The Great Sphinx and the Khafre (Middle) Pyramid, Giza Dawn from the top of Mt. Sinai

"Cairo, Mount Sinai and Nile Cruise"
12-day Egypt Tour : June 22 - July 3, 2005

Price: $2,195 US Dollars
Per person in Double Occupancy - Beginning in Cairo - Includes All Meals
Does not include international airfare to/from Egypt, but flights within Egypt are included.

Contact Us for Prices INCLUDING Airfare from USA
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Day-by-Day Itinerary 

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For those beginning in New York, USA, our plane leaves NY City on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 at 6:30 PM.  Your American Tour Leader, Ruth Shilling, meets the group at JFK airport in New York City and accompanies the group on the flight to Egypt.  We fly direct non-stop from New York city, USA to Cairo, Egypt. Other departure cities in the USA are available.  Contact Us for pricing of flights from the USA.

Khafre Pyramid at Giza (or "2nd Pyramid")Day 1, Wed., June 22, 2005: If you flew with Ruth Shilling from the USA your flight arrives about 11:30 AM in Cairo (7 hours ahead of New York time, 2 hours ahead of Greenwich).  Our 5-star hotel is right beside the pyramids.  We begin with lunch at the hotel where we can enjoy a view of the Great Pyramid while sitting in a lovely air-conditioned restaurant with splendid food.  All your meals are included in this tour, and you can order anything you would like.

Optional:  Sound & Light Show at the Giza pyramids this evening.  Fee: $20, includes entrance ticket and transportation.
Overnight:  Mena House Oberoi Hotel.  5 star.

Lori at Giza Pyramid PanoramaDay 2, Thursday:  We begin our sightseeing with a full day on the Giza Plateau. We visit the Great Pyramid (of course!) and the 3rd or 2nd Pyramid - whichever one is open on that day.  We also see the Solar Boat (almost 5,000 years old!), the Sphinx and Valley Temple.  There are legends of the Sphinx speaking.  Does the Sphinx have a message for you?  Camel rides for the adventurous. 

Since the beginning of 2005 we have been able to obtain Special Permission Permits from the Egyptian Department of Antiquities that have allowed us to enter the Great Pyramid with just our small group.  The permits also allow us to make a visit inside the Sphinx enclosure - you can actually touch the Sphinx!  This can never be guaranteed, but we have every reason to believe that it will continue to be possible.

Optional:  Evening shopping trip into Cairo.  Visit a Gold Shop and the colorful Kahn al-Khalili bazaar.  Enjoy shopping and bargaining, linger over dinner at the famous historic Naguib Mafouz restaurant or try smoking some shisha (flavored tobacco) at an outdoor cafe.  Fee: Split cost of taxi/minibus.
Overnight:  Mena House Oberoi Hotel.  5 star.

Sakkara Step pyramidDay 3, Friday:  Today we continue our visits to sites from Ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom (2,575-2,150 B.C.).  Leaving Giza we drive southward through fertile farmlands to the Sakkara complex where we see the Step Pyramid, the early versions of the Book of the Dead and some interesting tombs (where we see scenes of daily life during the Old Kingdom).

Optional: If people are interested, we will stop at one of the Carpet Schools in Sakkara.  See how they make carpets out of camel hair, wool and even silk.  Fee: none.

Evening Optional: Visit a local Papyrus Institute where they will show you how the papyrus "paper" is made.  Papyruses by both the teachers and students are for sale.  Fee: none.
Overnight:  Mena House Oberoi Hotel.  5 star.

Ka statue, Cairo Egyptian museumDay 4, Saturday:  This morning we head into Cairo early (no A/C in the museum) to visit the Cairo Egyptian Museum – mummies, hundreds of statues and the King Tut collection.  We have a guided tour, as well as free time.  
When we have seen enough, or it gets too hot, we head back to our hotel in Giza where we can spend our last afternoon there relaxing by the pool, writing postcards or taking a well-deserved nap.  

Optional: Evening visit to a Perfume Oil Shop where you can sample many of the scents that are used to make the expensive perfumes we are familiar with at home.  Fee: none.
Overnight:  Mena House Oberoi Hotel.  5 star.

Sunset from Mount SinaiDay 5, Sunday: Our Mount Sinai excursion begins with a drive (by private air-conditioned bus) to St. Catherine's in the southern Sinai.  As the elevation rises the air cools and we will need our sweaters or light jackets for the first time.  We arrive in the early afternoon and begin our climb up Mount Sinai by camel (or hike if you choose).  When it becomes too difficult for the camels to climb, you continue on foot to the top.  There are Bedouin guides that will help you climb the last section to the top, if you would like a sturdy arm.  You arrive in time to watch the sunset in all its glory.   

After the sunset you descend a short way to where Ruth and the Bedouins have prepared dinner and an overnight campsite for you. You will surely need a warm sweater or jacket now.  After dinner the stars provide a show that few people ever get to witness so clearly.  Billions and billions of stars are visible in this clear, high elevation devoid of artificial lights.

We sleep in tents (or in the open, if you prefer) and let the dreams on the Holy Mountain fill our night. 

Mount Sinai sunrise 1Day 6, Monday:  The next morning you can hike again to the top to greet the dawn with the hundreds of other pilgrims that make the trek each early morning, or you can go to a nearby overlook (you get the same view as from the top) and enjoy the sunrise in a quieter way with others from our group.  Or if you prefer, you can find a spot of your own for your early morning prayers or meditation.  

