This is a traveler’s dream journey—exploring the Nile by dahabiya, a private two-masted river yacht that holds just 12 passengers. It’s an intimate and relaxed way to travel and harkens back to a nostalgic and elegant era, yet with all the modern comforts. With our expert Egyptologist by our side, we sail the river from Luxor to Aswan, discovering the great Pharaonic monuments that abound in this legendary river valley. Our explorations bring us to fascinating out-of-the-way sites little visited by other travelers, including Nile villages where we experience a timeless way of life. The breathtaking royal tombs of New Kingdom pharaohs, the awe-inspiring temples of Abu Simbel, the romantic ambiance of our private sailing vessel—they’re all on this ultimate odyssey amid the eternal wonder that is ancient Egypt.
Everything was just perfect! I couldn't have imagined a better trip. The food was amazing, the service, the guide, the group, the hotels, the boat, the pace, the sites, the villages, the Nile! Thank you so much for an incredible trip!
— Mark R., Boston, MA
Great Pyramids / Sphinx / Luxor / Karnak Temple
The Great Pyramids are one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World," and we'll marvel at its sheer size before exploring the inscrutable Sphinx, with the body of a lion and the face of a man. Flying to Luxor, ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom capital, we visit stupendous Karnak, with its forest of enormous stone columns, and the strikingly graceful Luxor temple.
Valley of the Kings / Sailing the Nile / Aswan
We explore the amazing Valley of the Kings, including the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, which merges with the sheer limestone cliffs as if nature herself had built this extraordinary monument. At Esna, with its Greco-Roman Temple of Khnum, we embark aboard our dahabiya, which can navigate not only on the main river but also in the maze of canals along its banks. This allows us to visit lesser-known sites such as El-Kaab, home of Nekbet, the vulture goddess of Upper Egypt, along with famed Nile-side temples including Kom Ombo and Edfu, where we travel to the temple in style—by horse-drawn carriage! Along the way, we enjoy a candlelit barbecue at Maniha Island, and one evening, we moor at Cobania Island for a visit with local villagers. Our river journey concludes with a visit to the Aswan High Dam, an exploration of romantic Philae Temple, a pilgrimage site for thousands of years, and a walk through Aswan’s colorful outdoor market.
We disembark and fly to Abu Simbel to see the colossal Nile-side temples of Ramses, carved into cliff faces in the 12th century BC. The figures, radiating power and dominating the landscape, were in modern times threatened by the waters that would rise with the completion of the High Dam at Aswan. A two-year campaign to save them was organized by UNESCO in the 1960s. Depart on Day 10 via Cairo.