Egypt & the Eternal Nile

Join alumni and friends for a special air, land and cruise inclusive journey to the land of Egypt from January 15 - 29, 2018.

Egypt Travel with the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) from January 15-29, 2018, on a unique, small group tour of Egypt. Led by an expert Egyptologist, tour highlights include: the Egyptian Museum, the Sphinx, Sakkara, and the Pyramids of Giza. Cruise Lake Nasser, and visit the Aswan High Dam and the Edfu’s Temple of Horus, one of Egypt’s best-preserved temples. In Luxor, discover Egyptian civilization’s intriguing cosmology as you explore the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens on the West Bank of the Nile. Conclude the tour in Cairo, a center of the region’s political and cultural life.

Begin in Cairo with its renowned ancient sites: the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Memphis, Sakkara, Old Cairo and the Egyptian Museum. Enjoy a deluxe cruise on Lake Nasser, where the country’s fascinating Nubian history unfolds. Along the desert shores of this vast manmade lake, visit ancient temples and monuments salvaged during the construction of the Aswan High Dam. The most famous of these is Abu Simbel, dating to the 13th century BC.

Embark on a classic Nile voyage from Aswan to Luxor, with its acclaimed temples and tombs representing the pinnacle of Egyptian architecture. Here, Egyptian civilization’s intriguing cosmology is revealed as you explore the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens on the Nile’s West Bank. On the East Bank, see Karnak, arguably the greatest temple complex of them all.  Those who wish may join a 5-day/4-night post-tour extension to Jordan to visit both fabled Petra and the capital of Amman.

Space is limited to just 24 guests and will be shared with participants from Alumnae Association of Barnard College. Please contact the CAA  Travel Study Program office at travelstudy@columbia.edu or 866-325-8664 for more details and to reserve your place on this fascinating tour of Egypt!

Dates & Prices

Trip Dates: January 15 - 29, 2018

Price: land only from $3,995* per person based upon double occupancy

          air-inclusive from $4,997 per person based upon double occupancy* ($4,395 air & land inclusive plus $602 airline taxes and departure fees from New York & Boston). Airline Taxes and departure fees  are subject to change until final payment is made. Rates will vary depending upon your departure city.

Please see the program brochure for full details. Rates are per person based upon double occupancy. Single space is extremely limited. If available, there is a single supplement charge of $995 per person. Please contact us to check single availability prior to sending your reservation, or to inquire about possible roommate options.

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Cairo, Egypt

Day 2: Arrive Cairo

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.

Day 3: Cairo

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; later this afternoon we navigate bustling Khan el-Khalili bazaar. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. B,L,D

Day 4: Cairo

Today’s tour starts at the open-air museum at Memphis, Egypt’s first capital (early 4th century BCE). Here, too, we encounter the enigmatic Sphinx, whose leonine body and human face were carved from a single piece of limestone. 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. B,L

Day 5: Cairo/Abu Simbel

Early this morning we fly south to Aswan then continue by coach across the edge of the Sahara to Abu Simbel. We board our deluxe cruise 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. B,L,D

Day 6: Lake Nasser Cruising – Kasr Ibrim/Amada/Wadi el-Seboua

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. B,L,D

Day 7: Lake Nasser Cruising – Valley of the Lions/Aswan

This morning we visit the striking avenue of sphinxes at Wadi el-Seboua's “Valley of the Lions,” then cruise to Aswan. B,L,D

Day 8: Disembark/Aswan/Embark Nile Cruise Ship/Edfu

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 Philae island before boarding our Nile cruise ship. This afternoon we board small feluccas, replicas of ancient Nile sailboats, for a relaxing afternoon sail. Late today we visit 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 tonight we enjoy the Captain’s welcome cocktail party. B,L,D

Day 9: Nile Cruising – Edfu/Luxor

This morning we visit 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. B,L,D

Day 10: Nile Cruising – Luxor/West Bank

We have the option to rise very early to see the West Bank of “the world’s greatest open air museum,” as Luxor has been called, from above on an optional hot-air balloon excursion. 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; and the Valley of the Queens, whose dramatic Temple of Hatshepsut honors 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 own tomb. B,L,D

Day 11: Nile Cruising – Luxor/East Bank

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. B,L,D

Day 12: Disembark/Luxor

We disembark our ship today and transfer to our hotel. This afternoon we tour the Luxor Museum, housing relics discovered at the site. B

Day 13: Luxor/Cairo

We fly today to Cairo. After checking in at our hotel, the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration and dinner on our own. B

Day 14: Cairo

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-Mauallaqa, constructed over the bastions of a Roman gate; and Ben Ezra Synagogue, built in 882. We return to our hotel mid-day; this afternoon is at leisure. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner at our hotel. B,D

Day 15: Depart for U.S.

Early this morning we transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S. B

Included Meals: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven terrain and at sites of ancient ruins. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

Tour Price Includes:

  • 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 ships
  • 31 meals: 13 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of a professional Egyptologist as your Tour Director
  • 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

What’s not included:
Taxes; passport, visas and associated fees; personal expenses such as laundry and telephone calls; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance;  baggage charges on aircraft; International airfare, transfers and baggage handling to/from hotel on day of arrival and/or departure if you have booked as a "land only" participant or if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included Features” section of the program brochure.

Please call us toll-free at (866) 325-8664 or email us at travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details.