Ancient Egypt & the Nile River

Highlights & InclusionsItineraryPricing Information Terms & Conditions
Departure Date: October 10, 2019
Duration: 16 Days / 15 Nights
Price from: $4,295
Single Room Supplement: Please call
Request Booking

In order to bring you the greatest selection of destinations and itineraries, Gutsy Women Travel has worked with our partner GCCL to reserve space on this 2019 guided vacation. This trip is open to men and women, and will operate with a larger group size than our traditional Gutsy Women departures.


Highlights & Inclusions

  • Be sure to mention booking code G9-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!
  • Airport transfers are included when you purchase our operator's International air to coincide with trip's day by day agenda.
  • Accommodations: 7 nights in Cairo and 7 nights aboard Grand Circle's privately chartered river ship, the Nefertiti
  • 34 meals: 14 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 10 dinners
  • 14 included tours with personal headsets and 7 Exclusive Discovery Series events—Hieroglyphics & Arabic language discussion • Gayer Anderson house visit • Modern Egypt discussion • Home-Hosted Dinner • Life on the Nile discussion • Spice market excursion • Nile motorboat ride
  • Local Program Directors, a Grand Circle Cruise Line exclusive: These dedicated experts are with you and your group of 25 travelers from beginning to end to provide insider’s knowledge and the perspective that will enrich your experience
  • Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers
  • All port charges
  • Baggage handling for 1 piece of luggage per person, including tips
  • Visa fees for entrance to Egypt (if you have an airport transfer with us in Cairo)
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit toward your next trip

Itinerary

When you travel to Egypt and cruise the Nile River, you’ll uncover a land of superlatives: the largest and most ancient temple complexes in the world ... the grandest, most inspiring pyramids ... the priceless treasures of Tutankhamun ... and some of the friendliest, most welcoming people. What you've only seen in books—what you've dreamed of since childhood—will come to life.

Embark on this once-in-a-lifetime journey with Grand Circle Cruise Line, and you’ll also experience a more intimate, in-depth exploration of Egypt as explore on land in small groups of 25, guided by one of our expert local Program Directors from the beginning of your journey to its end—giving you unparalleled access to experiences out of reach for larger touring companies. Stand in awe among the Pyramids of Giza without feeling lost in a large group; cruise the Nile River aboard our privately chartered 75-passenger Nile river ship, the Nefertiti ... it all adds up to an incredible Egyptian experience at Grand Circle Cruise Line’s unbeatable value.

DAY 1

Depart U.S.

Depart today on your flight to Cairo, Egypt. Please refer to your individual air itinerary for exact departure and arrival times. Or begin your discoveries early with our optional Jerusalem, Israel & Amman, Jordan pre-trip extension.

DAY 2

Arrival in Cairo

Accommodations: InterContinental Cairo Semiramis or similar

Upon arrival in Cairo, you will be met at the airport and assisted with your transfer to your hotel, where our Egyptian Program Director will be waiting to greet you. You’ll unite with travelers arriving from the pre-trip extension to Jerusalem and Amman and get acquainted with your group on an orientation walk through the city.

Dinner is on your own tonight.

DAY 3

Cairo • Hieroglyphic & Arabic language discussion • Egyptian Museum • Welcome Dinner

Meals included: B D Accommodations: InterContinental Cairo Semiramis or similar

After breakfast, gather for a briefing on your upcoming trip. Your Program Director will go over the details and answer any questions you may have. You’ll also attend an Exclusive Discovery Series discussion on hieroglyphics and the Arabic language to get a feel for the linguistic past and present of the nation you’ll be exploring.

After lunch on your own, visit the world-renowned Egyptian Museum. Accompanied by your Program Director, you’ll stroll through the halls highlighting each historical period of this ancient land. You may want to enter the Royal Mummies room for an additional fee and view the “sleeping” Kings of ancient Egypt.

This evening, enjoy some leisure time—perhaps to muse over the day’s discoveries—before sitting down to cocktails and a Welcome Dinner at your hotel.

