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Pharaohs and pyramids, sultans and souks, temples and tombs—descend into a world of ancient wonders to discover the lands behind the legends. With a licensed Egyptologist (think Tour Director meets Egyptian history buff) by your side, you’ll see the country from an insider’s point of view. Walk amid towering stone icons, through avenues of sphinxes and into royal valleys amid the desert sands. Then, cruise down the Nile and anchor at remote islands and beside the Theban hills. End your adventure in Cairo, where historic mosques mingle with today’s modern bustle.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
6 nights in handpicked hotels; 4 nights aboard the H/S Kon-Tiki
Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 8 three-course dinners including beer or wine
Multilingual Tour Director
Private deluxe motorcoach
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
No one knows Egypt like an Egyptologist
Cruising through history on the Nile
Discovering Elephantine Island by felucca
The pyramids & Sphinx lit up at night
Cairo’s collection of ancient mosques
Walking through the tombs of the pharaohs
Drift away to Cairo on an overnight flight
Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Cairo aboard an internationally recognized airline.
Welcome to Giza, where modern cityscapes and pyramids meet
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
Welcome to Egypt! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and then escorts you to your hotel in Giza. Dinner is included this evening.
Follow an Egyptologist through the “Wonder of the Ancient World”
Pyramids, Sphinx, Saqqara
Your Tour Director, also a professional Egyptologist, is an expert in the history and anthropology of the regions on tour. Today, your Tour Director leads a fascinating tour of ancient Egypt. The Pyramids of Giza are the only “Wonder of the Ancient World” to have survived the modern era, and your guided sightseeing introduces you to the three pyramids here, including the stunning Great Pyramid of Cheops. Then, visit the enigmatic Sphinx before continuing to Saqqara, the pharaohs’ royal graveyard for more than 3,000 years. Dinner is included this evening.
Hop on a camel, watch the sun set over the Sphinx, it’s up to you
Today is yours to explore Giza on your own. Or, join our optional excursion to Alexandria (weather permitting), where you’ll see the new Library of Alexandria, the Catacombs, Montassa and
Alexandria $105* pp
Travel to Egypt’s second-largest city, where you'll explore the Bibliotheca Alexandria, the modern successor to the famous Library of Alexandria, which was destroyed centuries ago. Here, you’ll enoy a brief tour with the curator. You'll also visit the Catacombs of Kom el-Shoqafa, Egypt’s largest known Roman funerary complex, and the recently excavated Roman amphitheatre. Lunch is included. Please note: This optional is weather dependent.
History becomes tangible in these towering Theban temples
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Temples Luxor and Karnak
(Please note: some departures will run in reverse on days 5-9)
Fly to Luxor, where the cruise portion of your adventure will begin. On land, follow your Tour Director/Egyptologist inside the painstakingly excavated Temples of Karnak and Luxor, once connected by an avenue of sphinxes. Later this afternoon, you’ll board your cruise ship.
Navigate the Nile waters and anchor at the “Place of Truth”
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Luxor West Bank
Spend the day touring the Nile’s West Bank. Your Tour Director/Egyptologist leads you to the secluded Valley of the Kings, a series of tombs hidden in the Theban Hills. This “Place of Truth,” as the ancient Egyptians called it, is the location of the tombs of Pharaohs Tutankhamun and Ramses. You’ll tour these tombs, as well as the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, which was devoted to one of the few female pharaohs, before viewing the 64-foot-high Colossi of Memnon. This afternoon, sail toward Edfu.
This temple is shared by the ancient odd couple, Sobek and Horus
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Temple o Horus, Edfu Temple, Kom Ombo Temple
This morning, visit the Temple of Horus. Built
nearly 2,000 years ago, this amazingly well-preserved temple is a perfect example of the architecture of its era. Next, sail to Kom Ombo to visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, built during the Greco-Roman period. The temple is noted for its twin deities, Sobek and Horus. Arrive later today in Aswan.
Squint your eyes and the hulking grey stones become behemoths
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Felluca sailboat ride
This morning, join our optional excursion to the archaeological marvels at Abu Simbel, and in the afternoon, take a felucca (boat) ride past Elephantine Island, home to the frontier fortress of Egypt. The island takes its name from the dark granite rocks at its southern end, which resemble a herd of elephants bathing in the river. You’ll take in panoramic views of the water from the hilltop mausoleum of Agha Khan. The rest of the day is yours to spend as your like in Aswan.
