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EGYPT

Egyptian Odyssey: Cairo, the Nile and the Western Desert

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Road Scholar
Program #18774RJ
17 Days | 16 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Light hiking boots or sturdy, closed walking shoes.

Itinerary for Nov 8 — Nov 24, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Saturday, November 08 - Departure from the U.S.
Afternoon: Depart from the U.S. on overnight flights.

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Mercure Le Sphinx Cairo combines an exciting location & good service This hotel offers its guests a unique opportunity to explore the historical surroundings in total comfort & convenience. Located in a magnificent park at the foot of the Giza Pyramids & the Sphinx, 35 km from Cairo international airport.

Contact info:
1 Alexandria Desert Rd.
P.O. Box 16 Pyramids
Giza, 12556 Egypt
phone: + 20 233 776 444
web: www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-1789-mercure-cairo-le-sphinx/index.shtml

Room amenities: A/C, Satellite TV, direct dial phone, minibar, safe, broadband internet connection, hairdryer,

Facility amenities: Concierge, dry cleaning service, currency exchange, gift shop, fitness center, jacuzzi, massage, outdoor heated pool, sauna, restaurants, 24 hour room service, bar.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Available upon request
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and reservations.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Sunday, November 09 - Arrive Cairo
Afternoon: Arrivals and hotel check-in.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Mercure Le Sphinx Cairo

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Mercure Le Sphinx Cairo combines an exciting location & good service This hotel offers its guests a unique opportunity to explore the historical surroundings in total comfort & convenience. Located in a magnificent park at the foot of the Giza Pyramids & the Sphinx, 35 km from Cairo international airport.

Contact info:
1 Alexandria Desert Rd.
P.O. Box 16 Pyramids
Giza, 12556 Egypt
phone: + 20 233 776 444
web: www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-1789-mercure-cairo-le-sphinx/index.shtml

Room amenities: A/C, Satellite TV, direct dial phone, minibar, safe, broadband internet connection, hairdryer,

Facility amenities: Concierge, dry cleaning service, currency exchange, gift shop, fitness center, jacuzzi, massage, outdoor heated pool, sauna, restaurants, 24 hour room service, bar.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Available upon request
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and reservations.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Monday, November 10 - Orientation / Great Pyramids of Giza, The Sphinx ...
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Led by your Egyptologist, explore the most renowned sites of Egypt: The Great Pyramids of Giza, Solar Boat Museum, and the Sphinx. The pyramids of Giza are perhaps the only true rival to the Great Sphinx when one thinks of ancient Egypt and its architecture. The Valley of Giza-- with its wonderful monuments-- is truly a marvel of architectural prowess. The three largest pyramids located in the valley consist of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Kafhre and the Pyramid of Menkaura. Each Pyramid is a tomb dedicated to a different king of Egypt. Solar Boat Museum: The significance of the buried boat is still debated. The Pyramid Texts clearly state that at the end of the pharaoh's life on Earth, his soul ascends to the heavens in the solar barque to join his father Re. The arguments are about whether this boat was purely symbolic - part of the burial goods - or whether it was actually used in the funeral procession to transport the body of the king by river to his pyramid complex. While some scholars claim that there is evidence that the boat has been in water, Zahi Hawass points out that shavings of cedar and acacia found in the pit during excavation, indicate that it was probably built close to where it was buried. While the boat is of the right dimensions to be suitable as a river craft, no mast was found with the components. Then descend the plateau to view the Great Sphinx and marvel the presence of the guardian of the necropolis. An imaginary creature that shows the strength of the lion and the intelligence of the human, carved out of one big knoll of rock more than 4600 years ago. The Great Sphinx has also been known for a long time under the name “Father of Fear”. A wise man once said: “Everything fears time, yet time fears the Pyramids”.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Presentation - Egyptology Explained, led by a scholar from Cairo University Giza, deepen your understanding of Ancient Egypt. Then enjoy some free time to expore on your own.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: Before dinner, enjoy a once in a lifetime experience as you end you first day in Egypt with a spectacular Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids.

