Breakfast on board
Morning visit to the Valley of the Kings
Explore the Valley of the Kings, a vast City of the Dead where magnificent tombs were carved into the desert rocks, decorated richly, and filled with treasures for the afterlife by generations of Pharaohs.
Visit to the West Bank, with a choice of three from the below:
1. Valley of the Queens
There are between 75 and 80 tombs in the Valley of the Queens, or Biban al-Harim. These belong to Queens of the 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties. It is called “Place of Beauty” by the Egyptians, where the pharaohs’ wives and children were buried.
2. Hatshepsut Temple
Rising out of the desert plain in a series of terraces, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut (Ancient Egypt’s only female Pharaoh) merges with the sheer limestone cliffs that surround it, as if nature herself had built this extraordinary monument.
3. Valley of Workers (Deir El Medina)
Visit the remains of the self-contained village on the West Bank where the workmen who built the kings’ and queens’ tombs lived in mud brick houses with their families. The site gives archeologists a view of how urban people lived in ancient Egypt. You can also visit the tombs that the workmen created for themselves, to admire the art in ordinary people’s tombs. Nearby is the Temple of Deir El Medina, from Ptolemaic times.
4. Tombs of the Nobles
On the West Bank sit 400 tombs of Theban aristocrats, some of which you can enter. The tomb walls were white-washed and painted with murals of the nobles’ daily lives, making them quite different from royal tombs, where relief work focused on judgment and resurrection. Since the tombs were not sealed, some have deteriorated.
5. Medinet Habu
The magnificent Medinet Habu is a series of temples built by the Pharaoh Ramses III (1182-1151 BC) and second only to Karnak Temple in size and complexity. The most impressive is the Mortuary Temple of Ramses III, decorated with relief work depicting his many military victories. With its massive mud brick enclosure that held storehouses, workshops, administrative offices, and residences of priests and officials, Medinet Habu grew into a city that maintained its population well into Coptic times.
6. Ramesseum Temple
The Ramesseum, the Mortuary Temple of Ramses II, was built early in the great pharaoh’s reign and was 20 years in the making. Here you’ll see the broken, awesome Colossus of Ramses II, a 1000 ton statue in which the fingers alone are over 1 meter long; it inspired the famous poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. This great temple reportedly rivaled the wonders of Ramses II’s temple at Abu Simbel.
Afternoon visit to the Karnak Temple
Visit the Temple of Karnak, built over more than a thousand years by generations of Pharaohs. The great Hypostyle Hall is an incredible forest of giant pillars, covering an area larger than the whole of Notre Dame Cathedral.
Afternoon tea and dinner on board
Overnight in Luxor
Accommodations: Sanctuary Zein Nile Chateau exclusive
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner