Tailor-Made Holiday

Highlights of Egypt including a Nile Cruise

Includes Cairo, A Nile Cruise, Aswan and Luxor

11 days

from £3,495pp (excluding flights)

Egypt is arguably one of the most interesting countries in the world both historically and culturally, with antiquities of such scale and beauty to leave you speechless. It not only offers some very welcome winter sun but more than that, it is the atmosphere of Egypt that is so intoxicating and this holiday idea offers the perfect introduction to Egypt.

  • Experience the iconic pyramids and medieval bazaars of Cairo.
  • Follow in Agatha Christie's footsteps, cruising the Nile on a luxury boat.
  • Explore some of the many ancient temples that line the banks of the Nile.
  • Relax in the picturesque town of Aswan, with an option to visit Abu Simbel.


Your journey through history starts with the pyramids of Cairo as well as the fascinating treasures hidden within the walls of the Cairo Museum. Stay at the Mena House Hotel which sits just a stone's throw from the Giza pyramids and the iconic Sphinx. Also spend time visiting the less known Step Pyramid of King Zoser and venture into Old Cairo, known as Coptic Cairo this part of the city is rich with history.

Luxor and The Nile

Following a short flight to Luxor, view the magical temples of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings, before boarding your boat on which you cruise The Nile River. Sail between Luxor and Aswan taking in temples and ancient sites enroute, with time to just soak up the rural scenery, daily life and birdlife that frequent the river. Opt for either a four or five night cruise to reach Aswan. The focus of any Nile cruise is, of course, the wealth of ancient sites to visit on the banks of the Nile. Sightseeing is done in small groups and the Egyptologists on board are known for their enthusiasm and knowledge.

Steam Ship Sudan

One of the boat options that we recommend is the charming Steam Ship Sudan which offers five-night cruise options. Propelled by a hybrid diesel and steam engine this authentic near-century-old ship oozes character and offers a truly wonderful base from which to gently cruise the Nile. 

Sanctuary Sun Boat IV

Another fantastic river cruiser is the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV which cruises between Luxor and Aswan over three or four nights. Longer seven-night cruises are also available, starting and ending in either Luxor or Aswan. The Sunboat IV is one of the few boats on the Nile to visit the Dendarah Temple on a four night itinerary. This much less visited temple is known as the Temple of Hathor and is located to the north of Luxor.

Aswan & Abu Simbel

Finally, arrive at the pretty town of Aswan where the Nile ends and Lake Nasser begins. Spend some time at leisure exploring the Nubian history of the region or maybe hop on a flight to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Abu Simbel, an ancient temple with a fascinating story. Stay a few nights in the iconic 19th-century palace, which is now a luxury hotel, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract.

Pre/post cruise experience

A three-night stay in Cairo pre-cruise provides a wonderful introduction to Egypt’s fascinating past, starting with the pyramids and ending in modern day Cairo. This sets the scene for the rest of your trip. 

Unique experiences on board and off the ship

Built at the end of the 19th century, the Steam Ship Sudan is an original steamship from the ‘Belle Époque’ era. Its wide teak decks, copper work and carpentry are all noted in classic fiction. Propelled by the leisurely rhythm of her water-wheels, she gently unrolls the carpet between Aswan and Luxor, in an elegant and unique fashion. On -shore excursions are carried out in small groups, by expert English-speaking guides.

Why cruise?

Taking a trip down the Nile from Aswan to Luxor at the slow pace of the Steamships paddle wheels is a unique way to experience the river. On board the Steam Ship Sudan you can take in the many faces of Egypt as they roll gently by. From emblematic sites to wild shores where soft green reeds and minarets spring up, a donkey cart trots quietly by and white ibis take to their wings.

Sustainable best practice

The Steamship has been adapted to reduce the environmental impact of a cruise. The refitting has generated a 40% reduction in the Co2 emissions of a cruise. They use solar power, water filtering and recycling systems and refillable bottles for bathroom products & eco-biodegradable products to further reduce their environmental impact. 