Lodging: Mercure Le Sphinx Cairo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Mercure Le Sphinx Cairo combines an exciting location & good service This hotel offers its guests a unique opportunity to explore the historical surroundings in total comfort & convenience. Located in a magnificent park at the foot of the Giza Pyramids & the Sphinx, 35 km from Cairo international airport.

Contact info:
1 Alexandria Desert Rd.
P.O. Box 16 Pyramids
Giza, 12556 Egypt
phone: + 20 233 776 444
web: www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-1789-mercure-cairo-le-sphinx/index.shtml

Room amenities: A/C, Satellite TV, direct dial phone, minibar, safe, broadband internet connection, hairdryer,

Facility amenities: Concierge, dry cleaning service, currency exchange, gift shop, fitness center, jacuzzi, massage, outdoor heated pool, sauna, restaurants, 24 hour room service, bar.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Available upon request
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and reservations.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Tuesday, November 11 - Dashur & Memphis / Pyramids of Zoser & Teti
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Explore Dahshur, a necropolis of the Old Kingdom, housing some of the oldest pyramids built by and for the 4th dynasty pharaoh, Sneferu, around 2600 BC. This site best demonstrates how a strong willed king was able to build the first true pyramid, changing its design from the "step" pyramid. Led by you Egyptologist drive north of Dahshur to Saqqara where you will visit the Imhotep Museum. The Museum was opened in 2006, and displays finds from the site, in commemoration of the ancient Egyptian architect Imhotep. The head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Zahi Hawass said: "I felt that we should call it the Imhotep Museum in tribute to the first architect to use stone rather than perishable materials for construction on a large scale. This man was second only to the King and in the late period was worshipped as a god." The Museum also has a hall dedicated to a man, an important Egyptologist who excavated the Djoser complex all his life: the French Egyptologist Jean-Philippe Lauer. The Museum has five large halls in which one admires masterpieces from Saqqara such as a Greco-Roman mummy discovered by Zahi Hawass during his excavations at Teti's pyramid complex.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Explore the Step Pyramid Complex of King Djoser (Zoser), which is considered the oldest stone structure on earth, built more than 4700 years ago. It was built for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by his vizier Imhotep. The Pyramid of Teti is also located in the Necropolis of Saqqara. Its original height was about 52.5 m. It was poor in its architectural design, but inside it are some Pyramid Texts, inscribed all around the walls of the Burial Chamber and the inner corridors. This pyramid is the secont to contain Pyramid Texts after the Pyramid of King Unas, the last king of the fifth Dynasty. Presentation - Bridges Foundation: Islam Explained, led by a scholar from the US living in Egypt that is trying to brige religions. Local Students will join us after the presentation for dinner.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Mercure Le Sphinx Cairo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Riverboat

Description: M/S Concerto has 63 cabins + 4 suites with most luxury facilities found in the floating hotels. M/S Concerto is classified to a New Norm (N/N) which is a new level of classification defined by the Egyptian Tourism Ministry to match the international luxury levels.

Ship Information: LONG 72 M. LARGE 14.20 M. NUMBER OF DECKS 4.

Contact info:
56 El Nozha St.
Heliopolis
Cairo, Egypt
phone: +20-2-241-54317
web: www.extensiongroup.com.eg/concerto.htm

Room amenities: Mini Bar, LCD SAT, DVD, Internet, Telephone, International Music System, Individually-controlled air conditioning, safety deposit box, Large Panaromic Window (Openable), Bathroom with bathtub, hair dryer and telephone.

Facility amenities: Retaurant, Bar, Sun Deck, Gym, Shop, Clinic, Hair dresser, marine satellite, swimming pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Wednesday, November 12 - Fly to Abu Simbel & Aswan / Embark boat for Nile ...
Breakfast: Boxed breakfast from the hotel.

