A Spiritual Pilgrimage to Egypt
Cairo / Giza Pyramids / Sphinx / King’s Chamber / Egyptian Museum / Luxor Temple / Karnak / Isis Temple / Karnak Temple / Aswan / Luxor / King Tut Treasures / Edfu / Kom Ombo / Sakkara / Memphis / Old Cairo / Khan El Khalili Bazaar / El Moaz Street / Islamic Cairo
Including a deluxe Private Yacht “Afandina” on The Nile
Day 1 / April 8 - Arrive Cairo
Arrive at Cairo Airport where you will be met by our tour representative who will assist you through customs before transferring you to your deluxe accommodations at the 5 Star Mena House hotel. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner, greeting party, and orientation with fellow travelers and your tour manager and staff.
Day 2 / April 9 - Memphis / Sakkara
Our first stop today is Memphis, founded around 3,100 BC and the legendary city named after Menes, the King who united Upper and Lower Egypt. Early on, Memphis was more likely a fortress from which Menes controlled the land and water routes between Upper Egypt and the Delta.
This great city of the Old Kingdom eventually became the administrative and religious center of Egypt. In fact, so dominating is the city during this era that it is referred to as the Memphite period. It became a cosmopolitan community and was probably one of the largest and most important cities in the ancient world.
What can be seen of Memphis today is located principally around the small village of Mit Rahina. It is believed that Ptah was the principle pagan god worshipped in Memphis. The remains of the god's temple bordering the village of Mit Rahina was at one time probably one of the grandest temples in Egypt. Today, only a fraction of the temple remains, however, Ramses II is well represented here, with a colossus of himself near the Alabaster Sphinx along the southern enclosure wall.
Later today, we will travel by luxury coach to Sakkara where we will visit the Step Pyramid of Djoser, considered by some to be the oldest pyramid, and its temple of sound and healing.
This magnificent site includes other Old Kingdom tombs, among them those that hold the earliest known hieroglyphs, the Pyramid Texts that were the model for the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Breakfast and lunch included today.
Day 3 / April 10 - Old Cairo / El Moaz Street / Khan El Khalili Bazaar
Enjoy your breakfast at Mena House, followed by a visit to Old Cairo including Sergi church where the holy family was hidden while they were in Egypt. We also visit the oldest Synagogue in Cairo, followed by a lovely traditional Egyptian lunch called 'Koushary'.
Later today visit Khan El Khalili Bazaar, one of the oldest shopping districts in the world; it is like going back to the time of Ali Baba and Aladdin. Merchants have been trading on this site since at least the 14th century. In 1384 an emir named Al Khalili built a great Khan here, a three-story hostelry intended to accommodate traveling merchants and their wares. Buyers visited the khan for the goods brought in on the merchant caravans, and the selling and bartering spread to the streets. Around the oldest surviving parts of the bazaar today are several great stone gateways that date back to the 1500's. Breakfast and lunch included.
Finally we visit one of the most amazing and oldest streets in Islamic Cario, El-Moez Street, approximately one kilometer long (open air museum). It dates back to the Fatimid era and has almost all types of Islamic architecture decorated with Arabic calligraphy. We will view the sunset to witness the lighting of the mosques and the skyline; it is breathtaking.
Day 4 / April 11 - Cairo / Luxor / Karnak / Luxor Temple
Following breakfast transfer to the Cairo airport for a short flight to Luxor. Luxor is the ancient city of Thebes, the capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom. We board our beautiful private yacht Dahabia the Afandina.
This afternoon we tour Karnak temple, one of the largest temple complexes in the world. Karnak recalls us to the powerful acts of creation, of beginning anew, and of building on the divine plan. It has been home for more than 3,500 years to the living statue of the lioness goddess, Sekhmet.
Then we visit Luxor Temple. The temple's design is symbolic of the human body, reflecting the fact that the body is in turn a temple of the spirit. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 5 / April 12 - Abydos / Dendarah
Early this morning we drive north to the temple at Abydos, dedicated to Osiris and housing the nine great beings (the Ennead). This temple rests next to and above the most ancient Osirian, one of the premier power places on the planet. It includes a more recent temple built by Seti I, which contains the most beautiful bas reliefs of any temple in Egypt.