DAY 4

Cairo • Fatimid Cairo • Gayer Anderson Historical Art Museum • Khan El Khalili • Modern Egypt discussion

Meals included: B L Accommodations: InterContinental Cairo Semiramis or similar

This morning after breakfast, you’ll discover Fatimid Cairo, or Medieval Cairo. Walk down Moez Street—one of the oldest streets in Egypt en route to an Exclusive Discovery Series event: a visit to the Gayer Anderson Historical Art Museum nearby. This structure is an architectural marvel all its own, but within its walls is a large collection of intricate pieces for you to feast your eyes on.

Your stroll past the ancient minarets, domes, and bazaars of this densely-packed neighborhood will conclude at the fabled Khan al-Khalili bazaar, a maze of narrow alleys teeming with shops of glittering gold, colorful silks, and exotic spices.

After lunch at a local restaurant, return to your hotel to relax or head back out into the city for your own explorations. Then, rejoin with your group for an Exclusive Discovery Series conversation with a local, where you’ll engage in a frank and candid discussion about modern-day Egypt. This is your chance to ask any burning question on your mind about current events or everyday life.

Dinner tonight is on your own.

DAY 5

Cairo • Optional Memphis & Sakkara tour • Home-Hosted Dinner

Meals included: B D Accommodations: InterContinental Cairo Semiramis or similar

This morning, you're free to make your own discoveries in the Egyptian capital.

Or, join our optional Memphis & Sakkara tour. These regions are home to some of Egypt’s most famed pyramids, tombs, and other ancient relics. Your tour starts in Memphis, where you’ll visit the Statue of Ramses II, an eleven-meter-high likeness of the third Pharaoh that was created 3,200 years ago. Admire this towering structure before getting another perspective on Egypt's unique architecture in Sakkara, a vast and ancient burial ground that’s teeming with the secrets of city’s past. Here, you’ll see the world’s oldest major stone structure, which was built to honor King Djoser of the third dynasty. You'll also visit the museum of Imhotep, one of the greatest architects of Egyptian history, who crafted this temple.

In the evening, regroup to attend a Home-Hosted Dinner with a local family. Experience authentic regional cuisine and enjoy socializing with Cairo natives before returning to your hotel for the night. Memphis & Sakkara - $85/person These regions are home to some of Egypt’s most famed pyramids, tombs, and other ancient relics. Your tour starts in Memphis, where you’ll visit the Statue of Ramses II, an eleven-meter-high likeness of the third Pharaoh that was created 3,200 years ago. You’ll also visit the alabaster Sphinx, a regal and mysterious stone figure that was carved between 1400 and 1700 B.C. Marvel at the distractingly detailed facial features of the sculpture as well as its immaculate preservation over millennia.

Next, you’ll head to Sakkara, a vast and ancient burial ground that’s teeming with the secrets of city’s past. Here, you’ll see the world’s oldest major stone structure, which was built to honor King Djoser of the third dynasty. You’ll also visit Imhotep Museum, where you’ll gaze upon a real mummy from the Ptolemaic dynasty, a famous fragment of the statue of King Imhotep, excavated tools once used by the ancient Egyptians to craft monuments, and more.

DAY 6

Cairo • Luxor • Embark ship • Luxor Temple

Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Nefertiti

Upon arrival in Luxor, you’ll transfer to the dock where your river ship awaits you. For the next seven nights, the Nefertiti will carry you from one amazing site to the next and give you an intimate look of life along the Nile. Travel this storied waterway as many have over the centuries—from Cleopatra to Agatha Christie—and trace the routes of legendary pharaohs who built their empires along the Nile. Keep an eye out for traditional felucca boats gliding in the water alongside you, while simple stone homes cozy up to the lush riverbanks.

After savoring your first lunch onboard, explore Luxor Temple. Rising from the east bank of the Nile, this sprawling ancient complex was a center of power for Egypt’s mighty pharaohs over a nearly 1,500-year period. The temple complex was largely built by Amenhotep III and Ramses II, the most celebrated pharaoh of the New Kingdom (his reign lasted some 66 years, up until his death at age 91). Many other pharaohs and rulers added to the temple over the centuries. Tutankhamen even contributed—the only mark left by the boy king.

Return to your ship this evening to get better acquainted with your ship, the crew, and the cruise experience itself. You’ll also learn about each town prior to arrival, so you can make the best use of your free time. Later this evening, gather for a Welcome Dinner.

DAY 7

Luxor • Valley of the Kings • Temple of Queen Hatshepsut • Colossi of Memnon

Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Nefertiti

After an early breakfast, you'll ride to the west bank of the Nile, the hilly area that was once the Necropolis of Thebes.

