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Wonders of the Nile

Itinerary, Prices and Dates


Cairo to Aswan 15 Days

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Egypt, just the name is enough to set your imagination spinning back to the start of recorded human history – to a time when all-powerful Pharaohs controlled a mysterious and fabulously wealthy empire which lasted virtually intact for over 5,000 years! Our Nile cruise explores the mighty monuments, the intriguing history and the extraordinary artistic masterpieces from the greatest and oldest of all the ancient civilizations.

Today’s Egyptians are immensely proud of their ancient lineage and with typical middle-eastern courtesy and hospitality they are some of the most welcoming and friendly people you are likely to meet.

What's Included

  • Flights from the UK and overseas transfers
  • 14 nights 5★ Nile River cruise
  • Tour highlights include
  • Guided tour of Cairo & the Egyptian Museum
  • Tour of the Great Pyramids at Giza and the mighty Sphinx
  • Tour the 'Step Pyramid', the oldest known stone structure in the world
  • Visit the Beni Hassan tombs and the temple of Osiris at Abydos
  • Guided tour of Amarna, created by pharaoh Akhenaten and Nefretiti
  • Discover one of Egypt's best preserved temple at Dendera
  • Guided tours of Karnak & Luxor temples and the Valley of the Kings
  • Visit Howard Carter's House and replica of King Tut's tomb
  • Visit Hatshepsut, Kom Ombo and Philae temples
  • Sail on a traditional Felucca to Kitchener Island
  • Cruise all the way from Cairo to the Aswan Dam
  • All meals on board and complimentary tea and coffee
  • Included excursions and the services of an experienced Tour Manager
  • All port charges, airport taxes and transfers from airport or station to ship
  • No single supplement on lower deck cabins - limited availabilty

Useful Information

Guiding and Entry Fees: Entry into the Egyptian Museum’s Mummy room and into any of the Great Pyramids is payable extra locally.

Photography: No photography or guiding is allowed inside tombs or pyramids, as well as in museums.

Visas All British passport holders require an Egyptian visa. This is available on arrival at Cairo airport for £20 per person in cash (in UK pounds), or from the Egyptian Consulate in London prior to departure.
Please ensure that you have at least one empty page in your passport and that it is valid for at least 6 months after your return date.
Visa fees are subject to change without notice and are non-refundable.

Health: Whilst the travelling schedule shall pose no problems for people of any age in normal physical health, we would point out that in visiting a number of historical sites, paths are uneven and uphill and we often enjoy walking tours of the main sights.
A reasonable level of fitness is required to get the best out of this tour, for example there are no lifts on board the MS Darakum and entry into some of the tombs involve steep descents with numerous narrow steps. Therefore, this holiday will not be suitable for clients of greatly impaired mobility.
Daytime temperature levels will also be high for most of the year and in summer months most excursions start early in order to avoid excessive midday desert heat.
Please consult your GP regarding the appropriate inoculations required for Egypt at least a month before departure.

Day 1: UK

Map of the Nile River
Map of the Nile River

You should arrive at the airport to take your direct flight to Cairo. After our late evening arrival, we transfer to our home for the next 14 nights, the MS Darakum.
Included Meals 

Day 2: Cairo & Egpytian Museum

After breakfast we’ll explore Old Cairo’s Christian history with a visit to the remarkable 9th century ‘Hanging Church’, built over a gateway to the Roman-era Babylon fortress. With its wooden barrel-roofed interior this makes for a fascinating introduction to Egypt’s long Coptic heritage. We continue to the Coptic Museum and the nearby Ben Ezra synagogue, said to be the place where the Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses in his basket amongst the reeds. We return to our ship for lunch.
“This day of days, the most wonderful that I have ever lived through…” is how Howard Carter described the day in 1922 he realised he had made the archaeological find of the century. King ‘Tut’s’ tomb held so many treasures that it took 10 years to examine, photograph, catalogue and finally remove all 3,500 of them. The collection forms the centrepiece of the Egyptian Museum, without question one of the world’s greatest museums, a treasure-house overflowing with artefacts of remarkable ancient craftsmanship, ranging from the mundane to the mystical. The famous Royal Mummy room may be entered upon payment of a small additional fee.
Included Meals B L D

Day 3: The Pyramids, Sphinx & Saqqara

Today we drive out of the city towards the Giza plateau for our first close-up view of the Great Pyramids. The truly gigantic size of the three main pyramids only becomes fully apparent when they tower above you in all their majesty. For the more adventurous, entry into the pyramids is available at extra cost payable locally, but for the Great Pyramid of Cheops there’s a daily limit to the number of visitors and there’s no guarantee of an entry. A little further down the hill is the mighty Sphinx, the world’s largest free-standing sculpture, it looks out serenely over the suburbs of Cairo.
After our included lunch we continue south to the pyramids at the necropolis of Saqqara. Soon the lush fields give way to barren desert and we see the giant ‘step’ pyramid looming above the palms. Built using smaller blocks than the Great Pyramids at Giza, it’s easy to see how the architecture of pyramid-building evolved from a simple square flat-topped mound upon which similar smaller mounds were added. In the distance, further out in the desert, we’ll be able to discern the famous ‘bent’ pyramid, the next stage in pyramid evolution, so-called because the angle was too steep and had to be changed half way up so as to avoid a catastrophic collapse.
Included Meals B L D

