Wings Over the Nile

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    Destinations: Africa, Middle East, Egypt, Jordan
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Tour Description

Soar above the temple-lined Nile to tour Egypt and Jordan as few people ever will — traveling in comfort and convenience between modern Cairo and remote outposts on IE’s Egypt Nile cruise, Wings Over the Nile. Join International Expeditions to discover the very tombs, monuments and cities that have shaped the face of history. Even centuries after they were built, we can gaze on he glorious spectacle of these monuments — Luxor, Philae and Jerash’s Roman ruins — affirming their builders’ conquest over time. On this Egypt tour, you voyage past classic temples and the haunts of kings and queens; fly aboard our private plane deep into the Sinai to St. Catherine’s Monastery and across the desert sands to Jordan; and discover a land steeped in history and mystery on this sweeping journey following the winding path of the Nile and footsteps of Pharaohs.

Soar Above the Sands of Time

Few places arouse more fascination and curiosity than Egypt. One of the world’s oldest civilizations, Egypt has a recorded history of more than 5,000 years. Flying aboard our private de Havilland Dash above Egypt, tour the historic temples, tombs and sites of this living museum on our Egypt travel tour. Four private flights minimize time spent in airports and long coach drives (more than six hours!) from Abu Simbel and into the Sinai Desert.

A Nile Cruise in Style

Spend four nights on a luxury Nile cruise aboard the 5-star Amarco II. Each cabin boasts a private balcony for great views of this living museum and passing countryside. Plus, the Amarco enjoys a private dock at Luxor.

Egypt Tour Meets Classic Jordan

This comprehensive small-group Egypt travel tour combines Egypt’s great “must sees” with classic Jordan, taking in Petra and Jerash — even a relaxing stay on the Dead Sea! Although not declared a country until the 20th century, the fingerprints of the world’s oldest civilizations are found on the desert landscapes and red rock of Jordan. The Nabataeans, Romans and Byzantines each traded and built cities here, leaving behind an eclectic blend of architecture and cultures. Petra was hewn by the Nabataeans into rock colored with countless geologic shades and swirls; temples to Zeus and Artemis are only part of the Roman ruins in Jerash; and the call to prayer from a mosque mixes with church bells in Madaba, where Byzantine-era mosaics decorate the church floors.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2

U.S. / Cairo

Fly independently to Cairo, Egypt. Upon arrival, transfer to the Mena House Oberoi Hotel in nearby Giza to begin your Egypt tour. (Meals Aloft)

Day 3

Pyramids / Great Sphinx

The Giza Pyramids — the last remaining of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — are the only vestiges from their time to survive in their original form. As part of our Nile River cruise itinerary, you have the option of entering a Pyramid and venturing through the narrow passageways to the burial chamber. Our day in Giza also includes a visit to the Sphinx and Solar Boat, a well-preserved funeral boat. If you choose, you can even ride a camel. Learn about modern life in Egypt during a private lecture from a local expert before gathering for a welcome reception and dinner at the Mena House Oberoi. (B,D)

Day 4

Sakkara / Memphis / Coptic Cairo

We visit Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis, site of the limestone colossus of a young Pharaoh Ramses II, and of the Alabaster Sphinx. Our Egypt tour continues to Sakkara to see the Step Pyramid Complex of King Djoser. Enjoy strolling though this historic and charming area on a guided tour of these extraordinary sites. Visit the Coptic Museum and the Hanging Church, suspended over the Roman fortress of Babylon, as well as Egypt’s oldest synagogue, the Ben Ezra Synagogue. Have a relaxing lunch at a local restaurant. Old Cairo, or “Coptic Cairo,” predates modern Cairo and was believed to be inhabited as early as the 6th century BC. A Christian stronghold for centuries, Coptic Cairo had as many as 20 churches in one square mile. Return to the Mena House for a relaxing evening. (B,L)