Then visit the Valley of the Kings, with its many tombs chiseled deep into the cliff sides. Several great leaders, as well as many less important rulers are buried here, and more tombs are being discovered even today. This is where Howard Carter discovered the treasures of Tutankhamun in 1922. Each tomb has the king's formal name and title inscribed on it, and each is decorated with his images and statues. You'll explore the tomb of Ramses, containing some of the best-preserved and most colorful hieroglyphs with scenes from the reigns of Amenhophis III and Akhenaten. You’ll also visit the nearby Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the impressive monument of one of Egypt's iconic female pharaohs.

As you leave the fabled valley, stop at the pair of massive statues of Amenhophis, known as the Colossi of Memnon. These statues are the only remnant of a temple dedicated to Amenhotep III—later, the Greeks determined that the statues represented their hero, Memnon.

Relax and enjoy lunch onboard as you head north to historic Qena. Spend the evening as you wish, exploring the ship and socializing with other travelers before dinner onboard.

Please note: As it did for the ancient Egyptians, high water makes for a smoother sail. As such, from end of December to end of January when tides are low, your ship will stay in Luxor for the evening.

DAY 8

Qena • Dendera Temple • Luxor • Life on the Nile discussion

Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Nefertiti

Early this morning, you'll dock in Qena and disembark your ship for a half-day visit to the Temple of Dendera, built by Romans and Greeks and dedicated to Hathor—goddess of maternal and family love. The temple complex contains birth houses, a Coptic church, the Hathor Temple, and Hypostyle Hall. One of the celebrated features of the temple is an astronomical ceiling beautifully decorated with vultures, winged disks, and the union between Hathor and Horus. Paintings on the ceiling also represent the two halves of the sky with its northern and southern constellations, the hours of day and night, the sun and moon, and the symbols of the zodiac. You'll return to the ship in time for lunch.

Afterwards, your ship begins cruising back to Luxor. Sit out on your private balcony drink in the passing vistas of everyday Nile River life. You may also choose to take part in an onboard cooking lesson to learn how to prepare a local specialty. Later in the afternoon, enjoy an Exclusive Discovery Series discussion, Living by the Nile, as well as a Port Talk.

Gather in your ship's dining room for dinner, followed by evening entertainment.

Please note: As it did for the ancient Egyptians, high water makes for smoother sailing. As such, during low-water season, from end of December to end of January, you will travel to the Dendra Temple complex via bus.

DAY 9

Luxor • Optional Balloon Ride Over Luxor • Karnak Temple • Esna

Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Nefertiti

As the sun rises over Luxor, so can you—aboard an optional hot-air balloon ride (weather permitting). The sights, sounds, and sheer spectacle of seeing these antiquities from the sky will surely make for a memorable morning.

After breakfast, you’ll explore Karnak Temple’s huge complex of shrines, built and enlarged over a period of 1,300 years. The ancient Egyptians called the enormous temple complex of Karnak “the most perfect of places,” and today it is one of the most fascinating sites in Egypt. The huge Hypostyle Hall, with its outer walls decorated with battle scenes, is a grand architectural marvel large enough to enclose the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Walk through the breathtaking Hall of Pillars, and see the tallest obelisk in Egypt—raised by Queen Hatshepsut in honor of the god Amun.

After lunch aboard ship, relax for the afternoon as our vessel passes south through the locks of Esna early this evening. Enjoy dinner onboard with evening entertainment before you settle in for your overnight cruise to Edfu.

Please note: The Esna locks, in tandem with the Aswan Dam, keep the Nile's tide in check. Note that regulations on moving vessels through the locks could affect the order in which you visit sites during your cruise. Luxor Hot-Air Balloon Ride - $115/person

As the sun rises over Luxor, so can you, riding aboard an optional hot-air balloon. The sights, sounds, and sheer spectacle of seeing these antiquities from the sky will surely make for a memorable morning.

DAY 10

Edfu • Kom Ombo

Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Nefertiti

Arrive in Edfu early this morning. After breakfast, disembark for a visit to Edfu's Temple of Horus, Egypt's best-preserved temple, by horse and carriage. Dedicated to Horus, the god of the sun and planets, the hawk (Horus's symbol) is prominent in the vivid hieroglyphs and bas-reliefs of the temple. Thirty-eight columns surround the court, and a fine statue of Horus stands guard over the entry. Every available surface is carved with hieroglyphs describing offerings to the god.

