Egypt & the Eternal Nile
Experience Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, the necropolis at Saqqara, the enigmatic Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza. Relax during a 3-night cruise on Lake Nasser. See the temples at Abu Simbel and sail down the Nile on a 4-night cruise from Aswan to Luxor. Visit the Valleys of the Kings and Queens and Karnak. Optional 5-day/4-night Jordan post-tour extension.
We arrive in the Egyptian capital and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned. Fairmont Nile City Hotel
After a morning briefing, our full-day tour begins at the acclaimed Egyptian Museum, the world’s greatest repository of ancient relics. Then we tour the Citadel of Saladin housing the alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali. Schedule permitting, we enjoy a briefing by foreign service staff at the U.S. Embassy. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Fairmont Nile City Hotel (B,L,D)
Today’s tour starts at the open-air museum at Memphis, Egypt’s first capital (3100 bce). We continue on to the necropolis at Sakkara then to the astounding Pyramids of Giza, the wonders of antiquity that have drawn visitors for millennia. Here, we encounter the enigmatic Sphinx, whose leonine body and human face were carved from a single piece of limestone. Fairmont Nile City Hotel (B,L)
Early this morning we fly south to Aswan then continue by coach across the edge of the Sahara to Abu Simbel. We board our Lake Nasser ship in time for lunch, then visit the temples and colossal 65-foot-high statues of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari that were dismantled and moved to higher ground during the construction of the Aswan dam. Tonight we watch a dramatic sound-and-light show at Abu Simbel. M/S Prince Abbas (B,L,D)
Early risers can watch the sun climb over the temples at Abu Simbel before we sail to Kasr Ibrim, the last remaining Nubian settlement in its original location. From the sun deck we learn about this ancient site (it’s forbidden to go ashore here), then sail to Amada, followed by Wadi el-Seboua. M/S Prince Abbas (B,L,D)
This morning we visit the striking avenue of sphinxes in Wadi el-Seboua’s “Valley of the Lions” then cruise to Aswan. M/S Prince Abbas (B,L,D)
We set out early this morning to visit New Kalabsha, site of the largest freestanding Nubian temple, which was relocated here for the construction of the Aswan Dam. We return to our ship for breakfast then bid farewell to the crew as we embark on a tour of the Aswan High Dam. Next we visit the imposing temple to Isis on Agilkia Island before boarding our Nile cruise ship. This afternoon we embark small feluccas, replicas of ancient Nile sailboats, for a relaxing sail. Back on board our ship tonight we enjoy the Captain’s welcome cocktail party. M/S Sunray (B,L,D)
This morning we sail to the ancient trading town of Kom Ombo, with outstanding Nile views from the Temple of Sobek. After returning to our ship, we sail on to Edfu where we explore Edfu’s Temple of Horus, Egypt’s best-preserved temple (built between 237 BCE–57 BCE). We return to our ship for lunch as we sail to Luxor (our final sail), enjoying a quiet afternoon on the Nile. A belly dance performance accompanies dinner tonight. M/S Sunray (B,L,D)
Known in antiquity as Thebes, Luxor boasts vast temple complexes, tombs, and statues dating from 2755 bce that represent the pinnacle of Egyptian architecture. Today we explore the West Bank, site of the haunting Valley of the Kings, where 34 royal tombs feature magnificent paintings; the Valley of the Queens; and the Temple The magnificent temples at Abu Simbel commemorate Ramses II and his queen, Nefertari. of Hatshepsut honoring one of the few female pharaohs. We also see the massive Colossi of Memnon, two 64-foot-high statues of Amenhotep III that once guarded the gates of his mortuary temple. M/S Sunray (B,L,D)
Today we tour Luxor’s East Bank, home of Karnak, the greatest temple complex of them all, whose ruins stretch for more than a mile to connect with Luxor. Built over a period of 1,500 years, Karnak boasts a breadth and diversity of buildings not seen elsewhere. We also explore Luxor Temple, whose builders included both Tutankhamun and Alexander the Great. Here, at the Great Court of Ramses II, we see the ancient obelisk whose twin presides over Place de la Concorde in Paris. M/S Sunray (B,L,D)
We have the choice to rise early to see the West Bank from above on a hot air balloon ride. We disembark our ship later this morning and transfer to our hotel. This afternoon we tour the Luxor Museum, housing relics discovered at the site. Dinner tonight is on our own. Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel (B,L)
We fly to Cairo today. After checking in at our hotel, we visit the lively Khan el-Khalili bazaar. This afternoon is free for independent exploration. Fairmont Nile City Hotel (B)
This morning we encounter Old Cairo, the district where early capital cities once stood and now only remnants remain. We visit 5th-century St. Sergius Church, the Coptic church of el-Muallaqa, and Ben Ezra Synagogue. Mid-day we return to our hotel where tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner. Fairmont Nile City Hotel (B, D)
Very early this morning we transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S. (B)
Cost and Details
San Francisco, Seattle: $5,697
Chicago, Los Angeles: $5,497
Portland (OR), Boston, New York: $5,197
Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $602, which are subject to change until final payment is made.