Day 5

Islamic Cairo / Antiquities Museum

We tour Islamic Cairo, seeing the Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque, then continue to the colorful Khan el-Khalily bazaar and enjoy a lunch of local specialties at Naguib Mahfouz Restaurant. Later, we have a guided visit to the Egyptian Antiquities Museum and see the treasures from the tomb of boy-king Tutankhamon and the Royal Mummies Room. (B,L,D)

Day 6

Cairo / Abu Simbel / Embark Amarco II

Our chartered private plane whisks us to the magnificent Temple of Abu Simbel, where we’ll also visit a smaller temple, dedicated to Ramses II’s favorite wife Nefertari. For the next stop on our Wings Over the Nile adventure, travel by private plane, saving hours of driving through the desert, to Aswan, site of the High Dam built to harness the power of the Nile. We transfer to the Amarco II for our four-night Nile cruise. Later, we enjoy a short jaunt aboard an Egyptian “felucca” (traditional sailboat). (B,L,D)

Day 7

Aswan / Cruising the Nile / Kom Ombo

This morning, we see the High Dam, the unfinished obelisk, and visit the Temple of Isis at Philae. Our Nile River cruise continues to Kom Ombo, a lovely Greco-Roman temple. We enjoy an Egyptian dinner and costumed “galabeya” (a long, loose Egyptian garment) party on board this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 8

Edfu / Cruising the Nile / Luxor

The ancient Greeks called the site of Edfu “Apollonopolis,” after the god Apollo. The nearly intact Temple of Horus is one of Egypt’s finest examples of Ptolemaic art. Next, we cruise a bit farther downstream to Luxor, on the Nile’s East bank at the site of ancient Thebes, where our ship will dock for the night. (B,L,D)

Day 9

Luxor

Spend the morning at the Luxor Museum. This wonderful museum has a beautifully displayed collection from the end of the Old Kingdom right through to the Mamluk period, mostly gathered from the Theban temples and necropolis. Explore the massive temples of Karnak and Luxor, including the immense Hypostyle Hall. (B,L,D)

Day 10

Luxor / Disembark Amarco II

A morning visit to Luxor’s West Bank brings us to the remote Valley of the Kings. Sixty-four of the Egypt’s rulers were buried here in ornate subterranean chambers. Our Wings Over the Nile tour itinerary also visits Queen Hatshepsut’s funerary temple, and we marvel at the Colossi of Memnon. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore on your own and spend tonight at the Sheraton Luxor. (B,L)

Day 11

Luxor / St. Catherine’s Monastery / Petra

Fly by chartered private plane to remote St. Catherine’s Monastery, in the Sinai Desert. Built in the 6th century in a dramatic setting at the foot of Mt. Moses, around what tradition holds to be the burning bush, the monastery holds priceless icons, illuminated manuscripts, paintings and hanging lamps. We take our chartered private plane to Aqaba, Jordan, and drive to Petra — the fabled city that lay hidden to the world until its 1812 discovery. You’ll enjoy a two-night stay at the Petra Mövenpick Resort. (B,L,D)

Day 12

Petra

Today we follow the Siq, a narrow, winding gorge, on a walking exploration that includes Petra’s impressive Treasury, royal tombs, colonnaded street, and amphitheater. The architecture itself is astonishing, yet the colors — deep rust, banded with grays, yellows, and every hue in between — are spectacular in their own right. Tonight, join in the fun with an interactive meal at Petra Kitchen. (B,D)

Day 13

Madaba / Mt. Nebo / Dead Sea

We drive through rolling countryside to Madaba, where there are remarkable Byzantine mosaics, and visit Mount Nebo — the site where Moses is said to have gazed on the Promised Land. We continue to the Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa, located on the Dead Sea’s eastern shore. Enjoy the afternoon and evening to relax. You can float in the waters of the Dead Sea, use the swimming pool or try out the resort’s extensive spa services. Tonight, there is a festive farewell dinner to toast the journey. (B,L,D)

Day 14

Dead Sea / Jerash

We explore the well-preserved walls, colonnaded streets, temples, public baths, plazas, and theaters of ancient Greco-Roman Jerash. This portion of the Wings Over the Nile tour itinerary is kept flexible so that you can enjoy an afternoon at leisure at our Dead Sea resort. (B,L)

Day 15

Amman, Jordan / U.S.