St Catherine's Monastery, SinaiWe enjoy a wholesome breakfast back at our campsite while the masses descend the mountain.  They will all be gone by the time we make our way back down the trail to the bottom of the mountain.  Here we visit St. Catherine's Monastery, the site of the Burning Bush.

On our return drive to Cairo we stop to visit a Bedouin village.  Evening arrival in Cairo where we have dinner before taking a late evening flight to Luxor.  In Luxor your 5-star hotel is right on the Nile.
Overnight:  Luxor Hilton Hotel.  5 star.

Alternatives - Contact Us for prices:
1)  End your tour here and return to the USA on Tuesday, June 28. 
2)  Overnight sleeper train to Luxor, instead of going to Luxor by air and staying at the Luxor Hilton.  

*** Please note that Tour Leader/Guide Ruth Shilling will not be accompanying the group to Luxor for the Nile cruise.  The staff from American Express of Egypt will be your hosts during this portion of the trip.  While on the cruise boat, your sightseeing is with an English-speaking Egyptian guide and other people on the cruise that are English-speaking.  Ruth will be with you again on July 2, upon your return to Cairo.***

Luxor Temple Avenue of the SphinxesDay 7, Tuesday, June 28:  Your Nile cruise boat is docked and waiting for you in Luxor.  We feel the Movenpick Radamis II Nile Cruise is the best boat presently sailing on the Nile, and we want to give you the best!  

You begin with lunch on board.  In the afternoon see the East Bank of Luxor - the famous Karnak Temple and the Luxor Temple.  Both gently beautiful and full of awesome grandness, the Luxor Temple was the "Bride of Karnak" during the annual Apet festival. 

Karnak, Hypostyle HallEach Pharaoh wanted to leave something impressive at Karnak.  The largest temple complex in Egypt, you see multiple temples, obelisks, great gates and the famous hypostyle hall - unequalled to this day.  

Back to the cruise boat for a dinner in style.
Overnight:  Movenpick Radamis II Nile Cruise.  5 star.

Valley of the Kings, Astrological CeilingDay 8, Wednesday:  Today you see the West Bank of Luxor.  The west represented the hereafter and is where the dead were buried.  You visit the famous Valley of the Kings (where King Tut’s tomb was found), Hatshepsut’s Temple, Deir El Bahari, called "The Most Splendid of All" by the ancient Egyptians and the "Colossi of Memnon," the two large statues of Amenhotep III that still stand, even though their temple is long ago destroyed.   

The boat begins its journey up the Nile as you settle in for a relaxing lunch.  There is often excitement on deck when the boat arrives at the lock at Esna.  The locals come out in boats to hawk their wares while the cruise boats wait their turn in the lock.  

Afternoon tea on deck.  Entertainment on board in the evening.
Overnight:  Movenpick Radamis II Nile Cruise.  5 star.

Thursday: Your first visit today is to Edfu’s Temple of Horus, the best preserved temple in Egypt. In the late afternoon there is a visit to the Ptolemaic temple for Sobek and Haroeris at Kom Ombo. Sobek is a crocodile god and Haroeris is a form of the god Horus. The boat continues on to Aswan where you overnight.
Overnight:  Movenpick Radamis II Nile Cruise.  5 star.

Philae - Kiosk and Isis TempleFriday:  Today there is sightseeing in Aswan.  You see the Unfinished Obelisk of Hatshepsut at the ancient granite quarry, and the new High Dam.  

Your sightseeing concludes with a trip by motorboat to the beautiful Temple of Isis at the island of Philae.  Built during the Ptolemaic era, this was the last place that the Ancient Egyptian religion was practiced and the last hieroglyphs were written.  It was closed in 550 AD by the Emperor Justinian.  This temple was one of those that were moved to higher ground when the High Dam was built.

Aswan Market street sceneAfternoon Felucca (sailboat) ride around the islands or you may want to spend the afternoon & evening adventuring at the open market place in Aswan.  In ancient times the cataracts made it impossible for ships to pass this point, so the traders from the Mediterranean and Africa met here.  The present town still contains some of this history and feeling.
Overnight:  Movenpick Radamis II Nile Cruise.  5 star.

Sat, Feb 26.  Free morning in Aswan or take the option trip to Abu Simbel.  Return flight to Cairo.  Your hotel is conveniently located next to the Cairo airport.  

The Nefertari Hathor Temple at Abu SimbelOptional: Trip to Abu Simbel by air.  Fee: $200.
Early departure for the short flight to Abu Simbel where you enjoy a visit to the temples of Ramesses II and his queen, Nefertari. These temples became famous when an international UNESCO project rescued them from their previous location, which has now been submerged by Lake Nasser.  The lake was created by the High Dam.  Afternoon arrival back in Aswan where you board your flight to Cairo.

Ruth Shilling is there to greet you in Cairo.  There may be time for some last minute shopping at the Khan El Khalili bazaar, if you would like.
Overnight:  Novotel Cairo Airport Hotel.  4 star.

Sunday, July 3:  Departure flights home.   No need to fight Cairo traffic this morning to get to the airport, as our hotel is just 5 minutes from the departure terminals. If you are returning to NYC, USA your flight departs Cairo at 10:00 AM.  Arrival in New York City in the afternoon (same day), 3:15 PM New York time.

There may be changes to this itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control.



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