During the Chamber’s March 20-29, 2020 membership trip to Egypt, guests will get an intimate look at why the nation is commonly known as the “Land of the Nile.” But this appreciation is not limited to just one visit or one day, but rather a multi-day cruise from Aswan to Luxor. Here’s a detailed account of what you can expect from the Nile River and the river cruise on your trip.
The Nile is one of the longest rivers in the world, and depending on the source you consult, the #1 title holder in this metric. The Nile River is actually two separate rivers with different headwaters, combining to form a single river in Sudan’s capital city of Khartoum before flowing north into Egypt and emptying out in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Nile is home to an abundance of wildlife, including crocodiles, hippopotamuses, aquatic birds, and smaller reptiles. The banks sustain the largest growth of papyrus in the country, the water reed Ancient Egyptians converted into paper for writing and literacy. It is from this source of life and knowledge the genesis of Egyptian society sprang from and continues to this day after several millennia.
Fortunately, you won’t have to take our word for the river’s beauty, as guests will have the luxury of traveling the Nile’s most famous stretch in style. After visiting the Aswan Dam, an Egyptian perfume factory, the Temple of Philae, and the Granite Quarries of the Unfinished Obelisk, come aboard our first-class ship for four nights and five days and set sail north for more adventures.
Making our way along the river, guests will spend their first full day on the cruise visiting Kitchener’s Island Botanical Garden and Agha Khan Mausoleum on our way to the Temple at Kom Ombo. This temple is the only of its kind in Egypt, because it serves not one Egyptian deity but two. The Kom Ombo Temple has two completely separate entrances and sides, one in dedication to the crocodile-headed god Sobek and the other in reverence of the falcon-headed god Horus. We will finish the evening with a “Galabeya Party”, where guests will be encouraged to wear the traditional Egyptian garments. The party will spend the night in Edfu.
Awaking in Edfu, travelers will visit another temple to Horus. This temple is considered the best preserved in all of Egypt and the second largest in the country, after the upcoming temple of Karnak. Later in the day, we will arrive in Luxor. Luxor’s temple serves as one of the most complete open air museums on the trip, as the last remains of the ancient capital of Thebes lay on the banks of the Nile. We will end the second full day on the river with an overnight stay in Luxor.
On day 3 of the cruise and day 7 overall, travelers will finally arrive at the Nile’s West Bank and the legendary Valley of Kings. After the Pyramids proved to be an ineffective means of entombing pharaohs and protecting their remains from robbers, the royal families of Egypt started laying their deceased monarchs to rest in the Valley of Kings, with many of the sites remaining undisturbed until British archeologists discovered them in the 20th Century. King Tut, Seti I, and Rameses II are just a few of the notable pharaohs buried here.
During the jaunt in the Valley of Kings, guests will visit an Alabaster workshop, where vases and statues are constructed using the traditional Egyptian method, followed by a visit to a local Egyptian school, which gives our American passengers a look at how Egyptian children receive an education among the ruins of ancient dynasties. Lastly, the party will be treated with a visit to the largest temple in Egypt, Karnak. Built over the course of more than 30 pharaoh reigns, Karnak’s tallest pillars rise more than three stories above the dunes and claim antiquity of about 3,000 years. A collection of shrines, obelisks, statues, and quarters will be the marvel of any traveler and the perfect way to conclude a second night in Luxor.
The next morning, we will catch our flight back to the capital city of Cairo via Luxor’s airport, concluding the four-day trip down the Nile River. This is not the end of our Egyptian excursion however, as more time in Cairo and the optional extension into Alexandria keep more adventures in store for those of us who join on our trip to Egypt in 2020.
To read more exciting prospects of our 2020 membership trip, as well as valuable information on Egypt itself, visit our blog series on Egypt 2020 and our trip event page to register for your place while you still can.