EGYPT SUN FESTIVAL & NILE CRUISE TOUR
Don’t miss the chance to savor some of Egyptian’s finest works of archaeology with our 9 days Egypt tour covering Cairo, Aswan, the Sun Festival in the immortal city of Abu Simbel, a Nile Cruise and the majestic Luxor with its Valley of the Kings. Cast your eyes on some incredible landmarks such as the Giza Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Philae Temple, the temple of Kom Ombo and the Karnak temples. Participate in the Sun Festival, a work of ingenious construction and astronomy, where the sun illuminates the gods of greatness but keeps the queen of darkness completely in the dark. Incidentally this happens only one day, twice a year, so it is a privileged event. Then sail on the life force of Egypt on a Nile cruise and cast your eyes on the true definition of beauty and greatness in Aswan and Luxor. Finally flying back to Cairo to complete the round trip of wonder. Book now for an experience of a lifetime.
February 19-27, 2023
* Also available – October 19-27, 2023
US$5,650 per person
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- Who’s it for?: Gay men only
- Duration: 8 Nights/9 Days
- Arrival: Cairo, Egypt
- Departure: Cairo, Egypt
- Group size: minimum 4; maximum 12
- Accommodation: 4+/- star hotels
- Activities: archaeological sites of ancient Egypt, Sun Festival of Abu Simbel, Nile Cruise, camel ride, museum visits
- A Round Tour of Egypt: Cairo, fly to Aswan, Abu Simbel, Nile Cruise, Luxor, fly back to Cairo
- Giza Pyramids: site of the fourth dynasty including the Great Sphinx
- A crawl into the center of the Great Pyramid: see from the inside
- Camel Ride: a camel ride with the Giza Pyramids as a backdrop
- The Sun Festival: a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the wonders of light and darkness against statues of Egyptian gods and goddesses
- Nubian Village: a visit to one of the oldest existing civilizations in the world
- The Aswan Dam: a modern structure which safeguards the livelihood of thousands with water irrigation for agricultural production
- The Valley of the Kings: to see the mummy of Tutankhamun
- Egyptian Museum: ancient artifacts including the mask of Tutankhamun
- Sound and Lights Show at Karnuk: an impressive display to learn about Egyptian history
DATES & PRICES – EGYPT SUN FESTIVAL & NILE CRUISE TOUR
Duration: February 19-27, 2023
Price: US$5,650 per person
No Single Traveler Supplement
Deposit (non refundable): US$750 per person by Paypal (VISA, MASTERCARD, AMEX)
2nd Payment: 50% due before 60 days of the tour start date
Balance: balance due before 30 days of the tour stat date
Discount: 5% off any payments made by US bank transfer paid before the due payment date
Cancellation: No payments are refundable but amounts received are transferable as a credit against any other tour within 365 days of the original tour start date less payments not recoverable (eg. internal flights, hotel bookings), all subject to the discretion and approval of Holiday Houseboy Tours.
- Day 1 – arrive CAIRO
- Day 2 – CAIRO
- Day 3 – fly from CAIRO to ASWAN in the morning, ASWAN, overnight in ABU SIMBEL
- Day 4 – ABU SIMBEL SUN FESTIVAL, back to ASWAN to board NILE CRUISE
- Day 5 – NILE CRUISE
- Day 6 – NILE CRUISE
- Day 7 – disembark NILE CRUISE, LUXOR, fly from LUXOR to CAIRO in the evening
- Day 8 – CAIRO
- Day 9 – depart CAIRO
ITINERARY FOR EGYPT SUN FESTIVAL & NILE CRUISE TOUR
8 NIGHTS / 9 DAYS
- warm welcome at Cairo International Airport
- luxury transfer to your 5 star hotel in Cairo
- “Meet and Greet” session at 8 pm in the hotel reception
- the tour guide will revise the tour with you
Overnight in Cairo
- The Pyramids of Giza
- includes the Great Pyramid of King Khufu
- a crawl to see the interior of the Great Pyramid
- camel ride
- the magical Sphinx
- Valley Temple
The Pyramids of Giza
The Giza Pyramid Complex dated to the 4th dynasty c 2580 to 2560 BC and holds one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Your visit includes:-
The Great Pyramid
The Great Pyramid of King Khufu is the finest example of the eminence, it is one of the oldest and largest constructions in the world built in 2580 BC in 20 years using 2,300,000 blocks of limestone which makes it older than 4500 years old. You will have the chance to crawl through an entrance to see the pyramid from within its interior.
While we are visiting the Pyramids and on its highest point you can enjoy a camel ride to explore the back side of the Pyramids and to take your memorable pictures with all the Pyramids in the area.
Who among us when mentioning the name of the Sphinx does not think about this stone sculpture carved in the form of a human head with a lion body. Located in the Giza plateau, the Sphinx is one of the oldest and largest sculptures in the world. About 73.5 meters long and 6 meters wide.
There have been many and different opinions about the symbol represented by the Sphinx. Old views say that it represents the wisdom of man combined together with the strength of the lion. These qualities were attributed to “King Khafre”.
The Valley Temple
Onwards to the Valley Temple. Here was where the embalming process took place. This temple had two functions. Firstly, for the purification of the mummy before its burial. Secondly, for making the mummification process of the king.
Enjoy your dinner at a local restaurant after the day tour. Then return to your hotel and overnight in Cairo.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
- airport transfer to fly to Aswan
- the High Dam of Aswan
- the Temples of Philae
- the Unfinished Obelisk
- the Nubian Village
- the botanic island
A new day starts with breakfast, and then you will be driven to catch your flight to Aswan. Your guide will then show you the wonders of Aswan. Your visit includes:-
The Temple of Philae
Philae Temple was built to honor many gods like Isis and Hathor. They contain many stories about Osiris and Horus. In 1960 the UNESCO relocated the entire complex to the “Island of Agilkia” to escape the dangers of the Nile floods.
The High Dam
Aswan High Dam was built between 1960 and 1970 across the Nile. It had a positive effect on the economy and culture of Egypt.
The Unfinished Obelisk
The Unfinished Obelisk, the largest obelisk ever built by order by Queen Hatshepsut. Its height is 42 m and weighs 1,200 tons.
The Nubian Village
Discover the colorful culture of Nubia, one of Africa’s oldest civilizations, traveling by felucca sailboat or modern motorboat. You will meet locals, visit a traditional house, drink tea and have free time to explore the villages independently at your own pace.
The Botanical Island
Lord Horatio Kitchener received Kitchener’s Island, to the west of Elephantine Island, in the 1890s when he was commander of the Egyptian army. Thankfully Kitchener turned the entire island into the stunning Aswan Botanical Gardens, importing plants from the Far East, India and parts of Africa.
At the end of this amazing day you will be driven to Abu Simbel City to check in to your hotel and stay overnight.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Your visit includes:-
- Abu Simbel Temple
- the Great Temple
- the Smaller Temple
BACK TO ASWAN
- board the Nile Cruise
In the morning enjoy your breakfast at the hotel, followed by check out. Then you will join your tour guide to the enchanting “Abu Simbel Temple” which is known to be a true piece of art. The two temples were carved out of the mountainside in 1200 BC during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II and his wife Queen Nefertari.
Today is Sun Festival day. Amaze at the ingenuity of how the light illuminates the complex of three statues of gods Ra, Amun and Ramses II, yet keeping the fourth statue that of Ptah, the goddess of Darkness, completely in the shadows. Moreover February 22 serves as the anniversary of Ramses II’s ascension to the throne, whilst October 22 celebrates his birthday.
All the carvings, artwork, wall paintings, statues are extremely beautiful and tell incredible stories about Ramses victories at the battle of Kadesh and honor many gods like Ra, Amon, and Ptah.
The Great Temple
The Great Temple of Abu Simbel, in Nubia near Egypt’s southern border, is among the most awe-inspiring monuments of Egypt. It was cut into the living rock by King Ramses II (the Great) of the Nineteenth Dynasty, around 1264 BC. The temple is famous for the four imposing seated colossal statues that dominate its façade. One of these collapsed because of an ancient earthquake, and its fragments are still visible on the ground.
The Small Temple
Another rock-cut temple to the north, known as the Small Temple, is dedicated to the goddess Hathor and Ramses II’s Great Royal Wife, Queen Nefertari. On the façade of the Small Temple, her colossi are the same size as those of her husband, a very rare example of equality.
At the end of the day you travel back to Aswan to check in at your cruise, your home for the next 4 days. Lunch is served on board.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
- the Nubian Museum
- the temple of Kom Ombo
In the morning, enjoy your breakfast on the cruise and then you will visit the Nubian Museum of Aswan.
The Nubian Museum
Opened in 1997, the Nubian Museum is a belated, but well-executed, tribute to the culture and influence of Nubia and the Nubian people on the history of Egypt. This ancient culture, every bit as old as that of Ancient Egypt, existed along the banks of the Nile for millennia in the areas we call southern Egypt and northern Sudan today.
Once your visit finishes you will return back to the cruise to enjoy lunch while the cruise sails towards Kom Ombo.
The temple of Kom Ombo
Enjoy sun bathing and tea time on the deck of the Cruise. Then there is a stop to visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to the gods Horus and Sobek.
The Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple in the town of Kom Ombo in Aswan Governorate, Upper Egypt. It was constructed during the Ptolemaic dynasty, 180–47 BC but some additions to it were later made during the Roman period. The building is unique because its ‘double’ design meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods.
After the visit, you will be taken back to the boat for your dinner while it sails onward to Edfu, home of the best preserved temple in Egypt: the Temple of Horus.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
- the temple of Horus at Edfu
- sail through the Esna locks
- the temple of Luxor
- a Sound & Light Show at Karnak temple
You can enjoy an early breakfast. Once the boat is moored you will visit the best preserved temple in Egypt: the Temple of Horus. After your visit to this superb temple you return to the boat for lunch. The cruise continues through Esna locks onto the Temple of Luxor. Back to the cruise for dinner and then on to the Sound & Light Show at Karnak Temples
The Temple of Horus at Edfu
The Temple of Horus is dedicated to Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris. Its walls are really impressive with its inscriptions and pictures showing Horus having his revenge against Seth, the brother of his father Osiris. Excellently preserved, it is the most complete temple in Egypt, the second largest after Karnak.
The Esna Locks
After your visit to this superb temple, you return to the boat in plenty of time before it departs Edfu and sets sail for Esna. Once you reach Esna you will watch as it sails through the Esna locks. Once through the locks, the boat continues on its course towards Luxor, once the boat is moored you will visit the Temple of Luxor.
The Temple of Luxor
The Temple of Luxor was the center of the most important festivals and one of the best temples which you will visit. It’s one of the most important and famous in ancient Egypt, located in the city of Luxor, some 440 miles (700 km) from Cairo. It is an important tourist destination for its monuments and its distinctive weather.
After the visit, you will be taken back to the boat for your dinner while after dinner you can go out to see the Sound & Light Show.
Sound & Light Show in Karnak
Enjoy the Karnak Temple Sound and Light Show on the east bank illuminated at night with an audio-visual show that will explain how the temple was built and what life was like in Ancient Egypt. You can discover what life was like thousands of years ago! You will know about them through the splendid Sound and Light Show at the Karnak Temples. This spectacle will take about 75 minutes. It first takes you around the temple grounds, and finally, the last act is played while you are seated along the Great Sacred Lake. The performance relates the history of Luxor as the capital of the ancient world.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7, 2023
- disembark after breakfast
- Valley of the Kings
- Temple of Hatshepsut
- the Colossi of Memnon
- the Karnak temples
- airport transfer to Luxor to fly back to Cairo
The Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is a place where most of the important ancient pharaohs of the New Kingdom were buried. It is considered a sacred place and it holds inside some souls of great Ancient Egyptians. Here we will visit 5 tombs, including Tutankhamun and Ramses VI.
Temple of Hatsheput
The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut is a true example of the advanced level of classical architecture. The ancient Egyptians were able to reach as it was built on three levels and one of the most wonderful temples in Egypt.
The Colossi of Memnon
The Colossi of Memnon comprises of two twin massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep the third. They are made from blocks of quartzite that were moved 440 miles (700 km) from Cairo to Luxor.
Lunch will be served in a local restaurant before you continue your day tour to visit the greatest temples in Egypt, the Karnak Temples.
The Complex of Karnak Temples
The Temple of Karnak is the largest and oldest house of worship ever built by man in history on 147 acres on land and was enlarged over the generations by many Pharaohs who desired to honor the gods.
After the great day tour finishes you return to Luxor international airport to fly to Cairo where our representative will meet you. He will assist you through immigration and customs formalities. After you have collected your luggage he will then take you, in our deluxe vehicle, to your Cairo hotel for your overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
- the Egyptian Museum
- the Coptic Churches in old Cairo
- the Citadel of Cairo
- Mohamed Ali Mosque
- Khan El Khalili Market
You will enjoy your delicious breakfast at your hotel then explore all the majestic attractions of Cairo such as: Ancient Egypt in the Egyptian Museum. Then visit Old Cairo, the city that pre-dated Cairo with many historic churches and Roman sites and finally enjoy the fresh air breathing in Khan El Khalili.
Your visit includes:
The Egyptian Museum
Here you can see a rare collection of artifacts that date back to 5000 years and more than 250,000 genuine monuments. The Egyptian Museum also contains the most important artifacts that reflect the splendor of ancient Egyptian civilization.