Guides and specialists

All the naturalists and guides are trained in-house with years of experience and knowledge and are passionate about their home region.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 3495 £ 400
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Entrance fees to all sites
  • Full board basis on cruise
  • Sightseeing as part of a small group whilst onboard the Cruise
  • All hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis
  • All transfers throughout
  • Sightseeing with a private guide in Cairo

what is excluded

  • Optional excursion to Abu Simbel
  • Gratuities
  • International and internal flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Cairo

Cairo is a bustling, cosmopolitan city and the largest in Africa. It is a city whose celebrated highlights tell of a fascinating history. Most notable are the ancient pyramids of Giza, but others include Coptic churches, Islamic monuments and world class museums. History lives on through the bazaars and cafés that thrive in the city and haven't changed for centuries.

You will be staying at Marriott Mena House, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Full day sightseeing of Memphis, Saqqara and Giza
At the site of Memphis, visit the ancient capital that was a flourishing metropolis during the time of the Pharaohs. See the statue of Ptah, the patron god of Memphis, the colossal statue of Ramses II and an exquisitely carved Alabaster Sphinx.

At Saqqara, see the famous Step Pyramid of King Zoser, the first freestanding stone structure in the world. The walls of the tombs of the nobles of the past are a great example of the beauty and excellence of Ancient Egyptian art and insight into daily life in Ancient Egypt.

The Great Pyramids at Giza are the only survivors of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - even 2,000 years ago they were one of the world's greatest tourist attractions. Also visit the solar boat museum and the Sphinx.

You will be staying at Marriott Mena House, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Islamic Cairo tour
Visit Islamic Cairo, the graceful Mohamed Ali Mosque and the ancient Citadel, a spectacular medieval fortress perched on a hill above the city. Originally built by Salah El-Din in 1176 to fortify the city against the Crusaders, the Citadel was modified and enlarged over the centuries by subsequent rulers and today is a complex of three mosques and four museums. 

Coptic Cairo tour
Old Cairo, also known as Coptic Cairo, is a relatively small part of the city, but is rich with history. Take a walk amongst narrow cobbled streets full of churches including the Church of St. Sergius, or The Hanging Church as it is also known, suspended on the pillars of an ancient Roman fort built to protect the country from invading enemies. See the oldest synagogue in Egypt and the interesting Coptic museum which displays a wonderful collection of medieval statues, bells, bones frescoes and colourful textiles.

You will be staying at Marriott Mena House, bed and breakfast

Day 4

Fly Cairo to Luxor

Located on the east bank of the Nile, Luxor is gateway to the 'world's largest open-air museum'. The Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, the Hatshepsut Temple and the Karnak Temple are all within easy reach. So too are the feluccas and cruise boats that sail the Nile - back and forth from Aswan offering a relaxed way to explore Egypt's fascinating history.

Board Steamship Sudan
Board the Steamship Sudan and settle into your cabin or suite before taking lunch on board.

Afternoon visit of Luxor's east bank through the discovery of the Karnak Temple Complex, one of the largest and most impressive archaeological sites in Egypt. Under the command of the great Pharaohs, this awe inspiring ancient city was built over approximately 2000 years. Walk through this vast open-air museum complete with almost perfect illustrations that honour the Pharaohs and their Gods.

Also visit of the Temple of Luxor. Built under Amenophis III and extended under Ramesses II, the Temple of Luxor is the most elegant pharaonic building.

Later the ship will cruise towards Qena, located north of Luxor. Only a few ships sail this splendid stretch of the river Nile where you will be able to enjoy the sunset and admire both banks of the Nile.

Dinner and overnight stay on board in Qena.

You will be staying at Steam Ship Sudan, full board

Day 5

Qena to Luxor
An early start today for a two-hour drive to Abydos, a holy city and the cult centre of Osiris, regent of the Kingdom of the Dead and god of resurrection. During the Ancient Kingdom era, Abydos was an exceptional site of pilgrimage. The Temple of Seti I is a wonder with its colourful bas-reliefs which mark the birth of Ramesside art. Visit of the Temple of Dendera, referred to as the temple of Hathor, Goddess of love and joy and also known for protecting women and nursing Pharaohs. In a secluded location at the border of cultivated land and desert, Dendera has richly decorated chapels, Hathor-headed columns and obscure corridors and stairs. It is one of the best-preserved monuments in Egypt and offers splendid views of Upper-Egypt countryside from the roof. Back on board for lunch before a relaxing afternoon sailing back to Luxor.

