Egypt on Uniworld River Cruise?


Jan 7th, 2015, 01:56 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 612
Egypt on Uniworld River Cruise?

I'm looking at this cruise--Uniworld just returned to Egypt, and seems to be the first of the "mainstream" river lines that is doing so. But not having been to Egypt, not sure if the itinerary holds up--we are retired so time is not a big issue, but money always is. We don't mind spending top dollar for this "trip of a lifetime", but we don't want to feel rushed, nor do we want to miss important sights. We like to have "downtime" on this sort of trip as well, wondering if we could do this at a more leisurely pace with a private guide or small group.

Here's the day-to-day description, comments welcome:

Day 1: Cairo
A Uniworld representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to the opulent Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza, situated along the banks of the river.

Day 2: Cairo
Featured Excursions: Citadel of Salah al-Din, Alabaster Mosque, and Egyptian Museum
Your tour of this historic city includes the Citadel of Salah al-Din, a massive 12th-century compound that was home to Egypt’s rulers for more than seven hundred years. Visit the Citadel’s Alabaster Mosque (Mosque of Muhammad Ali) and enjoy its incredible hilltop views of Cairo. You’ll also spend some time at the cavernous Egyptian Museum, home to a sublime collection of priceless treasures, including artifacts from the tomb of King Tutankhamun.

Day 3: Cairo, fly to Luxor (embark), cruising the Nile River, Dendera
Featured Excursion: Temple of Karnak
Fly to Luxor on the east bank of the Nile, where you’ll visit the world’s largest ancient temple complex—the Temple of Karnak—once buried under sand for a thousand years. The scale of this sprawling site is simply astonishing, with massive temples and statues and endless avenues of giant columns. Board the elegant River Tosca and cruise to Dendera, one of the most culturally significant sites along the Nile. This evening, there will be a Gala Reception and dinner onboard.

Day 4: Dendera, cruising the Nile River
Featured Excursions: Temple of Hathor and Temple of Luxor
The Temple of Hathor is an extraordinarily well-preserved site that was once the epicenter of the cult of Hathor, goddess of love, music, and other earthly delights. This beautiful temple has an ornate façade and richly decorated exterior walls, one of which has a rare bas relief of Cleopatra and the son she bore to Julius Caesar. Return to Luxor for some leisure time before visiting the ancient, UNESCO-designated Temple of Luxor, an especially stunning sight at sunset.

Day 5: Luxor, cruising the Nile River, Kom Ombo
Featured Excursions: Colossi of Memnon, Hatshepsut Temple, Valley of the Kings, and evening onboard Galabeya Party
Get an up-close view of the Colossi of Memnon—two gigantic statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III—and visit the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s most successful pharaohs and its first female ruler. Continue on to one of the most famous archeological sites in the world—the Valley of the Kings—used for royal burials for nearly five hundred years. The valley contains more than 60 tombs, including that of King Tutankhamun, whose mummified remains are still here on display.

Day 6: Kom Ombo, cruising the Nile River, Aswan
Featured Excursions: Kom Ombo Temple, bird- watching boat ride, and Nubian village visit
Kom Ombo is the site of a Greco-Roman temple dedicated to the crocodile god, Sobek, and the falcon god, Horus the Elder. Several mummified crocodiles can be seen inside this unusual double temple. After a scenic cruise to Aswan, take a small boat along the banks of the Nile, watching for colorful native birds as you travel to a small Nubian village. Visit the traditional dwelling of a local family and enjoy Nubian-style hospitality as you learn more about the area’s unique culture. This evening, you’ll be treated to a traditional Egyptian belly dancing performance.

Day 7: Aswan
Featured Excursions: Aswan High Dam, Unfinished Obelisk, Philae Temple, felucca ride, afternoon tea at the historic Old Cataract Hotel Aswan, and onboard Nubian show
Visit the Aswan High Dam—a marvel of modern engineering—as well as the towering Unfinished Obelisk, commissioned by Queen Hatshepsut but never completed. Explore the Philae Temple complex, moved from its original site and rebuilt on Agilika Island during the construction of the dam, before cruising onward to Edfu. Later, take a peaceful and scenic ride along the Nile in a felucca, a traditional Egyptian sailboat with cushions and a canopy for shade (wind conditions permitting). Relax over refreshments at the Old Cataract Hotel Aswan, a colonial-era gem that counts Winston Churchill and Princess Diana among its former guests. This famous hotel was depicted in Agatha Christie’s acclaimed mystery novel Death on the Nile. Back onboard, you’ll be thoroughly entertained by a Nubian show with live music.

Day 8: Aswan, cruising the Nile River, Kom Ombo
Spend the day at leisure, or take an optional excursion to see the magnificent temples of Abu Simbel, carved into the sandstone cliffs along the Nile about two hundred miles from Aswan.
The front of the main temple has four gargantuan statues of Ramses II on his throne, each measuring nearly 70 feet high and discovered half buried in sand in 1813. This UNESCO-designated site was the focus of a daunting four-year rescue operation in the early 1960s—a multi-million dollar effort that saved the 35-hundred-year-old temples from the rising waters of Lake Nasser.

Day 9: Edfu, cruising the Nile River, Luxor
Featured Excursion: Temple of Horus
The city of Edfu is best known for its remarkably preserved temple dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god. Built in 230 BC, it is the second-largest temple in Egypt and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with walls that display compelling details about the religion and language of the country’s Greco-Roman period. Afterwards, relax onboard and take in the Nile’s timeless landscapes as the ship continues onward to Luxor.

Day 10: Luxor (disembark), fly to Cairo, transfer to Cairo hotel
Featured Excursion: Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids of Giza
Disembark the ship and transfer to the Luxor airport for your return flight to Cairo. Check into the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza, and enjoy some free time before tonight’s Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids of Giza—a wonderfully colorful introduction to these ancient wonders and the sophisticated culture that created them.

Day 11: Cairo
Featured Excursions: Ancient Memphis sites, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx
Venture forth to the UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing the ancient capital of Memphis, which includes a number of exceptional monuments: a huge statue of Ramses II; the Alabaster Sphinx; the necropolis of Sakkara, site of the famous step pyramid of King Zoser, the oldest pyramid on earth; the Great Sphinx; and the three Pyramids of Giza, together considered the last survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Day 12: Depart Cairo
Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
WWanderer is offline  
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Jan 7th, 2015, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 1
thx for sharing!
cadylu is offline  
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Jan 10th, 2015, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 26
I like that your cruise goes to Deandra - I had wanted to go there as well. However, like selmasahirah, I also opted for a Dahabiya cruise over the river cruise ship. Not my initial plan but I had some concerns over the port disembark/embark time on some itineraries, e.g. time quoted was 90 minutes at a site and up to 80 people to get off and organized and walked through the tour. I would suggest before booking you try to get more information on the guide to guest ratio and how much time will be spent at the sites.

I also liked that the Dahabiya's sail at a slower pace and all will moor at least once or twice on an island/area the larger ships can't. Of course there is a trade off on amenities and dining.

I hope you enjoy your trip.
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Aug 7th, 2015, 06:33 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 612
Thanks for the advice, but I booked not long after my initial posting. We have now made final payment and leave in just over two months for Paris, our first stop before Cairo. I'm confident that Uniworld will do a good job for us. As first time visitors, and both (adventurous) seniors, we opted for something more structured.
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