We travel in true AWT style there are no galabeya parties; there is no musak; there are no quizzes and only AWT passengers – like-minded travellers enjoying the serene beauty of the River Nile. Of course our famous expert will deliver some thought provoking and exciting illustrated lectures along the way!
- Saturday 1st May 2021
Fly London to Aswan via Cairo with EgyptAir. On arrival in Aswan we transfer to our luxury cruiser the SS Misr. This elegant, 5-star steam vessel, fully restored and air-conditioned, still retains its 19th century character. This will be our home for the next twelve nights on full board basis.
- Sunday 2nd May - Island of Isis
Today we visit the Temple of Philae built by Ptolemaic and Roman rulers to honour the cult of Isis and saved by UNESCO in the late 1970s when it became clear it would be lost for ever with the building of the new High Dam. We also visit the Open-Air Museum of the Unfinished Obelisk. We return to Misr for a relaxing lunch and later we visit the Nubia Museum displaying some wonderful pieces from the area.
- Monday 3rd May - Abu Simbel
This morning, there is the chance to take an optional excursion, by road, to the great Sun Temple of Abu Simbel. This excursion involves a very early start and involves a four hour journey each way. You will have a guided tour of the two spectacular temples built by Ramesses II saved by UNESCO in the 1960s and now sited on the west bank of Lake Nasser. For those not wanting to visit Abu Simbel there will be a local boat ride to the Old and Middle Kingdom Nobles’ Tombs of Kubbet el Hawa. These tombs have some fascinating inscriptions including, a request from a young Pepy II to Harkhuf for a ‘dancing dwarf’ from the land of spirits. This afternoon we sail for Kom Ombo famous for the Ptolemaic Temple of Haroeris and Sobek and situated high on the bank at a strategic bend in the river. We visit the temple before we sail on and moor for the night.
- Tuesday 4th May - El Kab and Esna
We sail for El Kab where we enter the 18th Dynasty tombs of Ahmose and Pahery. We continue to the small Tuthmosis IV and Amenhotep III temple built for Hathor and Nekhebet. We arrive at Esna and we take the short walk from the quay to the Ptolemaic-Roman Temple dedicated to the ram-headed creator god Khnum. Much of the complex still lies hidden under the town but we can see a lovely Hypostyle Hall with 24 columns each with unique floral capitals. Plenty of time to search for the famous relief of Khnum at the potter’s wheel. We have a relaxing afternoon sailing and this evening we arrive in Luxor for overnight.
- Wednesday 5th May - Luxor
We visit the Valley of the Kings where we have entrance tickets to three of the tombs of your choice that are open on the day. On to the impressive Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. Here we see the remains of some highly coloured scenes and beautiful reliefs. Time to view the Colossi of Memnon before we return to the boat for lunch. This afternoon we plan visits to the temple of Amun at Karnak followed by Luxor Temple.
- Thursday 6th May - Dendera
We enjoy a peaceful morning sailing towards Qena and after lunch we travel by road to the Ptolemaic Temple of Dendera dedicated to the goddess Hathor. The columns and ceilings of this lovely temple are beautifully restored and cleaned. We return to the Misr late afternoon and overnight at Qena.
- Friday 7th May - Mystical Abydos
Another splendid morning sailing as we head to Sohag. We pass through the swing bridge at Nag Hamadi before we arrive at the barrage where we continue through the great lock. This afternoon we arrive at the village of Balyana where we disembark and take our coach to Abydos. Here we visit the magnificent temple of Seti I with the finest reliefs in Egypt carved into the walls of its shrines, including the famous ‘King List’. Time to view the intriguing Osireion before we return to our cruiser and continue sailing to Sohag where we moor for the night.
- Saturday 8th May - Sailing
Today is a wonderfully relaxing day as we sail from Sohag to Tel El Amarna. Time to sit back and enjoy the scenes of daily life acted out on the banks of the river. The pace of life unchanged for centuries, we sail past villages and farmland all the while watching the birdlife on sand banks and islands. A day for binoculars, cameras and books.
- Sunday 9th May - Amarna
n absolute highlight of any trip through Middle Egypt is the chance to explore Amarna, the amazing capital city of Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti. We will visit the Royal Tomb for Akhenaten himself and the Southern Tombs. Time also for the central city, palaces, and the Great Temple of Aten. We spend the day at this incredible site and a light lunch will be provided by our own chefs from the Misr at the Amarna Rest House. Here we will be able to use the facilities and buy hot and cold drinks from the family who run the House. AWT is proud to support this local business on all its excursions to Amarna. Late afternoon we sail to Minya for overnight.
- Monday 10th May - Beni Hassan
This morning we head to the superbly decorated Middle Kingdom tombs of the local governors of Beni Hassan. Here we see the famous, vivid murals depicting daily life, hunts and wrestling scenes. The view from the tombs is memorable for showing the contrast between the fertile banks of the Nile and the desert that falls so close to the river. Returning to the boat for lunch we cruise towards the city of Beni Suef where we will overnight.
- Tuesday 11th May - Meidum
We begin our day exploring spectacular Meidum Pyramid rising above a hill of debris and the brick built mastabas nearby. There will be time to enter the pyramid and for those who wish. Over lunch we sail on towards Cairo for our overnight mooring and final destination. (BLD)
- Wednesday 12th May - Giza
After breakfast we head to the Giza Plateau and the Great Pyramid of Khufu along with Khafre and Menkaure as well as time to admire the mighty Sphinx. We return to the cruiser for lunch on board. Later we board our coach and head in to the city to view the amazing collection at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. Here we have a chance to look at artefacts from many of the sites visited over the last two weeks. This evening we have a farewell dinner and a chance to say goodbye to all the staff and friends on the SS Misr that has been our home for nearly two weeks.
- Thursday 13th May 2021
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our EgyptAir flight to London arriving early afternoon.
Cabin upgrades are available: Royal (Panorama) Suites, Large Front Suites, Standard Suites and Upper Deck.
Expert: Egyptologist, Chris Naunton has appeared in numerous television documentaries, most notably as the presenter of ‘ Flinders Petrie: The Man who Discovered Egypt’ (BBC4) and ‘Tutankhamun: The Mystery of the Burnt Mummy’ (Ch 4). He was CEO of the EES from 2012 -16 and is currently President of the International Association of Egyptologists. His book; ‘Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt’, is now on sale
B = Breakfast BL = Breakfast and Lunch BD = Breakfast and Dinner BLD = Breakfast Lunch and Dinner