Dinner and overnight stay on board in Luxor.

You will be staying at Steam Ship Sudan, full board

Day 6

Luxor to Edfu
Start early today to visit the west bank and the Theban Necropolis. The Valley of the Kings was the Pharaoh's burial site, and the Valley of the Queens was the Pharaohs' wives and daughter's necropolis during the Dynasties XIX and XX. The Valley of the Nobles hosts the Tomb of Ramose where beautiful reliefs show exceptional realism. Visit the Temple of Ramesses III in Medinet Habu; almost entirely preserved, it is the most perfect mortuary temple of the Ramesside Dynasty. Back on board cruise to Esna for an evening passing through the Esna lock and more night sailing to Edfu.

You will be staying at Steam Ship Sudan, full board

Day 7

Edfu to Kom Ombo
This morning visit the Temple of Edfu. Dedicated to Horus and Hathor, its construction started during the 3rd Century BC under the Ptolemaic Dynasty and was completed 170 years later. It is one of the best-preserved buildings of Ancient Egypt. Back on board to cruise to Kom Ombo in time for sunset. This evening, visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, a unique architectural and religious type of complex as it was dedicated to two divinities and two temples are gathered on the same site. The southern part is dedicated to Horus, the Falcon God and the northern part to Sobek, the Crocodile God. Overnight on board.

You will be staying at Steam Ship Sudan, full board

Day 8

Kom Ombo to Aswan
Today arrive into Aswan at the end of the Nile Valley, where ancient Nubia begins. Large sandy banks slowly replace cultivated land along the Nile.

Visit of the Temple of Philae, home to Isis, Goddess of marriage, fertility, motherhood, magic and medicine, who ruled over life, death and resurrection. Philae was one of the most important sanctuaries in Egypt and Nubia until 550 AD, when Byzantine emperor Justinian ordered its closing.

Spend some time at leisure in Aswan before dinner onboard. This evening these is an optional excursion to the Temple of Philae for the sound and light show.

Overnight stay in Aswan.

You will be staying at Steam Ship Sudan, full board

Day 9

Disembark Cruise in Aswan
After breakfast this morning disembark the Steam Ship Sudan.

Aswan is gateway to the desert, Lake Nasser and Abu Simbel. As far south as it is possible to go before encroaching on the desert or Sudan, Aswan enjoys a slow pace of life and is home to many Nubians. Sights and activities abound and cruises on Lake Nasser to visit the monuments relocated on its shores are highly recommended.

You will be staying at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract, bed and breakfast

Day 10

Day at Leisure or Visit Abu Simbel by Air
Spend today at leisure.


Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Abu Simbel by air.

Not only are the two temples of Ramses II among the most magnificent monuments in the world but their removal and reconstruction was an historic event in itself. When the temples were threatened by submersion in Lake Nasser, due to the construction of the High Dam, the Egyptian Government secured the support of UNESCO and over 4 years the two temples were dismantled and reassembled block by block in a new location.

You will be staying at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Fly Aswan to Cairo

Fly Cairo to London


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan

The Sofitel Old Cataract is perched on a shelf of pink granite, overlooking the Nile, with wonderful views towards Elephantine island and the beginnings of the Western Desert....

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Marriott Mena House

Marriott Mena House

With a superb location adjacent to the Pyramids of Giza, The Mena House was originally a royal hunting lodge used by the King of Egypt....

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Steam Ship Sudan

Steam Ship Sudan

The Steam Ship Sudan has the allure and intimacy of a private yacht differentiating it from other cruisers on the Nile....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Egypt

Katie Benden, Travel Expert

"Katie was brilliant and very helpful. Helped to put together the itinerary I was dreaming of for my honeymoon and she was excellent with communication."

"Very happy with Katie Benden. Great service – always prompt reply to queries and always polite, attentive and informative. A wonderful holiday."

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Thomas Frost, Travel Expert

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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