Luxury Nile Cruise and The Greek Isle of Santorini
This 14-day itinerary combines a Nile Cruise of Ancient Egypt (boarding in Aswan) with Classical Athens and the romance of the Greek Isle of Santorini. Extend your stay in the Greek Isles: Add Crete
DAY 1 – Athens
Daily arrival in Athens: Apr – Oct – subject to the Nile cruise availability in Egypt. Our local rep will meet you at Athens Airport and assist with your transfer to your hotel. If you arrive early morning from the USA on Olympic Airways then you’ll have time on your own to explore the Greek capital, browse for treasures and curios, and venture to a terrace cafe or a fine meal in the old Plaka district. Private air-conditioned Vehicle. Private Chauffeur.
DAY 2 – Athens- Group Tour (B)
A half-day morning guided city tour will orient you to the high points of Athens. Group Tour – Seat in a coach. This tour gives you an opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. Our expert guides will take you to see the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896 (short stop). Continue and pass by the Prime Minister’s residence (ex Royal Palace) guarded by the Euzones in their colorful uniform, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library, and the Constitution Square (Syntagma). On the Acropolis visit the Architectural Masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally “the harmony between material and spirit”, the monument that “puts order in the mind”, the Parthenon. Continue and visit the place where at last the statues found their home and admire the wonders of the classical era: The new Acropolis museum.
DAY 3 – Santorini (B)
After breakfast, our local representative in Athens will assist with your private transfer to Athens Airport where you will board your flight to Santorini (domestic air fare in Greece is alwasy included in our rate). Fly to Santorini. Luxuriate on the beach at Santorini, remainder of the day at leisure.
SANTORINI the one. Video by Greekrotors.
DAY 4 – Santorini (B)
Honeymooners… this is your dream “fantasy island.” Santorini is the perfect romantic getaway. Remainder of the day at leisure, maybe visit on your own Thirassia Island (enjoy lunch on your own at a local restaurant /tavern) and watch sunset in Oia. Usually you return to your hotel/villa early evening.
DAY 5 – Santorini (B)
Enjoy your lovely hotel or venture out on your own,to explore Akrotiri, reputedly the site of fabled Atlantis. Then maybe on to Athinios port to take a boat across to the dormant volcano, and ascend through a crater-pocked moonscape to the crater. You may have some free time to enjoy a swim in a hot spring!!
DAY 6 – Cairo (B)
After breakfast, we escort you to the airport for your flight to Athens connecting same day to Cairo on Egyptair or Olympic Airways. Air fare in economy class is included in our rate with tax. VIP Meet & Greet upon arrival at Cairo Airport. Visa issued locally in Cairo (for a limited number of nationalities) no photos required. Our representative greets you at the airport and whisks you to your hotel. Visa will be issued upon arrival at Cairo Airport for a limited number of citizens such as: American, Australian, NZ, EU, Canadian, EU Singaporean and Japanese citizens. You are responsible for having your passport in order valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival in Cairo. Our local rep. will meet you with a sign that carries your name, and will be waiting for you with the prepaid visa stamps to proceed to the passports control to stamp your passports, then you claim your luggage. After you clear the passport and customs formalities and exit the terminal, our local representative will escort you (private vehicle) to the hotel. Welcome fruit basket & Egyptian pastry awaits you in your room with our compliments.
Sample Deluxe Hotels: Ramses Hilton, Cairo Sheraton, Sonesta, Cairo Marriott, Cairo Conrad, Semiramis InterContinental Hotel or similar.
DAY 7 – CAIRO (BL)
On your first full day in Egypt we show you the Egyptian Museum, the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, the Citadel of Saladin, and the Mohammed Ali Mosque, made of alabaster. Lunch is included at the Mena House. Private air-conditioned Vehicle. Private Chauffeur. Private Egyptologist.
DAY 8 – Tanis – Suez Canal – (B. Lunch Box)
Breakfast is included at the hotel, lunch box will be prepared by your chef with bottled water.
To the Lair of Rameses and the Suez Canal
Venture where few visitors have gone before, away from trafficked pathways and neatly packaged tours, to the legendary capital of Rameses II, the Great. So unusual is this full-day adventure, and so select are the people who take it, that special permits are required from the Egyptian Department of Antiquities. And if this opportunity is not enough to whet your appetite, we’ll round out a spectacular day with a journey forward through the centuries, to the modern wonder of the Suez Canal.
