Egypt has enchanted visitors throughout history and our gay Egypt tour is no exception. The riches of antiquity are our destination and our backdrop as we cruise through the land of the pharaohs.
See the Glories of Egypt
Egypt, the wonder of travelers for thousands of years, calls us for a pilgrimage to the treasures of this historic land. And what a fascinating time this will be to explore that land as the Egyptians of today learn how to work together across society to create a new Egypt.
On our gay Egypt cultural tour, we offer an intimate experience for inquisitive travelers who wish to delve deeply into the history of civilization. From the finest accommodations in Cairo to our own luxurious ship on the Nile. Every detail is designed to offer our guests the most memorable experience possible.
We invite you to join us as we sail down the Nile on the ss Karim. From our comfortable home on the water, the riches of antiquity become our backdrop as we leisurely cruise through the land of the pharaohs and visit the famous sites to explore their treasures.
In Cairo, we start with two nights at one of the city’s finest hotels, next to the pyramids in Giza. From this elegant base, we first visit the pyramids. For those with enough time, we are offering a one-day pre-tour extension that will include leisurely visits to pyramids that few visitors get to see.
From Cairo, we fly to Luxor where we board our ship. For one glorious week, we cruise slowly on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan in our privately chartered, historic paddle steamer. From our ship, we can watch village life that has been virtually unchanged for a millennium.
Each day we go ashore to visit major archeological sites including the Karnak and Luxor Temples, the Valley of the Kings in Western Thebes, and the splendid temples of Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo. Fabulous as these sites are, our journey is made truly meaningful because we refuse to rush you. As our ship cruises along the Nile, we take plenty of time for relaxation and contemplation between our busy days of sightseeing. Previous tour members particularly enjoyed our forays into the countryside where they could establish a friendly rapport with the courteous Egyptian people who have welcomed our groups for over thirty years.
After our week exploring the Upper Nile region, we will return to Cairo to spend the last two nights of our main tour at a luxury hotel. This will be our base for seeing the sights of the capital city. During our stay in the city, we will tour the lauded Egyptian Museum. Along the way, we’ll see some of the Pharaonic, Classic, Early Christian, and Arab monuments built in this ancient land over the course of five thousand years of civilization.
November 21 to December 02 – $7198.00 USD
Duration: 12 Days
Starts In: Cairo, Egypt
Ends In: Cairo, Egypt
Deposit: $1000 USD
Accommodations at fine hotels for two nights in Giza, on our chartered ship for seven nights, and for two nights at a riverside hotel in downtown Cairo Airport, in double occupancy; All transportation by motorcoaches, cars, horse-drawn carriages, and boats when traveling as a group; Arrival and departure airport transfers in Cairo; Airfare between Cairo and Luxor; Domestic airport departure taxes when traveling with the group; All meals during the main tour except three lunches and one dinner; Wine or soft drinks at the Welcome and Farewell dinners; Services of a knowledgeable HE Travel tour host (subject to minimum participation) and an Egyptologist; Admission fees to all locations listed in itinerary; Meal and driver gratuities; Porterage at hotels. HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Airfare between home and Cairo; Optional half-day Sakkara Pyramid excursion on first official tour day; Optional half-day excursion to Abu Simbel including 30-minute flight from Aswan and guided tour; Three lunches and one dinner; Tips to Egyptologist, local guides, hotel and ship staffs and gratuity for the HE Travel tour host; International departure taxes; Personal items such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls and laundry.
The next morning after breakfast, we will take the short drive to see the plateau dominated by the pyramids of Cheops, Chephren, and Mycerius, and by the Sphinx. For those who are not claustrophobic, exploring inside one of the pyramids is an awesome experience. We also inspect the beautifully restored solar boat of King Chephren. Here we will enter the Valley Temple in which the mummified body of the king rested before being interred in his pyramid.
In the evening, we will attend the spectacular Sound and Light performance at Giza. Set against the backdrop of the three great pyramids and the Sphinx.
For those with a little more time, we are also offering a one-day pre-tour extension, including an extra night at the Mena House. We will take a half-day tour to the Red and Bent Pyramids. Until recently these were on a military reservation and closed to the public, and to the well-preserved Sakkara Pyramid.
It has been said that the pyramids are more stupendous, the Colosseum in Rome covers more ground, and the Parthenon of Athens is more serene. But for sheer majesty, this hall with its gigantic columns exceeds them all. It is truly one of the wonders of the world.
