- Egypt The Majestic Nile
Ancient shrines adorned with hieroglyphics and vast temple complexes built for the gods lie beside the iconic archaeological wonders of the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, a country rich in history, mysticism and centuries-old culture. Explore the famed sights of Cairo before sailing the world's longest river on a scenic 7-night Nile River cruise, visiting the incredible temples of Luxor, the sacred memorial of Hatshepsut and the atmospheric ruins of Aswan on this 10-day journey across land, desert and water.
Depart London on your scheduled flight to Cairo. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the heart of Cairo, Egypt's lively capital. Enjoy the remainder of the day free to unwind or explore the neighbourhood around the hotel.
Breakfast & Lunch
The past and present intertwine in Cairo, a sprawling city on the banks of the Nile that is home to both ancient sites and modern, high-rise districts. African in location but Middle Eastern in its cultural leanings, Egypt's traditions, food and history offer a unique experience as you embark on today's full-day city tour. Gain a fascinating insight into the city's sights and past as a professional Egyptology guide leads the way, with your first stop at the mighty Giza Pyramids. Inspiring movies, books and conspiracy theories, these six iconic pyramids tower over the desert landscape, with the Great Pyramid standing taller than the Statue of Liberty. Explore these amazingly constructed structures, built using techniques beyond their time, then marvel at the massive half-lion, half-human form of the Sphinx, as it guards the temples and tombs of Ancient Egypt. Travel onward to the Egyptian Museum and wander the treasure trove of artefacts under its roof, including Tutankhamen's gleaming golden mask. Return to your hotel after a full day of sightseeing for an evening at leisure.
Breakfast & Dinner
After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight from Cairo to Luxor, your departure point for your thrilling Nile cruise. Check into your sailing vessel before an afternoon of sightseeing in Luxor. Known as the 'world's greatest open-air museum' for the multitude of age-old sites and ruins that lie within the city limits, Luxor rivals Cairo in its archaeological splendour. Your afternoon tour starts with a visit to the vast Karnak Temple complex - over 200 acres housing temples and sanctuaries adorned with intricate hieroglyphics. Continue on to the beautifully preserved Luxor Temple and explore the interior, statues and carvings of this religious site. Return to your ship for a night moored in Luxor.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
This morning, drive to the west bank of Luxor, where the great valleys of Ancient Egypt's royalty are guarded by the massive twin statues of the Colossi of Memnon. Pass these gatekeepers of the valley then continue on to the Temple of Hatshepsut, a magnificent memorial temple built into the cliffs of this sacred valley. After time to explore this wonder, return to your vessel and sail onward to Edfu, a scenic cruise that allows you to take in life on the shores of the Nile. Pass through the Esna lock and sail through the night as you make your way to Edfu.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Dock in Edfu in the early hours of the morning, in time for breakfast and a visit to the impressive Temple of Horus. Enter through the massive gateways of the temple, guarded by huge granite statues of Horus, and explore the halls and chambers of this colossal ode to the gods. Return to your ship for a day and night of cruising as you journey towards Aswan, passing the picturesque agricultural town of Kom Ombo along the way.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Arrive in Aswan this morning and disembark for a chance to tour this colourful riverside city, nestled between water and desert. Start with a visit to the gigantic Aswan High Dam; the construction of this source of hydro-electricity required the movement of a number of nearby monuments to protect them from flooding. Continue on to the Unfinished Obelisk, a massive slab of granite that was carved but never erected, though it retains its status as the world's largest ancient obelisk. Travel to the river island of Agilkia and take in the splendid Temples of Philae, built by the cult of Isis in honour of the Egyptian goddess of health and marriage. Make your way back to your vessel, remaining for the night in the tranquil waters off Aswan.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Enjoy a morning at leisure to relax or explore at your own pace, perhaps taking in the rock-cut Tombs of the Nobles, the views from the hilltop Aga Khan Mausoleum or the fragrant spices, woven baskets and colourful robes of the city's souk. Alternatively, opt to visit Abu Simbel (at a fee), a series of temples intricately cut into a rocky cliff overlooking the Nile. After lunch, enjoy a unique sailing experience as you breathe in fresh river breezes during a ride on a felucca, a traditional wooden sailing boat which carries you to the botanical gardens of Kitchener's Island. Wander among palm fronds and exotic, brightly coloured blooms in this tranquil setting, returning to your ship for an overnight stay in Aswan.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
After breakfast, a free morning allows for your last shopping excursions or explorations in Aswan. After lunch, weigh anchor and sail north to Kom Ombo where you'll disembark for a trip to the impressive Temple of Kom Ombo. The temple is unique as it is dedicated to both Sorek, god of crocodiles, and Horus, god of the sky, with separate gateways and chapels for each god. The amazingly detailed etchings and carvings on the columns and walls of these temples are one of its most incredible features and a walk through the interior takes you into elaborately decorated chambers and passageways. In the early evening, depart for Edfu, arriving late tonight for your overnight stay.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Today offers a leisurely day of cruising as you depart Edfu bound for Luxor. Enjoy a day on board to soak in the sights on the river shores, lounge on the sun deck, take a dip in the swimming pool or relax on the deck with a cocktail. Round off a relaxing day of river cruising with tonight's last dinner on board, marking the end of your awe-inspiring Egyptian journey.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Luxor for your return flight via Cairo to the UK, or continue on to your chosen extension.