Day 4: Cruising the Nile

Early this morning our ship starts its long journey south out of Cairo. As we leave the city behind and pass small farms, canals and plantations of date palms along the way, you’ll see how productive this land has been for so many countless generations. Many farmers here still use methods that would be familiar to their ancestors thousands of years ago. Your tour manager will take this opportunity to invite you to the first of a couple of fascinating lectures on both modern and ancient Egypt. In the afternoon we arrive at the small town of Beni Suef where we moor overnight.
Included Meals B D

Day 5: Cruising the Nile

Our second consecutive day of sailing, and by this time you should have settled into the rhythm of ship-board life! After a sumptuous breakfast buffet make your way to one of the three open decks and relax under one on one of the many comfortable shaded sun loungers or Balinese-style canopied day-beds as the unchanged landscape of the Nile Valley slips by. If you prefer to keep cool in air-conditioned comfort, then there are plenty of armchairs by the full-length windows of the bar. This afternoon we arrive in Minya where we will moor for two nights.
Included Meals B L D

Day 6: Beni Hassan Tombs

After an early breakfast you set out with a visit to Tuna El Gebel, the necropolis of Hermopolis, sacred to the Greek god Hermes and his Egyptian counterpart, Thoth god of writing and wisdom. Here we’ll explore the tomb Petosiris, the high priest, and the catacombs which once held thousands of mummified ibis and baboons. After lunch on board, we continue with a tour of the little-visited tombs at Beni Hassan, set high above the Nile at the foot of a cliff, with wonderful views across the valley. The tombs belong to the 11th dynasty governors of the region and unlike more imposing royal tombs, here you’ll find wall paintings showing charming glimpses of daily life, with hunting scenes, farming, dancing and even wrestling competitions!
Included Meals B L D

Day 7: Amarna

This morning we arrive in Amarna, site of the short-lived capital of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and his queen Nefertiti. Akhenaten took a brave, and possibly foolhardy, decision to replace the existing ancient complex and powerful theology (and its priesthood!) with a monotheistic cult of the sun-god, the Aten. In order to cement the break from the past he built this brand-new city, with its temples and altars open to the sky, unlike the dark cavernous interiors of traditional temples. After his death his young son, Tutankhamun, ascended the throne and reinstated the old gods, leading to the abandonment of his father’s city. We’ll visit Akhenaten’s tomb, as well as those of some of his courtiers. We return to our ship in time for lunch and continue our journey south, with the opportunity to see one of Egypt’s most important Coptic monasteries as we sail by. We moor in Assyut overnight.
Included Meals B L D

Day 8: Cruising the Nile

Today we continue our journey southwards, with a full day’s cruising, ideal to relax after the busy last couple of days and before seeing the monuments and temples of the second part of our journey.
Included Meals B L D

Day 9: Abydos

Abydos remains one of ancient Egypt’s most mysterious sites, with the Great Temple of Seti I as its centrepiece. Dedicated to the cult of Osiris, god of the dead, Abydos was a pilgrimage centre for thousands of years and was considered a sacred place to be buried. The temple is known for its Gallery of the Kings, which lists all the pharaohs who preceded them, as well as some strange hieroglyphs which look like modern machines! We sail on the Qena where we moor overnight.
Included Meals B L D

Day 10: Dendara

The temple of Hathor is one of the most complete and best-preserved in all of Egypt. Hathor was the Egyptian goddess of love, beauty, joy and healing, and her temple, although only completed in Roman times, nevertheless follows the architecture and style of much older temples. Intriguingly, one of the outside walls has a famous relief of Cleopatra and Caesarion, her son by Julius Caesar, so the famous queen may well have visited the temple. We sail the short distance to Luxor where we moor overnight.
Included Meals B L D

Day 11: Luxor West Bank

This morning we cross the Nile to the West Bank for the ‘main event’ – the Valley of the Kings! It is simply remarkable that so much artistic beauty is hidden below the barren earth of this hot, dry, rock-strewn valley. The incredible state of preservation and the vividness of the paintings and hieroglyphics is simply astounding. It is tantalising to imagine what treasures all these tombs once held, lost to incredibly efficient grave robbers thousands of years ago. Only three tombs may be visited at a time and these may vary as some are closed on a rotating basis to protect them from too much exposure to humidity created by visitors.
We also visit the nearby mortuary temple of Hatshetput, the first female pharaoh, with its stunning three-tiered colonnaded terraces reflecting the outline of the cliffs above. We return to our ship at lunchtime and the rest of the day is at leisure.
Included Meals B L D

