King Ramses Sun Festival with Cruise - 13 Days
Departure dates & prices
Dates Availability Price
Breakfast daily, 3 lunches and 3 dinners.
7 nights 4-5 star hotels, 3 nights aboard 5 star Nile Cruiser (en suite cabin).
1 overnight train from Cairo to Aswan (Private 2 berth sleeper cabin).
Overnight bus journey (3.
5hrs) departing at around midnight to Abu Simbel and use of hotel room prior to the festival.
Guided visit to Abu Simbel at sunrise for the Sun Festival of King Ramses II including Abu Simbel and Sun Festival entrance fee.
Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1 and day 13.
Touring - Cairo, Giza, Saqqara, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Kom Ombo, Luxor and Hurghada.
3 days in Hurghada by the Red Sea - Swim, snorkel and relax.
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! Upon arrival at Cairo airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at your own leisure. Tonight, your Welcome Meeting will be held at 7pm.
Day 2 - Pyramids of Giza Today visit to the legendary pyramids and iconic Sphinx at the 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 can 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.
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. This morning we arrive into Aswan and 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 the Nile Cruiser, home for the next three nights. 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.
In the early hours of the morning we board our coach to the Grand Temples of Abu Simbel. Upon arrival we await the first rays of sunlight, which will signify 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 in all ancient Egypt, the great Sun Temple of King Ramses II at Abu Simbel was constructed between 1290 and 1224 BC to revere the mighty pharaonic ruler himself. Ramses the Bold, Ramses the Great, Ramses the Narcissist are perhaps all apt titles for one of ancient Egypt’s most powerful rulers.
Built by Ramses II to demonstrate his political clout and divine backing to the ancient Nubians, Abu Simbel is an incredible self-tribute. Guarding the entrance to the temple, hewn into the side of a mountain, are four colossal statues of the pharaoh himself. 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 a small part of the rest of the temple peeked above the desert sands. It wasn’t until the British happened upon the temple and started excavating that the full glory of Abu Simbel was revealed to the modern world. The other rock cut temple at Abu Simbel is the Temple of Hathor, which is fronted by six massive standing statues. Four of them represent King Ramses II, whilst the other two are of his beloved wife, Queen Nefertari.
In a fit of precision and architectural egotism, Ramses II had the Great Temple carefully angled and oriented in order that the sun’s rays would align 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 phenomenon provides for a most spectacular sight, which has come to be referred to as the Sun Festival of King Ramses II. Crowds assemble in the temple before sunrise and watch the shafts of light slowly creep through the inner Hypostyle Hall and through to the Sanctuary. Significantly, the sun illuminates statues of Amun-Re, Re-Herakhte and Ramses the god, whilst the statue 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.
Returning to Aswan, our Nile Cruiser departs 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 for the night.
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, an optional visit available to the Temple of Luxor, stunningly illuminated by hundreds of lights.
Day 8 - Luxor This morning 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 can lose yourself wandering around the massive stone papyrus columns. Spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Day 9 - Hurghada Luxor - Hurghada. Departing Luxor we head east to Hurghada part of the beautiful Red Sea Riviera for 3 days on the beach!
Day 10-11 - Hurghada The next few days are free to independently explore Hurghada or simply relax. There is the option of going snorkelling on day 10 but the rest of the time it's up to you!
Hurghada is one of the Red Sea's most popular resorts and it is easy to see why. Hotels and expanded infrastructure provide holidaymakers with excellent aquatic facilities for sail boarding, yachting, deep-sea fishing, SCUBA diving and snorkelling. Hurghada’s central location provides a gateway to prime offshore reefs, some of which are of the finest in the world. For retail therapy, the town has lots of shops selling knock-off bags and tees, snorkelling gear and suchlike. Hurghada also offers plenty of good nightlife options to choose from. Just outside Hurghada is an ancient Roman quarry called Mons Porphyritis and Port Safarga – a famously windy place and windsurfer's paradise.
Day 12 - Hurghada Hurghada - Cairo. We drive back to Cairo this morning, upon arrival we check into our hotel. The reminder of today is at your leisure, or you can opt to join our optional visit to the exotic Khan el Khalili Bazaar. It's a top spot to browse and bargain for authentic Egyptian souvenirs, from ornate free-standing tobacco pipes and pharaonic tat, to belly dancing costumes and spices and carpets.
Day 13 - Cairo Saturday 30 Oct 2021. Cairo - breakfast. Hotel check out and included onward transfer to airport.
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