ITINERARY EGYPT 2024
Sail the Nile
& Cairo Land Package
Steve & Jackie Green
February 8 - 20, 2024
Aboard the Elegant Ship
February 6 - 8, 2024
Optional Prelude To Museum of the Bible,
A journey to the lands of the Bible is best experienced after a curated experience at Museum of the Bible. Join Inspire on a VIP Museum of the Bible Prelude for a new immersive encounter custom designed to prepare you for your trip to Egypt. We will draw out items in the collection that will help us better understand the Biblical influence on Egypt. Explore how Coptic Christianity has had an impact on our world today, and we will pray together and worship in some of the most significant places in our nation’s capitol. Whether this is your first or fiftieth, a trip to Washington, D.C. with Inspire will be an all-new experience.
Arrive in DC for a welcome dinner on February 6. After an overnight at The Hyatt Place, located within a short walk to the museum, expert guides will accompany you through the museum. Please schedule an evening flight on February 7 to depart D.C. for Cairo for an arrival on February 8. After your VIP welcome at the Cairo airport, you will be able to enjoy a day of rest at Mena House before your Egyptian adventure begins on February 10.
Museum of the Bible Prelude: $1,750/couple and $1,250/single traveler. This is a reduced rate and also includes access to your hotel room on February 7 until you depart for the airport for your flight to Cairo.
Early night in Cairo on February 8:
Grande Suite: $990/night
Deluxe Suite: $790/night
Suites A & B: $660/night
CA/CB/E Cabins: $580/night
Thirteen Day Core Itinerary
Thursday, February 8, 2024
Depart United States
Depart the United States for overnight transatlantic flights to the ancient city of Cairo, Egypt (airport code CAI).
Friday, February 9, 2024
Arrive in Cairo
At the airport, meet your VIP arrival hosts and enjoy a private golf cart transport to a VIP lounge while your luggage is collected for you. Enjoy private transfer to Mena House, a 5-star gem located in the shadow of the Great Pyramids of Giza. Settle in and enjoy a spa treatment, dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants, and rest well. Our adventure begins in the morning.
Saturday, February 10
After breakfast at our hotel, a day of fascinating attractions awaits, beginning with the Egyptian Museum, with its 120,000 artifacts on display. Among the many treasures housed in the museum, the most prized include the gold funerary mask of Pharaoh Tutankhamun (King Tut) and Khufu’s solar boat, a wooden boat built over 4,000 years ago and unearthed from the sands near the pyramids of Giza. Along the way, our Egyptologists will provide captivating explanations of the museum’s highlights.
Then discover the monumental Giza complex, which consists of three large pyramids built between 2589 BC and 2504 BC. Options to authenticate your Egyptian adventure are a camel ride among the iconic pyramids or a visit to the burial chamber of Cheops’ Great Pyramid. Following a Welcome Reception at our hotel, please enjoy dinner at leisure wherever and with whomever you please.
Sunday, February 11
Begin your day at the necropolis of Saqqara – site of the famous step pyramid of King Zoser, the oldest pyramid on earth. Archeologists at Saqqara regularly unearth stunningly untouched tombs. In recent years, more than 100 mummies have been discovered along with intricately painted walls and countless inscriptions. Hidden for nearly four millennia, the discoveries at this ancient site await you. Our Egyptologists will hand pick from among the many recent findings to show you the most compelling wonders.
Following an included lunch, join the group at your hotel for a briefing of the highlights of Egypt to help prepare you for visiting the sites on your carefully crafted itinerary. Later this afternoon, you will be treated to a private sunset visit to the Grand Sphinx, which still guards the great pyramids after 4,800 years. Can you answer her riddle?
Enjoy dinner as you please at one of the hotel’s offerings.
Monday, February 12
Cairo to Luxor
After a leisurely breakfast, we will depart our hotel and take a flight south to Luxor – formerly known as Thebes, the capital city of the New Kingdom of Upper Egypt. Luxor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to two astonishing temples – Karnak and Luxor.
The City of Luxor is also your gateway to many of Egypt’s vast treasures that you’ll discover throughout your Nile River Valley cruise, so it is here that you’ll be welcomed aboard the AmaDahlia. Unpack your bags for a week of discovery and relaxation. The same Egyptologists who accompanied us through Cairo will continue to led us for the entire week of exploration along a carefully curated itinerary. The sites included in your trip are selected to illustrate the importance of ancient Egypt to the development of Scripture and the Hebrew people as well as one of the earliest and most complex civilizations on earth.
Before dinner, you will enjoy a private sunset visit to the Temple of Luxor, constructed over hundreds of years by Amenhotep III, Ramses II, Tutankhamun and other pharaohs. The illumination of this ancient site is breathtaking.
Tuesday, February 13
Luxor - Valley of the Kings & Valley of the Queens
Visit the tombs of ancient Egypt in the Valley of the Kings – one of the most famous archeological sites in the world. The spectacular rock-cut tombs located on the west bank of Luxor include that of the enigmatic King Tutankhamun, whose mummified remains are still here on display. Next, you’ll visit the Valley of Queens, home to the mummified remains of more than thirty queens and princesses, including Nefertari’s Tomb, where you’ll enjoy exclusive access. One of the best preserved and extensive sites revealing the lives of the artisans and builders of the tombs of the kings and queens is Deir el-Medina, or the Worker Village. There is no comparable site in which the social organization and living conditions of the common people of the ancient world can be studied. Here you will also see images that correlate to scriptural depictions in Genesis.
