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Egypt & the Nile River - Pre-Trip

Ah Egypt – land of pharaohs, pyramids, and steeped in history! It has become such an incredibly popular place to visit both with land tours as well as river cruise companies who focus most of their itinerary around the Nile River.

We’ve loved every one of our 5 trips to the continent of Africa although all of these have revolved around safaris, while this one will be vastly different with the primary focus on the Nile River and all the fabulous ancient sites on and near this incredible river.

The Nile was once considered the longest river in the world although it was affirmed that the Amazon River is actually slightly longer. The Nile flows from south to north into the Mediterranean Sea from Lake Victoria. It’s a critical waterway from an economic standpoint since it continues to support agriculture and fishing.

The Nile River flows through 11 different countries including Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Republic of the Sudan, and Egypt.

Our trip commences and ends in Cairo, the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world. Uniworld’s official itinerary gives us a total of 4 nights in Cairo, although we’ve added an extra night enabling us to get to Alexandria for a day trip at the beginning.

After visiting Alexandria, we have 2 days in Cairo to see many of the magnificent sites there including the new Egyptian Museum, the amazing Alabaster Mosque, and the 12th century Cairo Citadel.

After staying in Cairo, these 3 nights, the following day we fly to Luxor to visit both the Temple of Luxor and then the Temple of Karnak.

We then get to board the beautiful S.S. Sphinx, a brand-new ship built by Uniworld. This lovely river ship has just 42 luxuriously appointed suites with just 84 passengers. We’re very excited to be able to experience what we’ve heard and seen in photos as a gorgeous work of Egyptian art and craftsmanship.

(Photo courtesy of Uniworld - this is the S.S. Sphinx main lobby)

Next up, the following day, we begin our sail north to Dendara where we will be able to see the Temple of the Goddess Hathor. After Dendara, we head back south to visit the Colossi Memnon, 2 massive 60-foot-tall stone statues that have been standing since 1350 BC. Then on to visit The Temple of Hatshepsut, in honor of one of Egypt’s rare female pharaohs, considered to be one of the most successful rulers of ancient Egypt.

Before we set sail for Kom Ombo, we’ll visit the Valley of the Kings, a location used as a royal burial place for nearly 500 years, where the mummified remains of King Tut currently reside. In Kom Ombo, we’ll be visiting the Temple by the same name and then have an opportunity to board a smaller boat for bird watching along the Nile River. There’s also apparently a crocodile museum here in Kom Ombo with 300 mummified crocs on display.

We then sail on to Aswan, the southernmost point of our Nile River cruise where we will see the Aswan High Dam, the Unfinished Obelisk, and the Temple of Isis. We’ll also have a chance to sail in a traditional Egyptian felucca sailboat and have high tea at the Old Cataract Hotel that was featured in Agatha Christie’s novel, “Death on the Nile”. All in all, it sounds like a pretty exciting day!

The following day looks to be no less exciting with a trip to Abu Simbel via a short flight from Aswan. Abu Simbel is one of the most recognizable ancient sites in Egypt, to this day. We’ll then head back north to Edfu and then on to see the Temple of Khnum. This temple in Esna was one of the last great Egyptian temples to be built.

That evening we’ve signed up for another special excursion that will take us back to the Temple of Karnak for a “Sound & Light Show” with a narration of the history of the temple and Thebes.

The following day, we fly back to Cairo, where we’ll disembark the ship for our final days that will include Ancient Memphis sites, including the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, and finally, the Pyramids and Village of Sakkara.

Needless to say, we’re incredibly excited with this upcoming trip and we’ll likely come back RAVING about it so that you too will have to add it to your bucket list, if it’s not already there!

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