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Posted on November 19th, 2021 in Europe, Africa & Asia
Egypt is a top bucket list destination. Experience the adventure of a lifetime in Egypt as we cruise the Nile River with stops at museums, ancient cities, temples, and monuments – including the iconic Great Pyramids of Giza.
There are a number of world history meccas, and Egypt is one of them. From the pyramids to the number zero (the same symbol used as the hieroglyph for beauty and completion), Egyptian culture is steeped in abstract sophistication and has given more than its share of important contributions to society. Visiting this bucket list destination and immersing yourself in their culture will enrich your life in ways you didn’t expect. You’ll be captivated at every attraction, but we’re giving you a glimpse into three of our favorites below.
Explore this bucket list destination, the Nile, the longest river in the world, on a classy cruise, making stops at awe-inspiring sites such as the Karnak & Luxor Temples, Valley of the Kings & Valley of the Queens, the Great Sphinx, and more, featuring daily tours with private Egyptologists. Spanning 4,100 miles and flowing northward from East to North Africa and through Egypt, the Nile River empties into the Mediterranean Sea. It originates from several rivers that flow through Lake Victoria of Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. Crucial in the development of ancient Egypt, the Nile runs through or borders other African countries like Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Sudan.
Why was the Nile so instrumental in the development of these African nations, Egypt specifically? To start, the Nile River delta soil between Cairo and the Mediterranean Sea is nutrient-rich thanks to large silt deposits that the river releases as it empties into the sea. Similarly, soil from the banks along the Nile’s expansive length has similar richness due to silt deposits caused by annual flooding. If you look at the Nile from space, its lush greenery stands in stark contrast to the arid desert that lies beyond the Nile’s riverbanks. Even today, 95% of all Egyptians live within just a few miles of the river, and canals deliver water from the river to support cities and irrigate farms.
Most of Egypt’s food has been cultivated in the Nile’s delta region – for millennia. Ancient Egyptians had irrigation techniques that increased the amount of land for growing crops and supporting booming populations. Important crops could be easily stored and traded like wheat, cotton, beans, and flax. In addition, the Nile River delta was the ideal place for papyrus to grow. This plant was used in many ways, like for making boxes, cloth, and rope; however, papyrus was most notably used for making paper, which at that time was a game-changing invention. Apart from the natural resources the Nile provided ancient Egypt, it also served as a main source of trade, transportation, drinking, bathing, and recreation.
The Great Sphinx of Giza, carved out of a single piece of massive bedrock limestone during the reign of Khafre (c. 2558–2532 BC), is ~66-ft tall and ~240-ft long, making it one of the world’s oldest and largest monolithic statues. Egyptologists estimate this Old Kingdom to have lasted ~500 years before it ended due to famine and civil war.
Modern findings keep the Great Sphinx interesting, like how, when you stand at its eastern niche during a March sunset or September equinox, you’ll see dramatic astronomical events. The sun appears to sink into the Sphinx’s shoulder and into Khafre’s Pyramid’s south side along the horizon; simultaneously, the Sphinx and Pyramid’s shadows merge as one silhouette. This makes the Sphinx appear to symbolize the pharaoh giving offerings with two paws to his father, Khufu, who is also the incarnated sun god, Ra.
The Great Pyramids of Giza is the most iconic attraction in Egypt. They’re one of the original classic Seven Wonders of the World, and they are also the only one of the original seven which still remains to this day, to have weathered the test of time. Like the Great Wall of China, you can see the Giza Pyramids from space and are said to be one of the most extraordinary sights on Earth. Built ~4,500 years ago, these massive, ornate pyramids were built to provide elaborate tombs for kings and queens. For Egyptians, the afterlife is extremely important. In the past, they believed it could be altered by providing grandiose tombs for royalty to rest with their glory and greatness. At times, past kings and queens become so elevated that they reach the status of a god, like in the case of Ra.
You won’t find a better place to explore Egypt than the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo, Egypt’s capital. This modern museum opened just four years ago and displays a collection of 50,000 artifacts that tell the story of Egypt from prehistoric times to present Egypt, covering all that fascinating ancient history that uncovers how Egypt has come to be the country it is today. On tour, enjoy the selections of exhibits in two different museum regions, one thematic and the other chronological. Highly-rated, this fabulous collection was curated in part with pieces that came from other museums like the Egyptian Museum, Museum of Islamic Art, the Coptic Museum, the Royal Jewelry Museum in Alexandria, and the Manial Palace and Museum in Cairo.
There are several different exhibition areas here. The Main Hall includes unique objects and features a holistic experience for visitors seeking an invigorating journey through the evolution of Egypt from prehistoric and ancient pasts like the pharaonic and Greco-Roman times, Islamic and Coptic eras to the present. Check out the Mummies Hall, the ‘crown jewel’ of the museum, considered as such because it’s designed to display the mummies of ancient Egyptian kings and queens. The hall’s design gives the feeling of walking the Valley of the Kings, their original resting place. It features 20 royal mummies, 18 kings and 2 queens ranging from the 17th to 20th dynasties.
Our Egypt/Nile River tour tells a story as it takes you along the ancient route of the Nile, where significant Egyptian sites are located and shrouded in myth and mystery. Check off major bucket list items when you witness the Great Pyramids of Giza, the iconic Great Sphinx, and more. Have a city tour of the capital, Cairo, and visit the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. Enjoy your stay in five-star cabins & suites that feature French balconies and luxurious amenities of the ms Tulip, a luxury riverboat designed for cruising the Nile in style, and all meals are included aboard the ship.
Are you ready to be part of this extraordinary Egyptian adventure? Reserve your spot before it’s too late by calling our expert Tour Consultants at (888) 617-3381. The world’s greatest wonders and ancient history are waiting for you.
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Tour days tend to be shorter in length, at a relaxed pace, and include lots of unscheduled time for leisure. Expect standing and walking for extended periods of time on flat surfaces, mostly low altitudes, and consistent temperatures.
Tour days usually move at a leisurely pace. Some days’ scheduled activities last longer than others. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on occasionally uneven terrain. You may experience changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a consistent pace, and may include long travel days. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on uneven surfaces. Some destinations may have changes in altitude and/or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a brisk pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on uneven surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a vigorous pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on rough surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.