Secrets of Egypt & The Nile Gay & Bears Cruise & Tour 2024
11 nights from/to Cairo, Egypt
January 19 30, 2024
We are thrilled to now take you to a fascinating destination: Egypt. Allow yourself to be treated to a connoisseur’s discovery of this ancient civilization as only AmaWaterways can provide – with an unparalleled 11-night Nile River cruise and land experience that includes exquisite cuisine, authentic experiences and the extraordinary service for which AmaWaterways is renowned. Sail aboard the luxurious AmaDahlia and explore ancient wonders, such as the beguiling Temple of Luxor and the mystifying Valley of the Kings and Queens.
Plus, come face-to-face with the last survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Sphinx and the three Pyramids of Giza. This unforgettable itinerary includes exclusive experiences, such as a private tour of the tomb of Queen Nefertari and a private lunch at the Abdeen Presidential Palace. Uncover the many mysteries and secrets that have shaped Egypt’s past and continue to influence the future of this remarkable land.
Few countries grip the imagination quite like Egypt. Just hearing the name conjures images of mighty pharaohs and massive pyramids, sprawling temples and secret tombs, colossal monuments and crowded markets—and cutting through it all, the life-giving Nile River, without which none of these other sights could have existed. Join us on one of our unforgettable Secrets of Egypt & the Nile river cruise and land journeys and make your mark on the world’s longest river as well as the treasures beyond its banks.
Dig Deeper in Cairo
There are many cities that blend the old world and the new. Then there’s Cairo. Officially founded in 969 AD, Cairo can trace its roots back 4,000 years to Memphis – the ancient capital of Lower Egypt. It is a city where towering skyscrapers overlook 1,000-year-old monuments. Your 11-night Secrets of Egypt & the Nile river cruise experience begins here for an included pre-cruise stay at either the luxurious Four Seasons at the First Residence or The St. Regis Cairo. You will meet your Cruise Manager and fellow guests and spend three nights in the city, enjoying some of the most exciting excursions of your life.
The Pyramids, the Sphinx and the “Boy King”
Seeing King Tut’s treasures and the Pyramids of Ancient Memphis are a must – and fortunately, your excursions in Cairo include these highlights and more. Your first full day in Cairo is jam-packed, exploring the Egyptian Museum and the artifacts of the Tutankhamun, the “Boy King,” followed by lunch and a tour of the Alabaster Mosque and its ornate interior. The following day, you’ll gaze up at the huge statue of Ramses II, the Alabaster Sphinx and the necropolis of Sakkara, dine at the famous Mena House and wander through the iconic Giza complex among the pyramids of lore, with an evening to spend at your leisure. Perhaps you’ll take a stroll through Khan El-Khalili, a labyrinthine bazaar where one can find anything from spices to jewels – while always being prepared to haggle.
Following your time in Cairo, you will board one of our two stunning river cruise ships for your river cruise, roundtrip from Luxor. This city was known in ancient times as Thebes, capital of Upper Egypt. Luxor boasts a dizzying array of ancient monuments. The most famous include Luxor Temple, built in part by famous pharaohs including Amenhotep III, Ramesses II, and Tutankhamun; and the enormous temple complex of Karnak, home to the Temple of Amun-Ra with its enormous papyrus-shaped columns. Across the Nile lays the Valley of the Kings, where for 500 years pharaohs like King Tut had their mummified remains buried along with their most prized worldly possessions. Our excursions in Luxor include visits to all the above-mentioned sites as well as a hands-on class in papyrus making, but the cherry on top is your exclusive private tour of Queen Nefertari’s tomb within the Valley of the Queens, an experience reserved just for AmaWaterways guests.
Perhaps the most heartwarming excursion you will take during your Nile River cruise is to a Nubian village. You’ll feel the wind on your face as you sail by motorboat to Hessa. There you will meet the warm and friendly Nubian people who live there and carry on the traditions of their ancestors, an ancient African civilization that once lived and ruled Egypt. Perhaps most striking is the architecture of the village, simple, yet painted with vivid colors and patterns, like an al fresco desert art gallery.
Back in Cairo
Reserved for the end of your itinerary following your Nile River cruise is an unforgettable visit to Abdeen Presidential Palace, considered one of the most luxurious palaces in the world. It consists of multiple museums and is the official residence of the President of Egypt, but only you will be invited following your private tour to a very special lunch at the palace – an exclusive experience reserved just for AmaWaterways guests. In addition, your local guide will take you through the winding alleys of Coptic Cairo, home to the city’s oldest structure, a Babylonian fortress, as well as Africa’s first Christian church and oldest Islamic mosque.