After exploring Karnak, we drive to the harbor and embark on the ss Karim for our 7-night cruise, with full breakfast, luncheon, afternoon tea, and dinner daily.
During our week’s cruise, we enjoy our ship’s amenities and the ever-changing river scenery of palm trees, rolling hills, golden sand dunes, and cultivated land. We’ll pass several villages where, from the ship’s sundecks, we can view the activities on the riverbank. Hence there are also splendid opportunities for bird watching.
The captain will decide on the exact order and timing of our shore visits. But during the week we will go ashore to visit the temples of Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Luxor. We will also explore the ancient city of Aswan and its Nubian heritage. The following gives an example of what we will see on a typical cruise.
Once aboard our ship, we will have dinner while sailing upstream to Esna. This is where the River Tosca is raised through a lock some forty feet to the upper level of the river. We spend the night in Esna harbor, then in the morning visit the temple of Khnum, the creator god. Later in the day, we will visit Edfu, where we drive in horse-drawn carriages to the enormous and best-preserved temple in upper Egypt, dedicated to Horus, the sacred falcon god. Upon our return to the ship, we’ll continue our southbound, upstream voyage toward Aswan, and tie off for the night at Kom Ombo.
After returning from Abu Simbel, those on the excursion will visit the Aswan High Dam, which was so controversial when it was built. The dam supplies a large part of Egypt’s power. We will also see the unfinished obelisk, whose workers carved out a huge slab of rock, but stopped suddenly, leaving it jutting out from the quarry.
In the afternoon we set sail back toward Luxor, riding fast on the downstream current while we enjoy the amenities of the ship, including another afternoon tea on the deck as we watch the ever-changing life along the river. We spend tonight docked at Kom Ombo.
At least once during the trip, we will try to leave the other tourists and walk through a local Egyptian market. During one recent trip, we observed a mother selling freshly baked bread from a blanket in front of her home. As well as young boys on donkeys following us on the path and practicing their very limited English. Until the mayor came along in his distinguished robes shooing away the youngest children to make sure no-one begged from their honorable visitors. Contrary to stereotypes, it was also fascinating to see the variety of clothing on both adults and children in this conservative town. Some girls and women wore modest headscarves (usually in very stylish colors!), but others wore western clothes and did not cover their heads. Likewise, while many of the boys and men wore the traditional gallabiya robes, others wore button-down shirts and blue jeans.
Late in the day we pass back through the Esna lock and arrive in Luxor. We will be anchored here for two nights. Luxor is the modern name for ancient Thebes, once the capital of Egypt. It consists of two cities lying on the west and east banks of the Nile.
A typically Egyptian luncheon is provided on the terrace of an inn near Medinet Habu. In the afternoon we will stop to see the Ramesseum, with a massive fallen statue of Ramses. We will certainly make a brief photo stop at the two weather-beaten Colossi of Memnon, before returning to the ss Karim for our last afternoon tea.
In the late afternoon, we drive back into Luxor to visit the Luxor Temple, a magical location as twilight turns to darkness. Then soon after well-placed lights come on, showing the walls and statues of this well-preserved temple in full relief.
Tonight we will enjoy our farewell dinner, and share stories about the week we’ve just experienced together in this unique land.
“My trip to Egypt and Jordan fulfilled a boyhood dream. And thanks to HE travel, it surpassed all my expectations in an adventurous, safe and unforgettable experience.” – S. Wyatt, New Westminster, British Colombia
“Drama, adventure, intrigue, excitement and romance…I would sign up for it again tomorrow”-Greg Gariss, Captain Cook, HI
“Cruising on the Nile: It was so beautiful. No wonder people throughout time have been drawn to it and the rest of Egypt”-Robert Westhoff, New York, NY
What if I am traveling alone?
So are most of the people who travel with us. You do not need to pay extra to travel by yourself. Prices are per person, and the single supplement applies only if you’d like a room by yourself. For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
Where does the tour start and end?
This tour starts and ends in Cairo, Egypt.
What is the Activity Level of This Tour?
To fully enjoy this tour you need to be able to walk around unevenly paved ancient sites for 1-4 hours each day. During the Nile cruise, those who don’t feel like going ashore on any given day can remain on the ship. During the season we visit Egypt, days should be warm and dry but not too hot, with occasional chilly evenings.
