Few countries grip the imagination quite like Egypt. Just hearing the name conjures images of mighty pharaohs and massive pyramids, sprawling temples and secret tombs, colossal monuments and crowded markets—and cutting through it all, the life-giving Nile River, without which none of these other sights could have existed. Join us on one of our unforgettable Secrets of Egypt & the Nile river cruise and land journeys and make your mark on the world’s longest river as well as the treasures beyond its banks.
Dig Deeper in Cairo
There are many cities that blend the old world and the new. Then there’s Cairo. Officially founded in 969 AD, Cairo can trace its roots back 4,000 years to Memphis – the ancient capital of Lower Egypt that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a city where towering skyscrapers overlook 1,000-year-old monuments. Your 11-night Secrets of Egypt & the Nile river cruise experience begins here for an included pre-cruise stay at either the luxurious Four Seasons at the First Residence or The St. Regis Cairo. You will meet your Cruise Manager and fellow guests and spend three nights in the city, enjoying some of the most exciting excursions of your life.
The Pyramids, the Sphinx and the “Boy King”
Seeing King Tut’s treasures and the Pyramids of Ancient Memphis are a must – and fortunately, your excursions in Cairo include these highlights and more. Your first full day in Cairo is jam-packed, exploring the Egyptian Museum and the artifacts of the Tutankhamun, the “Boy King,” followed by lunch and a tour of the Alabaster Mosque and its ornate interior. The following day, you’ll gaze up at the huge statue of Ramses II, the Alabaster Sphinx and the necropolis of Sakkara, dine at the famous Mena House and wander through the iconic Giza complex among the pyramids of lore, with an evening to spend at your leisure. Perhaps you’ll take a stroll through Khan El-Khalili, a labyrinthine bazaar where one can find anything from spices to jewels – while always being prepared to haggle.
Following your time in Cairo, you will board one of our two stunning river cruise ships for your river cruise, roundtrip from Luxor. This city was known in ancient times as Thebes, capital of Upper Egypt, and is now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Luxor boasts a dizzying array of ancient monuments. The most famous include Luxor Temple, built in part by famous pharaohs including Amenhotep III, Ramesses II, and Tutankhamun; and the enormous temple complex of Karnak, home to the Temple of Amun-Ra with its enormous papyrus-shaped columns. Across the Nile lays the Valley of the Kings, where for 500 years pharaohs like King Tut had their mummified remains buried along with their most prized worldly possessions. Our excursions in Luxor include visits to all the above-mentioned sites as well as a hands-on class in papyrus making, but the cherry on top is your exclusive private tour of Queen Nefertari’s tomb within the Valley of the Queens, an experience reserved just for AmaWaterways guests.
Perhaps the most heartwarming excursion you will take during your Nile River cruise is to a Nubian village. You’ll feel the wind on your face as you sail by motorboat to Hessa. There you will meet the warm and friendly Nubian people who live there and carry on the traditions of their ancestors, an ancient African civilization that once lived and ruled Egypt. The ancient civilization's UNESCO-designated monuments can also be seen along your Nile River journey, from the Temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel to Philae Temple. Perhaps most striking is the architecture of the village, simple, yet painted with vivid colors and patterns, like an al fresco desert art gallery.
Back in Cairo
Reserved for the end of your itinerary following your Nile River cruise is an unforgettable visit to Abdeen Presidential Palace, considered one of the most luxurious palaces in the world. It consists of multiple museums and is the official residence of the President of Egypt, but only you will be invited following your private tour to a very special lunch at the palace – an exclusive experience reserved just for AmaWaterways guests. In addition, your local guide will take you through the winding alleys of Coptic Cairo, home to the city’s oldest structure, a Babylonian fortress, as well as Africa’s first Christian church and oldest Islamic mosque. This historic Cairo area is another UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site that you can explore with us.
Open the Gates
Egypt is a truly remarkable vacation destination unto itself, but it can also be the perfect starting point for an even grander journey. Sometimes called “the gateway to the Middle East,” Egypt’s proximity to sought-after destinations such as Israel, Dubai, and Petra, Jordan makes it the perfect place to begin the sun-soaked adventure of a lifetime. Fortunately, we make it easy for you to add these optional pre- and post-cruise land packages to your 11-night journey so you can make the most of your time in this fascinating region of the world.
Reserve your 2025 Secrets of Egypt & the Nile river cruise journey before December 31, 2023 and save with our Early Booking Reward!