A Grand 16-day Tour of Egypt and Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey and Cairo, Egypt
Abu Simbel and of course a Nile Cruise
Board your Nile Cruise in Luxor
DAY 1 – Friday. ISTANBUL – Weekly – Year Round (B)
Upon arrival at Istanbul, you’re met at the airport by our representative, who sees you to your hotel, and answers any questions you may have about getting to know the city. As you ride into the great metropolis from the airport, two thousand years of history are revealed: towering Roman walls, ancient Byzantine churches, slender minarets framing the bulbous domes of graceful mosques. These ancient monuments float on the skyline of a bustling modern metropolis of ten million people.
DAY 2- Saturday. ISTANBUL (BL)
The center of ancient Constantinople and Istanbul was on Seraglio Point, framed by the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. We visit the Blue Mosque, built by Sultan Ahmet III to challenge the architectural primacy of neighboring Sancta Sophia. We then walk next door to compare achievements in Justinian’s great Sancta Sophia. Right behind Sancta Sophia is our next stop, sumptuous Topkapi Palace, the sultans’ seraglio for centuries, filled with breathtaking exhibits of priceless jewels, golden thrones, delicate colored tiles, and lavish court costumes. We finish up in the bustling Grand Bazaar, where you can find jewelry, carpets, goat-hair rugs, hand-painted ceramics, copper and brass in labyrinthine streets holding nearly 4000 shops.
Smooth Tricks of a Turkish Ice Cream Parlor. Video by Tom Henry.
DAY 3 – Sunday. Istanbul / CAPPADOCIA (BD)
Morning Flight to the heart land of Anatolia arriving at biblical Cappadocia and your Hotel. Private air-conditioned vehicle, private chauffeur and private guide. Dinner is included this evening at charming local restaurant.
Day 4 – Monday. CAPPADOCIA (B)
We explore the “moonscape” of Cappadocia, visiting the painted churches in the Göreme and Zelve Valleys, the rock hewn dwellings in Ortahisar, the pottery-making center of Avanos, and the incredible underground city of Kaymakl (or Derinkuyu).
Day 5 – Tuesday.CAPPADOCIA / KAYSERI / IZMIR, EPHESUS (B)
Proceed by private car to Kayseri, board your flight on to Istanbul and connect to Izmir, and your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure.
DAY 6 – Wednesday. Ephesus / ISTANBUL (B)
We proceed to time capsule & the gem of ancient cities of the Greco Roman world: Ephesus, the capital of Roman Asia Minor, we spend most of the day in Ephesus and touring the Basilica of St. John, said to mark his tomb. Then fly back to Istanbul and our hotel for one last chance to go on a shopping spree in the legendary covered Bazaar. Istanbul is all yours, any way you like it. Grab your Lonely Planet guidebook and stroll along the restored 19th-century thoroughfare of Istiklal Caddesi, once known as the Grand Rue, DE Péra. Search for spices and folk remedies in the Egyptian Bazaar. Admire the medieval mosaics in the city’s many Byzantine churches. Shop in the chic boutiques around Taksim Square. Climb the Galata Tower, built by the Genoese six centuries ago, for a panoramic view of Old Istanbul.
DAY 7 – Thursday. ISTANBUL, CAIRO (BD)
After breakfast our local representative will take you to the airport to catch your flight for Cairo – air fare is included in economy class, tax included. In Cairo, our local rep. whisks you through the excitement and hubbub of the terminal, and onward to your hotel.
VIP Meet & Greet Service @ Cairo Airport
Our local representative greets you at the airport and whisks you to your hotel. VIP Meet & Greet Service at Cairo Airport. Visa fee is included and will be issued upon arrival at Cairo Airport for: Australian, NZ, American, EU, Canadian & 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.
Visa will be issued upon arrival. As you exit the gate, you will pass through a door or two, down some stairs, then walk for 2-5 minutes, until you pass the duty free shops, at the end of a wide corridor, you will see the security officers. There you will be met by a local representative, who will be holding a sign with your name. Our local representative will then take your passport to obtain a stamp from the cashier / bank window and escort you to speak with the passport officer. He will escort you through another last check on your passport as you exit the passport control, into customs area. He will assist you in collecting your luggage and clearing customs. After exiting the terminal, our local representative will escort you (private vehicle) to the hotel. Dinner is included this evening at the hotel.
