A dahabiya is a Nile River yacht

A private Nile sailing yacht transports us in nostalgic style—by sail—as we visit islands, explore villages, and sense the mystery of ancient Egypt. Our journey ranges from the Great Pyramids to the epic Valley of the Kings.

display information about this photo
In the Wake of Cleopatra route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5395  
Length: 10 days
Arrive: Cairo, Egypt
Depart: Cairo, Egypt
Lodging: 4 nights 5-star hotels, 5 nights aboard yacht with air-conditioned cabins
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner
Activity: Walking, Cultural Adventures, Archaeology, Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, River Cruising
Trip Level: Cultural exploration and walking tours


  • Sail aboard the Lazuli III, a traditional Nile sailboat with six cabins and en suite facilities
  • Discover magnificent temples from Luxor to Aswan
  • Explore the Valley of the Kings and Queens
  • Grand Nile-side temples at Abu Simbel
  • Optional Petra, Alexandria, and Cairo extensions

Would take this trip all over again! Sailing the Nile was priceless.Ruth M.—Kernersville, NC

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Cruising the Nile, Pam Bacich

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Pre-Departure Information

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

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! 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.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Luxor / Karnak Temple

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.

Days 3-7
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.

Days 8-10
Abu Simbel

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.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 1+, Easiest, according to our trip grading system. It is a cultural and archaeological adventure with day walks exploring the fascinating ruins and wonderful towns in this ancient and modern land. Please note that we have several early morning starts, especially on days with air travel. Some days we tour only a half day, while on other days, we tour for a full day. There is plenty of free time planned so that you can explore, shop on your own, or simply relax.

Our home base for five nights is the 100-foot dahabiya Lazuli III, a traditional Nile sailboat built at the end of the 19th century and completely refitted in 2003. She is air conditioned and has two decks and four double or twin cabins and one suite with private baths. The Lazuli III is sail-powered only, but will use motor-boat assistance in cases of low wind. Public spaces on Lazuli include an interior lounge and a large shaded deck where meals are served. There are electrical outlets in the cabins for charging batteries. (You will need a voltage converter and plug adaptor). Meals are on board the Lazuli III. Bottled water is available on board as well as tea and coffee. A selection of imported wine and beer is available for purchase. There is no corkage fee for trip members who bring their own.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Oct 6-15, 2016  Ahmed Ali

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$5395 (10-12 members)
$5795 (8-9 members)
$6195 (6-7 members)
Single supplement: $490 (hotels only)
Single supplement: $690 (boat only, limited availability)
Internal airfare: $590 (subject to change)
Lazuli III Suite cabin upgrade: $500
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Alexandria Extension
   from: $1095

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Deck Plan

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations
  • All meals included except 1 dinner
  • Land transportation, baggage handling, and airport transfers as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, visas, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, travel insurance, airfare or airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic and other beverages, laundry, etc.), camera fees at certain sites (approx. $2.50 per site).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation arriving to and departing from Cairo, Egypt. For more detailed information, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip and have reviewed your proposed air schedule with our office. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule so we can reserve your airport transfers.

Cairo, Egypt
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Cairo, Egypt (airport code CAI)
Suggested arrival time: no later than 11:00 pm

Cairo, Egypt
Date: Day 9

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Cairo, Egypt (airport code CAI)
Suggested departure time: anytime

Mena House Oberoi

Mena House Oberoi

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Cairo, Egypt

Originally built as a royal hunting lodge for Khedive Ismail, ruler of Egypt from 1863 to 1879, the Mena House was bought and converted into a hotel ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Hilton Luxor Resort and Spa

Hilton Luxor Resort and Spa

Day 3 (1 night), Luxor, Egypt

The newly renovated Hilton Luxor Resort and Spa enjoys an ideal location set right on the water’s edge of the Nile River. With floating ...
Click here for full description and more photos

<em>Lazuli III</em>

Lazuli III

Days 4 to 8 (5 nights), Nile River, Egypt

A traditional Nile sailboat of the style built at the end of the 19th century, the 120-foot Lazuli III is the perfect vessel for observing ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Fairmont Towers Heliopolis

Fairmont Towers Heliopolis

Day 9 (1 night), Cairo, Egypt

Conveniently located just five minutes from the Cairo airport, this large 247-room hotel is set around a huge glass-enclosed atrium decorated with ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Ahmed Ali

From guiding groups to the intricate temples at Abydos and Dendara, to simply sailing down the Nile River, sharing about the connections between modern and ancient Egypt, Ahmed Ali’s expertise history and culture adds invaluable insight as a Trip Leader. “We are all students in the temple of knowledge,” he says. With multiple degrees in Ancient History and Biblical Studies, and the author of Prophets and Pharaohs, Ahmed makes a fantastic companion in these ancient realms. When not leading trips, he spends time with his family in Cairo, where they live, enjoys traveling in off-the-beaten-path regions of the Western Desert of Egypt, and is a frequent contributor to British publications. In the spring of 2013, Ahmed Ali scouted our Expedition to Sudan trip.