Arrange your wake-up call… we’ll be heading out from Cairo at 6 a.m. on our day of discovery. We’ll make our way through busy streets, and beyond, to the fertile farmlands of the Nile Delta, seemingly unchanged since the time of the pharaohs, watered by a web of canals running from the life-giving Nile, worked by villagers with hand tools and the aid of camels and donkeys. We’ll pass through Zagazig, a bustling cotton and grain farming center, and stop at nearby Bubastis, capital of the 22nd and 23rd dynasties. Here, the cat was more than a king, it was honored as a goddess, and sacred cats were buried in chambers that lie behind an Old Kingdom Chapel. Parts of temples erected by Osorkon II and Nectanebo II also remain.
But this is only prologue… We’ll continue to Tanis–modern San El Hagar–famed in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark as the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Tanis was the capital of Smendes, founder of the 21st Dynasty, a grand center whose rich remains include the main temple of Amun, and a royal Necropolis with the only Pharaonic burials never touched by ancient tomb raiders. There are even artificial lakes contained by limestone blocks.
So grand was Tanis that many believe that it was the capital of Rameses the Great. Among the layers of cities and palaces might lie the site of the Pharaoh’s court that was built by the labor of the ancient Hebrews before Moses led them out of Egypt.
Tanis is a restricted site because of its ongoing excavations and its intact burial chambers that are still yielding treasures and understanding of the ancients. It will be your privilege to make your own discoveries as one of the few to tread these stones. Because our path is away from the usual routes of visitors, we will travel with provisions, including a box lunch, and of course, bottled water.
After our discovery of Tanis, we’ll journey northeastward through the delta and across the centuries to a wonder of the modern world. The Suez Canal opened in 1869 to international celebration that included the commissioning of the opera Aida, after ten years of excavation that employed more than a million laborers. The canal was the technological feat of its day, connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, cutting trade routes to the East in half, and changing the course of history. Even today it is the mainstay of Egypt’s economy, its neutrality guaranteed by treaty.
We’ll visit Ismailia, where the historic Canal headquarters are located. We’ll soak up the atmosphere of worldwide commerce passing through this sash of the sea, and conjure up the international intrigues of bygone days, as we take a break for tea and sandwiches at a local establishment. If time permits, we’ll see the fortifications of the Bar Lev line, held by Israel after the Six Day War of 1967, and demolished by water cannon in 1973 in a surprise Egyptian attack.
After a day of encounters with ancient and modern history, we’ll continue on our way back to Cairo.
DAY 9 – ASWAN (or Luxor), Board your Nile Cruise: Camel Caravan! (BLD)
We fly to Aswan (or Luxor) and board our Nile cruiser in time for a delicious lunch. Complimentary welcome fruit basket awaits you in your cabin. Morning Tour of the Nubian Museum. In the afternoon we enjoy a leisurely sail by graceful felucca on the Nile. Only for those who are interested: a short camel caravan and boat ride to visit a local Nubian Village. Cabin amenity: Local sweets platter and 2 large bottles of water. In the evening your guide will call on you for a private horse-drawn carriage ride to explore Aswan souks and the water front.
DAY 10- ASWAN – KOM OMBO- Sailing The Nile (BLD)
First we tour the awesome Aswan dams, and next an ancient granite quarry complete with an unfinished obelisk. Then we go by motor launch to the island temples of Philae. Re-embarking on our Nile cruiser, we sail downstream to Kom Ombo to visit its twin temples. Cabin amenity: Egyptian Galabya with our compliments.
DAY 11 – EDFU – Luxor – Cruising The Nile (BLD)
We moor in Edfu, climb aboard horse-drawn carriages, and clip-clop through the town to the Temple of Horus, Egypt’s best-preserved temple. Re-embarking, we cruise to Esna, pass through the locks. Evening finds us in Luxor. Cabin amenity: Fruit basket- 2 large bottles of water
DAY 12 – LUXOR- Deir El Medina Village- Cruise The Nile (BLD)
Today’s tour includes the Ancient Workers Village at Deir El Medineh, the first known “Workers Village.” These were the true creative heroes who built the temples and tombs for the mighty Pharaohs of the Nile Kingdom.
