Get ready for the vacation of a lifetime, Adventurers!
Take an epic Adventures by Disney vacation to Egypt, where you’ll marvel at the gilded treasures of King Tutankhamun and the Great Pyramids at Giza, explore the sprawling capital of Cairo, visit magnificent destinations along the Nile River and bask on the beaches at Sharm El Sheikh along the Red Sea. You’ll be awed by the storied history of the people, places and cultures of this ancient country.
As many of you know, last year I took what turned out to be my absolute favorite vacation ever. I went to Arizona & Utah with Adventures by Disney. I had wanted to do an “ABD” since Disney first announced the formation of Adventures by Disney. I had it built up in my head so that there was no way the experience could have possibly been that good. To be completely & perfectly honest, it was way better than I expected. I absolutely loved every minute of my vacation. And, let’s be honest here, as Americans, it’s super easy to travel out west to see the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley & Arches National Park. But, my time with my Adventures by Disney tour was simply magical. It was one of the few times that I was able to just enjoy the journey. I didn’t have to think about anything. Driving, directions, decisions, luggage handling, checking-in procedures, airport transfers…it was all done for me. And, it was done incredibly well. So, in my mind, if Adventures by Disney can make Arizona & Utah AMAZING…what would the experience of going to Egypt with them be like? I’m betting it would be a spectacular, truly Once-In-A-Lifetime Bucket List Adventure.
In this blog post, I’m going to share some of the itinerary that Adventures by Disney has put together for their Egypt tour. One of the things I learned from my Arizona/Utah Adventure is that Disney does not publish everything that is included in their itinerary. We had “Magical Moments” each and every day. On our way to Monument Valley, we stopped off at a roadside attractions and was treated to seeing actual dinosaur fossils. On another day, we had a wine party on the bus (we were told that this was only for their “Adults Only” trips). So, while this blog will hit the highlights of Adventures by Disney’s trip to Egypt, it will certainly not include everything!
Now, let’s go to Egypt!
Arrive in Cairo
‘Ahlaan Wasahlaan Bikum! Upon your arrival at Cairo International Airport, Adventures by Disney Guests will be escorted to a VIP lounge while your passports & Vusas are processed and your luggage is reclaimed. You will then be taken to your waiting vehicles for transfer to the hotel, The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo.
The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo
Bask in the elegance that surrounds you in this luxury hotel that offers world-class services and amenities that are fit for a pharaoh. Pamper your senses with lavish, Cleopatra-inspired spa treatments, delicious meals at distinctive restaurants and an Olympic-sized swimming pool with deluxe cabanas. The well-appointed guest rooms offer outstanding views of the Nile River.
Dinner On Your Own in Cairo
Take in the beautiful décor and scenery while dining on a wonderful array of flavors from the Middle East and beyond at one of the hotel’s renowned restaurants.
Welcome Breakfast and Orientation at Hotel
Greet your fellow Adventurers with a hearty “sabah alkhyr” (good morning) as you enjoy a delicious breakfast and an orientation with your Adventure Guides.
Egyptian Museum with Egyptologist & King Tut Collection Viewing
Tour this esteemed museum, dedicated to preserving the past 7,000 years of Egyptian history, with an Egyptologist who will give you insight to the museum’s exhibits.
Your private tour includes a viewing of the spectacular Pharaoh Tutankhamun Collection, which features a breathtaking array of treasures discovered in the tomb of the young boy who became Pharaoh at the age of 9. While the adults continue to delve into the King Tut exhibit, Junior Adventurers will learn more as they participate in a fun, interactive King Tut game.
Lunch at Al-Azhar Park
Dine in a gorgeous oasis in the urban desert where you will find yourself surrounded by traditional Islamic landscapes ripe with a variety flora, intersecting waterways, sunken gardens and bold Islamic geometric design. The park, which was a gift from Agha Khan IV, an ancestor of Cairo’s founders, is listed as one of the world’s 60 great public spaces by the Project for Public Spaces.