Morning: Early morning flight from Cairo to Abu Simbel. Upon arrival in Abu Simbel, explore the temples of Abu Simbel with your Egyptologist. The two temples in Abu Simbel are Ramses II & Queen Nefertari Temples. Located in upper Egypt, on the west bank of the Nassar River, Abu Simbel is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments”. In a massive relocation project aimed at protecting the site from the Nile’s rising waters (as a consequence of the Aswan Dam), both temples were dissected into huge blocks, dismantled and then reassembled 60 meters higher and some 200 meters further away from the river. The twin temples remain a lasting monument to Pharaoh Ramesses II and his Queen Nefertari. Then fly to Aswan, upon arrival discover Philae, the High Dam and the Unfinished Obelisk. Completed in 1970, the dam has proved both beneficial and detrimental to Egypt. While the dam’s construction has been integral in generating electricity, erosion, poor silt deposition, and a slew of other environmental problems have developed. Then transfer to and board the boat for the start of your Nile cruise.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: On Board Presentation by Study Leader: Introduction to Temples from Aswan To Luxor. Then enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to rest after a long day of travel.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: ms Concerto or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Riverboat

Description: M/S Concerto has 63 cabins + 4 suites with most luxury facilities found in the floating hotels. M/S Concerto is classified to a New Norm (N/N) which is a new level of classification defined by the Egyptian Tourism Ministry to match the international luxury levels.

Ship Information: LONG 72 M. LARGE 14.20 M. NUMBER OF DECKS 4.

Contact info:
56 El Nozha St.
Heliopolis
Cairo, Egypt
phone: +20-2-241-54317
web: www.extensiongroup.com.eg/concerto.htm

Room amenities: Mini Bar, LCD SAT, DVD, Internet, Telephone, International Music System, Individually-controlled air conditioning, safety deposit box, Large Panaromic Window (Openable), Bathroom with bathtub, hair dryer and telephone.

Facility amenities: Retaurant, Bar, Sun Deck, Gym, Shop, Clinic, Hair dresser, marine satellite, swimming pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Thursday, November 13 - Kom Ombo & Edfu Temples
Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: This moning discover Kom Ombo & Edfu Temples. Dedicated to the Gods: Sobek and Haeroris, Kom Ombo was built during the Ptolemaic Dynasty in the Second Century BCE. Several hundred crocodile mummies were uncovered during initial excavations. The Horus Temple at Edfu, dedicated to the Falcon God Horus, is one of the largest in Egypt.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon at leisure sailing to Luxor. On board Presentation by your Study Leader: Introduction to The Valley of the Kings, discovering the tombs.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: ms Concerto or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Riverboat

Description: M/S Concerto has 63 cabins + 4 suites with most luxury facilities found in the floating hotels. M/S Concerto is classified to a New Norm (N/N) which is a new level of classification defined by the Egyptian Tourism Ministry to match the international luxury levels.

Ship Information: LONG 72 M. LARGE 14.20 M. NUMBER OF DECKS 4.

Contact info:
56 El Nozha St.
Heliopolis
Cairo, Egypt
phone: +20-2-241-54317
web: www.extensiongroup.com.eg/concerto.htm

Room amenities: Mini Bar, LCD SAT, DVD, Internet, Telephone, International Music System, Individually-controlled air conditioning, safety deposit box, Large Panaromic Window (Openable), Bathroom with bathtub, hair dryer and telephone.

Facility amenities: Retaurant, Bar, Sun Deck, Gym, Shop, Clinic, Hair dresser, marine satellite, swimming pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Friday, November 14 - Luxor / Valley of the Kings / Luxor Museum / Mumm...
Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Presentation - The Ongoing New Discoveries and Digs in Egypt led by Prof Ray Johnson of the University of Chicago at Habu Temple (Presenter by Chicago house not available all dates: Dig is closed Mid April to late Sept) Led by your Egyptologist discover the West bank: Valley of the Kings, King Tut Tomb, Hatshepsut and Memnon. Since the end of the eighteenth century, significant archaeological investigation has taken place at the Thebean necropolis. Between the 16th and 11th centuries BCE, a plethora of tombs were constructed for ancient Egypt’s nobility. Recent excavations, under the direction of the Theban Mapping Project, have unearthed additional tombs as well as providing a more meticulous and cautious approach towards excavation.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Led by your Egyptologist explore the Mummification Museum & Luxor Museum of Archaeology.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: At leisure