Lunch aboard the ship and cruise the Nile on our visit to the Temple of Kom Ombo, set dramatically on a hill overlooking a bend in the river. This Greco-Roman style temple (actually two temples) is unique, as it is Egypt's only double temple—dedicated to both Sobek, the crocodile god, and Haroeris, the great, winged solar disk. Everything here is doubled and perfectly symmetrical along a central axis—twin entrances, twin courts, and twin colonnades.

This evening, enjoy an Egyptian dinner buffet, followed by a galabeya party featuring traditional Egyptian wear.

DAY 11

Aswan • Philae Temple • Felucca ride

Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Nefertiti

Upon arrival in Aswan this morning, you’ll visit the lovely Philae Temple, dedicated to Isis and perched majestically on an island. The temple complex dates from the 26th Dynasty, with additions through the Roman period when the Emperor Hadrian built a pavilion at the water's edge. Pilgrims would come from all over the Mediterranean to worship Isis here. This temple's towering silhouette has left visitors speechless for centuries, and its unique architecture makes for a fascinating journey through its jigsaw-like halls.

Next, enjoy an included tour of the Aswan High Dam, which was built in 1960. The dam forever changed the agricultural rhythms of Egypt. Once subject to devastating Nile floods, Egyptian farmers looked to the Aswan High Dam as a way of improving their ability to control their crops. You'll also see the Old Dam, built by the British in the early 20th century.

Return to your ship for lunch, after which you’ll experience a different way of sailing the Nile. Traditional felucca boats, with their lateen (triangular) sails, ply the water in profusion here. Sail aboard one around Elephantine Island, enjoying views of the Mausoleum of Aga Khan. This fine example of Fatimid architecture dominates the skyline of Aswan's west bank.

After dinner aboard this evening, enjoy a live Nubian show.

DAY 12

Aswan • Optional Abu Simbel tour • Spice market visit

Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Nefertiti

Enjoy a leisurely morning and afternoon onboard today, taking in the sights of the Nile and surrounding Egypt from the comfort of your private balcony.

Or, join us for an optional full-day excursion to Abu Simbel. After an early breakfast, spend the morning traveling south by motorcoach, and spend time exploring the magnificent monuments carved into solid rock 3,000 years ago.

This evening, join your fellow travelers for a Captain's Farewell Cocktail and Farewell Dinner as you prepare to say goodbye to your ship and its friendly crew. After dinner, your experience of local life along the Nile deepens as you visit a spice market during an Exclusive Discovery Series event and learn about the seasonings that give Egyptian cuisine its zest. Optional Abu Simbel tour - $105/person After an early breakfast, you travel south by motorcoach, and spend time exploring two temples built by Egypt's great Pharaoh Ramses II (Egypt's longest-ruling king) as a tribute to the deities and his favorite wife Nefertari. Following your tour, you'll savor lunch at a local lodge before returning to your ship. In a monumental feat of modern engineering, the massive temples of Abu Simbel were moved to their present location when construction of the Aswan High Dam in 1960 created Lake Nasser and flooded their original location. This extraordinary operation to save one of the world's greatest treasures took years, and the efforts of an international team of engineers and archaeologists. The temple is now backed by an artificial mountain built to resemble its original setting.

DAY 13

Aswan • Disembark ship • Cairo • Sunset motorboat ride

Meals included: B L Accommodations: InterContinental Cairo Semiramis or similar

After breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Cairo. Enjoy a late lunch at a local restaurant before checking into your hotel. The balance of the afternoon is yours to delve even deeper into the city’s treasures.

This evening, join us for an Exclusive Discovery Series sunset motorboat ride which gives you the chance to view Cairo from the Nile as the sun dips low towards the horizon. Reflect on your journey and take in the colors of the sky as you make your leisurely way along the coast of the capital city.

Return to dry land and enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure. Dinner tonight is on your own.

