by Anne Kalosh.
Lindblad Expeditions returns to Egypt this year, after an absence of more than seven years, with a journey that combines Cairo and beyond with a six-night Nile cruise. The 13-day “Passage Through Egypt” will be guided by Egyptologists and offers privileged access to some remarkable sites. A Lindblad-certified photo instructor will be along to help travelers take their best pictures of iconic places.
“I am so pleased to announce the resumption of our program in 2018,” said Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions. He first traveled to Egypt with his father in 1961, when Lars-Eric Lindblad was researching his first expedition there.
“The journey was epic, and the experience was indelible. Things are very much on the upswing, and there is a pervasive optimism there about the future,” Lindblad said. “And the resplendent antiquities remain.”
The program in Cairo features a visit to Tutankhamun’s treasures at the Egyptian Museum; Old Cairo, known for its Coptic churches; and the thousand-year-old Ben Ezra Synagogue. The Gayer-Anderson Museum, the former residence of a British officer in the Egyptian army who was a great art collector of art, furniture and carpets, is on the agenda, too.
In Luxor travelers will trek to the Karnak Temple, where 30 pharaohs over millennia added their own monuments and shrines, and Luxor Temple, guarded by giant statues of Ramses II. In the Valley of the Kings they’ll see tombs of some of the greatest pharaohs including Tutankhamun and Seti I, which require special permits. Also by special permit is a visit to one of the most remarkable tombs of all: that of Nefertari, located in the Valley of the Queens.
Lindblad travelers will sail to Edfu Temple, dedicated to the falcon god Horus, and Kom Ombo, for the worship of Horus and the crocodile god Sobek. In Aswan they’ll tour the island temple of Philae and the Nubian Museum, take tea at the legendary Old Cataract Hotel and sail on a felucca. In Abu Simbel, they’ll see the two great temples built by Ramses II, disassembled and moved, block by massive block, to higher ground when the Nile was dammed at Aswan.
The adventure continues at Giza where the necropolis of Saqqara includes the step pyramid of the Pharaoh Zoser, a revolutionary design that initiated the art of pyramid-building. Travelers will see the Sphinx, ride a camel if they wish and go inside the Great Pyramid, following a narrow passageway to the burial chamber of Cheops.
The Nile cruise is aboard the luxurious OBEROI PHILAE, built for 100 passengers then completely remodeled to accommodate just 42 in 22 cabins, including four suites. Nearly floor-to-ceiling windows offer idyllic views, while the top deck has a swimming pool and an alfresco restaurant. Inside is another restaurant, several lounges and a spa.
The Cairo sojourn begins in the heart of the city at the Nile Ritz-Carlton, in a room overlooking the river. After returning to Cairo from Upper Egypt, Lindblad travelers will stay at the historic Mena House, located at the foot of the Giza Plateau, with rooms featuring pyramid views from their balconies.
Departures are Oct. 28 and Nov. 25, 2018, and Jan. 20 and March 17, 2019. Rates begin at $8,480 per person, double occupancy. An optional five-day post-voyage extension to Jordan is available.
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