Open the Gates
Egypt is a truly remarkable vacation destination unto itself, but it can also be the perfect starting point for an even grander journey. Sometimes called “the gateway to the Middle East,” Egypt’s proximity to sought-after destinations such as Israel, Dubai, and Petra, Jordan makes it the perfect place to begin the sun-soaked adventure of a lifetime. Fortunately, we make it easy for you to add these optional pre- and post-cruise land packages to your 11-night journey so you can make the most of your time in this fascinating region of the world.
Your Ship - AmaWaterways AmaDahlia
When it’s time to embark for your Nile River cruise, you’ll be warmly welcomed aboard a beautiful river cruise ship where luxury always means love with AmaWaterways. The stunning AmaDahlia is an inviting 72-passenger ship offering 36 staterooms, including 16 magnificent suites with a wealth of amenities that will surprise and delight you, including a heated sun-deck swimming pool and bar, The Chef’s Al Fresco Restaurant, hair and nail salon and two massage rooms. Marvel at scenic Nile River views in luxury, enjoy regionally inspired entertainment and savor the flavors of both local and Western cuisine on board.
Discover the destination and its culture through its locally-sourced cuisine, including regional specialties and Western favorites. Choose from the Main Restaurant and The Chef’s Al Fresco specialty restaurant; and enjoy unlimited complimentary local beer and wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board.
Enhance Your Best Self
Stay fit by partaking in an exercise class with your professionally trained Wellness Host or work out in the well-equipped fitness room. For a gentler approach to wellness, take a dip in the sun-deck pool, soothe your muscles with a rejuvenating massage or treat yourself to hair and nail services at the salon.
Inviting Public Spaces
You can always count on your floating hotel to provide you with all the amenities and conveniences you need to make your time in Egypt as comfortable as possible. Take in views of the Nile River from the Sun Deck or gather in the main lounge with fellow adventurers. With only 72 guests on board, enjoy the luxury of space to unwind, relax and connect with loved ones.
You will be warmly welcomed aboard by an attentive crew who will ensure you have memories to last a lifetime. Your Cruise Manager will be with you every step of your journey, as well as expertly trained Egyptologists, who will share the many mysteries and secrets that have shaped Egypt’s past and continue to influence its future.
• Arrival airport transfer
• 3 nights at the 5-star Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence in a Superior partial Nile-view room, including daily breakfast and complimentary Wi-Fi
• Full-day Cairo tour with a visit to the Egyptian Museum, lunch at Studio Misr Restaurant in Al-Azhar Park, and visit to the Alabaster Mosque
• Visit the ancient sites of Memphis, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx plus lunch at the historic Mena House Hotel
AmaDahlia Nile River Cruise
• 7-night river cruise in elegantly appointed accommodations
• Fine dining with a variety of choices, including The Chef’s Al Fresco Restaurant
• Wine, beer, and soft drinks included during lunch and dinner
• Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner, Captain’s Cocktail and Gala Dinner
• Nightly entertainment, including a belly dance show, Galabeya Party and Darawish Show
• Fitness room, sundeck pool, hair and nail salon, and two massage rooms
• Exclusive visits to the Tomb of Queen Nefertari and a Nubian village with lunch
• One night at the 5-star Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence in a Superior partial Nile-view room, including breakfast and complimentary Wi-Fi
• Exclusive private tour and special farewell lunch at the Abdeen Presidential Palace
• Visit Coptic Cairo where the Hanging Church and Ben Ezra Synagogue are located
• Departure airport transfer
Secrets of Egypt & The Nile
Gay & Bears Cruise & Tour Itinerary
| 19 Jan
| 20 Jan
| 21 Jan
| 22 Jan
||Cairo / Luxor / Embark
| 23 Jan
| 24 Jan
| 25 Jan
| 26 Jan
||Aswan / Kom Ombo
| 27 Jan
| 28 Jan
| 29 Jan
||Luxor / Disembark / Cairo
| 30 Jan
||Cairo, Egypt / Departure
Day 1 - Cairo, Egypt
Arrive in Cairo (CAI), where you will be met by our representative who will help you with your luggage and the customs and immigration
process. With your baggage and customs taken care of and a new stamp in your passport, you will now be driven to your hotel, 5-star Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence.