Old Cairo Tour with an Egyptologist
Led by a local Egyptologist, this excursion will take you to to some of the most iconic and historic monuments in the city. Highlights of this fascinating tour include:
- The Saladin Citadel of Cairo – a medieval fortification located near the center of Cairo which contains 3 main mosques. Also known as the Cairo Citadel, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali – located atop the summit of the citadel, this Ottoman mosque was built between 1830 – 1848 in honor of the memory of Tsun Pasha, the eldest son of Egypt’s then-ruler, Muhammad Ali.Welcome Dinner at Hotel with Local Entertainment
Share stories from your day with your fellow adventurers as you enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel. You’ll also be immersed in the culture as you enjoy Egyptian music performed by a local entertainer.
Breakfast at the Hotel
Wake up to a tasty breakfast before beginning your day of Egyptian exploration in Giza.
Visit Giza with an Egyptologist
Learn about the history of this wondrous land from a local Egyptologist who will tell you about the surrounding sites of the Giza pyramid complex. Highlights include:
- Great Pyramids – Stand in awe as you take in the sights of these archaeological feats, which includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest and largest of the 3 pyramids, as well as the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence.
- Solar Boat Museum – Home to the Khufu solar ship, a preserved, full-sized vessel that was discovered in a sealed pit at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
- Scenic Photo Stop – Snap a perfect pyramid pic to remember your amazing adventure to Giza.
- Great Sphinx of Giza – Among the world’s largest sculptures, this mythical part-human, part-lion creature was carved from a single piece of limestone and measures 240 feet (73 metres) long and 66 feet (20 metres) high. Guests will have VIP access, which offers a private, uncrowded opportunity to see the Sphinx that is typically only available to visiting dignitaries.
Please note: Entrance fee to the Grand Gallery and King’s Chamber is included.
Lunch at Mena House Hotel
Savor a tasty buffet lunch at this luxury hotel that offers amazing views of the majestic Pyramids.
On Your Own Time at the Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo
Enjoy all of the outstanding amenities the hotel has to offer, including a spa, gym and Olympic-size pool with private cabanas.
Dinner at Naguib Mahfouz Restaurant in Old Cairo
Soak up the atmosphere at this restaurant located amid the Khan al-Khalili bazaar. Named after Egypt’s most celebrated novelist, the restaurant serves a selection of traditional Egyptian dishes.
Night Visit in Khan el-Khalili Market
No trip to Cairo is complete without a visit to Khan el-Khalili, a major souk, or marketplace, that was established in the 14th century. This Old Cairo landmark has beautiful examples of medieval Islamic architecture. Aside from the myriad of merchandise—from silverware to gold artifacts to ancient pharaonic souvenirs and so much more—you’ll find a bevy of old cafés, one of which dates back to 1797. It’s the perfect place to hunt for souvenirs for the White Elephant Game on board the ship.
Breakfast at the Hotel
Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel with your fellow Adventurers before departing for Aswan and Abu Simbel.
Depart to Aswan & Abu Simbel
Journey on 2 short flights from Cairo to Aswan, and then from Aswan to Abu Simbel.
Abu Simbel Temples Tour
Tour these massive, iconic rock temples located on Lake Nasser near a Nubian village in Upper Egypt. The temple complex, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments,” contains twin temples carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC. The temples were created as monuments to the Pharaoh Ramesses II and his queen, Nefertari, as a commemoration of his victory at the Battle of Kadesh.
Depart to Aswan
Following your tour of Abu Simbel, take a short flight back to Aswan and arrive in time for lunch.
Lunch at Old Cataract Hotel
Dine in true Nile style on the edge of the Nubian Desert at this luxury hotel wrapped in a 19th-century Victorian palace.
Transfer to M/S Tulip
Check-In to the M/S Tulip, the ship you will be cruising down the Nile River—and your home for the next 3 nights. Cruise the Nile in style as you enjoy deluxe staterooms with French balconies, 3 dining venues, a sundeck swimming pool and a fitness center complete with sauna, Jacuzzi and massage room!
Felucca Sailing on Nile River
Board a felucca—a traditional wooden sailing boat used in the protected waters of the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean—and set sail for Elephantine Island where you’ll sail to the first cataract, a shallow length of the Nile River where a series of massive, elephant-shaped boulders jut out of the river bed.
Dinner On Board the Ship
Join your fellow Adventurers for your first meal aboard the M/S Tulip.
White Elephant Game & Nubian Folkloric Show
Kick off a fun Nile River cruise with a White Elephant Game with the souvenirs you got at the Khan el-Khalili market. Plus, immerse yourself in local cultures with a performance by a Nubian Folkloric group and treat yourself to a traditional henna hand tattoo.
Breakfast on the Ship
Have a hearty breakfast to get energized for the adventure-filled day ahead.
Temple of Isis at Philae Visit with Egyptologist
Take a guided tour, along with the local Egyptologist, to the Temple of Isis at Philae, which honors the goddess Isis, an important figure who was known as the giver of life. You will also visit the Aswan stone quarry which is home to the unfinished obelisk, the largest known ancient obelisk which was never erected due to a large crack in the stone.
BBQ Buffet Lunch on the Ship
Have a delicious BBQ lunch aboard the ship with your fellow Adventurers.
Junior Adventurer Hieroglyphics Activity
Junior Adventurers will head to the ship’s lounge where they will learn to write their name using hieroglyphics.
Temple of Kom Ombo Visit with an Egyptologist
Discover the Temple of Kom Ombo, built between 180 – 47 BC and was unique due to its “double” design that featured rooms, courts, halls and sanctuaries for 2 gods. The northern half of the temple was dedicated to Horus, the falcon god, while the southern half was dedicated to the crocodile god, Sobek.
Junior Adventurers Dinner at Private Venue
Junior Adventurers can spend some time together to trade stories about all the amazing things they’ve done while digging into a child-friendly meal.
Adult Adventurers can relax and enjoy the company of fellow adults to bond over a delicious meal and shared tales of adventure.
Disney Movie Night in Ship’s Lounge
Everyone is invited to the ship’s lounge to relax and watch a Disney movie with new friends and family.
Breakfast on the Ship
Start the day with a tasty breakfast before you begin your day of adventures along the Nile River.
Egyptian Cooking Class with Chef
While sailing on the Nile, learn how to cook traditional Egyptian dishes using fresh, local ingredients in this chef-led class.
Lunch on the Ship
Enjoy a tasty lunch on board the ship—featuring recipes from the Egyptian cooking class—before heading out for the afternoon.
Karnak Temple with an Egyptologist
Walk through the world’s largest ancient religious site with an Egyptologist who will share stories of the decaying temples, massive pillars, avenues of sphinxes and towering 97-foot tall obelisk that makes up the Karnak Temple Complex.
Dinner on the Ship
Sit down for a delightful dinner with your family and fellow Adventurers.
After-Hours Tour of Luxor Temple
Experience a private, uncrowded tour of this magnificent temple, which includes a truly magical view of the temple lights at night. Unlike many other temples, Luxor Temple is not dedicated to a cult god or a king, but rather it is dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship and it may have been the site where many of Egypt’s kings were crowned.
Breakfast on the Ship
Prepare for the day’s adventures with a hearty breakfast before saying farewell to the M/S Tulip.
Valley of the Kings with an Egyptologist
Continue your exploration of archaeological wonders with a visit to the Valley of the Kings. The Egyptologist will guide you through the massive landscape that contains 63 known tombs of royalty and privileged nobles, as well as 4 Pharaohs—including King Tutankhamun.
Lunch at the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa
Enjoy the relaxed, contemporary atmosphere of Rosetta at the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa as you sit down for a sumptuous meal of Egyptian specialties amid the intimate setting inspired by the Rosetta Stone.
Depart for Sharm El Sheikh
Take off on a short flight to continue your adventure in Sharm El Sheikh.
Check-In at Coral Sea Imperial Sensatori Resort Sharm El Sheikh & Welcome Reception
Arrive at the magnificent Coral Sea Imperial Sensatori Resort Sharm El Sheikh—your home for the next 2 nights. This world-class resort has an amazing array of amenities, action-packed activities for all ages, stunning pools, and a luxurious spa. Located on the shore of the Red Sea, the resort’s stretch of beach overlooks the Ras Mohammad National Park. There is also a diverse selection of dining options to please all palates.
At Leisure Dine Around Experience
Choose from one of the 4 restaurants in the Coral Sea Sensatori Resort: Tiran Diner, featuring American cuisine; Marhaba, which offers Lebanese fare; Casa Bianca, serves Italian food; or Fountain View, which features an international buffet.
Breakfast at the Resort
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast amid the beauty of the fabulous resort before beginning your day of adventure and relaxation.