Deir El Medinah is on Luxor’s west bank where you get a totally different perspective on ancient Egyptian life at the ancient workers’ settlement. While most of the imposing stone monuments and sites of Egypt honor the lives and after-lives of royalty, Deir el-Medinah gives us unique and surprising insights into the ordinary citizens who constructed and decorated the tombs.
Here we’ll see the excavated homes shared by laborers with their domestic animals. These quarters were surprisingly large, with three good-sized rooms, courtyard, kitchen, and even storage cellars. While ancient Egypt might not have been a workers’ paradise, we’ll see that artisans and builders were highly regarded in their community.
Today’s tour include as well a visit to the Valley of the Kings including Tut-Ank-Amon’s tomb, temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari, and Colossi of Memnon, returning to our Nile cruiser for lunch. Following lunch aboard, we visit the great Temple of Luxor, and the gigantic Great Temple of Amon at Karnak, returning to our vessel in time for tea. Evening Sound and Light show at Karnak, please bring a jacket with you.
DAY 13- LUXOR – CAIRO (B)
After breakfast, we fly back to Cairo. In the afternoon, wander through the city on your own, or do your last-minute shopping.
Complimentary Dinner is included at a local home:
Meet the locals. You may wish to bring token gifts to exchange with the host family (T shirt, small souvenirs of your home town). This evening we’ll venture where few ordinary visitors ever tread… right into the homes of some of the people of Cairo! You’ll be invited to a family dinner, and while you enjoy wholesome home-cooked specialties, you’ll learn about and appreciate the outlook, aspirations, and way of life of your hosts. Be assured, as curious as you may be about your new friends, they’re sure to have questions about your own background. Once the ice is broken, you’ll enjoy a lively evening, and find that you have more in common than you ever suspected. Of course, if you prefer, you may enjoy a quiet evening with your travel companions – just let us know your preferences.
DAY 14 – CAIRO/DEPARTURE (B)
Our representative escorts you to the airport for your homeward flight. Bon Voyage!
RATES per person in USD:
Deluxe Nile Cruise
This tour starts daily in Athens, but subject to Nile Cruise availability.
All tour rates are subject to change without notice.
The tour includes…
- Airfare Athens Cairo in economy class with tax included.
- Airfare Athens Santorini Athens in economy “Y” class, with tax included.
- Dpmestic air between Cairo & the Nile Cruise in economy “Y” class, with tax included.
- All transfers in Greece and Egypt always on a private basis, private air -conditioned car/driver.
- Private touring in Cairo and Athens, private air-conditioned vehicle, private chauffeur.
- Hotel accommodations, including all taxes and service charges, based on the rate category you choose.
- Nile cruise, including all meals, afternoon tea served on deck daily, and shore excursions.
- One large bottled water per person delivered to your cabin daily while you are on board the Nile
Cruise, plus a small bottle of water with each & every meal on board the cruise
- Tea or coffee and water with each & every meal while you are on board the Nile cruise.
- Complimentary welcome drink upon arrival on board the Nile Cruise.
- Complimentary welcome fruit basket on board the Nile Cruise.
- Pre-set menu meals as shown including B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
- Guided, escorted sightseeing tours in Athens, the Nile Cruise and Cairo as indicated in the itinerary, including all entry fees
- VIP Meet & Greet At Cairo Airport
Our representative greets you at the airport and whisks you to your hotel. Visa will be issued upon arrival at Cairo Airport (photos are not required).
- Egyptian Visa will be issued for a limited number of citizens such as: American, Australian, NZ, EU, Canadian, EU Singaporean and Japanese citizens. You are responsible for having your passport in order valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival in Cairo. Our local rep. will meet you with a sign that carries your name, and will be waiting for you with the prepaid visa stamps to proceed to the passports control to stamp your passports, then you claim your luggage. After you clear the passport and customs formalities and exit the terminal, our local representative will escort you (private vehicle) to the hotel. Welcome fruit basket & Egyptian pastry awaits you in your room in Cairo upon arrival with our compliments
- Trip Cancellation/travel insurance.
- International air fare from/to USA, please ask for information on these fares or use your own free air miles.
- Sample Accommodation in Santorini:
Dana Villas, in Firostefani with view of the volcano.
Chromata Apartments, in Imerovigli with a view of the volcano.
- Sample hotels in Athens:
Deluxe: Divani Palace Acropolis. First: Titania, Stanley
- Sample hotels in Cairo:
Deluxe: Hilton. Sheraton. Hyatt. First:Helnan Shepheard’s. Oases