The River Nile between Cairo and Luxor has reopened, allowing exciting cruise itineraries between the capital and Upper Egypt once again. Explore some of the least visited and most important sites including Tel el Amarna – site of the ‘heretic pharaoh’ Akhenaten’s city, the beautifully preserved Temples at Dendera and the Temple of Seti I at Abydos.
Your ship: The Movenpick MS Darakum is one of the largest vessels cruising the river Nile between Luxor and Aswan. Its Moroccan inspired design makes it stand out and it offers an unforgettable journey while cruising through 7,000 years of history. A variety of recreational activities are available including a swimming pool, sun deck with a recreational area, themed parties and a gym.
The Movenpick MS Darakum features 44 Standard and Superior cabins as well as 8 suites uniquely designed in a Moroccan inspired decor. Offering panoramic views of the Nile, all cabins are air-conditioned and have been designed to the very highest of standards for your comfort and enjoyment throughout the trip. Each cabin has either two single beds or a king-size bed as well as a private bathroom with a bathtub and hairdryer. Further amenities include a minibar, satellite LCD TV, internal telephone, safe deposit box and two life jackets.
Duration15 Days / 14 Nights from NZD $14,950*
Type of JourneyCruise
• Cairo • Beni Suef • Minya • Tel el Amarna • Abydos • Luxor • Kom Ombo • Aswan
Departure Dates21 Feb
• Independent tour with English-speaking guide
• 14 breakfasts, 14 lunches and 14 dinners on board cruise
• 14 nights’ accommodation on board 4 Star cruise
• Sightseeing and entrance fees
- Items of a personal nature
- Domestic flights within Egypt
14950Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
Day 1: Arrive Cairo
Check into the MS Darakum, enjoy dinner and overnight on board.
Day 2: Cairo
Visit the Pyramids, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum
• Cheops – The Great Pyramid of Khufu is the most famous pyramid in Egypt. One of the “Seven Wonders Of The World”, it is the only ‘Wonder’ still remaining. Its four sides face the four cardinal points precisely and it has an angle of 52 degrees.
• Chefren – Khafre’s Pyramid is recognisable by the layers of casing stones at its summit and this, along with the fact that it stands on a higher part of the plateau, gives the impression that it is taller than the Great Pyramid.
• Mycenae – Khafre’s son Menkaure built this, the smallest of the three main pyramids on the Giza Plateau.
The Great Sphinx has to be one of the most easily recognised structures in the world. Sculpted from soft sandstone, it is likely it would have disappeared had it not been buried in the sand for so much of its life. It faces the rising sun, and was revered so much a temple was built in front of it.
After lunch visit the Egyptian Museum, then enjoy your first evening on board.
Day 3: Cairo
Today, visit Memphis, Sakkara and Coptic Cairo.
Memphis functioned as the ancient capital of Lower Egypt and of the Old Kingdom of Egypt from its foundation until around 2200 BC. Sakkara is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt with the world’s oldest standing step pyramid.
In the afternoon visit Coptic Cairo including the Hanging Church, Coptic Museum and the Jewish Synagogue. The Hanging Church is considered the oldest church in the area of Old Cairo. It is known as Al-Muallaka (the hanging) because it was built on the ruins of two old towers that remained from an old fortress, the Fortress of Babylon. It was dedicated to The Virgin Mary and St. Dimiana. It dates back to the end of the 3rd century AD and the beginning of the 4th century AD, but it has been reconstructed and renovated several times since. The Coptic Museum is a beautiful museum found in the middle of Old Cairo on the ancient site of Babylon and contains the largest collection of Egyptian Christian artifacts in the world.
Day 4: Cairo > Beni Suef
Farewell Cairo this morning and set sail upstream along the Nile. Enjoy a full day relaxing on board today, watching the Egyptian farmland and sugar cane plantations as you pass gently by. Today will be a full day of sailing to Beni Suef. This evening enjoy dinner and a wine tasting on board.
Day 5: Minya
Today sail to Minya. Located south of Cairo on the western shores of the Nile River, Minya was once an important center of trade.