Lodging: ms Concerto or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Contact info:
Corniche el Nile street
Luxor, Egypt
phone: (+20)95/2380425
Room amenities: All modern room ameneties are available

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Saturday, November 15 - Karnak and Luxor Temples
Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Led by your Egyptologist, spend the morning exploring the Karnak & Luxor Temples. The temple of Luxor, known in the Egyptian language as ipet resyt, or “the southern harem”, was built by King Amenhotep III who reigned 1390-53 BC and dedicated it to Amon-Re, king of the gods, his consort Mut, and their son Khons. Although badly ruined, no site in Egypt is more impressive than Karnak. It is the largest temple complex ever built by man, and represents the combined achievement of many generations of ancient builders. The Temple of Karnak is actually three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Presentation - The Opet Festival and the ongoing Restoration Work of Luxor led by a Professor from the Luxor Library who is working on a local project, including a presentation on the ancient "Opet Festival." Then depart by coach to the hotel and check in.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Winter Palace Pavilion

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Contact info:
Corniche el Nile street
Luxor, Egypt
phone: (+20)95/2380425
Room amenities: All modern room ameneties are available

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Sunday, November 16 - Luxor University and Felucca Sailing
Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Morning at leisure to explore Luxor on your own.

Lunch: Lunch with students from Luxor University at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Educational program of a lecture or discussion at the University of Luxor. Then spend part of the afternoon enjoying a uniquely Egyptian sailing experience on the Nile on a Felucca. Feluccas are sail boats that have been used on the Nile since antiquity made to a traditional design with broad canvas sails. Essentially, the craft is reliant on wind-power with no motor, and are dependent upon the wind factor to propel forth.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Winter Palace Pavilion

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: The Sol Y Mar Pioneer Hotel is the most developed of the oases hotels we will visit. It is a modern complex with 102 rooms, situated in the Kharga Oasis.

Contact info:
Gamal Abdel Nasser St.
Kharga, Egypt
phone: +20 92 792 7982
web: www.solymaregypt.com/pioneer

Room amenities: All rooms are air-conditioned with direct-dial telephone, satellite TV, private bathroom with bathtub, and mini-bar. Nonsmoking rooms available upon request.

Facility amenities: Business Center, fresh-water swimming pool, restaurant, café, bar, shop, safe-deposit box, fitness center and laundry service. All major credit cards accepted.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Ten: Monday, November 17 - Kharga Oasis / El Bagawat Cemetary / Rock Art of ...
Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Depart Luxor by coach to Kharga Oasis. Upon arrival check into the hotel.

Lunch: In the hotel.

Afternoon: Set out in four-wheel-drive vehicles, each carrying four to five people to explore El Bagawat cemetaries. Located outside of the city center, El Bagawat is one of the World's best preserved early Christian cemeteries. Cascading down the southern foothills of Gebel Al-Teir you find beautifully preserved desert-brown mud brick mausoleums with a large Christian Church in the center that still shows traces of saints painted on the walls. The site clearly illustrates the early importance of Christianity in this region. Although the site was clearly used prior to the Christian era, the current structure dates from the 4 to the 7th century. Then, discover the Rock Art of Gebel Al - Tier. About 3 KM north of El Bagawat in the Wadis of the Hill are three different sets of Rocks that show inscriptions that span pre-history. You will see hunters with bows and arrows, giraffes, gazelles and much more. After your afternoon exploration enjoy a short drive in the desert to enjoy your first Sunset over the desert sands.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Lodging: Sol Y Mar Pioneers Hotel or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: The Desert Lodge is built in traditional architectural style and is situated on top of a cliff with a splendid view over the village of Al Qasr, one of the heritage villages of Dakhla Oasis. The lodge and its furnishings employ only natural, local materials, uses its own water purification system and runs on hydro- and solar power.

