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Between the Paws by Small Ship

13 days

Alexandria + Cairo + The Nile aboard the Oberoi Zahra

Our Distinctive A+R Style

+ Stand between the Paws of the Sphinx, usually off-limits to visitors, for a private field talk with Dr. Ashraf Mohie El-Din, an engaging scholar with extensive experience mapping excavations on the Giza Plateau.
+ Peel back the layers of history in Alexandria, the fabled Mediterranean port-city of Cleopatra.
+ With our private docking facilities on the Nile, you’ll step off ship efficiently for more time to explore ashore with our expert Egyptologists.
+ Fly to Abu Simbel to visit the must-see Temples of Ramses II.
+ Sail aboard a traditional felucca to visit the Aswan Botanical Garden.
+ When the Grand Egyptian Museum opens, it will be included in our touring of Cairo – allowing you to be among the first to visit this lavish new facility.
+ With 8 nights luxury hotel and 4 nights cruise; all 34 meals with wine at lunch and dinner; all sightseeing + shore excursions; all transfers; all 3 internal flights; port charges; and all gratuities except your Egyptologist guide.

Visit 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
 

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Day
1

Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted by our staff and assisted with immigration formalities – from obtaining your visa through baggage claim and customs. Then we’ll take you to the luxury Kempinski Nile Hotel where a Nile-view room awaits.
 

Day
2

Between the Paws of the Sphinx

Kempinski Nile Hotel - Cairo, Egypt

This morning, we’ve made special arrangements for a private field talk in an area that is usually off limits to visitors. Directly under the watchful gaze of the Sphinx between his massive paws, we’ll be joined by Dr. Ashraf Mohie El-Din. Drawing upon his professional experience mapping excavations on the Giza Plateau, he is a wonderful speaker that will enrich your first day of exploration. (If you are on a Private Tour with just your traveling party, this exclusive Between The Paws field talk will be conducted by our own A+R Egyptologist, rather than Dr. El-Din.)

Then gaze upon the Great Pyramids c and have lunch at the landmark Mena House. Continue to Memphis c, site of Egypt’s ancient capital, to see the Colossus of Ramses II and the beautiful Alabaster Sphinx. At nearby Sakkara, you’ll gaze in wonder upon the remarkable Step Pyramid of King Zoser. You’ll also be among the first to behold the vibrant drawings and inscriptions in the 4,000-year-old Tomb of Mehu – newly opened to visitors for the first time in 80 years. This evening, you’ll dine along the Nile. Meals B+L+D

Note: When the new Grand Egyptian Museum opens, our sightseeing itinerary will also include a guided tour of this state-of-the-art facility overlooking the Great Pyramids.
 

With our expert Egyptologist, your tour of Old Cairo c includes fine views from the Citadel, a medieval fortification set on a hill. Here you’ll also admire the impressive Muhammad Ali Mosque, built in the mid 1800’s. After lunch at the 5-star InterContinental Hotel, you’ll visit the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities; with insight from our wonderful Egyptologist, it’s the perfect introduction to the ancient sites you’ll explore along the Nile. End your touring in the lively Khan El Khalili bazaar - where gold, jewelry, exotic spices and rugs have been traded for centuries. Today it’s a great place to browse for gifts and mementoes. Meals B+L+D
 

Day
4

After breakfast and check-out, we’ll leave Cairo behind us for our morning’s journey to the ancient port of Alexandria. Enjoy lunch on arrival and then begin your guided exploration here in the fabled city of Cleopatra and Alexander the Great.
 
The Royal Library of Alexandria was one of the greatest institutions of the ancient world, drawing learned people from throughout the Mediterranean and beyond from its construction in the 3rd century BCE until its destruction centuries later. Today, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina stands as a marvel of the modern world. Shaped like a giant discus embedded in the ground, its granite facades are carved with letters, pictograms, characters and hieroglyphs from more than 120 different scripts. Inside, its main reading room can hold 8 million books and accommodate 2,500 people under its distinctive sloping roof. After our guided tour through this striking landmark, check in to the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel. Settle in to your elegant Mediterranean-View Room where you’ll have time to refresh before for dinner.  Meals B+L+D
 

Day
5

Founded in 331 BCE by Alexander the Great, this legendary port city has much to see that bears witness to its ancient glory. With our engaging guide, your touring begins with the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa. Just discovered in 1900, this vast complex of rock-cut tombs was used for nearly 200 years starting in the 2nd century AD. With ornamented columns, labyrinthine passages, funeral halls and relief carvings in a variety of styles, the Catacombs are a vivid illustration of Alexandria’s unique blend of Egyptian, Greek and Roman traditions. At Pompey’s Pillar, you’ll discover an impressive monolithic column that was erected in 300 AD to honor the Roman Emperor Diocletian.
 
