Laid back and utterly luxurious, this eight-day cruise aboard Sanctuary Sun Boat IV sails in languid style between the Egyptian Nile's storied highlights. Beginning In Cairo, you'll visit the extraordinary Pyramids and nearby Sphinx, the world-famous Egyptian Museum and the largest bazaar in the Middle East. Once in Luxor, you'll explore the incredible Valley of the Kings, the extraordinary Temple of Karnak and countless other antiquities, before sailing south to to visit the Temples of Khnum and Kom Ombo. And then on to Aswan to explore its Unfinished Obelisk and Philae Temple before an afternoon on a felucca sail boat introduces you to a touch of the traditional. On the return journey to Luxor enjoy Edfu's immaculately preserved Temple of the Horus. Throughout, you'll be treated to five-star service, gourmet dining and Egyptologist-led tours that bring to life the extraordinary archaeological discoveries of this remarkable region.
Day 1: UK/Cairo
With VIP lounge access included, you'll enjoy a relaxing start to your holiday before your flight to Cairo. On arrival, a private transfer will take you to your deluxe hotel, the Nile Ritz-Carlton.
Stay: The Nile Ritz-Carlton
Day 2: Cairo
After breakfast, you will enjoy a full day's sightseeing of Cairo's most iconic sights with an expert private guide. The day starts with a visit to the awe-inspiring Pyramids - the only survivors of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - and the enigmatic Sphinx at Giza. This is followed by a tour of Egyptian Museum, home to Tutankhamen's gold mask and solid gold sarcophagus, as well as an amazing range of artefacts covering 7,000 years of Egyptian history. After lunch at a local restaurant enjoy a guided tour of the labyrinthine streets of Cairo's atmospheric Khan El Khalili market, reputed to be the largest bazaar in the Middle East. The evening is free to relax at your hotel.
Stay: The Nile Ritz-Carlton
Day 3: Luxor
In the early morning a private transfer will take you to Cairo airport for your flight to Luxor, from where you will be taken to the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV, your opulent home for the next eight nights. Inside, contemporary furnishings meet art deco flourishes as teak flooring and flowing fabrics add further elegance. Cabins and suites come with floor-to-ceiling windows and, in some cases private balconies, while on the Sun Deck, more teak, this time paired with Egyptian marble, frames a stunning outdoor heated pool. Lunch will be served on board before your Egyptologist guides you around East Bank of Luxor, including the gradeful the Temple of Luxor, dedicated to the god Amun. In the evening, you will be greeted by your Boat Manager at a cocktail reception, to review your cruise program for the upcoming days, followed by a gourmet dinner.
Day 4: Luxor/Esna/Edfu
After a buffet breakfast, you will visit the Temple of Karnak, built over more than a thousand years by generations of Pharaohs. The great “Hypostyle Hall” is an incredible forest of giant pillars, covering an area larger than the whole of Notre Dame Cathedral. After lunch and a cruise to Esna, your Egyptologist will guide you around the Greco-Roman Temple of Khnum at Esna. The beautifully preserved Great Hypostyle Hall was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius; it was excavated from the silt that had accumulated through centuries of annual Nile floods and is about nine meters below present-day street level. Afternoon tea will be served on board during the cruise to Edfu and in the evening dinner will be served onboard.
Day 5: Edfu/Kom Ombo
After a leisurely breakfast you can enjoy a morning at leisure, enjoying the facilities including the pool, gymnasium and games room. After lunch, you will have the chance to take part in an Egyptian cooking lesson, as you continue cruising to Kom Ombo.
Following afternoon tea, visit the Temple of Kom Ombo - dedicated to the crocodile-god Sobek. The temple stands at a bend in the Nile where, in ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the riverbank. On the return to the boat dinner will be served whilst cruising to Aswan. Tonight’s entertainment will be an “Egyptian Night” costume party, a Nile cruise tradition that gives guests the chance to dress up in traditional Egyptian “galabeyyas”. Dinner will be a lavish buffet of Egyptian specialties.
Day 6: Aswan
Today is a day for relaxation and enjoying the facilities on board in between meals. In the evening, a gala dinner is served, with white gloved waiters serving gourmet cuisine, before the night climaxes with a Dervish show.
Day 7: Aswan
You will have a relaxing morning to enjoy breakfast at your leisure, before enjoying the facilities on board, including the pool, games room and gymnasium. After lunch, you will take a ride on a felucca (a typical Egyptian sail boat) around Elephantine Island, Lord Kitcheners Botanical Gardens and the Agha Khan Mausoleum (weather permitting, life jackets will be provided). Afternoon tea will be served in the lounge. In the evening you'll have the opportunity to sample some Egyptian wines and beers, as well as a selection of canapés, followed by a gourmet dinner.
Day 8: Aswan/Edfu
A breakfast buffet will be served on board, followed by a short motorboat ride to visit the romantic and majestic Philae Temple on the Island of Agilika. This will be followed by a visit to the Granite Quarries which supplied the ancient Egyptians with most of the hard stone used in pyramids and temples; these quarries still hold a huge unfinished obelisk. Enjoy lunch while you cruise to Kom Ombo and then spend the rest of afternoon at leisure on-board, with afternoon tea served while you continue north to Edfu. You will enjoy a second Egyptian-themed buffet menu this evening, with entertainment and dancing.
Day 9: Edfu/Esna
This morning, explore t...
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