DAY 14

Cairo • Pyramids & Sphinx • New Grand Museum

Meals included: B L Accommodations: InterContinental Cairo Semiramis or similar

This morning you’ll drive to the Giza Plateau, home of Egypt’s signature attractions: The Pyramids of Giza. The largest of these three structures is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, probably built more than 2,600 years before the time of Christ. Standing 480 feet tall, this pyramid is the last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that still stands. Of course, you’ll also see the inscrutable and mysterious Sphinx, carved almost entirely from one piece of limestone. When Napoleon first set eyes on the monument, it was still covered in sand up to its neck. Today it has been excavated, revealing the paws of a resting lion and chambers at its base. Take some time to revel in the history imbedded in every block of stone and iin the incomprehensible size of each structure standing tall in the desert sand.

After lunch at a local restaurant, head to a new Egyptian museum opening for 2019.

Take the evening to relax or walk around Cairo; your Program Director can offer suggestions of hidden gems to discover. Dinner tonight is on your own.

Please note: Depending on your departure, the new museum may not yet be open.

DAY 15

Cairo • Old Cairo • Citadel

Meals included: B D Accommodations: InterContinental Cairo Semiramis or similar

After breakfast, you’ll visit Old Cairo (also referred to as “Historic Cairo” and “Islamic Cairo”), the section of the city characterized by its far-reaching history. No matter which direction you glance in, you’ll be met by preserved remnants of cities long gone including Fustat, al-Askar, and al-Qatta’i. Observe the bustling locals, winding roads, and shops and houses mixed together creating a colorful scene.

Visit the Cairo Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This vast structure was used during the medieval period as a show of strength as well as a means of protection for Cairo against Crusaders. The citadel was so effective in accomplishing the latter that it remained the hub of Egyptian government into the 19th century. Stay on the look-out for unique architectural characteristics such as the 85-meter-deep well lined with spiral stairs that was used to supply water to the citadel via a series of aqueducts.

Next, you’ll depart for Coptic Old Cairo, which served as the Christian bastion of Egypt prior to Islamic rule. Here you’ll discover some of the oldest Christian churches in Egypt. lYou’ll visit the Hanging Church and the Church of St. Sergius where, according to the Holy Bible, Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus stayed after their escape to Egypt from King Herod's wrath. Along with the Ben Ezra Synagogue, these buildings hdate back to the third and fourth centuries. The synagogue, according to ancient folklore, is the place where baby Moses was discovered.

You’ll return to your hotel in the early afternoon and have the chance to fit in any last-minute discoveries in the city. Lunch is on your own. In the evening, you’ll reconvene with your group and enjoy a Farewell Dinner at your hotel.

DAY 16

Cairo • Depart for U.S. Meals included: B

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the U.S. Or begin your optional Alexandria & Cairo, Egypt post-trip extension.

POST-TRIP EXTENSION: Alexandria & Cairo, Egypt 4 nights from only $895 Travel from only $224 a night

Accommodations

Pricing Information

View Specials & Promotions
Arrival DateSingleSharedDouble
Oct 10, 2019 Please call n/a $4,295
For further information call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
24/7 booking capability is available via this via the "Request to Book" button listed above.

Be sure to mention booking code G9-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!

Africa Cancellation Policy

Savings have been reflected in pricing noted online & subject to availabilty, so book soon!

Pricing is based on lowest priced cabin category, is subject to change as this price is a lead in price that is subject to availability. Upgrade opportunities are available and will be added to inquiry cabin selection request shortly. Please call (866) 464 8879 to discuss single supplement discounts available to GWT customers.

For pricing on cabin upgrades please speak to our river cruise specialist at time of booking.

In order to qualify for the GWT Past Traveler Discount of 5% on the land portion of the trip, you must advise the reservation specialist at time of depositing on your 2019 trip which GWT trip you traveled on (date/name of departure and year) over the past 5 years.

Please note this departure is not exclusive to women but will be comprised of Gutsy Women Travel participants co-sharing the overall trip capacity with members of GCCL resulting in a larger group size compared to the traditional Gutsy Women Travel trips designed exclusively for women.

Single Room - one person, traveling solo in single accommodation
Double Room - two people, traveling together in same accommodation

Air travel arrangements for Gutsy Women's trip participants are made independently as most women are traveling from various gateway cities within or outside North America. Our river cruise specialist can assist you in securing the best airfare routing available as well as travel protection.

For further information and reservations call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
For online 24/7 booking capability is available via this website.

Please note: Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.