Day 2 - Cairo, Egypt
• Egyptian Museum and King Tut's treasures
• Local lunch
• Alabaster Mosque
• Evening Welcome Reception with tapas and drinks
A full day of captivating attractions await, beginning with the exquisite Egyptian Museum, with its 120,000 artifacts on display. Home to some of the greatest masterpieces ever crafted, the museum’s unique collection of Pharaonic art includes ancient mummies and the priceless treasures of Tutankhamen, the Boy King.
Afterwards, enjoy a delicious lunch featuring local and international cuisine.
Then, visit the Mosque of Muhammad – also known as the Alabaster Mosque – which majestically sits on the summit of the Citadel of Saladin's courtyard. From the arcaded courtyard, enjoy the breathtaking view across the city to the Pyramids of Giza. Inside the Mosque, marvel at an ornate interior and a splendid array of lamps suspended from the intricately decorated ceiling.
Afterward, join an evening
Welcome Reception hosted by your Cruise Manager.
Breakfast, Lunch, Welcome Reception
Day 3 - Cairo, Egypt
• Pyramids of Ancient Memphis
Discover the monuments at the UNESCOdesignated ancient capital of Memphis. Visit the huge statue of Ramses II, the Alabaster Sphinx and the necropolis of Sakkara – site of the famous step pyramid of King Zoser, the oldest pyramid on earth.
Next, enjoy a lovely lunch at the famous Mena House, a historic palatial hotel, based in the shadow of the great Pyramids of Giza.
Afterwards, you’ll explore the Great Sphinx and the iconic Giza complex, which consists of three large pyramids built between 2,589BC and 2,504 BC. Enjoy the evening at your leisure
Breakfast & Lunch
Day 4 - Cairo / Luxor
• Flight to Luxor
• Free Evening
Checking out of the hotel, take an early afternoon flight south to Luxor — formerly known as Thebes, the capital
city of the New Kingdom of Upper Egypt. Luxor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to two astonishing temples — Karnak and Luxor.
Be welcomed aboard the AmaDahlia to begin your Nile River Valley cruise. Relax and settle in and before dinner, meet your crew and celebrate with a Captain’s Welcome Cocktail
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5 - Luxor, Egypt
• Exclusive access to the Tomb of Queen Nefertari
• Valley of the Kings and Queens
Begin the day with a visit to the Valley of Queens, home to the mummified remains of more than 30 queens and princesses, including Nefertari’s Tomb, where you’ll enjoy exclusive access.
Next, visit the tombs of ancient Egypt in the Valley of the Kings — one of the most famous archeological sites in the world. The spectacular rockcut tombs located on the west bank of Luxor include that of the enigmatic King Tutankhamun, whose mummified remains are still here on display.
Afterwards, go to Deir elBahri to see the Temple of Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s most successful pharaohs and the country’s first female ruler.
Your day’s adventure concludes with an upclose view of the Colossi of Memnon — two gigantic statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III.
Once back on board the AmaDahlia, relax on the Upper Deck and take in the amazing scenery or join the AmaDahlia chef to an informal cooking class
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6 - Edfu, Egypt
• Temple of Horus
The city of Edfu is best known for one of Egypt’s most remarkably preserved temples, dedicated to Horus, the falconheaded god. Built in 230 BC, it is the second largest temple in Egypt and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with walls that display compelling details about the religion and language of the country’s GrecoRoman period. After visiting Edfu, relax on board and take in the Nile River’s timeless landscapes as the ship continues onward to Aswan.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7 - Aswan & Abu Simbel
• Abu Simbel Excursion
• Felucca Ride around Elephantine Island
Enjoy an early morning flight over Lake Nasser to the more than 3,000 year old Abu Simbel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dedicated to Ramses II, one of the most active of pharaohs, along with the smaller temple dedicated to his chief wife Queen Nefertari. The front of the main temple has four gargantuan statues of Ramses II on his throne, each measuring nearly 70 feet high and discovered half buried in sand in 1813.
Later in the afternoon, take a peaceful ride in a felucca, a traditional Egyptian sailboat, around beautiful Elephantine Island, which locals say is the home to legendary Egyptian god Khnumo. Cap the day off with an optional late afternoon tea at the historic Old Cataract Hotel, a 19th century Victorian Palace crafted in rose granite. Delight in an authentic “high tea” experience and revel in the stunning views overlooking the
Nile and Elephantine Island.
After dinner tonight, continue to experience Egyptian magic with a traditional folkloric style belly dance on board the AmaDahlia.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 8 - Aswan & Kom Ombo
• Nubian Village Visit and Philae Temple
• Great Temple of Kom Ombo
• Traditional Galabeya Evening
Board a motorboat and cruise to the UNESCO designated Philae Temple complex, boasting some of the most stunningly restored
and preserved hieroglyphs in Egypt. It was constructed between 380 BC and 362 BC and dedicated to the goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus.