Day 12: Karnak & Luxor Temples

This morning we visit the Temple of Karnak. The astounding Hypostyle Hall is the most awe-inspiring part of this vast complex, said to be the largest religious centre of the ancient world. Its 134 gigantic columns stretch up to 80ft high and are covered in hieroglyphics – look carefully and you’ll spot traces of the original colours still visible. One of the many interesting features is the first documented peace treaty in history, between Ramses II and the Hittites. Another highlight is the great Obelisk of Hatshepsut, carved from one 97-foot high block of polished red granite and weighing in at over 300 tons, it has stood here for over 3,450 years, a testament to the amazing abilities and ingenuity of its creators. We also visit the smaller, but equally remarkable Temple of Luxor, which was originally connected to Karnak via the 2-mile long Avenue of the Sphinxes. After lunch we set sail for Edfu where we moor overnight.
Included Meals B L D

Day 13: Kom Ombo

The temple at Kom Ombo is unusual in that it’s dedicated to two gods, Horus and Sobek, the crocodile. The temple had a lake with sacred crocodiles and many mummies of them have been found nearby. We sail to Aswan and moor overnight.
Included Meals B L D

Day 14: Aswan

This morning is our last full day in Egypt and we visit one of modern Egypt’s greatest achievements – the Aswan High Dam. We continue to the temple of Philae, which had to be rescued from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. After a visit to the Nubian museum, we take to the water on a felucca sail as the sun sets in the west, in this, the most picturesque part of the river to Kitchener Island, which the eponymous general converted to a botanical park.
Included Meals B L D

Day 15: Aswan - UK

Early this morning we make our way to Aswan airport for the return flight, via Cairo, back to the UK after unique and truly fascinating tour.
Included Meals 


  • Included Meals  Included Meals - B: breakfast, L: lunch, D: dinner.

  • Tour or Transfer by Luxury Motorcoach  Transfer or Tour via Luxury Motorcoach

Departure dates in blue operate the itinerary in reverse


Overview

One of the smaller ships on the Nile, with just 52 cabins and suites, the five-star MS Darakum has been designed with a low draft in order to navigate the full length of the Nile in Egypt. It is currently the only vessel regularly operating this route, so this cruise is very much a unique experience!

Appointed to the highest specification and imaginatively furnished with a distinctive Moroccan theme, the MS Darakum offers extensive open deck space on three levels, with plenty sun loungers, sofas and armchairs to relax in. The pool on the sun deck is perfect for a cooling dip. The spacious, yet cosy lounge bar is the social hub of the ship, with board games and evening entertainment including music, wine-tasting and cookery lesson, a black & white party, the ever-popular ‘galabiya’ party and even a belly dancer!

Onboard Features & Facilities

  • 52 outside cabins and suites, with wood panneled bathrooms & complimentary toiletries
  • Sun deck with sun-shades, deck chairs & loungers and plunge pool
  • Large Morrocon styled restaurant
  • Spacious lounge and bar
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Fitness room and shop
  • Fully air-conditioned throughout
  • Wine tasting & cookery lessons *
  • Laundry service *

* Payable locally.


Deck Plan

Riviera Travel, MS Mövenpick Darakum - deck plan
Click image to zoom


Spacious Staterooms & Suites

MS Mövenpick Darakum - Suite bedroom

All Staterooms & Suites Feature

  • Lovely wood-panneled en-suite bathroom with bathtub, and shower over, toiletries & WC.
  • Hotel style beds with fine cotton bed linen, twin or double arrangement.
  • A bed turn down service in the evening
  • TV, hairdryer, safe, fridge & tea and coffee making facilties
  • Individually controlled air-conditioning

Senior Suite (Top Deck)

Additional Features

  • Stateroom size: 430 sq.ft.
  • Large opening panoramic windows

Senior Suite (Upper Deck)

Additional Features

  • Stateroom size: 366 sq.ft.
  • Large opening panoramic windows

Panorama Suite (Upper Deck)

Additional Features

  • Stateroom size: 366 sq.ft.
  • Forward facing with large opening panoramic windows

Standard Stateroom (Main & Upper Decks)

Additional Features

  • Stateroom size: 215 sq.ft.
  • Large opening picture window

Standard Stateroom (Lower Deck)

Additional Features

  • Stateroom size: 215 sq.ft.
  • Twin fixed windows
Depart ShipLower Deck
Cabin
Main Deck
Cabin
Upper Deck
Cabin
Panorama
Suite
Senior
Suite
Feb 27Mövenpick Darakum£2599£2724£2897Please
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Mar 25Mövenpick DarakumSOLD£2774£2929Please
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Apr 20Mövenpick DarakumSOLD£2724£2879Please
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May 16Mövenpick Darakum£2469£2594£2749Please
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Sep 13Mövenpick Darakum£2739£2889£3045Please
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Oct 19Mövenpick Darakum£2839£2989£3154Please
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Lower deck staterooms are available for single occupancy without supplement. Limited availabilty

Please call for latest prices and availability or Request a Callback ...

Prices are per person based on two sharing and are subject to availability at time of booking. Operators reserve the right to amend published prices prior to a confirmed booking being made.


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