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. After its grand opening in 2023, visit the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which will be the largest archaeological museum in the world. 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!
Did you know you can make this tour private? Find out about pricing and options for groups of 15 or more travelers.
- 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 or Grand Egyptian Museum*
- Khan El Khalili Bazaar District
- Alexandria Library
- National Museum
- Montazah Gardens
- Jewelry Museum
- Modern Egyptian Women Lecture Led by a Female University Professor
- Lunch at Nubian Restaurant
- Visit to Local Egyptian House & Farm
Your Tour Includes
- Optional round-trip airfare from New York (JFK) including 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 Egyptologist Tour Director
- Transportation in an air-conditioned bus
Max Group Size: 20 travelers
Activity Level: Level 2
Expect most included touring to require walking and standing periods up to 4 hours at a time (up to 2 times per day). Included touring may feature light hiking, and/or stairs on some hilly and/or uneven terrain. Learn More
Pacing Level: Balanced
Expect either half-day or full-day tours most days with a free day or free half-day to explore independently in most cities. There may be a few early mornings or long travel days by bus (don’t worry—there are always comfort stops!), and you may expect to stay in most accommodations for 3+ nights. Learn More
Additional Entry Requirements for U.S. Passport Holders
A valid passport is required for international tours. There are entry requirements for U.S. passport holders. Please visit our Passports & Visas page to learn more about any required actions, next steps, and additional costs.
There are stairs, walks with uneven surfaces during the visit to the Pyramids, and most of the off-shore excursions that take place during the Nile Cruise portion of the program.
For more detailed information about this tour and destination, visit our Before You Depart section.
Find your special women-only tour experiences in bold in the itinerary below.
Day 1: Arrive in Cairo
Welcome to Egypt’s capital and largest city. Travelers who purchased our air-inclusive package will be met at Cairo International Airport, 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.Accommodations: Cairo Marriott Hotel or similar
Day 2: 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 University professor discussing Modern Egyptian Women.Accommodations: Cairo Marriott Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3: Cairo – Aswan
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.Accommodations: Movenpick Aswan or similar
Day 4: Aswan – Nile Cruise
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.Accommodations: Movenpick Royal Lily or Steigenberger Minerva
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: 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 our ship, we’ll sail past Esna to Luxor.Accommodations: Movenpick Royal Lily
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Nile Cruise – 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 of Amun-Ra, the most important and powerful of ancient Egyptian gods. The balance of the day is at your leisure.Accommodations: Movenpick Royal Lily
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Luxor
After breakfast, we’ll say farewell to our ship 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.Accommodations: Sonesta St. George Luxor or similar
Day 8: Luxor
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.Accommodations: Sonesta St. George Luxor or similar
Day 9: Luxor – Cairo
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.Accommodations: Cairo Marriott or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10: Depart Cairo
Our tour comes to an end after breakfast today. Travelers who purchased our air-inclusive package will transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S.Meals: Breakfast
We are working diligently to secure future tour dates and pricing for this itinerary. Please fill out the "Request a Future Date" form linked below, and we will notify you once dates are available.
Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.
Enhance your trip with our recommended optional tours. Indicated optional tours are available to pre-book when you reserve your trip and can be added to your reservation up to final payment. This is the best option to guarantee your spot on your preferred optional tour! Optional tours require a minimum number of participants. Optional tours are non-refundable unless they do not operate.
Some optional tours can be purchased in-destination and may cost extra. The payment methods and currency information to purchase tours in-destination will be provided on final documentation.
Half-Day Sakkara Tour
- $54 per person
Visit Sakkara, the Step Pyramid on which Imhotep experimented with the design of his stone tomb, beginning with a standard mastaba like those built in mud-brick at Abydos and Saqqara by the 1st and 2nd dynasty Kings. The Sakkara Step Pyramid, constructed 4,700 years ago, is said to be the oldest monumental masonry structure in the world.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
- $347, including flight
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.
Note: This excursion involves walking on uneven terrain. Travelers take an EgyptAir shuttle flight from Aswan Airport to Abu Simbel Airport where a shuttle service is used to bring travelers to the site and back at scheduled times. Depending on flight schedules, luggage is kept at the Aswan Airport and received once the group returns from Abu Simbel.
MUST BE PRE-BOOKED!
This tour must be pre-booked prior to final payment as it is not available to book in-destination.
Luxor Museum Visit
- $43 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.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
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
Movenpick Royal Lily
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