Day 6: Minya
Today you will visit Tuna el Gebel and Ashmunein. After lunch visit the Beni Hassan tombs including the tombs of Baqet, Khety, Amenemhet and Khnumhotep II.
Day 7: Minya > Tel El Amarna > Asyut
Sail early morning to Tel El Amarna, the home of the ‘Amarnian experience’. Arrive in Amarna in time to visit the Amarna Visitor Centre for a presentation on Akhenaten and Nefertiti. Visit the northern tombs, the Tomb of Ahmose, Tomb of Meryre, Tomb of Pentu, Tomb of Panehesy, and the Royal Tomb of Akhenaten. You’ll have the chance to see the Great Palace of King Akhenaten and the small and great temples of Aten. Return to the boat and sail to Asyut, stopping en route in front of Prince Tawdrous Monastery to view the monastery from the boat. Tonight enjoy a Galabeya Party onboard.
Day 8: Asyut > Sohag
A leisurely sailing to Sohag, with all meals on board. Enjoy a Black and White Party night.
Day 9: El Balyana > Abydos > Naga Hammadi
Set sail early this morning to El Balyana as you continue your sail upstream towards Qena. Visit Abydos temple, the holy city of Osiris, God of the Dead and the new kingdom temple of Seti I. The area around Abydos temple was believed to be the place where Osiris was buried. Thus, Abydos was an important cult centre for Osiris. A number of temples dedicated to Osiris, all of which were located in one area, were built prior to the reign of Seti.
Day 10: Qena > Luxor
Sail to Qena and visit Dendera, one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. The main temple at Dendera is possibly the most grand and elaborate of its time. It is also one of the most important temple sites in the country with a variety of features and in wonderful condition despite the destruction of the temples of Hathor’s consort and child which stood close by. Sailing to Luxor, enjoy cooking lessons on board.
Day 11: Luxor
Visit the West Bank today.
• Valley of the Kings – the Egyptian belief that “To speak the name of the dead is to make him live again” is certainly carried out in the building of the tombs. The king’s names and titles are inscribed in his tomb along with images and statues.
• Temple of Hatshepsut – the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut is one of the most dramatically situated in the world. The queen’s architect, Senenmut, set it at the head of a valley overshadowed by the Peak of the Thebes. A tree lined avenue of sphinxes led up to the temple, and ramps lead from terrace to terrace.
Day 12: Luxor > Edfu
Visit the Temple of Karnak – no site in Egypt is more impressive. It is the largest temple complex ever built by man, and represents the combined achievement of many generations of craftsmen. Also visit the Temple of Luxor, which was the centre of the important festival of Opet. Built by Amenhotep III and Ramses II, the temple’s main purpose was as a suitable setting for the rituals of the festival. Sail to Esna and pass the lock, then overnight in Edfu.
Day 13: Edfu > Kom Ombo > Aswan
See the Temple of Horus and the Temple of Kom Ombo.
• Edfu – the Temple of Horus is considered to be the best preserved cult temple in Egypt. The town was the capital of the second Nome (Horus) of Upper Egypt.
• Kom Ombo – a unique and unusual temple dedicated to two gods – Horus and Sobek. There is a Nilometre close to the edge of the river and an anteroom containing mummified crocodiles to be seen here.
Sail on to Aswan to overnight.
Day 14: Aswan
See the High Dam, Philae Temple and Nubian Museum. Philae Temple was dismantled and reassembled (on Agilika Island about 550 metres from its original home on Philae Island) in the wake of the High Dam. The temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis, is in a beautiful setting which has been landscaped to match its original site. Enjoy your last night on board with a Nubian Show.
Day 15: Aswan
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to depart.
• Please contact us for specific departure dates.
• Prices are based on a standard main deck cabin
• Please enquire about upper deck and suites
• Optional Abu Simbel tour at the end of the cruise approximately NZD$800 per person
• Sightseeing services will be provided on a group basis with other English speakers on board
• If you wish to have a private guide, a supplement will apply
• Please enquire about a shorter version of this itinerary with disembarkation in Luxor.
• Cruise will operate in reverse direction on various dates
• NB: Some of the more remote temples and other sites are located some distance from the ship, and sightseeing transfers can take some time