Contact info:
Al Qasr Village
Dakhla Oasis, Egypt
phone: +20 2 690 52 40
web: www.desertlodge.net

Room amenities: 32 simple rooms with ceiling fan, telephone and private bathroom with shower.

Facility amenities: Dining room, outdoor terrace, bar, Internet café, games, library and small gift shop.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eleven: Tuesday, November 18 - Dakhla Oasis / Temple of Deir El Hagar / Tombs of...
Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Depart in four-wheel-drive vehicles to the Dakhla Oasis. Upon arrival, explore the Temple of Deir El Hagar: The temple name which means Monestary of stone was built during the period of Nero is dedicated to Seth God of the Oasis. Much of the temples decorative art was well preserved under the desert sand. Then, discover the Tombs of Mozawaka: There are over 300 ancient tombs that are dug into the small hill side that date back to the 1st Century. Some with nicely preserved paintings.

Lunch: Enjoy a spcially prepared lunch on the banks of a bubbling hot Spring while you enjoy a swim and some time to relax. Please remember to bring your bathing suits.

Afternoon: Check into the hotel then, enjoy an early evening camel ride over the desert sands stopping to enjoy a hopefully spectacular western desert orange sunset. (camel ride is approximately 1 hour)

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Desert Lodge or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Luxury Tented Camp

Description: This luxury tented camp overlooks the white desert with its “mushroom- like” formations of stark white rocks sculptured by nature, it takes your breath away. Whether under the blazing sun or with the moon light reflected by all the whiteness, it has an aura of something sacred and beautiful beyond words.

Contact info:
5 Saudi Egyptian Building
El Nozha St. , Heliopolis
Cairo, Egypt
phone: + 202 24 155 350
web: www.shahrazadcamp.com/demo/index.html

Room amenities: Tents are furnished in traditional Arabian style, Each tent has windows to allow a bit of fresh air and a heavenly view, Soft and warm blankets for cold nights, private terraces to witness sun rise and sun set over the beautiful white desert.

Facility amenities: Dining Room, Arabian Bedouin tent, traditional style, that offers various teas, Arabic coffee, traditional drinks and traditional Sheesha ( water pipe ), Telephone network.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Twelve: Wednesday, November 19 - Farafra Oasis / Old Town of Dakhla / Desert Art
Note: Participants must be able to walk over sand to get to their tents. There is no pavement at the camp only sand.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Depart in four-wheel-drive vehicles to explore The Old town of Daklha. Built on top of the ruins of a Roman city, the old town is believed to be the oldest inhabited part of the Oasis. It offers unique Mud brick architecture and narrow streets featuring unique desert architecture. Walking in this old town you really get a feeling for what life was like just a few decades ago in this part of Egypt. End your visit to the town's small but interesting Ethnography museum. Enjoy the sights of the desert as you go off road and explore " The Sand Sea" of the western Desert. Examine the ever changing sand dunes and marvel at the vistas of an endless horizon of golden yellow sand.

Lunch: Lunch in Farafra.

Afternoon: This afternoon meet a local artist at his studio/museum and learn about his passion for capturing the life and feeling of the desert people in sculpture and painting. Badr as he is known has achieved quite a reputation in the local art circle and produces some very interesting pieces. The museum is housed in an old Oasis home and allows us to get a better understanding of local architecture as well as the local art scene. Then check into a unique desert tented camp in time for you to admire the stunning sunset over the White Desert from your tent.