Land Only: $4,195 (transfers not included)
Single Room Supplement: $1,195
Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight:
Business Class - $3,195 per person (upgrades are subject to availability and pricing is subject to change). Upgrade prices are in addition to the costs above.
Included in Tour Price
Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within Egypt; 13 nights’ accommodations: 6 nights in Deluxe and Superior First Class hotels; 7 nights aboard Deluxe and Superior First Class ships; 32 meals: 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners; Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees; Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; Educational lecture program/study leader with a minimum of 15 guests; Additional Commonwealth Club representative at 20 guests; Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip, including shore excursions; Luggage handling for one bag per person; Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
Not Included in Tour Price
Airfare when purchasing a Land Only package; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; airport transfers when purchasing a Land Only package; communication charges; optional sightseeing; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director and shipboard personnel, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10-$15 per day, per traveler); optional sightseeing or shore excursions; and travel protection insurance.
Optional post-tour extension: Jordan: Petra & Amman
Cost: $1,595 per person, based on double occupancy
Single room supplement: $395
Included in extension cost
Air transportation Cairo/Amman; 4 nights’ accommodations: 2 nights in Petra at Mövenpick Resort Petra (Sup. First Class); 2 nights in Amman at Kempinski Hotel Amman (Sup. First Class); 9 meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners; Extensive included sightseeing: Madaba (City of Mosaics); Mt. Nebo pilgrimage site; full day at Petra; Amman’s Roman theatre and Citadel; Roman ruins of Jerash; Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; Private motorcoach transportation; Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
This is a moderately active tour and participants must be able to keep up with an active group of travelers. For the safety and enjoyment of each participant and the group, participants must be able to:
- Walk on average 2-3 miles at a steady pace. On this tour, guests will be walking in cities and town and should be able to walk at a steady pace for approximately 2-4 hours of touring.
- Be able to walk on cobblestone, gravel and pavement. Some of walking excursions require good balance as you walk over cobblestone sidewalks/roads and uneven pavement.
- Stand for up to approximately 2 hours at a time each day.
- Walk up and down steep stairs without hand rails, without the assistance of another person.
- Get off and on tour vehicles without assistance
- Be able to deal with hot weather – possibly up to 100 F in the middle of the day
Terms and Conditions
Cancellations, Refunds and Changes
If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your written notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges:
Cancel 95 days or more before departure: $200 charge
Cancel 94-65 days before departure: 25% of tour price
Cancel 64-45 days before departure: 50% of tour price
Cancel 44-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price
Cancel 29-0 days before departure: No refund.
If a guest makes any changes to their reservation within 94 and 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure. Upon reservation you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport as well as your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website
The liability of the Commonwealth Club, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents, servants or representatives. The Commonwealth Club and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise line and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.
Health and Medical Issues
We request that you be in good health to participate in an Odysseys Unlimited tour. There is a reasonable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches on your own. We regret that we cannot offer individual assistance; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. Please note that our itineraries cannot accommodate wheelchairs. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited and the Commonwealth Club assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.
Air Transportation – Important Information
Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. includes in its tour price round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities as shown and contracts with those airlines the company feels provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air schedule approximately 2½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignments on your international flight are usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including, but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, Land Only is available on most tours. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own flight arrangements for an alumni tour and not use those provided by the tour company, we recommend that you do not do so until making your final payment to the tour company confirming details of your trip’s scheduled departure. However, if you choose to make your own flight arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from tour cancellations or changes to tour dates.
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40