Must be booked 35 days before departure
Abu Simbel $329* pp
Fly from Aswan to Abu Simbel, where you'll visit the temples of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari, relocated block by block to the shores of Lake Nasser after the construction of the Aswan High Dam. The temples' statues now stand 680 feet from their original site and 200 feet higher, but their original grandeur endures. Please note: This excursion involves extensive walking on rugged terrain, so sturdy footwear is advised. Headwear and extra sunscreen are also recommended.
Walk through the ruins that decorate island that Isis made famous
Temple of Philae
Your cruise ends this morning in Aswan. You’ll visit the Aswan High Dam, one of the crowning achievements of modern Egypt. Then, your Tour Director/Egyptologist will introduce you to the temples at Philae. Later, enjoy our optional Philae by Night excursion. Dinner is included this evening.
Philae by Night $55* pp
After sunset, the area around Philae is cleared for the Sound and Light Show. Watch a performance of synchronized light and music amid the ancient monuments of Egypt. Seeing these ancient temples lit up at night will create memories to last a lifetime. Please note: Travelers are advised to bring a flashlight and comfortable shoes. Also, this excursion involves walking on uneven terrain.
Get to know Cairo, its bustling streets, open-air souks and beyond
Fly back to Cairo this morning and check into your Cairo hotel. Tonight, attend an optional Egyptian Folklore Evening.
Egyptian Folklore Dinner $85* pp
Spend an evening on a Nile riverboat enjoying dinner and live entertainment. As you cruise along the Nile, marvel at the astonishing nighttime views of Cairo before savoring Egyptian delicacies from an included buffet, featuring specialties such as hummus, baba ganoush, Nile perch and authentic desserts. Wine and beer are also included. While you dine, take in traditional performances by whirling dervishes and belly dancers.
Saunter into the homes of sultans and past the masks of King Tut
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Alabaster Mosque, Citadel of Salah El Din, Egyptian Antiquities Museum
Your Tour Director/Egyptologist leads a sight-seeing tour of Cairo. The city’s mosques, of which there are more than 500, display some of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the world. Visit the Citadel and Mohammed Ali Mosque, also known as the Alabaster Mosque. Built in the 12th century by mighty Salah el-Din, the Citadel was originally used as a fortress and was the residence of the Sultans until 1850. Also visit the Egyptian Antiquities Museum, which houses the famous masks of Tutankhamen. Join your group for an included lunch before free time, during which you may wish to roam through the winding streets and alleyways of the Khan-el Khalili Bazaar. Dinner is included tonight.
Take off for the West or linger in the East
Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)
Make your way to the airport for your flight home or journey to Jordan for our tour extension.
Extend Your Stay
Add Jordan & Petra $999*
Since July 1994, when Jordan's King Hussein and the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a declaration ending the animosity between their two countries, Jordan has opened its doors to the west. Encompassing sweeping verdant and arid landscapes and relics of some of the world's oldest civilizations, Jordan is one of the warmest and most welcoming countries on earth.
Journey on to Jordan
Fly to Amman, the capital of Jordan. Later, continue on to Petra where you’ll enjoy an included dinner with your group.
Gallop past an entire city carved out of rose-red rock
As you explore Petra, you’ll have the chance to take a short ride on horseback or in a horse-drawn carriage over the ancient cobblestones. Discover this “rose-red city half as old as time,” at your leisure throughout the day.
Underfoot, overhead, anywhere you look, spy the art of the ancients
Today, transfer to Madaba to tour the City of Mosaics, including a visit to St. George’s Church. Continue on to Amman, stopping en route at Mt. Nebo, Moses’ burial site and Wadi Mujib. Dinner is included tonight in Amman.
Discover castles and confounds deep within the desert sands
Citadel, Roman Theater
Start your day with guided tour of the Jordanian capital, Amman exploring the Citadel and Roman Theatre. This afternoon travel to the Dead Sea for time to relax and float in the salty water. Share a farewell lunch with your fellow travelers at the Dead Sea. Return to Amman to board your late-night flight home.
Passport & Visa
In order to enter Egypt (as well as Jordan on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the reentry date. Additionally, U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in order to enter Egypt and Jordan. The visa for entry into Egypt may be secured in advance, but we recommend purchasing your visa upon arrival. A group visa for entry into Jordan will be provided for all travelers whose flights have been arranged through Go Ahead. Travelers who arrange their own flights will be responsible for purchasing their own visa upon arrival. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Egyptian customs and immigration
In Cairo, you’ll first pass through immigration control at the airport to have your passport checked. You’ll then proceed to collect your luggage, pass through customs and enter the arrivals hall. Here, you’ll be greeted by your Tour Director. If you have experienced any problem with your luggage, please inform your Tour Director immediately, so that he or she may deal with the airline’s claims procedure before you leave the airport.
