day 1: Cairo
Arrive in Cairo, where you will be met by an AmaWaterways representative who will help you with your luggage and the customs and immigration process. With your baggage and customs taken care of and a new stamp in your passport, you will now be driven to your hotel.
Day 2: Cairo
A full day of captivating attractions await, beginning with the exquisite Egyptian Museum, with its 120,000 artifacts on display. Home to some of the greatest masterpieces ever crafted, the museum’s unique collection of Pharaonic art includes ancient mummies and the priceless treasures of Tutankhamen, the Boy King. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious lunch featuring local and international cuisine. Then, visit the Mosque of Muhammad – also known as the Alabaster Mosque – which majestically sits on the summit of the Citadel of Saladin's courtyard. From the arcaded courtyard, enjoy the breathtaking view across the city to the Pyramids of Giza. Inside the Mosque, marvel at an ornate interior and a splendid array of lamps suspended from the intricately decorated ceiling. Afterward, join an evening Welcome Reception hosted by your Cruise Manager.
Day 3: Cairo
Discover the monuments at the UNESCO designated ancient capital of Memphis. Visit the huge statue of Ramses II, the Alabaster Sphinx and the necropolis of Sakkara – site of the famous step pyramid of King Zoser, the oldest pyramid on earth. Next, enjoy a lovely lunch at the famous Mena House, a historic palatial hotel, based in the shadow of the great Pyramids of Giza. Afterwards, you’ll explore the Great Sphinx and the iconic Giza complex, which consists of three large pyramids built between 2,589 BC and 2,504 BC. Enjoy the evening at your leisure.
Photo: Couple taking in the view of pyramids
Day 4: Cairo - Luxor - Embarkation
After checking out of the hotel, take an early afternoon flight south to Luxor — formerly known as Thebes, the capital city of the New Kingdom of Upper Egypt. Luxor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to two astonishing temples — Karnak and Luxor. Be welcomed aboard the AmaDahlia to begin your Nile River Valley cruise. Relax and settle in and before dinner, meet your crew and celebrate with a Captain’s Welcome Cocktail.
Day 5: Luxor
Begin the day with a visit to the Valley of Queens, home to the mummified remains of more than 30 queens and princesses, including Nefertari’s Tomb, where you’ll enjoy exclusive access. Next, visit the tombs of ancient Egypt in the Valley of the Kings — one of the most famous archeological sites in the world. The spectacular rockcut tombs located on the west bank of Luxor include that of the enigmatic King Tutankhamun, whose mummified remains are still here on display. Afterwards, go to Deir el Bahri to see the Temple of Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s most successful pharaohs and the country’s first female ruler. Your day’s adventure concludes with an upclose view of the Colossi of Memnon — two gigantic statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Once back on board the AmaDahlia, relax on the Upper Deck and take in the amazing scenery or join the AmaDahlia chef to an informal cooking class.
Photo: Tourists viewing hieroglyphics in a Luxor Pyramid
Day 6: Edfu
The city of Edfu is best known for one of Egypt’s most remarkably preserved temples, dedicated to Horus, the falcon headed god. Built-in 230 BC, it is the second largest temple in Egypt and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with walls that display compelling details about the religion and language of the country’s Greco-Roman period. After visiting Edfu, relax on board and take in the Nile River’s timeless landscapes as the ship continues onward to Aswan.
Day 7: Aswan
Enjoy free time in Aswan or go on an optional excursion to Abu Simbel (must be pre-booked). If you purchased the optional excursion, enjoy an early morning flight over Lake Nasser to the more than 3,000 year old Abu Simbel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dedicated to Ramses II, one of the most active of pharaohs, along with the smaller temple dedicated to his chief wife Queen Nefertari. The front of the main temple has four gargantuan statues of Ramses II on his throne, each measuring nearly 70 feet high and discovered half buried in sand in 1813. Later in the afternoon, take a peaceful ride in a felucca, a traditional Egyptian sailboat, around beautiful Elephantine Island, which locals say is the home to legendary Egyptian god Khnumo. Cap the day off with an optional late afternoon tea at the historic Old Cataract Hotel, a 19th century Victorian Palace crafted in rose granite. Delight in an authentic “high tea” experience and revel in the stunning views overlooking the Nile and Elephantine Island. After dinner tonight, continue to experience Egyptian magic with a traditional folkloric style belly dance on board the AmaDahlia.