Dinner: Dinner at the tented camp.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Shahrazad Camp or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Lodge

Description: Spanning 36 acres, Sands Baharia is an eco friendly resort overlooking a valley of spacious greenery and rolling hills in contrast to the earth-toned sands of the desert. The lodge is surrounded by fruit groves, organically-cultivated gardens, and agricultural farms in harmony with the native wildlife. Construction of the facilities does not disturb the indigenous shape of the region around it and guesthouses were built on dunes to achieve perfect harmony with the natural contours. Sands Baharia enjoys its own spring that supplies the lodge with underground water that is naturally purified by sifting down three levels allowing for extra minerals to precipitate.

Contact info:
Head Office: 48 Giza St.
Dokki
Giza, 12311 Egypt
phone: + 2 010 600 1198
web: www.shoreshotels.com/HotelSections.aspx?HID=12&HSID=106

Room amenities: Safe, toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shower gel, soap), hairdryer available at front desk upon request

Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, swimming pool

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Thirteen: Thursday, November 20 - Baharia Oasis / White Desert / Black Desert
Breakfast: Sunrise Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Discover the White Desert. The Sahara Beida (White Desert) is one of the great wonders of the natural world. It offers an incredible panorama that changes with the time of day and the seasons. It was declared a protected Area by the UN in 2003. Rules and regulations for access are updated each year to protect the very fragile ecosystem. During your time in the White Desert see some of the most famous rock formations such as the Mushrooms, the Sleeping Camel, the Tents and many more.

Lunch: Early picnic lunch at a spring outside the White Desert.

Afternoon: Explore the Flower Desert & the Hills of Aqabat. North of the Sahara Beida (White desert) and before the Sahara Suda (Black desert) are these insteresting Hill Chalk escarpments that are either covered in yellow sand or Iron Pyrites layed as if they were a field of wild flowers. Some very interesting shapes can be found here. Then explore the Black Desert. The Sahara Suda (Black desert) is just south of the Baharia Oasis. The landscape is the main feature for this part of the Desert. It stands in such contrast with the White desert. Here black ore mountain tops jut out of the sand. Everywhere the valley floor sand is covered with black Iron Pyrites giving the landscape a very eerie feeling. Arrive at the lodge and check in. Then, depart in 4x4 vehicles to an area known as English Mountain and admire the beautiful sunset.

Dinner: Dinner at the lodge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Sands Baharia or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Sofitel El Gezirah is the luxury hotel of Cairo, located on the Nile River, in the heart of the city. French contemporary and elegant hotel with an Oriental inspiration and is the only Cairo hotel with a direct and private access to a quiet and peaceful promenade on the Nile River.

Contact info:
3 El Thawra Council St. Zamalek
PO Box 732 El Orman Giza
Cairo, 11518 Egypt
phone: +20 2 27 37 3737
web: www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-5307-sofitel-el-gezirah-cairo/index.shtml

Room amenities: Wireless Internet connection, LCD cable television, 2 direct telephone lines, 110/120 V AC, 220/240 V AC, air conditioning, safe in room, minibar, hairdryer, 24 hour room service.

Facility amenities: Outdoor heated swimming pool, 5 restaurants, bars, fitness center, jacuzzi, wi-fi wireless internet access, concierge, dry cleaning service, currency exchange, business center

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Contact the Program Provider
Contact the Program Provider at 866-359-5966.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Fourteen: Friday, November 21 - Depart for Cairo / Egyptian Museum
Breakfast: Breakfast at the lodge.

Morning: Depart by motorcoach to explore the Tombs of Bannentiu. Located in Qarat Qasr Salim a small hill within the Oasis village of Bawiti, the tomb is easily accessible and is one of the most elaborate. Bannentiu was a very wealthy caravan Merchant. Then, visit the Golden Mummies of Baharia. Arrive in Cairo and check into the hotel.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: Have the afternoon to explore the Egyptian Museum including the mummy room after an introduction by an Egyptologist.

Dinner: Dinner in Cairo at a traditional Egyptian restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Sofitel El Gezirah Cairo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Sofitel El Gezirah is the luxury hotel of Cairo, located on the Nile River, in the heart of the city. French contemporary and elegant hotel with an Oriental inspiration and is the only Cairo hotel with a direct and private access to a quiet and peaceful promenade on the Nile River.