Private Yacht to Red Sea: Snorkeling the Coral Reefs at Ras Mohammad National Park
Board a private yacht and cruise to the southern end of the Sinai Peninsula where you’ll anchor amid the beautiful scenic surroundings or Ras Mohammad National Park. Dive into the pristine waters for a safely-guided snorkeling experience that will introduce you to myriad species of tropical fish and expanses of colorful corals.
Lunch on the Boat
Take a break from the water to relax and dive into a delicious meal—before heading into the water for more snorkeling adventure.
On Your Own Time at the Resort
Upon your return from snorkeling the reefs at Ras Mohammad National Park, spend the afternoon immersed in resort activities, or just relaxing by the pool.
Private Beachside Bedouin-Themed Dinner & Beach Party
Pay tribute to the local Bedouin nomads who call the Middle Eastern deserts home and are famous for their hospitality. Dine on the beach and enjoy the warm ambience of a magical seaside setting and a sky full of stars.
Breakfast at the Resort
Start your day with a relaxing breakfast at the resort.
On Your Own at the Resort
Strike a pose in a yoga class, jump into a game of volleyball on the beach, get in a workout at the fitness center or just grab a lounger and settle in for a morning of poolside relaxation. You’ll find an activity for every member of your family to enjoy!
Lunch at the Resort
Dine in the resort’s main dining venue which features a copious international menu and 4 action stations.
Depart for Cairo
Board your short flight to Cairo to continue with the final leg of your adventure.
Check-In at the Hotel
Head to your room as your Adventure Guides check you into the fabulous Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo.
Private Farewell Dinner at the Hotel
Gather together with your new friends and fellow Adventurers for a private farewell dinner to cap off a wonderful trip.
Adventures by Disney Slideshow
Delight in a fun slide show highlighting all the adventures you had on your amazing Adventures by Disney Egypt vacation!
Here’s a link to the slideshow for my Adventures By Disney Arizona & Utah vacation…it was amazing to see how all of us became friends by the end of this Adventure. I’m Facebook friends with most of these people, and meeting them and having fun all week was definitely a highpoint of our trip!
Breakfast at the Hotel
Sit down for a final breakfast in Egypt with your fellow Adventurers before you set off on your journey home.
Transfer to Cairo International Airport (CAI)
Take a flight any time of day from Cairo International Airport (CAI) for your return flight home. Say ma’a salama to Egypt—until you return again!
- Outstanding accommodations
- Admission fees to attractions and performances
- VIP access and private events
- Most meals during trip (25 meals total!)
- Visits to breathtaking ancient monuments with the expert guidance of a world-class Egyptologist. These include the world-famous pyramids and Sphinx of Giza; the Valley of the Kings and Tutankhamun’s tomb; and the temples of Luxor, Kom Ombo, Horus at Edfu, Philae and Karnak.
- Immersive experiences at the brand-new Grand Egyptian Museum, which opens to the public in 2020. Here, guests can embark on an interactive King Tut-themed treasure hunt or peruse the museum’s state-of-the-art exhibits at their leisure.
- Access to the inner wonders of the Great Pyramid of Giza during a tour of the burial chamber of Pharaoh Cheops.
- Interactive cultural activities, such as a chef-led cooking class on Egyptian specialties, a Nubian folkloric show and henna tattoo experience, and a hieroglyphic writing lesson.
- Picture-perfect outings in surreal settings, like a voyage on a traditional Egyptian felucca sailboat, visits to lively local markets and a private beachside Bedouin-themed dinner.
- A three-night cruise along the Nile River with premium accommodations and themed entertainment, followed by a two-night stay at a luxurious beachside resort in Sharm el-Sheikh, including a full day snorkeling excursion on a private boat to visit the famous coral reefs of the Red Sea.
- The services of two Adventure Guides
I can’t say enough good things about the Adventure Guides we had on my tour of Arizona & Utah. Doug & Diana could not have been any better…we had so much fun, and learned so much about the sites we visited. On our last day of our Adventure, they even were kind enough to allow me & Christine (owner of Modern Travel Professionals to interview them about their jobs as Adventure Guides. Here is that video:
If you would like to read about my Adventures by Disney trip to Arizona & Utah you can here.
If you have any questions about touring with Adventures by Disney or Egypt, just give me a shout, I’m here to help you with your magical vacation!