We continue on to Dendarah to visit the exquisite temple dedicated to Hathor, the goddess of abundance, love, and joy. The temple is built with a zodiacal ceiling that reflects the origins of Egypt. On the rooftop, where Hathor priests and priestesses gathered for their celebrations thousands of years ago, we reconnect with our destinies. Overnight on the Afandina. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 6 / April 13 - West Bank / Sailing to Esna
This early morning we visit the Necropolis of Thebes on the West Bank of the Nile. The West Bank holds the Valley of Kings, the tombs of the pharaohs that are inscribed with sacred transformative texts, including the books of knowing light and dark, the book of what is in the underworld, the book of caverns, and naming and taming the hours of the night. Here are the tombs of Tutankhamun, Ramses III and VII, Seti I, Thutmosis III, and many others. We will also visit the Colossi of Memnon, the Valley of Queens, and view from outside the funerary temple of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut. Back onboard Afandina, we will set sail toward Esna, and delight in the timeless beauty along the Nile. We will meet on deck as we pass by lock Esna. Overnight on the Afandina. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 7 / April 14 - Sail Edfu
Enjoy another beautiful day sailing on the Nile. In the early afternoon we will visit the Temple of Horus at Edfu, one of the most beautifully preserved in Egypt. Here, we follow the pattern of the hero’s quest as we learn how Horus and his followers (the Shemsu Hor) conquered chaos, and we see the sacred marriage of the king and queen as the embodiment of Horus and the goddess Hathor. The side chambers of the temple show the complexity of the rites that include a healing chamber, a perfumery, and singers’ rooms. One chamber, called the House of Life, stored all of the sacred texts used in seasonal and daily rituals. Overnight we sail to Kom Ombo. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 8 / April 15 - Kom Ombo
Today we sail the Nile to visit the only dual temple in Egypt at Kom Ombo. This dramatic temple poised between the edge of the river and the encroaching desert sand was dedicated to two gods – Sobek, the crocodile god of strength, fortitude, fertility, and rebirth, and Horus, the hawk-headed son of Isis and Osiris. Overnight on an island between Kom Ombo and Aswan. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 9 / April 16 - Sailing to Aswan / felucca sail
Enjoy a special afternoon of free time in Aswan and a felucca sail (Egyptian sailboat) around Elephantine Island; explore the local market and/or check out the very fine Nubian Museum, which beautifully expresses the history and culture of the region. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 10 / April 17 - Philae temple / Aswan Market
Early this morning we return to the source of all, the Great Mother, to receive the blessings of Isis at her beautiful island temple at Philae. This isle represents a fusion of three great civilizations – Egyptian, Greek and Roman. The presence of Isis is tangible in the inner sanctum, the Holy of Holies of her temple. After exploring the grounds and some storytelling on the island, the afternoon is free for shopping. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 11 / April 18 - Aswan / Cairo
Following breakfast, we transfer to Aswan airport for the short flight to Cairo. Check in to Mena House Hotel. The rest of your day is free to explore or relax. Breakfast included.
Day 12 / April 19 - Egyptian Museum / Islamic Cairo
We spend the entire day visiting the famous Egyptian Museum. Our Egyptologist will guide us through this famous museum with a collection of over 200,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts, dating back to 4,000 BC. Visiting the museum is an opportunity to see the statues and artifacts that originally were located in the temples. There you will also experience first-hand the different periods of ancient Egypt and the individual artistic and architectural styles of each period.
One of the many highlights of this museum is the visit to the treasures of Tut-Ankh-Amun. Stand before the breathtakingly beautiful gold death mask and marvel at the treasures that traveled with this boy king to the afterlife. There will be time to explore the museum on your own and to feel the sometimes eerie presence of energies from the past that still linger within the statues.
Following lunch we will be introduced to Islamic culture by visiting Al Rafi'e Mosque which was completed in 1912. It was commissioned, in an imitation Mamluk style, by the mother of Khedive Ismail, to serve as a grandiose tomb for herself and her descendants. Royals buried here include Ismail, Farouk (Egypt's last king), and the last Shah of Iran. Chased out by Ayatollah Khomeini, he sought refuge in Egypt in 1979. Breakfast and lunch included.
Day 13 / April 20 - Great Pyramid / The Sphinx
In the early hours in the dark of the morning, we will experience a special private visit in the Great Pyramid where we will explore the chambers before a guided meditation in the Kings Chamber. We will be tapping into the energy and harmonic resonances of this mighty structure. Here, we unite our life story with the story of those who have come before us and those who will come after as we begin our journey to awakening and begin our transformation to more powerful awareness of our inner selves.
Then explore the Giza Plateau where you will experience some of the most awe-inspiring Wonders of the World: the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of the Giza Plateau. Our guide, who is an expert in Egyptology, will share a detailed explanation of various controversial theories surrounding these amazing structures.
This evening enjoy a special farewell dinner where we share our Egyptian experience. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 14 / April 21 - Departure
Following breakfast check out of your hotel and transfer to Cairo International Airport for your journey home. Breakfast included.