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: $4595  
Length: 9 days
Arrive: Cairo, Egypt
Depart: Cairo, Egypt
Lodging: 3 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
1p

Highlights

  • 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

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.

References

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.

Departure Notes

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 8-9
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 9 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

2015
Oct 16-24, 2015  Ahmed Ali

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$4595 (10-12 members)
$4995 (8-9 members)
$5395 (6-7 members)
Single supplement: $390 (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
Jordan: Petra and Wadi Rum Extension
   from: $2695
Alexandria Extension
   from: $995

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).

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!
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Fairmont Towers Heliopolis

Fairmont Towers Heliopolis

Day 1 (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

Sonesta St. George

Sonesta St. George

Day 2 (1 night), Luxor, Egypt

Overlooking the Nile on its East Bank in Luxor, the Sonesta St. George’s sweeping terrace is a relaxing place to watch feluccas as the sun ...
Click here for full description and more photos

<em>Lazuli III</em>

Lazuli III

Days 3 to 7 (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

Mena House Oberoi

Mena House Oberoi

Day 8 (1 night), Giza, 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

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

Ahmed Ali, born and raised in Cairo, graduated from Cairo University in 1989 with a BA in Ancient Near East History and Biblical Studies. He went on to receive an additional degree in Ancient Egyptian History and Archaeology from Helwan University. Ahmed loves the profession of Trip Leader because it allows him the opportunity to teach people about his country and its culture as well as to learn about other places in the world. “We are all students in the temple of knowledge,” he says. Ahmed reports that two of his favorite sites from Egypt’s Pharaonic period are the unique temples at Abydos and Dendara—“Abydos for its fine intricate workmanship, and Dendara for its somewhat mysterious and magical atmosphere.” He also enjoys traveling in off-the-beaten-path regions of the Western Desert of Egypt. Ahmed is the author of the book Prophets and Pharaohs and a frequent contributor to British publications. He resides in Cairo with his wife, two sons, and daughter. In the spring of 2013, he scouted our new Expedition to Sudan.

Upcoming Trips:

Pyramids to Petra, March 28-April 10, 2015
In the Wake of Cleopatra, October 16-24, 2015
Expedition to Sudan, November 6-14, 2015

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

Optional Extensions

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

Egypt

alexandria

Alexandria Extension

Crossroads of the Ancient World

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

Jordan

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