Outside of town, explore the lovely Montazah Palace and Royal Gardens. Set on nearly 150 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds along the Mediterranean, you’ll discover two striking palaces. Built as a hunting lodge in 1892 by the last ruler of the Mohammad Ali Dynasty, the Salamlek Palace has been restored on several occasions and served as a presidential residence. On the same grounds, the newer Al-Haramlik Palace is distinguished by its fanciful blend of Moorish, Turkish and Florentine architectural elements. Before returning to your luxury hotel, you’ll also visit the ancient Roman Amphitheater.  Meals B+L+D
 

After breakfast, you’ll make the return journey to Cairo, arriving in time for lunch at Andrea. Then continue to the Waldorf Astoria Heliopolis Towers for check-in where you’ll have time to relax and refresh before dining tonight here at our luxury hotel. The Waldorf Astoria’s convenient location close to the Cairo airport is ideal for your morning flight tomorrow to Luxor.  Meals B+L+D

Day
7

Embark the Oberoi Zahra

The Oberoi Zahra

After breakfast, we’ll take you to the airport for your included flight to Luxor where the luxurious and intimate Oberoi Zahra awaits. Settle in to your spacious light-filled stateroom or suite and then gather with your fellow passengers for lunch.
 
In mid-afternoon, go ashore to visit two of Egypt’s most celebrated sites of antiquity, beginning with the great Karnak Temple c. With our skilled Egyptologist leading the way, you’ll stand before its massive pillars and admire the grand Hypostyle Hall; encompassing more than 50,000 square feet, this is the largest hall of any temple in the world. Continue to the nearby Luxor Temple c, built in the 14th century BC and connected to the Karnak complex by the nearly 2-mile long Avenue of Sphinxes. The temple walls of Luxor are embellished with skillful carvings of the Gods of Karnak accompanied by a festival procession of priests, musicians, dancers and sacred cows. With keen insight from our Egyptologist, today’s sightseeing offers a fascinating look into the culture and beliefs of ancient Egypt. Return to ship for Tea in the Lounge, and time to refresh before this evening’s welcome cocktail reception and dinner.  Meals B+L+D
 

Day
8

Explore the Valley of Kings

The Oberoi Zahra

The Oberoi Zahra enjoys private docking facilities along the Nile; so stepping off quickly and efficiently away from the cluster of other ships and their passengers, you’ll have more time to explore ashore with our expert Egyptologists.

Focusing on the sites of the West Bank, where 64 ancient Egyptian rulers are buried in the Valley of Kings c, this morning’s tour includes Madinat Habu - the tomb of Ramses III with its impressive exterior walls. The fabled final resting place of King Tutankhamen and the fabulously decorated tomb of Ramses VI are also among the highlights. Equally as fascinating as these tombs is the ancient village of Deir el-Medina. More than 3,000 years ago, this community was home to the thousands of artisans and laborers who constructed the tombs and temples in the Valley of Kings. In addition to this unusual archaeological site, your morning sightseeing also includes the Colossi of Memnon, two towering statues of Amenhotep III that stand like guards along the road to the Valley of Kings.  Meals B+L+D
 

Day
9

The Temples of Edfu and Kom Ombo

The Oberoi Zahra

After a leisurely breakfast, join our engaging Egyptologists ashore in Edfu to explore the Temple of Horus, considered by many scholars to be the best-preserved cult temple in all of Egypt. Built later than many of the other sites along the Nile, it is still a stunning example of traditional Pharaonic architecture and ranks as the second largest temple in Egypt – after the great Karnak Temple. Rich in design, intricate in detail and ingenious in its massive construction, the extraordinary quality of every element here attests to the paramount importance of the falcon-headed Horus.

Return to ship for lunch and a delightful afternoon of scenic cruising. Then step off at our ship’s private pier to explore the Temple of Kom Ombo. Built on a picturesque bend in the Nile, where crocodiles used to sun themselves, this unusual dual-deity temple of the Ptolemaic Period is dedicated to both Haroeris (one of the oldest forms of the falcon-headed God Horus) and, appropriately enough, the fearsome Crocodile God Sobek.  Meals B+L+D
 

Day
10

The Aswan Dam + Philae Temple + Botanical Garden

The Oberoi Zahra

In contrast to the ancient wonders of Cairo and the Nile, the remarkable High Dam at Aswan is an achievement that belongs to modern Egypt. With enriching insight and narration, you’ll explore this engineering marvel; completed in 1970 at a cost of about $1 billion, it spans more than 2 miles and towers 300 feet. This morning’s excursion also includes the Temple of Philae, rescued from the rising waters of Lake Nasser after the completion of the High Dam. Now situated on a lovely island, the earliest elements of this impressive complex include a small temple built around 370 BCE and dedicated to the Goddess Isis.
 
