EGYPT: FROM CAIRO TO ABU SIMBEL
This tour encompasses great monuments of the ancient Egyptian world such as the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, the glories of Upper Egypt including the Temple of Karnak and the Valleys of the Kings and Queens with their many tombs and lesser known funerary temples.
As well it includes visits to Middle & New Kingdom sites in the Faiyum, Beni Hasan, Tel el Amarna (the ancient capital of Akhenaten), Tuna el-Gebel and Abydos.
A special feature of the tour is a 5-day cruise down the Nile with visits to a number of Ptolemaic temples, Aswan and Abu Simbel. Travellers will also have a chance to explore the colour and bustle of Islamic Cairo with its medieval mosques, quaint museums and maze-like Khan el-Khalili Bazaar.
YOUR TOUR LEADER: Karen Hendrix graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours – thesis was on Predynastic Egypt) majoring in Middle Eastern Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in 2003. Early on in her career she studied Predynastic Egyptology at the University of California at Berkeley. Karen has travelled extensively in the Middle East, excavating in Egypt, Syria and Jordan on numerous occasions over the last 25 years. She has been an excavator and the volunteer co-ordinator of the Jordanian Pella Excavation Project for the last 20 years. Karen also works for the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation at the University of Sydney.
SAT 20 NOV ARRIVE CAIRO
Arrive into Cairo, where we will be met and transferred to the group hotel. Welcome dinner tonight. Overnight in Cairo. (Meals in flight, L,D)
SUN 21 NOV CAIRO
Our first day we will visit the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) situated next to the Giza Plateau and explore this fantastic new Museum. Here we will see an amazing collection of Egyptian antiquities from all periods, including the iconic treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun. After lunch we will visit the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization the new home of the Royal Mummies. Overnight in Cairo. (B,L,D)
MON 22 NOV CAIRO – SAQQARA
Today we set out to see the development of the Old Kingdom pyramids, beginning with a visit to Saqqara and the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser. Whilst in Saqqara we will see the beautifully curated Imhotep Museum and the pyramid complexes of Kings Unas (5th Dynasty), Teti (6th Dynasty) and the tomb of Mereruka. We shall visit the re-opened Serapeum home to the Apis bull burials. Overnight Cairo. (B,L,D)
TUE 23 NOV CAIRO – DASHUR – MEMPHIS
Our fourth day starts with a visit to the site of Dashur; home to the famous Red and Bent Pyramids. These pyramids are two of the three pyramids built by Sneferu of the 4th Dynasty.
After lunch we will travel over to the first ancient capital of Egypt, Memphis. Our evening entertainment will be the Giza Sound and Light show. Overnight Cairo. (B,L,D)
WED 24 NOV CAIRO – GIZA PLATEAU
This morning we travel to Giza to see the spectacular 4th Dynasty Old Kingdom pyramids of Khufu, Khaefre and Menkaure and their associated monuments, including the Sphinx and solar boat museum. We will spend the day at Giza and there will be plenty of time to take a camel or horse ride if desired. Overnight Cairo. (B,L,D)
THU 25 NOV CAIRO – MEIDUM- LAHUN- HAWARA- FAIYUM OASIS
Today we start our journey towards the Faiyum Oasis. Our first stop is the last pyramid built by Sneferu at Meidum. Continuing south we visit some important royal burial sites of the Middle Kingdom. We begin with Senwosret II’s famous pyramid town, Lahun and have the opportunity to go inside this newly opened Pyramid. Our last Pyramid is that of Amenemhat III at Hawara and consequently this is the last pyramid building project in Egyptian history. Overnight at Faiyum Oasis. (B,L,D)
FRI 26 NOV FAIYUM – BENI HASSAN – TELL EL AMARNA – MINYA
As we set off for middle Egypt we stop at the tombs of the Middle Kingdom at Beni Hassan. After a lunch stop we will travel onto to the ancient site of Akhenaten, also known as Tell el-Amarna, the capital city founded by Amenhotep IV (later Akhenaten) in the 18th Dynasty. We will visit some of the nobles’ tombs, including Ay, the king’s tomb, Akhenaten’s famous boundary stelae and the remains of the temples to the Aten and the Royal Palace. Overnight in Minya. (B,L,D)
SAT 27 NOV TUNA EL GEBEL – ABYDOS
We continue through middle Egypt and start the day with a visit to Tuna el-Gebel, the necropolis of Khmun (Hermopolis Magna) in Ancient Egypt. Also the impressive Greek tomb of Petosiris and the incredible catacombs which housed thousands of animal mummies, including ibises, baboons and falcons. We continue onto to an overnight stop at Abydos. (B,L,D)
SUN 28 NOV ABYDOS – DENDERA – LUXOR
Our morning starts with a visit to Abydos which was the cult centre for the God Osiris who was at the core of ancient Egyptian religion. What remains today is the impressive temple started by Seti I and completed by his son Ramses the Great.
