Lindblad Expeditions, the US based expedition cruise company, has announced its return to Egypt with a 13-day journey, Passage Through Egypt. "The epic adventure combines explorations of Cairo and stays at the exclusive Nile Ritz-Carlton and the historic Mena House, with a six-night cruise on the Nile aboard the elegant and intimately-sized, 42-guest Oberoi Philae," the company said in a statement.
From a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, to the sites along the Nile including Abu Simbel and Giza, guests will witness momunents, art and objects the ancient Egyptians created, and learn about life in both ancient and modern Egypt. Traveling via private aircraft for all internal flights, and 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—guests will experience a journey of the highest standards.
The program has been specially 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 your best photographers of the iconic 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 2,000 years 30 pharaohs added their own monuments and shrines; explore exquisite 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, and 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 B.C.—and ride a camel if you wish!
The Cairo sojourn will begin in the heart of the city at the Nile Ritz-Carlton, in a beautifully appointed room overlooking the Nile. After returning to Cairo from Upper Egypt, guests will stay at the historic Mena House, stunningly sited at the foot of the Giza Plateau, with rooms featuring Pyramid views from their balconies.
The Oberoi Philae, built originally for 100 guests has been completely remodeled to accommodate just 42, and offers the finest and most exclusive accommodations on the Nile. "Her 22 cabins, including 4 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 a stylish enclosed restaurant downstairs, as well. 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," Lindblad said.
Departures are October 28 & November 25, 2018; and January 20 & March 17, 2019. Rates begin at $8,480 per person in a category 1 cabin based on double occupancy.