After lunch onboard, you’ll step aboard a felucca, the traditional sailing vessel of the Nile, to visit the Aswan Botanical Garden on El Nabatat Island. Also known as Kitchener’s Island, this small oval-shaped island was given to Lord Horatio Kitchener in the late 19th century when he was commander of the Egyptian Army. With a passion for beautiful flora, he turned the island into a delightful garden filled with hundreds of species he imported from the Far East, India and parts of Africa.  Meals B+L+D
 

After breakfast and stepping off ship, we’ll take you to the airport for your included flight to Abu Simbel. With our expert Egyptologist on-hand, your extensive tour of the Temple of Ramses II reveals one of the world’s most impressive sights of antiquity. Behold these 67-foot high figures of the King, carved from solid rock, and hear the dramatic story of how they were moved 200 feet above their original site to protect them from the rising waters of the Aswan Dam. In addition to its oft-photographed statues, the interior hall is decorated with amazing relief carvings that depict a great battle with more than 1,000 stone figures.

We include your afternoon flight back to the capital, where you’ll be escorted to the Waldorf Astoria Heliopolis Towers; conveniently located close to the airport, it’s ideal for your final nights in Egypt.  Meals B+L+D
 

This day is yours to relax, explore and enjoy as you wish. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner with wine.  Meals B+L+D

If you wish, we can arrange a special visit to the Working Rooms at the Grand Egyptian Museum! While this state-of-the art facility is still under construction, A+R guests can enjoy exclusive access to the Working Rooms. Here in this subterranean state-of-the-art facility, you can watch as scientists and Egyptologists painstakingly restore and prepare recently excavated artifacts for further study, research and exhibition. Call us for details.

Day
13

Farewell to Cairo

After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your onward flight. Or why not extend your travels with one of our Short Tours across the Middle East? We offer a wide variety of destinations including Petra, Jerusalem, Abu Dhabi - and even a luxury Oberoi resort along the Red Sea. From Oct 20, 2020 until Apr 10, 2021, you can visit Expo 2020 Dubai, the first-ever World’s Fair in the Middle East.  Meals B
 

Extend Your Trip

Add the Highlights of Jordan

5 Day Extension from $1,599

Discover Jordan’s remarkable sites of antiquity after your journey to Egypt. We include all on-tour transportation, outstanding hotels and extensive guided sightseeing including Jerash, the King’s Way, Madaba, Petra and Wadi Rum.

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Day
1

From Cairo, Egypt to Amman, Jordan

On the final morning of your 9-day Visions of Egypt Small Ship Journey, you’ll be escorted to the airport in Cairo for your included flight to Jordan. Upon arrival in the capital, you’ll be met and escorted to the deluxe W Hotel in the heart of this friendly and vibrant city.

Day
2

Jerash, Madaba and Mt. Nebo + Onward to Petra

This morning, you’ll begin your sightseeing at ancient Jerash, regarded as the best-preserved provincial Roman city in the world. Enter through the imposing triple-arched gateway built to honor Emperor Hadrian and then explore a wealth of ancient sites including the impressive Oval Plaza and Temple of Zeus.
 
Then travel along the King’s Way to Madaba to admire finely-preserved Byzantine mosaics including an impressive 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land. Sit down to a congenial lunch of traditional Jordanian dishes at Hikayet Sitti, set in a restored home in the heart of this ancient city. Continue to Mt. Nebo, traditional burial site of Moses, for sweeping views over the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea. Visit the site of a 6th-century Byzantine church and then continue to Petra for a 2-night stay at the deluxe Mövenpick Hotel, ideally located across from the visitor’s entrance.  Meals B+L

Day
3

Explore ancient Petra

Mighty Petra was a strategic link in ancient caravan routes and is still stunningly preserved after nearly 2,000 years. Built by the Nabataeans and later abandoned, it was lost to civilization for centuries until its re-discovery by a Swiss adventurer. The entire city is carved into the sides of a deep gorge, and the only entrance is through a narrow opening called the Siq. As your guide leads you into Petra from between these 100-foot cliffs, a remarkable vista unfolds… Temples, tombs and dwellings chiseled out of the solid, rose-hued stone. Your extensive tour includes the famous Treasury, the Roman Theater, the Temple of the Winged Lion and numerous other ancient monuments.
 
