Lindblad Expeditions is returning to Egypt with a 12-day journey Passage Through Egypt. The adventure combines explorations of Cairo and stays at the Nile Ritz-Carlton and the historic Mena House, with a six-night cruise on the Nile aboard the 42-guest Oberoi Philae.
From a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to the sites along the Nile including Abu Simbel and Giza, guests witness the monuments, art and objects the ancient Egyptians created, and learn about life in both ancient and modern Egypt. Guests will travel via private aircraft for all internal flights, accompanied by a team of Egyptologist guides versed in the fields of culture, art, history, and archaeology, many who have worked with Lindblad for years.
“I am so pleased to announce the resumption of our program in 2018. I first travelled to Egypt with my father in 1961, when he was researching his first expedition there. The journey was epic, and the experience was indelible. Things are very much on the upswing, and there is a pervasive optimism there about the future. And the resplendent antiquities remain,” said Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions.
The program has been crafted to showcase Egypt’s many facets and offers privileged access to some of the most remarkable sites accompanied by a Lindblad Certified Photo Instructor, who will help guests build their skills and take their best photographs of the sites. Highlights include:
- In Cairo, see the treasures of Tutankhamon; explore Old Cairo, known for its Coptic churches; and stroll winding streets to the thousand-year-old Ben Ezra Synagogue. Explore some of its greatest Islamic architecture and art, including the Ottoman-era Muhammad Ali Mosque, the elegant Ibn Tulun Mosque and one of Cairo’s jewels, the Gayer-Anderson Museum.
- In Luxor, visit Karnak Temple, where for 2000 years 30 pharaohs added their own monuments and shrines; explore Luxor Temple, guarded by massive statues of Ramses II; explore the Valley of the Kings and see the tombs of the greatest pharaohs including Tutankhamon and Seti I (which require special permits); and by special permit visit one of the most remarkable tombs of all: that of Nefertari, located in the Valley of the Queens.
- Visit the Temple of Khnum at Esna, one of the last temples built during the dynastic area; sail to Edfu Temple and see one of the best-preserved monuments of the Ancient World: the temple of Horus, the falcon god; and Kom Ombo; built during the Ptolemaic era, it is unique in being dedicated to two gods: hawk-headed Haroeris and crocodile-headed Sobek.
- In Aswan, visit the island temple of Philae, the fine Nubian Museum, drink high tea at the legendary Old Cataract Hotel, and sail on a felucca. In Abu Simbel, visit the two great temples built by Ramses II, disassembled and moved, block by massive block, to higher ground when the Nile was dammed at Aswan.
- At Giza, explore Saqqara with the Step Pyramid of the pharaoh Zoser, a revolutionary design that initiated the art of pyramid-building. Then spend the afternoon exploring the Pyramids and Sphinx. Go inside the Great Pyramid, following the narrow passageway of the Grand Gallery to the burial chamber of Cheops. See the Solar Boat, built about 2500 BC—and even ride a camel if you wish.
The Cairo sojourn begins in the heart of the city at the Nile Ritz-Carlton, in a room overlooking the Nile. After returning to Cairo from Upper Egypt, guests stay at the historic Mena House, sited at the foot of the Giza Plateau, with rooms featuring Pyramid views from their balconies.
A Nile cruise is the centrepiece of the journey, and few if any ship can match the elegance of the Oberoi Philae. Built originally for 100 guests, she was completely remodelled to accommodate just 42 and offers the finest and most exclusive accommodation on the Nile. Her 22 cabins, including four suites, are large and comfortable, and the ship’s nearly floor-to-ceiling windows offer idyllic views of the Nile and the passing scenery. The top deck features a swimming pool and an al fresco restaurant, with an enclosed restaurant downstairs. A spa and a professional wellness specialist add an extra level of amenity and comfort. The lounge is the venue for talks and recaps, and there are a number of other public spaces to relax, read, and enjoy the views.
Departures are 29 October and 26 November 2018, and 21 January and 18 March 2019. Rates begin at $10,600 per person in a category 1 cabin based on double occupancy. Guests can choose to enhance their experience with an optional five-day post-voyage extension to Jordan.