Next head to a colorful Nubian village on Hisa Island. Meet the warm and friendly Nubian people who will welcome you to their village.
During the afternoon, cruise to the Great Temple of Kom Ombo, where its soaring columns dramatically rise above the Nile River. Unique in Egypt, this temple is dedicated to two gods — the crocodile god, Sobek, sitting on the right; and the falconheaded Haroeris, “The Good Doctor.”
After visiting Kom Ombo, relax on board and take in the Nile River’s timeless landscapes as the ship continues onward to Luxor.
In the evening, join your crew outside in a celebration of local customs with the chance to don a Galabeya, traditional Egyptian attire, and toast to the rich culture and history of the Nile River Valley.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 9 - Luxor
• Scenic Cruising
• Karnak Temple Visit
• Art of Papyrus Making
• Luxor Temple Visit
• Luxor Market visit
Spend a morning of scenic cruising along the glistening Nile River. Relax on the Sun Deck as you cruise from Esna back to Luxor.
First, explore the Temple of Karnak, the largest religious complex in Egypt and one of the largest in the world, covering about 200 acres in a vast network of columns, hieroglyphics, obelisks, sphinxes and colossi — even a lake is on the grounds. The Hypostyle Hall is a great architectural marvel and filled with its roof blocks, supported by colossal 134 columns standing at 70 feet high, with 12 larger columns standing at 80 feet high lining the central aisle. This hall is still the largest room of any religious building in the world.
After visiting the temple, journey to a museum and discover the art of papyrus making. Learn how the ancient Egyptians used this special plant that flourished in the Egyptian Delta and Nile River Valley. Made from the aquatic papyrus plant, also known as paper plant, this unique writing material served many purposes in ancient times from sails, cloth, food and especially paper for important documents and texts.
Afterwards, you will visit the Temple of Luxor, constructed over hundreds of years by Amenhotep III, Ramses II, Tutankhamun and other pharaohs.
You then have the option of heading back to the ship to relax or visiting the colorful Luxor Market, where you can find eyecatching piles of spices, jewelry and clothing as well as irresistible smells of incense and perfumes.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 10 - Qena
• Temple of Hathor
• Cruise back to Luxor
Set sail to Qena to explore its ancient Egyptian heritage. You’ll go to Dendara to visit the bestpreserved temple in Egypt, the Temple of Hathor – the Goddess of Love, to whom the powers of joy, feminine love and motherhood were attributed. The temple was built by Ptolemy and a group of Romans who worshipped her; so don’t miss the back of the temple where there is a relief depicting Cleopatra with Caesarion, her son by Julius Caesar, the Roman Emperor who brought us the months of July and August.
Following your visit here, sail back to Luxor.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 11 - Luxor / Cairo
• Flight to Cairo
• Exclusive Abdeen Palace Private Tour and Lunch
• Coptic Quarter visit
Disembark the ship in Luxor and fly back to Cairo where you will be taken to the Abdeen Presidential Palace,
considered one of the most luxurious palaces in the world. The palace consists of multiple museums, including the Silver Museum; the Arms Museum; the Royal Family Museum; a Presidential Gifts Museum and a Historical Documents Museum, which is a relatively new addition. It is also one of the official residences and places of work for the President of Egypt.
Afterwards, be treated to a very special lunch at the palace.
Finally, you’ll explore the old part of the city, which includes Coptic Cairo, where the Hanging Church and Ben Ezra Synagogue are located.
Breakfast & Lunch
Day 12 - Cairo Departure
• Return flight home
Bid farewell to Cairo and prepare for your flight home.
Optional Pre/Post Cruise Extensions
Pre-Egypt: JORDAN - 4 nights.
Discover Jordan's capital, Amman, and the UNESCO-designated “Rose City” of Petra. Trace historic footsteps in 6,500-year-old Jerash; visit Mount Nebo, considered to be where Moses saw the Promised Land; and cap off the journey in Wadi Rum.
Pre-Egypt: DUBAI - 3 nights
Explore Dubai, home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Visit the Dubai Museum housed in the Al Fahidi Fort and be treated to an authentic desert safari. Visit to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Post-Egypt: ISRAEL - 4 nights
Tour Tel Aviv’s culture-rich Old Jaffa neighborhood en route to the capital city of Jerusalem, home to some of the oldest and holiest sites in the world, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Western Wall, and Dome of the Rock. Also visit Masada and the Dead Sea.