Coptic Churches in Old Cairo
The Hanging Church and the Church of St. George the Martyr are 2 churches built into the walls of the Fort of Babylon. Their remains could be one of Cairo’s oldest structures. Also the Church of Abu Serga (St. Sergius), where the Holy Family took shelter in a cave, with the church being erected her to commemorate this. This whole area is a world famous destination for Pilgrims.
The Citadel of Cairo
The citadel of Saladin contains many monuments dating back to different Islamic eras, it was not only just a fortified castle that was used to defend the city but also many mosques and other purposes was in the citadel for 800 years.
Mohamed Ali Mosque
This Mosque was built on a rectangular area inside Salah al-Din Citadrel. It is split into two parts. On the one hand you have the eastern section which is the prayer house. And on the other you have the western section which is an open courtyard. Each section has two opposite doors, one facing the south and the other facing the north.
Khan El Khalili Market
One of the wonderful places in Cairo and the oldest market in the Middle East it’s a medieval-style mall, It has the finest silverware that you will find only in Khan El Khalili. Leather and copper products are popular too. Indeed some people attend the Khan to buy clothes, accessories and souvenirs with a historical theme. For example swords, copper helmets, and belts.
At the end of this exciting day you will be driven back to your hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
- farewell at your hotel
- airport transfer
Breakfast at hotel. Check out and transfer to Cairo International Airport for final departure.
- airport transfers from/to Cairo to your hotel
- deluxe air-conditioned vehicle for land transportation
- English speaking Egyptologist tour guide
- all entrance fees for all sightseeing/7
- all breakfasts, all lunches (in some cases dinner instead of lunch)
- all meals on the Nile Cruise
- 5 star hotels
- domestic flights Cairo/Aswan, Luxor/Cairo
- all activities mentioned in the itinerary
- drinks at meals and other times
- International flights to and from Cairo
- Egyptian Tourist Visa (you can order online via ivisa.com
Note: Americans need a tourist visa to visit Egypt
- Travel Insurance (compulsory)
- tips for guides, driver, Nile Cruise crew etc.
- any personal expenses
All funds paid are non refundable. Any costs that can be recuperated for you will go as a credit towards any of our other tours to be used within 12 months of the original start date of this tour, and such a credit is only given at our discretion. Hence the importance of ensuring that your travel insurance covers CFR (cancellation for any reason).
Please note the tour may be subject to change at the discretion of the tour guide.
Notes on Travel Insurance
You should purchase travel insurance that includes medical coverage of US$50,000 and emergency repatriation coverage of minimum US$200,000. Please note it is also recommended to cover isolation costs if testing positive for covid-19, and trip cancellation for any reason (CFAR). You will probably need to purchase this within 24 hours of paying your deposit. Please make sure that you contact your insurance provider directly to understand any impacts of covid. Any government related travel advisories may also impact your coverage. We cannot recommend or endorse any travel insurance company and the choice of your insurance provider is your own personal choice.
Please note the tour may be subject to change at our discretion.
EGYPT SUN FESTIVAL & NILE CRUISE TOUR
Khaled is a friendly, articulate, attentive and knowledgeable guide for all five thousand years of Egyptian history and to the understanding of the fascinating Egypt of today. He is a great Ambassador for Egypt and wants to share all that it has to offer.
I spent most of my time with him in Cairo, but I am confident he would be great anywhere in the country. I wanted to spend much of my time without a guide, but found Cairo a little more complicated and aggressive than many of the other cities I have visited. I found myself relying on him more and more, from picking us up to dropping us off at night. I realized his suggestions were always for the better.
I planned to save money by taking inexpensive Ubers. Before I arrived, Khaled had suggested I hire a driver for my comfort and I quickly realized that the Ubers had no air and the open windows let terrible exhaust fumes in from the street. He was able to hire great drivers.
He was wonderful in organizing my day trip to Luxor and I would have no problem trusting him to organize any or all parts of the trip. And he help in every other practical ways, including negotiating with the vendors in Khan El-Khalily for the best prices. He seemed to know everyone everywhere and had an obviously high level of street smarts, that made me feel confident and safe. I highly recommend Khaled for his knowledge, trustworthiness and dependability. I had a wonderful time with him in Cairo.
LGBT RIGHTS in EGYPT
LGBT Egyptians face challenges. In a survey in 2013, 95% of Egyptians considered homosexuality as unacceptable in Egyptian society. Whilst there is no specific law criminalizing homosexuality, there are provisions in place. Basically anything that is immoral, scandalous or offensive to the teachings of a recognized religious leader may be subject to prosecution under these provisions.
Click here for more info on LGBT rights in Egypt.
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Note: Americans need a tourist visa to visit Egypt