Alan Mills20 Mar 20
hotel in Cairo very good ,cruise boat excellent
Stephen Palmer06 Mar 20
The MS Crown Emperor -Cruiser, was very comfortable and the staff we attentive and well trained. In all very good
Kay Matthews29 Feb 20
all very clean and functional. not huge but no complaints from us.
Jacqueline Dawson28 Feb 20
Cairo Hotel, Fantastic Nile Cruise Ship spotlessly clean, comfortable beds, good food.
Erwin Hasa27 Feb 20
Most of our group regarded the whole tour..amazing.A few experienced travellers...this was the best they had had.We too regarded this as amongst the best we had experienced.Many thanks to all con erned at Mercury Travels and credit all.We hope to travel again with Mercury.
Keith Taylor21 Feb 20
Generally good. Good locatiion. One electrical socket loose.
K Ward13 Feb 20
The guide Osama was excellent.
J Quinn05 Dec 19
Our guide Osaria was excellent.
B Fearon02 Dec 19
Osama was an excellent, knowledgeable guide with superb English and a kind and caring manner. Osama really added value to our whole experience would highly recommend using him again.
Stephen Breen04 Nov 19
Incredible value for money ; Mercury delivers again!
Patrick Byrne22 Oct 19
HAD A WONDERFUL TIME FIRST CLASS HOLIDAY EVERYTHING SUPERB, SPECIAL MENTION FOR TOUR GUIDE OSAMA IN LUXOR WONDERFUL GUIDE WITH GREAT KNOWLEDGE AND A WICKED SENSE OF HUMOUR, ALSO STAFF ON BOAT WHERE FANTASTIC.
J Bell17 Sep 19
This is the 4th Mercury tour we have had. We like the tours the knowledgeable guides, the efficiency of the booking process along with the reasonable price. We will be using Mercury again and will recommend to friends and family.
Kirsten Strachan08 Jun 19
Really pleased with the accommodation especially the cruise boat. We stayed on MS Regency.
Margaret Aldgate10 Feb 19
Cairo-Rameses Hilton Hotel=excellent Nile River Cruise--MS Crown Emperor=excellent
G Chalmers04 Dec 18
I have traveled with Mercury before and was impressed.
T Holland19 Nov 18
The ship was excellent, very good food, large rooms and bathroom by ship standard.
K Grant10 Oct 18
Ashraf our guide was fantastic, his knowledge was amazing.
A visa is required for entry into Egypt. British passport holders need a visa for visits of up to 30 days. You can get a visa on arrival by payment in Sterling, US Dollars or Euros; the visa fee is US$25 at approved bank kiosks within airport arrival halls, before reaching immigration counters. Alternatively, we work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Egypt. Visa requirements are subject to change and obtaining a visa is the responsibility of the traveller and not Mercury Holidays. We recommend you check with your destination's tourist board or embassy prior to departure for the most up to date guidelines regarding visas and passport validity.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24 hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Baggage allowance (per person): Each passenger is entitled to 1 piece of hold luggage with each bag not exceeding 23kg. Hand luggage: One piece not exceeding 8kg and with maximum total dimensions not exceeding 118 cm (55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm). Should you wish to take additional luggage, you will need to pay extra at check-in. Please refer to the airline's website for further details and the most up-to-date information.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves climbing steep stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 1-2. If in the unlikely event there are less than 1-2 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
Your transfers will be with an English-Speaking Driver. During your excursion in Cairo, this will be with an English-Speaking Guide. On board your cruise you will have an English-speaking guide who will accompany you during your included excursions. Your return airport transfers will be with an English-speaking driver.
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound. We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK. However, cash machines are available in all the major cities to withdraw money in the local currency.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £300-£400 per person will be sufficient for the duration of the tour.