DAY 8 – Friday. CAIRO (BLD)
Today you’ll explore the wonders of the Egyptian Museum, with its treasures of the ancient pharaohs: mummies, statuary, precious stones and metals. Travellers have long come to Cairo just to gaze on these sights, but your day has just started. You’ll also see the Citadel of Saladin and the alabaster mosque of Mohammed Ali. In Giza, on the edge of the desert, you’ll gaze in awe at the mysterious Sphinx and the Pyramids. Evening departure on board the sleeper train – officially 4 stars, we rate it: Modest 3 stars (private compartment), dinner is served on board. If you prefer to fly, please add: $120 per person to any of the rates, in which case you spend tonight in Cairo, and fly tomorrow morning to Aswan.
DAY 9 – Saturday. Luxor (or ASWAN) – Board Your Nile Cruise (BLD)
Breakfast is served on board before you arrive Luxor in Upper Egypt. Where our local rep will meet you and escort you to your Nile Cruise. Subject to the time of arrival, you may enjoy breakfast again on board the Nile cruise if you arrive in time while breakfast is still being served.
Your cabin may not be ready early in the morning as other guests are still checking out, however you’ll have access to all the public areas on board the boat. You might wish to explore the water front and Luxor souks. Check-in around noon, in time for a delicious lunch. Complimentary welcome fruit basket awaits you in your cabin. In the evening, we have arranged for a horse drawn carriage ride for you to attend the Sound & Light show at Karnak. Please bring a jacket and always carry with you a bottle of water (long performance) and a flash light.DAY 10 – Sunday. Luxor / Edfu – On Board Your Nile Cruise (BLD)
We tour today as well the magnificent tombs in the Valley of the Kings including Tut-Ank-Amon’s tomb and the great temple of Queen Hatshepsut, we stop at the Colossi of Memnon on the way back to our cruise.
Afterward we’ll continue on Luxor’s west bank to get a totally different perspective on ancient Egyptian life, at the ancient workers’ settlement of Deir el-Medinah. 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 will see that artisans and builders were highly regarded in their community. We are proud to be the only operator to offer regular visits to this singular ancient settlement in its tour and cruise programs.
The gigantic Great Temple of Amon at Karnak, and the mighty Temple of Luxor are our goals in the afternoon. We’ll return in time for the afternoon tea served on deck. You’ll have a chance to explore your ship before dinner. We cruise to Esna to go through the locks, and on to Edfu where we dock for the night. In the evening we’ll celebrate in Egyptian style dressed in galabias, the flowing national costume. A galabya will be delivered to your cabin with our compliments.
Day 11 – Monday – EDFU, KOM OMBO- On Board Your Nile Cruise (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 on our Nile cruiser, we enjoy lunch as we sail further south upriver. We disembark downstream at Kom Ombo to visit its twin temples of Haroeris, the sun god, and Sobek, the crocodile god, then continue our voyage to Aswan, while we party after dinner with music and dance.
DAY 12 – Tuesday – ASWAN- On Board Your Nile Cruise (BLD)
First we tour Aswan dams and then explore an ancient granite quarry complete with an unfinished obelisk. Then we go by motor launch to the Island temple of Philae, dedicated to the Ancient Goddess ISIS. In the afternoon we enjoy a leisurely sail by graceful felucca on the Nile.
Our farewell dinner this evening is a buffet of Egyptian specialties, followed by a show featuring oriental performers, including of course a belly dancer.
DAY 13 – Wednesday – Abu Simbel (B)
We take a short flight to Abu Simbel, where your private guide, private air-conditioned vehicle and private chauffeur, will be waiting for you. We will explore these huge temples:
Temple of Queen Nefertari:
The great funerary temple, built in the 12th century BC by Ramses the Great for Queen Nefertari, is unique in Egyptian history. Beautifully restored with American aid, it’s the only such temple built by a pharaoh for his queen. We rise early to see it as few visitors are admitted each day. It’s sure to be a highlight of your Egyptian adventure.
Ramses the Great Abu Simbel Temple:
Ramses the Great’s huge desert temple at Abu Simbel marked the southern border of the pharaoh’s dominions. Rescued from the rising waters of Lake Nasser by an international effort, it is a marvel of sacred engineering. Twice a year – and only then – the sun penetrates to the Holy of Holies, illuminating the stone figures of Ramses and Nefertari.
After the tour we then fly back to Aswan, arriving in time to take lunch aboard your Nile cruiser.
This afternoon we’ll have the opportunity to experience Egypt at its most authentic, as we sail the Nile in a graceful felucca. If you wish, try your hand at camel riding! We’ll take a traditional caravan to enjoy tea with Nubian villagers.
DAY 14 – Thursday. Aswan, CAIRO, HOME HOSTED DINNER (B)
After breakfast we’ll head to the airport to catch our flight to Cairo. After we settle you into your hotel, you’ll have your last opportunity to experience the excitement of this great city and, of course, do some last-minute shopping.
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 15 – CAIRO- Dahshour, Memphis, Sakkara- Friday (BLD)
A morning tour takes us to the time capsule treasure of Dahshour, the newly-opened pyramid field south of Cairo. We’ll motor to the edge of Cairo, to Dahshour, the pyramid field south of Cairo. We visit the great pyramid of Senfru, father of Cheops, and other structures:
The “Discovery” of Dahshour:
For almost half a century, the great field of huge pyramids near the desert village of Dahshour, 25 miles south of Cairo, has been off limits to the public. Confined within the perimeter of a military base were many pyramids, including the great 4500-year-old pyramid built by Senfru, father of Cheops. Senfru’s pyramid, the largest in Egypt until his son built Giza’s Great Pyramid, is rhomboidal in shape: it tapers more distinctly on its upper half. All the pyramids were coated in thick plaster at one time. Most have lost these protective, decorative sheaths, but Senfru’s – miraculously – is still in place.
After lunch at the Mena House we head for Memphis and Sakkara, including the Step Pyramid of Zoser and Nobles tombs/Mastabas. Dinner is included at the hotel.
|RATES per person in double occupancy in US$:
All cabins on the Nile cruise are outside cabins with two lower beds, all with panoramic windows.
|Sharing in Triple
|$ 5035.||$ 4785.||$ 4466.|
|In Double Occupancy||$ 5178.||$ 4865.||$ 4588.|
|In Single Occupancy||$ 6290.||$ 5884.||$ 5422.|
|Christmas/ New Years (Dec 15 – Jan 3), Easter Weeks: Please add: 20% to the rates
For children 2-10 years of age: 25 % discount will apply when sharing with parents in a double room
Sample Deluxe Nile Cruise:
M/S Mojito, M/S Monaco or M/S Monte Carlo Nile Cruise, M/S Adonis, M/S Beau Soleil, M/S Florence, M/S Lady Diana
Sample First Class Nile Cruise:
M/S Nile Dream, M/S Ruby
- 5-day 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.
- Guided tours as listed, including all entrance fees.
- Hotel accommodation as mentioned in Turkey and Cairo, including tax and service charges, and breakfast daily.
- Meals as indicated, with preset menu (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- Airport greeting and assistance. Transportation between airports, hotels, and port.
- One-way air transportation Istanbul and Cairo.
- Port taxes.
- Domestic air in Egypt.
- VIP Meet & Greet Service @ Cairo Airport
Our local representative greets you at the airport and whisks you to your hotel. VIP Meet & Greet Service at Cairo Airport.
Visa fee is included and will be issued upon arrival at Cairo Airport for: Australian, NZ, American, EU, Canadian & Japanese citizens. You are responsible for having your passport in order valid at least for 6 month beyond the date of your arrival in Cairo.
- Egyptian Visa will be issued upon arrival. As you exit the gate, you will pass through a door or two, down some stairs, then walk for 2-5 minutes, until you pass the duty free shops, at the end of a wide corridor, you will see the security officers. There you will be met by a local representative, who will be holding a sign with your name.
Our local representative will then take your passport to obtain a stamp from the cashier / bank window and escort you to speak with the passport officer. He will escort you through another last check on your passport as you exit the passport control, into customs area, he will assist you in collecting your luggage and clearing customs. After exiting the terminal, our local representative will escort you (private vehicle) to the hotel.
- Trip interruption and cancellation insurance.
- Add air fare from USA.
- Visa Fee: (procure yours online in advance of travel at www.evisa.gov.tr/en/)
- Additional personal expenses, beverages, and meals not specifically mentioned in the itinerary.
Sample Hotels used or similar – 5 Stars and best available:
- Istanbul: Conrad Hotel, Hyatt Hotel, Inter.Continental or similar. If you prefer a boutique style Ottoman Mansion Hotel, please let’s know in advance: Sample: Blue House. Arena. Yesil Ev, Sultanahmet Sarayi, Sultanhan or similar
- Kusadasi: Korumar Hotel or similar
- Pamukkale: Colassae Hotel or similar
- Antalya: Talya Hotel or similar
- Konya: Riixos Hotel or similar
- Cappadocia: Cave Suites Hotel or similar (local 4 star)