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Alternative Itineraries for Jordan/Egypt Trip

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My husband and I are planning a trip to Jordan and Egypt at the end of the year. The frequent flyer award tickets are set, arriving Amman on a Sunday afternoon, departing Cairo on a Tuesday morning. Thinking about alternative itineraries

Itinerary 1

Amman 3 nights
Cairo 3 nights
Luxor 2 nights
Cruise 5 nights (this is also set on one of the small 20 passenger ships, only depart on Mondays)
Aswan 2 nights
Cairo 1 night (before early morning flight from Cairo)

Itinerary 2

Petra 3 nights (flight to Aquaba directly from Amman upon arrival that evening)
Amman 3 nights
Luxor 2 nights (flight from Amman to Luxor connecting through Cairo)
Cruise 5 nights (cruise departs from Luxor)
Cairo 3 nights

The main differences between the two itineraries are:

Petra or not
Time in Aswan or not
New Years Eve in Aswan or Cairo (that is the same night we end the cruise in Aswan in the morning)

We are independent travelers, 40 something, enjoy combination of culture and outdoors on our adventures. Other similar trips we have enjoyed are Turkey in 2003 and Israel in 2006. We don't really suffer from jet lag.

An alternative to Petra or Aswan we were considering is the desert somewhere either in Jordan or Eqypt. (Is it at all reasonable to plan an independent itinerary down from Amman to Petra to Cairo or Luxor overland?)

Some concerns for this trip are the weather that time of year, flexibility if political issues cause any disturbances in normal travel services, prefer not to sleep too few nights in any one place.

Appreciate everyone's thoughts, conclusions, reasoning.

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