Later we visit the Ptolemaic temple at Dendera dedicated to the goddess Hathor. Late afternoon we will travel to Luxor and settle into our Luxor hotel for 4 nights. (B,L,D)
MON 29 NOV LUXOR – VALLEY OF KINGS AND QUEENS
This morning we start our exploration of the west bank. We’ll begin with a visit to the Colossi of Memnon which are part of the mortuary temple of Amonhotep the III. Then we will commence our discovery of a number of selected tombs at the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. Today will be a real highlight as we will see many masterpieces of New Kingdom art and we will also have the chance to visit the small tomb of Tutankhamun. Overnight in Luxor. (B,L,D)
TUE 30 NOV LUXOR – RAMESSEUM & MEDINET HABU
Today we revisit the west bank and start with the Ramesseum, the mortuary temple of Ramses II with its beautiful decorated columns. Following this we will visit Medinet Habu, the mortuary temple of Ramses III. After lunch we will visit the area of the Tombs of the Nobles which have some impressive wall paintings. Overnight in Luxor. (B,L,D)
WED 01 DEC LUXOR – DEIR EL MEDINA & DEIR EL BAHRI
Our last day on the West Bank we will visit Deir el-Medina, the village for the workers who constructed the pharaoh’s tombs. Many of the workers tombs are impressive with some exquisite burial chambers. After lunch we will travel to the beautifully restored funerary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el- Bahri. In the evening we will see the famous Karnak Temple Sound and Light show. Overnight in Luxor. (B,L,D)
THU 02 DEC LUXOR – KARNAK
We spend our last day in Luxor exploring the two greatest structures in the city, the Great Temple of Amun at Karnak and the Temple of Luxor, once joined to each other by a sacred way. Each Pharaoh added his influence to these great edifices as an indication of his connection with the state religion. We will break from our tour to board our Cruise boat and have lunch on board. After lunch we will visit the Luxor Museum. Overnight on the Cruise boat. (B,L,D)
FRI 03 DEC CRUISING TO ASWAN
This morning is a free morning with an opportunity to shop in the Luxor souk. After lunch, our cruise boat will depart and as we cruise you will have an opportunity to relax as life on the Nile floats by. You will see glimpses of village life, fishing and water drawing along the riverbanks, small feluccas with their graceful sails, and a variety of birdlife. You can join your fellow passengers on the top viewing deck in the warm winter sunshine, swim or lie by the pool or take part in some of the other recreational activities offered on board. Overnight on Cruise boat. (B,L,D)
SAT 04 DEC EDFU – KOM OMBO
In the early morning we arrive at Edfu, where we will be visiting the beautiful and impressively intact, Ptolemaic Temple of Horus (the hawk headed god). After lunch we reach Kom Ombo and the double temple of Horus and Sobek, the crocodile god. This temple also dates from Ptolemaic times, when the township became a district capital. However there is evidence of buildings dating through to late Roman times (AD217). Overnight on Cruise boat. (B,L,D)
SUN 05 DEC ASWAN – ELEPHANTINE ISLAND
Our touring this morning concentrates on the Nile and the construction of the Aswan High Dam. We then visit the Temple of Philae, sacred to Isis, which was saved from flooding by being relocated to higher ground. We will also visit the site of the unfinished obelisk, which provides evidence of the techniques used by the ancient Egyptians to cut such huge monoliths from the natural rock. Late afternoon at leisure. Overnight on Cruise boat. (B,L,D)
MON 06 DEC ASWAN
After we check out of our cabins we will start the day with a visit to the Nubian Museum. Then a glorious felucca ride down the river Nile to visit Elephantine Island and its associated monuments, including a temple dedicated to the god Khnum and the smaller restored temple of Satis. We will also see a granite gateway constructed by Alexander the Great and one of the earliest known Nilometers used to the measure the height of the Nile during the annual inundation. Overnight in Aswan. (B,L,D)
TUE 07 DEC ABU SIMBEL
This morning we transfer to the airport for our short flight to Abu Simbel, the closest we get to the Sudanese border.
Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the many amenities of our resort hotel including the spectacular swimming pool overlooking Lake Nasser, a spot of table tennis or ‘Egyptian snooker’. In the evening we visit the temple to witness the Sound and Light spectacular at the temple of Ramses II. Overnight in Abu Simbel. (B,L,D)
WED 08 DEC ABU SIMBEL – CAIRO
We will be up early to visit the Temple of Abu Simbel which is the site of one of the greatest engineering feats by UNESCO to save Egyptian monuments from the waters of Lake Nasser. The artificial lake created behind the Aswan High Dam wiped out the Kingdom of Nubia. We have come here to see the great temple of Ramses II, with its four massive seated figures of the youthful Ramses, carved into the side of the cliff; built to resemble a temple pylon and rising to 32 metres high. At midday we transfer to the airport for the flight back to Cairo. Overnight in Cairo. (B,L,D)
THU 09 DEC CAIRO
Our first morning back in Cairo starts with a visit to “The Hanging Church”, one of the oldest churches in Egypt and then the Ben Ezra Synagogue. In the afternoon, we explore Islamic Cairo. The Islamic city dates from the Arab conquest of AD 641 and was built on the Roman city of Babylon (old Cairo). From its medieval foundation, the city has been growing ever since and now it is one of the most populous cities in the world. Touring today will take you to the citadel with a visit to the Mohammed Ali Mosque (1824), an oriental fantasy in the Turkish Empire style, and Bab el-Zweila, the old entrance to the Fatimid city, from which Cairo as a whole takes its name. We also visit the Al-Azhar Mosque (970-972) and the fabulous Khan el Khalili Bazaar, a cultural and shopping experience to remember! Overnight in Cairo (B,L,D)
FRI 10 DEC CAIRO
Today we return to Islamic Cairo to visit the Sultan Hassan, El Rifai and Ibn Tulun Mosques. We also make a visit to the charming Gayer Anderson Museum, a house museum that gets its name from John Gayer-Anderson, a British major and army doctor in WWI. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight there is a farewell dinner. Overnight in Cairo (B,L,D)
SAT 11 DEC DEPART CAIRO
After breakfast we have free time until we transfer to the airport for our return flights to Australia. (B, meals in flight)
GENERAL INFORMATION AND SPECIAL BOOKING CONDITIONS
No price has been attached to this tour because of the current volatility of the USD. Publishing like this allows us to give you plenty of notice of the tours we are proposing. We will set a tour price before the end of the year. If you would like to join the tour, send us a completed Booking Form with deposit to hold your place now. If you do not accept the price finally settled on, you can withdraw from the tour and receive a full refund of your deposit.
LAND ONLY TOUR PRICE WILL INCLUDE:
• Economy class domestic air travel in Egypt
• Transport in comfortable air conditioned coaches
• Transfers, touring and entry fees as per itinerary
• Accommodation in four star hotels or best available in the area, all with private facilities
• Twin berth cruise ship accommodation
• Meals as indicated in the itinerary
• English speaking local guides
• Services of Tour Leader
• All group tipping and gratuities
LAND ONLY TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
• Return international air travel from Australia to Cairo
• Beverages with meals (excl. tea and coffee at breakfast)
• Meals not listed in the itinerary
• Travel Insurance
• Airport to hotel transfers if not travelling on suggested flights
• Visa requirements of the tour member
• Items of personal nature (phone, laundry etc.)
Emirates offer the best connections for this tour. Please contact Tony for the best fares available at the time of booking.
I’m Interested…How Do I Book?
Fill in the online Booking Form, read and agree with our Terms & Conditions, select your payment option for your deposit of $450.00 per person to Alumni Travel and Submit. Upon receipt of your Booking Form and deposit, you will receive a confirmation of your place in writing.
DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT:
The deposit is accepted as a first installment of the tour cost and will be fully refunded if the arrangements can not be confirmed or the tour is cancelled by Alumni Travel. Final payment for the tour needs to be received at least 60 days prior to tour departure. An invoice will be sent to you about a fortnight before the final payment becomes due.
CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS:
Any cancellation from the tour needs to be done in writing. The cancellation date will be taken from the day your written cancellation is received by Alumni Travel. Because of the tour cancellation charges imposed by our various suppliers, the following cancellation charges apply, per person:
Over 60 days $100.00 – Administration Fee
59 – 40 days 25% of tour cost
39 – 10 days 50% of tour cost
Within 10 days 100% of tour cost
If a difference occurs between these cancellation conditions and those imposed by our suppliers, then the conditions of the supplier shall apply.
There is no refund before or after travel has commenced or for any unused portion of the tour, either in regard to the standard group arrangements or separate independent arrangements.
CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS:
Any payments by credit card will be subject to a 2% non-refundable Merchant Administration Fee.
It is now standard policy with our company that all our international travellers have some type of international travel insurance, so that you are covered for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise. A comprehensive Insurance brochure is available from Alumni Travel. The insurance brochure contains the terms and conditions under which insurance cover will be offered to you.
ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS:
If you would like Alumni Travel to assist you with any additional arrangements pre or post tour, please contact our office for assistance at time of booking. All arrangements need to be finalised at least 30 days prior to your departure.
An administration fee of $30.00 per amendment will be charged for any changes made to any reservation within 30 days prior to your departure. Any additional charges imposed by our suppliers will also be payable.
PASSPORT AND VISAS:
It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure that they possess the necessary travel documentation for the tour, such as a valid passport and any required visas. Your passport should be valid at least 6 months beyond the end of your journey and have two clear pages for each country to be visited in your journey.
In the event that passenger numbers do not reach the minimum number of tour participants (approximately 12, excluding the tour leader) required for the tour, it may be necessary to either surcharge or cancel the tour. If such an event does occur, you will be notified at least 60 days prior to the tour departure.
Tour prices are calculated on the basis of exchange rates and tariffs at time of print and are subject to change up until final payment has been received. At the time of final invoicing (approximately two months prior to the tour departure date), Alumni Travel reserves the right to re-cost the tour based on actual exchange rates. This could mean an increase or decrease to the above listed prices. Should you decide to cancel your arrangements on the basis of a change in the tour price, normal cancellation charges will apply.