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Gold of the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Wonders on the Inaugural Cruise of m/s Nebu - 2020

Cairo • Luxor • 7-night river cruise to Kom Ombo, Abu Simbel, Aswan, Edfu • Alexandria • Cairo
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Save the date for September 7, 2020 — Vantage Founder and Chairman Henry Lewis and his wife Patricia would like to personally invite you on this special Inaugural Voyage of the m/s Nebu on an exclusive seven-night cruise along the fabled Nile River. 

Over the past year, both Mr. Lewis and Vantage associates have traveled back and forth to Egypt to curate and perfect every moment of this cruise, and we are delighted to finally unveil the magic for our travelers.

You’ll live like a pharaoh on the brand-new m/s Nebu, which takes its name from the Egyptian hieroglyphic representing gold — and you’ll see why the moment you step aboard this bespoke, 5-star ship. Take a refreshing dip in the top deck pool as you cruise to Edfu . . . rejuvenate with a spa treatment during your downtime . . . and join Vantage’s founder for a sumptuous meal in the ship’s restaurant.

You’ll explore Egypt’s ancient wonders alongside a private Egyptologist and revel in seven unforgettable Inaugural Features, including a private Great Sphinx visit, a camel ride around the Pyramids, a starlit Gala Dinner & Dance inside the Temple of Luxor — and that’s just to name a few.

You’ll also spend four days delving into the intricacies of Cairo, one of the world’s most fascinating cities, with the most luxurious hotel on the Nile waterfront as your home base. Your journey concludes in fine style with a stay in a luxury seafront hotel in Alexandria, “the Pearl of the Mediterranean.”

This exclusive Inaugural Journey with its special Nile river cruise is a unique and one-off departure, and our team in Egypt is pulling out all the stops to make it memorable in every way. However, space is limited, so reserve now to be part of this extraordinary inaugural cruise.

Round-trip Cairo

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Jerusalem & Bethlehem

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DAY 1:

Fly overnight to Cairo, Egypt

Your Inaugural cruise begins with an overnight flight to Cairo.

DAY 2:

Arrive in Cairo and relax in splendor at your deluxe Nile hotel

After arriving in the Egyptian capital on Day 2, transfer to your deluxe hotel, located in the heart of the city on the banks of the Nile River. Note that if you purchase your airfare from Vantage, you’ll be met outside the airport arrivals area and your hotel transfer will be waiting. If you plan to reserve your own airfare, ask when making your reservation about purchasing transfer service from Vantage. This evening, join your Cruise Directors and fellow travelers for a welcome drink, followed by dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:


DAY 3:

An audience with King Tut at the Egyptian Museum, and an elegant Inaugural Banquet

Following a leisurely morning, welcome briefing, and lunch at the hotel, you’ll visit Cairo’s renowned Egyptian Museum — home to the world's largest collection of pharaonic antiquities. Among the museum’s spectacular displays are numerous fine examples of art and statuary from ancient dynasties, the golden treasures of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, and the mummies of many of Egypt’s greatest pharaohs.

Travel back to the hotel later this afternoon and begin planning your outfit as you close in on the first of many Inaugural Features: A festive cocktail party at the hotel, where you’ll toast the beginning of the m/s Nebu’s Inaugural Journey down the Nile, followed by a sumptuous banquet with a live band providing music for dancing.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4:

Ride a camel around the Pyramids, shake paws with the Sphinx, and more

You can cross one of the world’s most iconic destinations off your bucket list today! You’ll make an excursion to the Giza Plateau on the southwest outskirts of the city to marvel at the Pyramids of Giza. The Great Pyramid — or Pyramid of Khufu — is the oldest and largest of the three, dating back to 2580–2560 BC and towering at 455 feet high.

You’ll also see the Great Sphinx, the massive statue carved from the plateau's limestone bedrock, of a reclining lion with the head of the pharaoh Khafre. But while most visitors must marvel at the Sphinx’s noseless face from a distance, we’ve made special arrangements with the Minister of Antiquities for entrance to its enclosure in yet another mind-blowing Inaugural Feature — you’ll be able to walk right between the Sphinx’s paws to pose for photos, and even touch it.

But the excitement doesn’t end there. Inaugural Feature: Next, you’ll find yourself stepping into the stirrups for a camel ride along the plains overlooking the Pyramids. With a surprisingly graceful see-saw, you’ll be hoisted up and away on your ship of the desert for a parade straight out of a picture postcard.