After sightseeing, head to the Petra Kitchen where you’ll join the Jordanian staff to prepare traditional dishes including a soup, hot and cold appetizers, and a main course. After this memorable hands-on learning experience, you’ll sit down to a congenial dinner featuring the dishes you’ve helped to prepare.  Overnight again at the comfortable Mövenpick Hotel.  Meals B+D

Day
4

Wadi Rum + Back to Amman

Depart Petra after breakfast and journey into the spectacular desert landscapes of Wadi Rum, immortalized in the epic film, Lawrence of Arabia. With an experienced Bedouin driver, you’ll explore in a 4x4 vehicle through this remote region, where sandstone and granite mountains rise sheer-sided from wide sandy valleys to reach imposing heights of 4,000 feet and more. Embark on a guided walk in the Khazali Canyon to see ancient Nabataean inscriptions and drawings. Then join a local Bedouin family for a midday meal of mansaf; regarded as the national dish of Jordan, this delicious entrée features lamb cooked in a yogurt sauce and usually served family-style on a large platter over rice or flat bread. Continue back to the capital and check in again at the 5-star W Hotel.  Meals B+L

Day
5

Depart Amman, Jordan

You’ll be escorted to the Amman airport today for your homeward journey.  Meals B

Private Tour Add-Ons

Petra

The legendary Lost City of Petra is a must-see highlight of any journey to Jordan. Our flexible Private Touring includes 2 nights at the perfectly located Mövenpick Hotel, roundtrip transfers from Amman or the Allenby Bridge, and sightseeing with your own personal guide.

Dubai Stopover

With non-stop service on award-winning Emirates, 21st-century Dubai is a convenient, easy-to-add stopover that will enhance your travels to India or Africa. Our Dubai private tours include a choice of superb hotels, privately guided sightseeing, and private airport transfers.

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Act Now...  

  • Free Companion Air in Economy
  • $1,000 Off Companion Fares in Business and Economy Plus
  • Solo Travelers Save $500 on air

Pay in full at booking by 11/30/19
+ Travel anytime through 2021

Save $1,000 Per Couple
+ $500 Solo

Pay in full at time of booking.

Departures through March 2020  

Our departures through March 2020 feature a 5-night cruise aboard the Oberoi Zahra with an additional excursion to visit Dendera Temple. Your stay in Cairo, a total of five nights instead of six, will not include the free day as shown in this itinerary.

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DepartureReturnFromAvailabilityDeparture Note
24 October 201905 November 2019$8,399Sold Outfeaturing 5 night cruise
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$8,399Sold Out
Luxury Suite with Terrace$9,122Sold Out
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
07 November 201919 November 2019$9,199Sold Outfeaturing 5 night cruise
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,199Sold Out
Luxury Suite with Terrace$11,159Sold Out
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
06 February 202018 February 2020$9,499Sold Outfeaturing 5 night cruise
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,499Sold Out
Luxury Suite with Terrace$11,499Sold Out
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
05 March 202017 March 2020$9,499Availablefeaturing 5 night cruise
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,499Available
Luxury Suite with Terrace$11,499Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
02 September 202014 September 2020$8,399Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$8,399Available
Luxury Suite with Terrace$9,699Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
30 September 202012 October 2020$9,499Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,499Available
Luxury Suite with Terrace$10,999Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
28 October 202009 November 2020$9,499Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,499Available
Luxury Suite with Terrace$10,999Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
13 January 202125 January 2021$9,499Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,499Available
Luxury Suite with Terrace$10,999Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
17 February 202101 March 2021$9,499Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,499Available
Luxury Suite with Terrace$10,999Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
17 March 202129 March 2021$9,499Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,499Available
Luxury Suite with Terrace$10,999Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
14 April 202126 April 2021$9,499Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,499Available
Luxury Suite with Terrace$10,999Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
22 September 202104 October 2021$9,499Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,499Available
Luxury Suite with Terrace$10,999Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
20 October 202101 November 2021$9,499Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,499Available
Luxury Suite with Terrace$10,999Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
27 October 202108 November 2021$9,499Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Luxury Cabin$9,499Available
Luxury Suite with Terrace$10,999Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking

Prices are per person, land only. We offer air on Egypt Air or Emirates. A visa for Egypt is required for U.S. citizens and is available upon arrival.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

Free Companion Air

Available for Economy Class travel when you pay in full at booking by Nov 30, 2019 for any 2020-2021 departure. If you prefer Economy Plus or Business Class, take $1,000 off your companion’s airfare. Solo travelers enjoy $500 savings on air! Applies to new bookings made between Oct 1 and Nov 30, 2019 and cannot be combined with our ongoing pay-in-full discount. Any airline charges for advance seat assignments are not included. Cancellation penalties and other requirements and conditions may apply.

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