Transfer to Amman airport for flights back to the U.S. (B)

Departures

Pricing Information

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes

What's included in the price of IE’s Egypt travel packages?

  • Four flights on private Dash 7 airplane
  • Fully-escorted by expert Egyptologist, Jordanian guide & local expedition leader
  • Four-night Nile cruise
  • Luxury, well-located accommodations
  • Camel ride at Pyramids
  • Valley of Kings & Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple
  • Tour St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai
  • Interactive dinner at Petra Kitchen
  • Guest lecture on modern life in Cairo
  • Personal headset throughout for ease of hearing Egyptologist
  • All entrance fees
  • 32 meals
  • Bottled water
  • Tips to porters, drivers & to waiters for included meals
  • Cairo arrival transfers & Amman departure transfers regardless of travel date

Are visas required for Egypt and Jordan travel?

Visas are required for U.S. and Canadian citizens to enter Egypt and Jordan and are not included in the price of your Wings Over the Nile travel package. If you are on the Jerusalem optional post-trip extension, note that a visa is not required for U.S. and Canadian citizens to enter Israel. U.S. and Canadian citizens will obtain an Egypt visa upon arrival at Cairo airport for a fee of $15 per person, payable on site in U.S. dollars. There are no forms or photos required. Please have exact change in U.S. dollars. Everyone must obtain an Egypt visa upon arrival.

U.S. and Canadian citizens will obtain a Jordan visa upon arrival at Aqaba airport at the end of your Wings Over the Nile expedition. No forms or photos are required. According to Jordanian law only certain guests pay for the visa and those that do will pay the fee of 10 Jordanian dinars (about $15), in local currency only, upon DEPARTURE from Amman airport, after check in and prior to going through immigration. All guests get a Jordan visa upon arrival in Aqaba. Guests who depart Amman on the same flight as four or more of their Wings Over the Nile fellow travelers (total of five guests or more) are NOT required to pay the visa fee upon departure from Amman. Guests who depart Amman on the same flight as three or less of their Wings Over the Nile fellow travelers (total of four guests or less) ARE required to pay the visa fee upon departure from Amman. This is the official policy of the Jordanian government policy. Your IE Expedition Leader has all the guest departure information and will inform you if you need to pay the visa fee or not prior to your departure.

What vaccinations are required to join the Wings Over the Nile expedition?

No immunizations are required for entry into Egypt, Jordan, or Israel from the US or for re-entry into the U.S. However, proof of yellow fever vaccination will be required if you are arriving Jordan from an infected area. Egypt is not an infected area. Please consult with your personal physician.

What kind of weather can you expect our your Wings Over the Nile travel package?

Egypt Climate: There are basically two seasons in Egypt: a relatively cool season that lasts from October to March and a hot season from April to September. The weather in upper Egypt (Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel.) tends to be a few to several degrees warmer than lower Egypt (Cairo). The sun can be strong, even in winter, and you can burn or dehydrate in a hurry. Wear a hat with a brim and sunscreen and limit your exposure to sunlight. A pair of sunglasses is important in reducing eyestrain.

Jordan Climate: Jordan has a combination of Mediterranean and arid desert climates. Summers are warm and dry, and winters — when the majority of visitors travel to Jordan — are mild to cool, with possibility of rain or snow. Please do not assume that because Jordan is in the Middle East, temperatures will automatically be hot. From mid-November through mid-March, Jordan — especially Petra — can be cold at times, with even the possibility of snow.

Israel Climate: Israel has varied altitudes so temperatures and rainfall are varied as well. Winter tends to be cold in Jerusalem but rainy days are often followed by bright sunny days. During the months of this expedition it is best to plan for cold weather in Israel.