Still staggered by the day’s wonders, you’ll board a bus and head for the date palm plantations of Saqqara. Here, you’ll enjoy a peaceful poolside lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. Built during Egypt’s third dynasty to honor the pharaoh Djoser, it's said to be the world's earliest pyramid, and is also part of the Memphis Necropolis UNESCO site. After a busy day of breathtaking discovery, you and your fellow travelers will enjoy dinner together at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Explore Cairo’s Hanging Church and Ben Ezra Synagogue

Today, delve into Cairo’s historic quarter and the captivating story of Egypt's predominant religion. Begin with a tour of Islamic Cairo, featuring visits to the fortified, medieval Citadel and the Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali. The grand, domed mosque is built in the Ottoman style and partly clad in translucent alabaster, hence its nickname “the Alabaster Mosque.” Be sure to have your camera at hand to capture panoramic views of the city from the Citadel's hilltop site, where, on a reasonably clear day, you can see all the way across the city to the Pyramids.

From here, it’s a short drive to Al-Azhar Park — a serene public oasis in the midst of an urban desert. The park, listed as one of the world's 60 great public spaces, was developed in 2005 at a cost of over USD $30 million and was a gift to the city from Aga Khan IV. We'll have lunch at a popular restaurant in the park, enjoying views over the landscaped gardens towards the Great Mosque.*

Your tour continues at the Hanging Church, one of the oldest churches in Egypt that dates back to the third century. Nearby, we'll also take a peek at the Ben Ezra Synagogue, named after the iconic prophet and boasting details draped in gold. This evening, recall your adventures in and around Cairo during dinner at a local restaurant

* NOTE: Please be advised that Al-Azhar Park does not serve alcohol for religious reasons. A full soft drink beverage selection will be available and is included in your tour cost.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Board the m/s Nebu and attend a Gala Dinner and Dance in Luxor Temple

After breakfast, you'll transfer to Cairo Airport for your flight to Luxor — the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. Have a memorable visit to the ancient Luxor Temple after arrival. Then, you'll drive through lush farmlands to the Nile waterfront, where the brand-new Vantage-owned cruise ship m/s Nebu welcomes you aboard as the first guests on her grand inaugural voyage.

After a safety briefing, you'll enjoy lunch on board ship: the first of many memorable shipboard meals to come. This afternoon, you can enjoy settling into your spacious and stylish suites and exploring the m/s Nebu's magnificent lounges and pool deck.

Tonight, after a cocktail reception onboard the ship, look forward to a very special occasion and another Inaugural Feature: A gala dinner in Luxor Temple. This exclusive arrangement for a private function inside a 3,500-year-old temple has been catered just for this event and should excite even the most well-traveled!

Snap photos as you’re led down a walkway lined with rams-head sphinxes and into the temple’s graceful inner courtyards lined with massive statues. We’ve arranged for tables under the stars, amidst the ancient columns, and dinner will be accompanied by a harpist, followed by music for dancing. It’s going to be an Egyptian evening to remember!

Please note: Due to the religious nature of Luxor Temple, alcohol cannot be served. Dinner will include a full selection of soft drinks and nonalcoholic beverages.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

See the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut

Indulge in a morning at leisure onboard the ship, with a sumptuous brunch included. Today, you'll experience the West Bank, including 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. We’ll also visit the magnificent multi-terraced Temple of Hatshepsut, named for Egypt’s longest-reigning female pharaoh.

Dinner will be back onboard, and we will overnight in Luxor.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Visit the Karnak Temple and set sail to Edfu

This morning, we’ll explore one of Egypt’s most illustrious shrines, the Karnak temple complex. 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 absolutely amazed 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. 

Later this afternoon, the m/s Nebu proudly sets sail toward Edfu. As Luxor Temple and the Winter Palace dwindle into the distance behind you, you'll join a procession of other stately cruise ships, amongst which the m/s Nebu surely takes the gold.

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 scenes 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.

An afternoon of sailing gives you plenty of time to unwind — perhaps you’ll get in some exercise at the pool or fitness center, do some reading or sightseeing on the top deck, or make a refreshing visit to the spa.

Scenic Sailing: Step out onto the Upper Deck for views of the Luxor Temple during your sailing.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Fly south to see the twin Temples of Abu Simbel

You'll get an idea of the vastness of Egypt's ancient dynasties, as we fly 143 miles south from Aswan to the visit the great twin temples of Abu Simbel. Along with the Temple of Isis at Philae, they make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site known collectively as the Nubian Monuments. Here, imposing 70-foot statues of Ramses II and Queen Nefertari overlook the Nile. Originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC to commemorate Ramses II's victory against the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh, the huge rock relief figures at their entrances have become famous icons, and the sight of them is well worth the flight.

What makes them even more interesting, however, is that they had to be moved. A famous rescue mission, overseen by UNESCO, was undertaken to save them from the waters inexorably rising behind the great Aswan High Dam. Between 1964 and 1968, in a feat almost as impressive as building them in the first place, the entire site was carefully cut into large blocks, dismantled, lifted, and reassembled in a new location 65 meters higher up.

