CAIRO, THE PYRAMIDS, NILE CRUISE, KARNAK AND LUXOR
Are you intrigued by the mystery of mummies? Have you imagined yourself in a scene from an Indiana Jones film? Here’s your chance to be an amateur Egyptologist, digging into this country’s enigmatic architecture and antiquities on our special women-only departure. You’ll enjoy highlights like the Great Pyramids of Giza, as well as a fascinating lecture about modern Egyptian women! Enjoy homemade food at a Nubian restaurant with a chance to learn more about their traditions before you embark on a cruise down the legendary Nile River in a level of comfort even Cleopatra would approve of. Explore the Valleys of the Kings and Queens and visit a local Egyptian home and farm at the West Bank for tea. Along with captivating commentary, your smarTours guide will offer tips, tailored to your interests and activity level, on how to make the very most of your free time in the land of the pharaohs.
Looking for a roommate or to connect with other women before your trip? Join our smarTours Women-Only Facebook group! Visit the group here (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1145762302478350/) and click the + Join Group button!
- International Flight
- 2 nights in Cairo
- 1 night in Aswan
- 3-night Nile Cruise
- 2 nights in Luxor
- 1 night in Cairo
- Optional 3-night extension to Alexandria
- Great Pyramids of Giza
- Sphinx of Giza
- Philae’s Temple of Isis
- Ptolemaic Temple for Horus and Sobek
- Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
- Temples of Karnak & Luxor
- Egyptian Museum of Antiquities
- Khan El Khalili Bazaar District
Your extension highlights:
- Alexandria Library
- National Museum
- Montazah Gardens
- Jewelry Museum
Special Women-Only Departure Highlights:
- Modern Egyptian Women Lecture Led by a Female University Professor
- Lunch at Nubian Restaurant
- Visit to Local Egyptian House & Farm
- Round-trip airfare from New York (JFK)
- Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
- Accommodations at deluxe hotels and on cruise ship
- 18 meals: 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
- Comprehensive sightseeing tours and entry fees
- Experienced English-speaking Tour Director throughout
- Transportation in an air-conditioned bus
Find your special women-only tour experiences in bold in the itinerary below.
Click the Day-by-Day itinerary above (or swipe on mobile devices) to see the experiences that await on each day of your tour.
Depart from the U.S.
Overnight flight to Cairo. Your tour includes round-trip airfare from the U.S.
Arrive in Cairo
Welcome to Egypt’s capital and largest city. Upon arriving at Cairo International Airport, you will be met and assisted through customs and formalities before transferring to your hotel. Take some time to relax and get settled before joining fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.
Cairo Marriott Hotel or similar | Dinner
Pyramids of Giza
Our destination today: the wondrous Pyramids of Giza. Built during the Third and Fourth Dynasties, these monuments stand as testimony to the skill and strength of their builders. We’ll get up close to study the Great Pyramid, as well see as the Pyramids of Khefren and Mycerinus in the distance. Nearby, we’ll gaze at the mythical Sphinx of Giza, which famously combines a reclining lion with the head of an Egyptian king. After these amazing sights, we’ll lunch as the Egyptians do at a local Cairo restaurant. This afternoon will include a fascinating lecture led by a female…
Today you’ll be picked up at your hotel and we’ll fly from Cairo to Aswan. Upon arrival you can either hop on another short flight for an optional tour to the Abu Simbel Temples or head to the hotel and start exploring Aswan at your leisure. For lunch, we will dine at a Nubian Restaurant (homemade) in Aswan and meet the local Nubian Women who are eager and empowered to share their traditions. Nubians are believed to be one of the earliest cradles of civilization descended primarily from southern Egypt.
Movenpick Aswan or similar | Breakfast
In the morning, visit a modern-day architectural wonder, the Aswan High Dam, as well as Philae’s Temple of Isis, which was nearly lost to rising water in the 1960s until the dam was built. Afterwards, you’ll board your Nile cruise ship to depart on a three-night journey from Upper to Lower Egypt. There more about the Nile River here.