Ramesseum is the grand mortuary temple of Pharaoh Ramesses the Great that inspired “Ozymandias” by poet Percy Shelley. On this temple the pharaoh declared in hieroglyphics to be “king of kings” and “look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.” While this temple is a monument of human accomplishment, it fails to achieve the standards of a divine creation. Our Egyptologists will be sure to highlight the imagery of Ramesses sitting under the tree of life, an echo of the true Tree in the Genesis account of creation.
Also, near this temple archeologists located the “Israel Stele” that is currently housed in the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Wednesday, February 14
The city of Edfu is best known for one of Egypt’s most remarkably preserved temples, dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god. Built in 230 BC, it is the second-largest temple in Egypt and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with walls that display compelling details about the religion and language of the country’s Greco-Roman period. After visiting Edfu, relax on board and take in the Nile River’s timeless landscapes as the ship continues onward to Aswan.
As with all FIRST CENTURY VOYAGES, our special guests will highlight the role this land played in the biblical narrative and how archeological evidence supports and confirms Holy Scripture. This experience of traveling with biblical experts who can connect Scripture to the arch of history is truly unique.
Thursday, February 15
Aswan & Abu Simbel
Enjoy free time in Aswan or go on an included excursion to Abu Simbel. If you choose the excursion, you’ll take a flight to Lake Nasser to the more than 3,000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site dedicated to Ramses II, one of the most active of pharaohs, along with the smaller temple dedicated to his chief wife Queen Nefertari. The front of the main temple has four gargantuan statues of Ramses II on his throne, each measuring nearly 70 feet high, which were discovered half buried in sand in 1813. During the afternoon, take a peaceful ride in a felucca, a traditional Egyptian sailboat. End the day of exploration with a private high tea at the famed and picturesque Old Cataract Hotel, where Agatha Christie set her novel, "Death on the Nile."
Friday, February 16
Aswan & Edfu
Board a motorboat and cruise to the colorful Nubian Village of Hessa. Meet the warm and friendly Nubian people who will welcome you to their village. Savor the kind hospitality here as you immerse yourself in the local culture.
Later this morning, explore the UNESCO-designated Philae Temple complex, with one of the most stunningly restored and preserved hieroglyphs in Egypt, built between 380 BC and 362 BC, and dedicated to the goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus. But it is also at this temple where archeologists have found evidence of an early Christian presence. There is strong evidence that Christians used this temple as a place of worship and refuge.
Here you will examine both the ancient engineering and artistic masterpiece of Philae Temple and its incredible role in the growth and protection of the early Coptic Christian church.
Back on board we will cruise to Edfu for a visit to the Great Temple of Kom Ombo, with soaring columns rising dramatically above the Nile. Unique in Egypt, this temple is dedicated to the crocodile god, Sobek, and the falcon-headed Haroeris. After visiting Kom Ombo, relax on board and take in the Nile’s timeless landscapes as the ship continues onward to Esna.
Saturday, February 17
Esna & Luxor
Spend the morning with scenic cruising along the glistening Nile River as our ship returns to Luxor. This morning, you explore the Temple of Karnak, the largest religious complex in Egypt and one of the largest in the world, covering about 200 acres in a vast network of columns, hieroglyphics, obelisks, sphinxes, colossi and even a lake. The Hypostyle Hall is a great architectural marvel and filled with roof blocks supported by 134 colossal columns standing 70 feet high, with even larger columns lining the central aisle. It is still the largest room of any religious building in the world. If you have visited Istanbul with FIRST CENTURY VOYAGES, you have seen the twin obelisk stolen from Karnak Emperor Theodosius I in 390 AD, in order to decorate the Hippodrome – an amazing feat!
There are opportunities to shop for small collectibles and gifts for friends and family along the trip. FIRST CENTURY VOYAGES and our local guides will give you important tips before you haggle with shopkeepers and those who will approach the ship with wares for sale.
Sunday, February 18
Dendara & Luxor
Today we go to Dendara to visit the one of the bestpreserved temples in Egypt, the Temple of Hathor – the Goddess of Love, to whom the powers of joy, feminine love and motherhood were attributed. The temple was built by Ptolemy and a group of Romans who worshipped her; so don’t miss the back of the temple where there is a relief depicting Cleopatra with Caesarion, her son by Julius Caesar, the Roman Emperor who brought us the months of July and August. The temple also boasts intricate subterranean crypts used to store vessels and Egyptian iconography. Painstaking and careful cleaning of the temple revealed a spectacular ceiling painting in the main hall. Here you will see gloriously vibrant and colorful paintings dating from antiquity.
Back aboard one of the most luxurious ships on the Nile, sail back to Luxor and partake of the many opportunities to learn about the trustworthiness of Scripture from our special teachers.
Monday, February 19
Luxor to Cairo
Disembark the ship in Luxor and fly back to Cairo where you will be taken to the Abdeen Presidential Palace, considered one of the most luxurious palaces in the world. The royal structure consists of multiple museums, including the Silver Museum; the Arms Museum; the Royal Family Museum; a Presidential Gifts Museum and a Historical Documents Museum, which is a relatively new addition. It is also one of the official residences and places of work for the President of Egypt. Afterwards, be treated to a very special lunch at the palace. Finally, you’ll explore the old part of the city, which includes Coptic Cairo, where the Hanging Church and Ben Ezra Synagogue are located.
Enjoy a restful night at the Nile Ritz Carlton. Our hotel offers various dining options and houses many restaurants offering tantalizing ethnic options for your dining this evening. Dinner is wherever and with whomever you choose.
Tuesday, February 20
Depart for the United States
Our FIRST CENTURY VOYAGE comes to an end with heartfelt farewells at breakfast this morning. Your transfer to the airport will be arranged for you today. May you return home with hearts full of new and renewed friendships, knowledge of fascinating ancient human accomplishments, and a deeper understanding of the hand of God on the path of history and His Word.