Take precautions for sun exposure and heat exhaustion. Sunscreen, a sun hat, sunglasses and bottled water are all highly recommended. See “Cuisine” for information on water quality. No other major health risks exist in Egypt, but it’s a good idea to check with your doctor or health care provider at least eight weeks prior to departure for recommendations and travel health updates.
Important Health Tips
In order for you to stay healthy throughout your Egyptian tour, we recommend the following: :
- Drink bottled water. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing teeth.
- Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
- Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication and any prescription medications.
- Bring insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes
As dictated by Egyptian Tourism Police, all foreign groups must be accompanied by an armed guard and in most cases, a convoy. Be aware of your surroundings, as pickpockets are active at tourist sites. We recommend leaving your passport in the hotel safe, and concealing credit cards and cash in a money belt or a hidden pouch. It is also a good idea to bring photocopies of your passport, credit cards and other important documents. Keep them separate from the originals.
Transportation / Walking on tour
Most sightseeing is conducted by private motor coach. For some included visits and optional excursions, be prepared for some more walking through elaborate monuments and museums, with steps.
Egyptian cuisine combines many of the best traditions of Middle Eastern cooking. Local specialties include kebabs and hummus. American-style snack bars are also becoming popular. Although Egypt is a Muslim country, alcohol is available.
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
Clothing & Packing Tips
To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).
The unit of currency you’ll be using on your tour is the Egyptian pound. Major credit cards and ATM cards with the Visa/Mastercard symbols accepted in most hotels and shops, but generally not on cruise ships. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges. You’ll also find a good supply of U.S. currency in small denominations very useful when bargaining for everything from taxi rides to souvenirs. Please note: Another reason to use small denominations of currency is that it’s very hard to re-exchange the Egyptian pound once you leave Egypt.
At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
Shopping on Tour
Please note that some excursions may include a stop at a market or specialty store. Go Ahead Tours has no relationship with these vendors and encourages you to research specialty items you’re interested in purchasing abroad before you leave to ensure you’re receiving the best quality.
This was one of the best tours we have ever taken with you. We were always bused from hotels to towns and shopping we saw everything Our guide was so informed he made us all feel like experts. I loved everything about the tour from sitting in a Mosque learning about muslims to going into the tombs and bargaining in the markets it was wonderful I wish Egypt was not in such a bad situation so that this tour could still be done
Entranced by the beauty of Egypt!
Every single part of this tour is AMAZING! Everyone asked us why we would want to visit Egypt and my response was always why don’t you want to visit Egypt! We always felt safe and our Tour Director was also an Egyptologist so he did every tour and was a wealth of information. I loved that about this tour. Cruising down the Nile was relaxing and beautiful. One of my favorite things on this tour (there were many) was the Felucca ride; you could image how it was back in the Cleopatra days while taking this ride. My husband and I were never disappointed with the hotels, bus, or food and actual we fell in love with the local fare. Egypt and this tour was everything I dreamed about and would not hesitate to go back!
This was my second trip to Egypt. First of all the guide was awesome. We got an Egyptologist and he was amazing. Super nice and very knowledgeable. I did not like that the tour had too much free time, sometimes you would get a whole free day or an afternoon and the next morning free. I understand there are senior citizens in the trip but not everyone is so young people need more optional activities to do while the old people sleep.
Do not take the extension to Jordan if it is not with a Goahead guide. Ours was with a company goahead hired and it was a disaster. The guide would not explain anything . We never got the Amman tour and had to pay extra to go to the Dead Sea. On top of that they dropped us off at Queen Alia airport at 11 pm for a 430 am flight. Too much money for the quality and value obtained. I would love to get a refund from Goahead for the poor organization and quality of the extension to Jordan.
Was everything I hoped it would be and more
My husband and I did the May 3, 2012 tour. Our guide was Hesham el sayid - excuse spelling. He was absolutely fantastic. Made the trip. He has been a guide for more than 20 years and it showed. The trip itself was wonderful. None of the sites were crowded. We could hear Hesham. The pyramids were something to see in person. The Nile Cruise was our favorite part though. There were 15 in our group and we all got along. We normally travel on our own, this was the first trip with a group. Did not know if we would like it but it was a lot of fun. Most meals were included which was nice. Many of the other tours don't include a lot of the meals including Go Ahead tours. The meals were mostly buffets but they did have some local dishes. Everyone in group had stomach problems on the tour so I recommend bringing imodium d tablets with you. We were informed of the days events the day prior so we all knew what was happening in advance, no last minute planning. Also did the Jordan extension. Petra was awesome. We only had 7 though so Go Ahead contracted out to Plaza Tours. Was not the same quality as we got in Egypt. Petra was definitely a must see but none of the other sites were that great. WE paid the tour guide $25 US extra per person on the last day so we could go to the Dead Sea. Cost roughly another $18 US to get in to public beach area. That was a highlight as well. In my opinion Jordan extension should be Petra and Dead Sea . Desert Castles could have been skipped especially after seeing all of the sites in Egypt. For what we got on the Extension, it was overpriced. Guide did his best but was hard to understand him and the tour was just not as organized as the Egyptian portion. All in all we had a great time and would definitely do another tour with Go Ahead.
Fascinating view of ancient and modern Egypt
This was our first trip to Egypt and our first experience with Go Ahead Tours. We were extremely pleased with the tour and especially our guide Atef, who intelligently and proudly explained Egypt's amazing history and current social, religious and political conditions. The pace of the trip is brisk, although we never walked more than 3 miles in a day, and we often wished we had more time in the fabulous museums. The quantity and quality of the antiquities is beyond belief.
Trravel advice: We traveled in November and the weather was perfect
Take a lot of $1.00 and $5.00 bills (US) to buy from small vendors -- they never have change. Also, learn to say "NO" effectively. Don't miss Abu Simbel -- it is worth the additional fee. If available, take the option of a non-stop flight to Cairo and avoid hassles of lost luggage and delayed flights. If you want hours to shop this is not the tour for you, but if you want to learn about the history, religion and culture of Egypt this trip is perfect!
Appreciation for History
Of all the vacations I have taken this was definitely the vacation that gave me the most appreciation for the history of the ancient world. To see what was accomplished during the peak of the Egyptian empire is truly amazing. Processing the thought that these giant monuments, temples, and tombs were built without modern technology or heavy machinery inspires a sense of awe.
Our tour guide Amr not only did an excellent job overall with the tour, but made our safety during the time his foremost concern. One would think of safety concerns being in a country that is in the middle of a revolution. Although you could see signs of this from time to time at no point was there ever a feeling that we were unsafe while in the country. The people of Egypt were extremely polite and were very welcoming to tourist.
Word of advice in reference to the excursion would be to definitely book the Abu Simbel trip. An excursion that wasn't listed on the GAT site but came up was hot air ballooning in Luxor near the Valley of the Kings. This was absolutely breathtaking and a must do if available.
All in all it was an excellent trip especially for the value given.
Detail and level of personalized service from greeting at arriving airport through departure was excellent.
The pace was a perfect balance of touring and drown time.
Security very good---never had a concern about personal safety during the trip.
A comment I believe is unique to visiting a country like Egypt in a post revolution time period. International travelers have become accustomed to traveling in an age of ATM machines. Therefore they tend not to carry a lot of cash on arrival to a country. The accessibility of ATMs is not plentiful in a post revolutionary Egypt. Additionally, there was a greater desire than normal for US dollars vs the Egyptian pound. Even after accessing an ATM it was difficult if not impossible to secure exchange for large Egyptian pound notes for smaller denominations. Even the hotels did not have the ability to provide smaller denominations. Also experienced for the first time merchants charging a percentage fee (not taking about the inter nation exchange rate charged by the card companies) if using a credit card.
Incredible, Amazing, and mind boggling - how did they build those pyramids and temples? Floating down the Nile is the way to see the sites. To be learning of the history while the revolution was making new history was life changing.
once in a lifetime experience
I am so glad that I chose GO AHEAD TOURS for this most memorable experience of a life time my visit to Egypt .I must comment on our tour guide atef he was the greatest
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I just loved Egypt! It was quite a remarkable trip, seeing all the sights that we did, it was like having History come alive! Our director/tour guide was fantastic! He is so proud of Egypt and the Egyptians.He shared insights into the history, religion, politics, and made us so much more aware of what is going on. He was thoughtful, and made sure that anyone who had problems got them taken care of. I couldn't get over the contrast of Cairo, what a huge modern city and yet some of its neighborhoods were so anitquated, a step back in time. Everything that the itinerary said happened and it was so planned and trouble-free! this was our first tour group trip, and it was very, very, positive! We enjoyed the food and the company.