Photo: Aswan River Nile
Day 8: Aswan - Kom Ombo
Board a motorboat and cruise to the UNESCO designated Philae Temple complex, boasting some of the most stunningly restored and preserved hieroglyphs in Egypt. It was constructed between 380 BC and 362 BC and dedicated to the goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus. Next head to a colorful Nubian village on Hisa Island. Meet the warm and friendly Nubian people who will welcome you to their village. During the afternoon, cruise to the Great Temple of Kom Ombo, where its soaring columns dramatically rise above the Nile River. Unique in Egypt, this temple is dedicated to two gods — the crocodile god, Sobek, sitting on the right; and the falcon headed Haroeris, “The Good Doctor.” After visiting Kom Ombo, relax on board and take in the Nile River’s timeless landscapes as the ship continues onward to Luxor. In the evening, join your crew outside in a celebration of local customs with the chance to don a Galabeya, traditional Egyptian attire, and toast to the rich culture and history of the Nile River Valley.
Photo: Spices and cereals at a Nubian village market
Day 9: Luxor
Spend a morning of scenic cruising along the glistening Nile River. Relax on the Sun Deck as you cruise from Esna back to Luxor. First, explore the Temple of Karnak, the largest religious complex in Egypt and one of the largest in the world, covering about 200 acres in a vast network of columns, hieroglyphics, obelisks, sphinxes and colossi — even a lake is on the grounds. The Hypostyle Hall is a great architectural marvel and filled with its roof blocks, supported by colossal 134 columns standing at 70 feet high, with 12 larger columns standing at 80 feet high lining the central aisle. This hall is still the largest room of any religious building in the world. After visiting the temple, journey to a museum and discover the art of papyrus making. Learn how the ancient Egyptians used this special plant that flourished in the Egyptian Delta and Nile River Valley. Made from the aquatic papyrus plant, also known as paper plant, this unique writing material served many purposes in ancient times from sails, cloth, food and especially paper for important documents and texts. Afterwards, you will visit the Temple of Luxor, constructed over hundreds of years by Amenhotep III, Ramses II, Tutankhamun and other pharaohs. You then have the option of heading back to the ship to relax or visiting the colorful Luxor Market, where you can find eyecatching piles of spices, jewelry and clothing as well as irresistible smells of incense and perfumes.
Day 10: Qena
Set sail to Qena to explore its ancient Egyptian heritage. You’ll go to Dendara to visit the best preserved temple in Egypt, the Temple of Hathor – the Goddess of Love, to whom the powers of joy, feminine love and motherhood were attributed. The temple was built by Ptolemy and a group of Romans who worshipped her; so don’t miss the back of the temple where there is a relief depicting Cleopatra with Caesarion, her son by Julius Caesar, the Roman Emperor who brought us the months of July and August. Following your visit here, sail back to Luxor.
Day 11: Luxor - Cairo - Disembarkation
Disembark the ship in Luxor and fly back to Cairo where you will be taken to the Abdeen Presidential Palace, considered one of the most luxurious palaces in the world. The palace consists of multiple museums, including the Silver Museum; the Arms Museum; the Royal Family Museum; a Presidential Gifts Museum and a Historical Documents Museum, which is a relatively new addition. It is also one of the official residences and places of work for the President of Egypt. Afterwards, be treated to a very special lunch at the palace. Finally, you’ll explore the old part of the city, which includes Coptic Cairo, where the Hanging Church and Ben Ezra Synagogue are located.
Day 12: Depart Cairo
Bid farewell to Cairo and prepare for your flight home.