What are the tour prices based on ss Karim cabin selection?
These are the tour prices based on the ss Karim accommodations selected and based on availability:
Staterooms No. 1, 2 or 14: each with private balcony and one large bed:
Two friends sharing, per person TBA
Single occupancy TBA
Staterooms No. 3, 5, 11 or 12: each with one large bed or
Staterooms No. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 15: each with two twin beds:
Two friends sharing, per person TBA
Single occupancy TBA
Smaller Staterooms No. 4 or 16: each with one large bed, for single occupancy: TBA
What are the key dates of the Nile in Style tour?
Day 1 of the itinerary, Saturday, November 17, 2018, is the arrival day in Cairo. The actual dates are:
Nov. 16, 2018: North American travelers depart from home (or start one day earlier if joining the pre-tour extension to the Bent, Red and Sakkara Pyramids)
Nov. 17-28: Main Tour, including two nights in Giza, one week on the ss Karim, and two nights in downtown Cairo. Our farewell dinner is the night of Nov. 28 in Cairo, allowing flights anytime on Nov. 28 or later.
Nov. 28-Dec 1: Jordan Extension to Petra and Amman
Depart Amman anytime on December 1 or late night on December 2 (for example 1:00 am on Dec 1 is fine)
What kind of weather should I expect?
The weather in Egypt in the early and late winter is generally sunny, and temperatures in Cairo range from a maximum of 80° Fahrenheit during the day to a minimum of 50° at night. Cold waves occasionally blow across the sea from Europe, but they tend to be short-lived.
The daytime temperature in Upper Egypt (Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel) is usually about ten degrees higher, without any humidity, but nights are often quite cold. Rain is most exceptional in Cairo, and virtually none falls in Aswan, Abu Simbel and other areas south of Luxor.
What is the boat, the ss Karim, like?
The ss Karim is of a type developed in the 19th Century to accommodate fastidious early travelers to Egypt. Built in Scotland in 1917 for Egypt’s King Fuad, and later used by King Farouk and Presidents Nasser and Sadat, it has been stylishly refurbished, and now combines the grandeur of its distinguished past with all the comforts of today, including air-conditioning throughout (but not heat), and compact but modern bathrooms in each cabin.
Our ship is 151 feet long and 33 feet wide, with a draft of 5 feet. All the modern technical installations – radar, water-purifying equipment, etc. – are in accordance with the regulations of the US Bureau of Shipping, and during the ship’s restoration, all walls and ceilings were fire-proofed and sound-proofed.
We are hesitant to describe anything as being luxurious, but the ss Karim’s public rooms and staterooms unquestionably qualify for this accolade as befitting the style of its day. The ship is not merely comfortable; rather, its gracious ambiance enables us truly to cruise the Nile in style.
The lounge resembles that of a traditional British men’s club, with its upholstered settees and armchairs, and an elegant bar. The dining room, too, is superbly appointed, with seating at tables for four and six persons.
The ship boasts three spacious, open decks. The shaded deck is furnished with cane chairs and tables where afternoon tea is served. The two sun decks are ideal for enjoying the views of the passing riverbanks and village activities and feature large lounge chairs, a cool-water Jacuzzi, and even a treadmill. Please note that we do not allow smoking in any interior space while our groups are on the ss Karim, but there are outside decks where smoking is permitted.
Can you describe the staterooms on the boat?
The fifteen staterooms are exceptionally large for a river ship. Average dimensions are 10 feet by 14 feet with 8-foot ceilings. Each features private bath and shower, one or two wide picture windows with heavy wood shutters, double or twin beds, armchairs, a dressing table and a hanging closet designed for an age when travelers took along cabin trunks. Three of the roomiest staterooms lead onto private balconies in the bow and stern of the ship.
Tell me about the crew and meals…
The ship’s highly professional crew members are all Egyptian, with most being from Luxor, Aswan or the villages in between. Most of them speak some English and are honored to demonstrate traditional Egyptian hospitality to guests.
Breakfast and luncheon are buffet-style. Afternoon tea with pastries (a relic of the British influence on Egypt) is served on deck by uniformed waiters, to the accompaniment of 1920’s music. Dinner has a different theme every evening, from the Captain’s Welcome Dinner to the 1920’s evening to the Nubian night, when some of our group don their new Egyptian finery.
For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174
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02 8667 3336