After marveling at the architectural ingenuity of both past and present, you’ll fly back to Aswan in time to enjoy lunch on board the ship and enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Discover the treasures of Aswan: the High Dam, Philae Temple, and attend a Nubian folklore show

Today you'll explore the area around Aswan, beginning with the massive Awan 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 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, another of UNESCO’s Nubian monuments that was rescued from flooding. Philae was originally located near the First Cataract but was flooded after the construction of the Aswan Low Dam. As part of the UNESCO Nubia Campaign project, the temple complex was drained, dismantled, cleaned, and moved to a nearby island, to protect it before the completion of the Aswan High Dam.

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 massive granite pylon would have stood 137 feet high; had it been completed, it would have been by far the largest of Egypt’s obelisks.

Inaugural Feature: Later today, you’ll board traditional felucca boats for some relaxing afternoon sailing. Savor some sparkling wine as you sit back and enjoy the ride and the views on these dramatic sailboats, which rely solely on wind!

After dinner tonight, enjoy another memorable Inaugural Feature: A fun Nubian folklore show onboard before an overnight in Aswan.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Visit the unique Temple of Kom Ombo and attend a galabiya party

Today we continue cruising up the Nile with breakfast onboard and a morning at leisure, concluding with lunch. This afternoon, you'll arrive 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 the Crocodile Museum, Egypt's first museum devoted exclusively to crocodiles, 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.

Scenic Sailing: Enjoy opportunities for birdwatching as you sail between Luxor and Aswan — be sure to step out onto the deck with your camera or GoPro to capture some of the action. Perhaps you'll spot albatross, petrels, or black-winged stilts.

Inaugural Feature: After dinner tonight, slip into traditional Egyptian finery with a galabiya — the long tunics native to the Nile Valley — during a special show and party on the ship! This festive event, and seeing everyone wearing the traditional clothing of the region, really highlights your journey and this special occasion.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

Explore the Valleys of the Kings and Queens and the fabulous temples of Luxor and Karnak

After breakfast onboard, horse-drawn carriages will be waiting for us beside the river this morning for the ride through this small river city to Edfu’s famously well-preserved temple. The largest temple dedicated to Horus the falcon god, it is notable for the two stone falcons at its entrance and the huge relief figures on the 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 identified by a French expedition, only the upper reaches of the pylons were visible. Later, lunch and an afternoon at leisure will be back on the ship.

Inaugural Feature: After dinner, treat yourself to one of the most traditional forms of Egyptian entertainment: a belly-dancing show! It's said that this dance originated in Cairo's nightclubs, but you'll find that these deliberate, controlled movements are much more artistic when a troupe of expert dancers joins us on board for a spectacular show that will have you riveted by the costumes, dance moves, and the history!

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Fly to Cairo then continue overland to coastal Alexandria

It's time to bid a fond farewell to the crew of the m/s Nebu, as we continue our journey to a city with a location and cultural climate unlike any other destination you’ve visited in Egypt so far. To reach Alexandria, the great Mediterranean port city founded by Alexander the Great, we’ll fly to Cairo, then continue to the coast by motorcoach. After checking into our beautiful seaside hotel, you’ll have lunch, followed by the afternoon at leisure with dinner included at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14:

Walk in Cleopatra’s footsteps as you explore Greco-Roman Alexandria

This morning we explore Alexandria on a panoramic tour showcasing the highlights of "the Pearl of the Mediterranean," including the seafront promenade and the faded glory of the downtown area. We’ll descend the ancient staircase to the underground catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, an extensive subterranean burial site that dates to the Greco-Roman era of the 2nd century AD. Many of the features of the catacombs merge Roman, Greek, and Egyptian cultures — for example, some statues are Egyptian in style, yet bear Roman clothes and hairstyles. The location of the site had long been lost and was only rediscovered in 1900 when an unfortunate donkey stumbled into one of the shafts.

You’ll also visit Alexandria’s tallest monument, Pompey’s Pillar. Dating back to the 4th century, it stands 90 feet tall and 30 feet wide and was hewn from a single block of red granite brought all the way from Aswan, almost 700 miles away. Following lunch at a local restaurant, your tour of Alexandria's past continues with a visit to the Roman Amphitheatre and the Library of Alexandria. Enjoy dinner at the hotel tonight.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

Return to Cairo for a Gala Farewell Dinner

This morning, we return by road to Cairo. Upon arrival, you’ll check into your deluxe hotel, located in the upscale Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, and conveniently close to Cairo Airport. Tonight you’ll toast a final goodbye to this Inaugural Cruise at a Gala Farewell Cocktail Dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 16:

Depart Cairo and fly home; or continue on to Amman & Petra with a post-trip extension

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the Cairo airport for your flight home to the U.S., or fly to Jordan for your post-trip extension to the Lost City of Petra and Amman.

Included Meals:


Post-Trip Extension

Petra & Amman, Jordan

FROM: $1599 PER PERSON | 6 DAYS | $266 PER DAY

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 Cruise Director or regional expert.

Please Note: Port Times & Itineraries are subject to change.

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. 

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Gold of the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Wonders on the Inaugural Cruise of m/s Nebu - 2020

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