Contact info:
3 El Thawra Council St. Zamalek
PO Box 732 El Orman Giza
Cairo, 11518 Egypt
phone: +20 2 27 37 3737
web: www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-5307-sofitel-el-gezirah-cairo/index.shtml

Room amenities: Wireless Internet connection, LCD cable television, 2 direct telephone lines, 110/120 V AC, 220/240 V AC, air conditioning, safe in room, minibar, hairdryer, 24 hour room service.

Facility amenities: Outdoor heated swimming pool, 5 restaurants, bars, fitness center, jacuzzi, wi-fi wireless internet access, concierge, dry cleaning service, currency exchange, business center

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Contact the Program Provider
Contact the Program Provider at 866-359-5966.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Fifteen: Saturday, November 22 - Coptic Cairo / Historic Cairo
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Explore the oldest part of the city, Coptic Cairo — Masr al-Qadima. It is believed that there was a settlement here as early as the sixth-century B.C. Later, the Romans built a fortress here known today as "Babylon." Some of these Roman walls still exist. Visit The Hanging Church — "El Muallaqa" — the most famous Coptic Christian church in Cairo, and Abu Serga, the church of St Sergius that is considered to be Cairo's oldest church, dating from the fourth century. "Also visit Ben Ezra, Egypt's oldest synagogue.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Cairo.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Sofitel El Gezirah Cairo

Meals Included: Breakfast
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Sofitel El Gezirah is the luxury hotel of Cairo, located on the Nile River, in the heart of the city. French contemporary and elegant hotel with an Oriental inspiration and is the only Cairo hotel with a direct and private access to a quiet and peaceful promenade on the Nile River.

Contact info:
3 El Thawra Council St. Zamalek
PO Box 732 El Orman Giza
Cairo, 11518 Egypt
phone: +20 2 27 37 3737
web: www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-5307-sofitel-el-gezirah-cairo/index.shtml

Room amenities: Wireless Internet connection, LCD cable television, 2 direct telephone lines, 110/120 V AC, 220/240 V AC, air conditioning, safe in room, minibar, hairdryer, 24 hour room service.

Facility amenities: Outdoor heated swimming pool, 5 restaurants, bars, fitness center, jacuzzi, wi-fi wireless internet access, concierge, dry cleaning service, currency exchange, business center

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Contact the Program Provider
Contact the Program Provider at 866-359-5966.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Sixteen: Sunday, November 23 - Islamic Cairo
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: In Islamic Cairo, visit the mosques of Sultan Hassan, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture built in the 14th century; al-Rifai, housing the tombs of kings; and Ibn Tulun, the largest mosque of the city.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to explore on your own.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Sofitel El Gezirah Cairo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seventeen: Monday, November 24 - Departure
Morning: Depart very early in the morning for flights back to the US.



Free Time Opportunities


Cairo
Khan el-Khalili BazaarFounded by the Emir Djaharks el-Khalili in 1382, the market controlled goods moving from the Eastern world to the West. The spice markets in the Khan, a monopoly controlled by the ruling Mamluks of Egypt, forced explorers such as Columbus to find alternate routes for goods coming from the East. Today, the Khan sells everything from blue jeans to typical Egyptian household items.
The Cairo TowerThe Cairo Tower offers panoramic views of the city, which on a clear day extend all the way to the pyramids. Located on Gezira Island, the tower houses a restaurant and cafeteria. Open 9 a.m.-1 a.m. The entrance fee for the elevator is approximately 60 Egyptian pounds. There is a fee for photography and a fee for video cameras.
The Coptic MuseumThe Coptic Museum displays objects that trace the history of Christianity in Egypt. Located at Mary George Street, in Old Cairo. The entrance fee is 40 Egyptian pounds. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
For additional information, visit: www.copticmuseum.gov.eg

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

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Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
15 nights of accommodations
40 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 13 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
20 Field trips
1 Flights during the program

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