Embark your ship and visit the Valleys of the Kings and Queens
On arrival in Luxor, you’ll be met at the airport by a Vantage representative for your transfer to the Nile waterfront, where the m/s Nebu invites you to climb aboard for seven nights of luxury river cruising. After a safety briefing, you’ll enjoy lunch on board ship and settle in to your spacious and stylish suite.
This afternoon, we’ll drive across the river to a range of low mountains. A series of rugged ravines in these hills are known today as the Valleys of the Kings and Queens. Part of the greater Theban Necropolis UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Valley of the Kings encompasses more than 60 tombs and burial chambers cut deep into rock cliffs over a 500-year span. Exploring some of these sacred chambers, you’ll see elaborate hieroglyphs and paintings that are almost as vivid now as they were three thousand years ago, when they were new.
Additional ancient wonders await in the nearby Valley of the Queens, a burial ground with as many as 90 tombs of the wives and children of the rulers. Before returning to the ship for dinner, we’ll also visit the magnificent multi-terraced Temple of Hatshepsut, named for Egypt’s longest-reigning female pharaoh — the queen who ruled as a man.
Serene Nile cruising to Edfu
Today, the m/s Nebu proudly sets sail from Luxor and the afternoon is spent in the most relaxing way possible, with scenic cruising on the Nile. As you pass tiny riverside villages and groves of date palms, you’ll feel as if you’re witnessing landscapes straight out of biblical times. Glimpses of sand dunes and bare cliffs just beyond the slender strip of agricultural land attest to the life-giving importance of the Nile to this desert land.
Visit the unique Temple of Kom Ombo and cruise to Aswan
We continue cruising up the Nile, arriving at the Temple of Kom Ombo in the late morning. On a visit to the temple, beautifully situated on a small hillside right beside the river, you’ll discover its unique "double" design, with symmetrical halves dedicated to two different gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god, Sobek, god of fertility and protection against the dangers of the Nile, while the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, or "Horus the Elder," patron god of the pharaohs. The path out of the temple complex leads to a crocodile museum, which houses a fascinating collection of mummified crocodiles and ancient carvings. We’ll return to the ship for lunch and sail on towards the city of Aswan.
Discover Aswan’s treasures: the High Dam, the Temples of Philae, and the Granite Quarry
Today you'll explore the area around Aswan, beginning with the mighty Aswan High Dam. This 13,000-foot-long and 3,200-foot-wide wall was built across the Nile between 1960 and 1970 with Soviet support. It supplanted the British-built Low Dam of the 1900s and created the vast 340-mile-long reservoir known today as Lake Nasser.
You’ll also take a short boat ride across the reservoir of the Aswan Low Dam to visit the elegant Temple of Philae, one of UNESCO’s Nubian Monuments that was rescued from flooding in the 1960s. Philae was originally located near the First Cataract of the Nile but was flooded after the construction of the Aswan Low Dam. As part of the UNESCO Nubia Campaign project, the entire temple complex was drained, dismantled, cleaned, and moved to the nearby island of Agilkia, situated on higher ground.
Our explorations then take us to an ancient quarry, where you’ll see the famed Unfinished Obelisk, whose construction was ordered by Queen Hatshepsut about 3,500 years ago. Marks from workers' tools are still clearly visible, as well as lines marking where they were working. Abandoned after cracks appeared, the colossal granite pylon would have stood 137 feet high. Had it been completed, it would have been by far the largest of Egypt’s obelisks.
Sail on a felucca and dress up for a festive galabiya costume party
Another perfect opportunity to let the ageless scenery of the world’s longest and most legendary river drift by, as we start our relaxing return cruise past Kom Ombo and towards Edfu. Board a traditional wooden felucca sailboat and relax in the glorious sunshine as dry deserts, lush farmlands, and rural villages unfurl alongside. Listen to the laughing calls of pied kingfishers as they skim the waters, and to the beautiful adhan (Muslim call to prayer) floating up from the minarets of passing mosques.
After a day of enchanting relaxation, we’ll don traditional galabiyas (also known as Jellabiyas) for a fun costume party on board. Now that you’re dressed like an Egyptian, you’ll be ready to dance like an Egyptian — and a vibrant Oriental show with lively music will set the mood for a festive night like no other.
Visit the Temple of Horus at Edfu
Horse-drawn carriages will be waiting for us along the waterfront at Edfu this morning for the ride through this small river city to the famously well-preserved temple of Horus. The largest temple dedicated to the falcon god, it is notable for the two stone falcons at its entrance and the huge relief figures on its façade.
The temple was built in the Ptolemaic Kingdom between 237 and 57 BC but was literally lost beneath the sands of time as drifting desert sand and river silt deposited by the Nile buried it to a depth of 40 feet. Local inhabitants built homes over it and, by 1798, when the temple was discovered by a French expedition, only the upper portions of the pylons were visible.
This afternoon, we enjoy lunch on board ship and more scenic Nile cruising, as we return to Luxor once again.
Explore the fabulous temples of Luxor and Karnak and enjoy a belly-dancing show on board
Today, we’ll explore two of Egypt’s most illustrious shrines: the Karnak and Luxor temple complexes. Said to be the world’s largest religious structure in area, the vast Karnak Temple complex was built and used over a period of 2,000 years. You’ll be awed by the Great Hypostyle Hall, where a monolithic forest of 134 huge columns is ranked in 16 rows. The largest are 33 feet around and soar to 80 feet in height. A walkway lined with rams-head sphinxes leads all the way from Karnak to the 3,500-year-old Luxor Temple complex. Dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu, Luxor’s graceful inner courtyards are lined with Ramesside colossi and graceful columns covered in carvings and hieroglyphics.
After dinner this evening, we’ll be treated to a transfixing belly-dancing show on board ship. Famed for its controlled and precise movements, Egyptian belly-dancing is said to have originated in Cairo’s nightclubs before graduating to create stars of the silver screen.
This morning, after breakfast, it's time to bid farewell to the crew of the m/s Nebu and the timeless Nile River, happy in the knowledge that you have witnessed some of its most incomparable monuments.
Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.
Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary.
Note: Hotel ratings are based on the Hotel Index, a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.