Upcoming Trips:

Expedition to Sudan, November 6-14, 2015
Expedition to Sudan, January 7-15, 2016
Pyramids to Petra, February 19-March 4, 2016
In the Wake of Cleopatra, October 6-15, 2016
Expedition to Sudan, October 28-November 5, 2016

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Client Testimonials:

His knowledge of Egyptian history was phenomenal and really made the trip. We especially enjoyed his talks on hieroglyphics—lots of fun! William B., Portland OR He is one of the best guides we’ve ever had—an excellent teacher and fun to be with. Joyce S., Bloomington MN Ahmed made the trip fulfilling with his professional knowledge and personal touch. He was very attentive to the group and provided us with a wealth of information to help us absorb all the new knowledge we were getting. Pamela G., Chicago IL As a trip leader, Ahmed Ali is superb in all areas—and fun, too! Ruth M., Kernersville NC Ahmed gave us good, in-depth information and he obviously loves his work. Janna L., Santa Cruz CA A first-class guide, succinct, passionate, personable. Tom B., Woodside CA
In the Wake of Cleopatra
Ahmed is the best guide we’ve ever had. His knowledge in so many dimensions just kept unveiling itself. Brenda C., Woodside, CA
In the Wake of Cleopatra
Ahmed made each day exciting, entertaining, and fun! Jane K, Portland OR
In the Wake of Cleopatra
Ahmed could not have done a better job. He went above and beyond what he had to do to care for us. We loved him. He was a lot of fun too. Diedre C., Covington LA
Land of the Pharaohs
Ahmed was the perfect leader, sensitive to everyone’s needs and concerns. Frederic W., Egg Harbor, WI
In the Wake of Cleopatra
Ahmed was an excellent trip leader, we couldn’t have asked for anyone better. His extensive knowledge was fabulous and he really cared about making sure everyone on the trip had an enjoyable experience and got everything they wanted out of the trip. I would highly recommend him! Kate M., Quincy MA
In the Wake of Cleopatra
Ahmed is a truly excellent trip leader. His thorough knowledge of all things Egyptian really took the trip from good to great. Kay K., Sterling VA
Land of the Pharaohs
Ahmed was one of the best leaders we have had on a group trip. He has knowledge and passion for his work. Ellen and Albert S., Princeton, NJ
In the Wake of Cleopatra
 Ahmed was helpful, knowledgeable, and efficient—one of the best guides we have had on a WT trip. Tom M., Glen Ellen, CA
In the Wake of Cleopatra
Ahmed was a wealth of information, sharing his insights and firsthand knowledge of ancient sites along with current events and culture. Pearl K., Palo Alto, CA
In the Wake of Cleopatra
Ahmed is the best guide I have ever had on any trip, and I have traveled a lot. He was extraordinarily knowledgeable about Egyptology and made the past come alive with his stories. He had an ongoing concern about the needs of local people, and discussed with us the revolution and the current political situation in his country. And he always had a Plan B in his pocket! Lisa H., Healdsburg, CA
In the Wake of Cleopatra
Ahmed is an outstanding tour leader. He always did his best to look out for his clients and his professionalism is exceptional. We were lucky to have him. Ali K., New York, NY
Expedition to Sudan

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:



Alexandria Extension

Crossroads of the Ancient World

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1


Jordan: Petra and Wadi Rum Extension

Ancient Desert Fortresses, Lost Cities, Fabled Wadi Rum

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
7 days  -  Level 2

Client Comments

Would take this trip all over again! Sailing the Nile was priceless. Ruth M., Kernersville, NC The small boat is perfect for the Nile. Janna L., Santa Cruz, CA The trip was a glorious combo of mind-boggling temples, sailing on the Nile, and lovely hotels, all with an interesting fun group. Mary D., Cloverdale, CA I am still in shock and awe! It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Jane K., Portland, OR Did I say how much I loved the sailboat? Martha D., Los Altos, CA
One of our best of 8 Wilderness trips. Ed K., Palo Alto, CA 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! Ginger P., Boulder, CO This was a wonderful experience in all aspects—the accommodations, the places visited, the pace, the people we met, the boat and crew...everything. Mark R., Boston, MA

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Cruising the Nile, Pam Bacich