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 seven 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 a visit to the Temple of Karnak, built over more than a thousand years by generations of Pharaohs. Your Egyptologist will guide you around the East Bank of Luxor, including the strikingly graceful Temple of Luxor, dedicated to the god Amun. In the evening, you will be greeted by your Boat Manager for a cocktail reception, who will review your cruise program for the upcoming days.
Day 4: Luxor/Esna
Enjoy breakfast on board before visiting the West Bank of Luxor to view the remains of the self-contained village on the West Bank, where the workmen who built the Kings' and Queens' tombs lived in mud brick houses with their families. Continue to the magnificent Medinet Habu; a series of temples built by the Pharaoh Ramses III (1182-1151BC) and second only to Karnak Temple in size and complexity. Next, visit the Tombs of the Nobels; which sits 400 tombs of Theban aristocrats. Explore the famous Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens, including a visit to the enormous, terraced Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. On the way back to the Nile River, you will pass by the famed Colossi of Memnon, known in Ancient Greek times for their haunting voices at dawn. Lunch and afternoon tea will be served in the lounge while you cruise to Esna, where Sun Boat IV will moor for the night. A gourmet dinner will be served on board in the evening.
Day 5: Esna/Edfu/Kom Ombo
After a leisurely breakfast 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. You will enjoy a relaxing lunch and afternoon tea whilst cruising towards Edfu, your backdrop the passing Nile scenery. Perhaps take the opportunity for a swim in the pool or a spot of sunbathing. You will also have the chance to take part in an Egyptian cooking lesson, as you continue cruising to Kom Ombo. Tonight there will be an "Egyptian Night" costume party for all guests, a chance to dress up in traditional Egyptian "galabeyyas". Dinner will be a lavish buffet of Egyptian specialties.
Day 6: Aswan
A breakfast buffet will be served on board, followed by a morning visit to 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. Return to the boat and enjoy your cruise to Aswan during which lunch will be served. In the afternoon, visit the Nubian Museum, which showcases the art and culture of Nubia and its fascinating history that can be traced back as far as 2500BC. Tonight's dinner will be a gala dinner (jacket required), with white-gloved waiters serving gourmet cuisine.
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). Then you will continue to the Spice Market in Aswan, called The Land of Gold by the ancient Egyptians. Nubia extended from Aswan in the north to Sudan in the south and had its own distinct culture and language. Much of Nubia was covered with water when the Aswan High Dam was built, but efforts were made to save and preserve Nubian culture. This vast collection of Nubian artifacts is housed in a beautiful sandstone building. In the evening enjoying tasting a selection of local Egyptian wines and beers with canapés, followed by a gourmet dinne...
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust