Abu Simbel Sun Festival Oct 2021 with Cruise - 11 Days
Departure dates & prices
Dates Availability Price
Breakfast daily, 3 lunches and 3 dinners.
5 nights 4-5 star hotels, 3 nights aboard 5 star Nile Cruiser (en suite cabin).
2 overnight trains from Cairo to Aswan and Luxor and Cairo (Private 2 berth sleeper cabin).
1 overnight night bus (3.
5 hrs) with 4 star hotel before hand to freshen up and rest prior to the festival event.
Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 11.
Touring - Cairo, Giza, Saqqara, Aswan and Luxor.
Guided visit to Abu Simbel at sunrise for the Sun Festival of King Ramses II including Abu Simbel and Sun Festival entrance fee.
Escorted by an Egyptian tour guide degree qualified in Egyptology.
All relevant transfer and transportation in private modern air-conditioned vehicles.
Day 1 - Cairo Monday 18 Oct 2021. Welcome to Egypt! Arrive Cairo, included transfer to hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure or those arriving early, opt to join our optional Backstreets of Cairo tour which departs the hotel at 10am. Tonight, your Welcome Meeting will be held at 7pm.
Day 2 - Pyramids of Giza Today we visit the stunning pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza Plateau. Sole survivors from the ancient Greek-listed Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids are the planet’s oldest tourist attraction. Gaze in awe at Cheops (Khufu) - the largest of the three great pyramids. Constructed from over 2.5 million limestone blocks it is thought to have taken more than 20 years to construct. Continuing to Saqqara, we explore the myriad tombs and temples at this site and see Zhoser’s step pyramid - constructed by Imhotep, the pharaoh’s chief architect in 2700 BC. This evening is at your leisure.
Day 3 - Cairo Cairo - Aswan. Today we embark on a guided tour of the new Grand Egyptian Museum, acclaimed for its treasures of King Tutankhamun and his famous solid gold funerary mask. There is a mind-boggling array of relics and antiquities from almost every period of ancient Egyptian history housed in the museum, making it one of the foremost in the world. There is also the option to see the Royal Mummies for an additional fee, if you wish. Later, there will be a chance to have dinner before the overnight sleeper train to Aswan.
Day 4 - Aswan Aswan - Abu Simbel - Nile Cruiser. Arrival Aswan, this morning we enjoy a short boat trip to Agilika Island for Philae Temple - dedicated to the goddess Isis. Upon returning to Aswan we visit a perfume oil emporium. Then check-in on board your Nile Cruiser, home for the next three nights. Later, there is free time to perhaps enjoy some shopping in the colourful souks and markets or simply relax in this attractive town which straddles the River Nile.
On board the cruiser there is free time to relax before departing in the early hours of the morning on our coach journey toward the Temples of Abu Simbel. Here we await the first rays of sunlight to touch the temple gate signifying the start of the Sun Festival of the mighty King Ramses II.
Day 5 - Abu Simbel 22 October. Abu Simbel - Aswan - Nile Cruiser. Possibly the most awe-inspiring temple of all ancient Egypt, with its gargantuan rock-cut façade, the great Sun Temple of King Ramses II at Abu Simbel was created to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler King Ramses II. Ramses the Bold, Ramses the Great, Ramses the Narcissist are perhaps all apt titles for one of ancient Egypt’s most powerful rulers. Celebrating a life that spanned nearly a centenary, Ramses had plenty of time for his more than 200 wives and concubines who produced him some 96 sons and 60 daughters.
Built by Ramses II to demonstrate his political clout and divine backing to the ancient Nubians, Abu Simbel is an awesome self-tribute. Guarding the entrance to the temple (built between 1290 and 1224 BC) hewn into the side of a mountain are four famous colossal statues of the pharaoh himself, which sit majestically staring out across the desert. Over the centuries, the desert sands imperceptibly shifted until the temple was all but lost to humanity. It was rediscovered by chance in 1813 by a Swiss explorer called John Lewis Burkhardt. Only one of the heads of the pharaohs was showing and only a small part of the rest of the colossal temple peeked above the desert sands. It wasn’t until the British happened upon Abu Simbel and starting excavating, that the full glory of the temple of Abu Simbel was revealed to the modern world.
The temple was dedicated to the deified Pharaoh, King Ramses II, known also as the great builder and the gods Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ptah. In a fit of precision and architectural egotism, Ramses II had the entire temple precisely positioned in order for the sun’s rays to align just twice a year, on the date of his ascension to the throne (21 February) and on his birthday (21 October) to illuminate the inner sanctum of the temple. This incredible natural phenomenon provides for a most spectacular sight, which has come to be referred to as the Sun Festival of King Ramses II. Crowds pack into the temple before sunrise and watch the shafts of light slowly creeping through the rock hewn inner Hypostyle Hall (replete with further statues of the King) and through to the Sanctuary. As we are lead through the temple there will be time to pause for a moment to watch the sun illuminating the statues of Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ramses the god, whilst the statute of Ptah - the god of darkness - remains in the shadows.
Famously, the temple was re-located in a multi-million dollar operation in 1972, further up from the shoreline of Lake Nasser, which had threatened to erode the foundations of this monolithic temple complex. For this reason, the sun now strikes a day later than Ramses had originally planned, though the event this morning itself is no less stunning. After the event, there is plenty of time to explore the Sun Temple of King Ramses II, the Temple of Hathor and take pictures.
After watching this incredible event unfold we return to Aswan. Our Nile Cruiser departs Aswan this afternoon and we cruise the River Nile to Kom Ombo where we disembark to visit the temple which is dedicated to the crocodile headed god - Sobek before returning to the cruiser.
Day 6 - Nile Cruising Nile Cruiser - Luxor. Relax, enjoy a swim in the pool and chill out in the sun on deck this morning. Let your troubles melt away as we cruise the River Nile to Luxor. Home of the legendary Valley of the Kings and Temple of Karnak, 4000 year-old Luxor is ancient Egypt at its best. Arriving into Luxor this afternoon, the rest of the day is free to explore the city before we spend our final night aboard the cruiser.
Day 7 - Luxor This morning we disembark and check into our 5 star Luxor hotel. The day is free to relax and explore. Tonight, there is an optional visit available to the beautifully illuminated Temple of Luxor.
Day 8-9 - Luxor Luxor - Cairo. On day 8 we explore the West Bank of the Nile and the legendary Valley of the Kings. Marvel at Colossi of Memnon, the massive stone remains of the Temple of Amenophis III, and explore the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and surrounding tombs.
After lunch we visit the Temple of Karnak, a spectacular religious complex built on a gigantic scale, where you get lost wandering around the massive stone papyrus columns.
Day 9 is a free day to explore the wonders of Luxor independently or take advantage of the facilities at the hotel that include a relaxing pool with swim up bar and health and fitness facilities. Tonight, we return by overnight train to Cairo.
Day 10 - Cairo This morning we arrive back into Cairo and transfer to our hotel. Today is at your leisure to independently explore Cairo, or you could book locally our optional visit to the exotic Khan el Khalili Bazaar where you can pick up a few souvenirs.
Day 11 - Cairo Thursday 28 Oct 2021. Our Egyptian adventure comes to an end today. Included departure transfer to the airport later today in time for your international flight.
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