Movenpick Royal Lily or Steigenberger Minerva | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Nile Cruise/Kom Ombo/Edfu/Luxor
We’ll cruise to Kom Ombo to visit an unusual double temple, built in the Ptolemaic period and dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek and the falcon-head god Horus. After exploring Kom Ombo, we’ll sail on to Edfu, an Egyptian city on the west bank of the Nile River. Our day continues with a tour of the immense, well preserved Temple of Edfu, built between 237 and 57 B.C. and also dedicated to Horus. Legend says that this was the site where Horus avenged his father’s murder by his uncle, the god Seth. Back on board the Royal Lily, we’ll sail past Esna to Luxor….
Often considered the most extraordinary open-air museum in the world, Luxor boasts an imposing array of ruins and monuments. The modern name for Thebes (the “city of palaces”), Luxor is also the inspiration for the word luxury, and we’ll see quite a bit of architectural extravagance today. The graceful Temple of Luxor was built over several centuries by Amenhopis III, Tutankhamun, Ramses II and Alexander the Great and features an avenue of sphinxes. We’ll also tour the ancient temple complex of Karnak. The immense wealth of Thebes was spent embellishing and building temples in honor…
After breakfast, we’ll say farewell to the Royal Lily and continue our exploration of Luxor and the Nile’s west bank. We’ll visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt’s second confirmed female Pharaoh and regarded as one of its most successful rulers, as well as royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. The afternoon is free to relax or investigate exhibits at the Luxor Museum.
Sonesta St. George Luxor or similar | Breakfast
Today we will visit a local Egyptian House and farm at the West Bank to have tea. Tea (shai) is the national drink in Egypt and you have the opportunity to connect with the local Egyptians over this pastime. The balance of the day is at your leisure to further explore Luxor or relax by the pool.
Sonesta St. George Luxor or similar | Breakfast
A morning flight takes us back to Cairo and our last hotel. Today, we’ll explore the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, which houses the world’s largest collection of artifacts from the era of the pharaohs, including some belonging to King Tut. Afterwards, we’ll wander through the bustling, colorful Khan El Khalili Bazaar. We’ll end the day by sharing memories of our amazing travels through Egypt at a farewell dinner.
Hilton Heliopolis or similar | Breakfast, Dinner
Take a last look at Egypt before your airport transfer and flight back to the U.S.
Discover Alexandria on our new 3-night extension available in 2020!
- From approx. $549 Per Person
This morning, you’ll transfer from Cairo to Alexandria. Begin exploring this historic port city with a visit to the famous Alexandria Library, fascinating National Museum, and magnificent Montazah Palace Gardens. Spend the evening at your leisure. Your guide can help you find great restaurants nearby.
Cecil Alexandria Hotel or similar | Breakfast
Today, discover the city’s Roman influences with a tour of the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, a stop at Pompey’s Pillar, and a visit to the Amphitheatre. We’ll also browse the Royal Jewelry Museum and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
Cecil Alexandria Hotel or similar | Breakfast, Lunch
After a wonderful two days in this Alexandria, we’ll depart this storied city to drive back to Cairo. Along the way, we’ll visit the El Alamein War Cemetery. Then, rest and relax during your last night in Egypt.
Hilton Heliopolis or similar | Breakfast
Get picked up this morning from your hotel and transfer to Cairo airport to depart back to the USA.
Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.
Pricing is subject to change. Payment (non-refundable) should be made by cash or credit card (VISA, MasterCard or AmEx, subject to service charge).
Half-Day Memphis & Sakkara Tour
- From approx. $44 Per Person
Travel to Sakkara (or Saqqara), the necropolis for Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, and the site of Egypt’s first pyramid. The Sakkara Step Pyramid, constructed 4,700 years ago, is said to be the oldest monumental masonry structure in the world. Tour includes round-trip flights to and from Sakkara.
Abu-Simbel by Air
- From approx. $335 Per Person, including flight
Please note: Due to concerns regarding availability, you must sign up for this optional tour in advance of your final payment due date. This excursion must be paid in full at that time. If you do not sign up in advance, you will not be able to participate in this excursion.
Be amazed by the magnificent UNESCO-listed Abu-Simbel Temples. Threatened by the waters of Lake Nasser, these gigantic landmarks were famously saved, dismantled and relocated in the 1960s. The larger temple is dedicated to Ramses II, while the smaller was built for his favorite wife, Nefertiti.
Luxor Museum Visit
- From approx. $36 Per Person
This wonderful little museum is located on the Corniche about halfway between the Luxor and Karnak Temples, and is home to a small but well-chosen collection of relics from the Theban temples and necropolis. Displays of pottery, jewelry, furniture and statues were created by the Brooklyn Museum of New York.
Cairo Marriott Hotel
Your home base in Cairo is a historic palatial property with lush gardens and 5-star accommodations. Pool, casino, spa, on-site dining.
16 Saray El Gezira Street • Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt 11211
Aswan Governorate 81111, Egypt
Aswan hotel for Sep. 3 ’19, Oct. 11 ’19, and 2020 departures
Movenpick Royal Lily
- Nile Cruise
Travel in style on this flagship cruiser, which features 56 spacious cabins. The MS Royal Lily also features a spa, restaurant on the Main Deck and the Salon Deck, where you can enjoy expansive views with afternoon tea.
Sonesta St. George Luxor
Set on the banks of the Nile, this luxurious contemporary hotel welcomes you with a spa, array of fine dining choices and superb level of amenities. Don’t miss the outdoor terrace with majestic Nile views.
Corniche El Nile Street • Luxor, Egypt
16, Saad Zagloul Square
Raml Station Alexandria
El-Orouba, Qism El-Nozha
Cairo Governorate 2466, Cairo, Egypt
Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing customs and immigration if you are planning a connecting flight. We recommend at least three-and-a-half hours. Please note that flight schedules are subject to change without prior notice.
|Departure Date||Airline||Depart JFK||Return JFK|
2020: Mar. 2
ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT
EgyptAir does not assign seats in advance. Seat assignments can only be arranged at the airport upon check-in. If you have a preferred seating choice, please make sure you check-in for your flight as early as possible. EgyptAir does not offer frequent flyer miles.
International flights to/from the U.S. are not included. Land-only travelers are responsible for arranging entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. smarTours cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by air schedule changes and delays. Unused land services are non-refundable.
Main Tour: Land-only services start upon independent check-in at your Cairo hotel on Day 2 of the itinerary and end after breakfast at your Cairo hotel on Day 10.
Main Tour + Extension: Land-only services start upon independent check-in at your Cairo hotel on Day 2 of the itinerary and end after breakfast at your Cairo hotel on Day 14.
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
You must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. Your passport must contain at least one blank page. For U.S. passport holders, a tourist visa is required and may be obtained upon arrival in Cairo for $25 USD. Clients who book air with smarTours will be charged $28, which includes the visa and facilitation service upon arrival. The visa facilitation service is not available for land-only clients and forfeited. Non-U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates as to the most current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.
TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS
Your airline tickets, along with final instructions and additional travel tips, will be sent to you 7–10 days before the scheduled departure of your tour. Please make sure to advise us in case your address changes.
Immunizations are not currently required; however, you should consult your personal physician, local public health authorities or the Center of Disease Control (CDC) as to their suggestions.
Night and day temperatures can vary greatly. Here’s what you can expect:
- December–February: Highs in the mid to low 60s with nighttime as low as 48˚F.
- March–November: Highs in the upper 60s to low 70s with nighttime lows in the mid-50s.
- April–October: High 70s and low 80s with nighttime lows in the mid-50s to mid-60s.
- May–September: Average highs in the low 90s with nighttime lows in the high 50s to high 60s.
CULTURE AND DRESS
Given Egypt’s wide range of temperatures, we recommend you bring a sweater and/or layer to accommodate cooler morning/evening temperatures. Egyptians typically dress more conservatively. If you are exploring independently, please note that religious centers such as mosques will often require ankle-length pants, skirts or dresses, and, for women, a scarf to cover their hair.
CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY
U.S. dollars, Euros and Canadian Dollars are accepted at Egyptian banks and money-changers, which can be found at most of the places that you’ll visit throughout the country. It is typically recommended that you ask for small bills when exchanging money. The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound.
You may dine at the hotels or restaurants recommended by your Tour Director. The average cost for a hotel dinner (excluding drinks) in a casual restaurant is about $20-25 per person. Restaurants outside the hotel may be less expensive.
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase) max. 44 pounds, and one carry-on not exceeding 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not overpack and that you take a variety of casual separates with climate and comfort in mind.