october 11-16 | 2019
Did you know there’s only one of the seven ancient wonders still left largely intact? That’s the Great Pyramid of Giza, friends, and we want to take you there with NPCA travelers from around the globe.
Join us to see how past, present, and future intertwine in the breadbasket of the ancient world, Egypt—one of the most advanced civilizations for three millennia. Encounter epic edifices that have defined the course of history camelback, and learn about the enduring fascinations of the pantheon of over 2,000 deities from expert Egyptologists. Unearth “the Gift of the Nile” from a local’s perspective, meandering together through alleyways, markets and mosques, drinking in the scents of shisha smoke and ginger and creating indelible memories we’ll bring into the afterlife.
From our captivating, Cairo accommodations as the base of our exhilarating expedition, we will:
Unravel the puzzles of our ancestors at the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx of Giza.
Float like Cleopatra down the Nile.
Follow our professional Egyptologist into the mummy’s chamber to learn the sepulchral process.
Meet Egyptian journalists and photographers to understand the future of Egypt in the post-Arab Spring era.
Speak with civil society, nonprofit organizations and former Peace Corps Volunteers in Cairo to understand the future of development in this nation.
Accommodations are in a charming, 4-star hotel in the heart of bustling Cairo. Prices are based on double occupancy. Private accommodations are available for a $399 for the base program and an additional $549 for the extension. As a solo traveler, if you prefer, we can also pair you with another traveler (two twin beds, requiring no single supplement, based on availability).
Egypt is known for its bustling cities and grand ancient monuments. While this trip is accessible for most healthy travelers, please note that the trip can involve the following: somewhat long days, a good amount of walking (including stairs, varied elevations, and uneven surfaces) and non-technical hikes. Further, Egypt is hot and dry and can sometimes have unpredictable, weather. It’s critical that all travelers pack appropriate clothing (additional details and recommendations will be provided after registration in a suggested packing list). If you have any medical conditions or other concerns, there will be opportunity for you to make us aware of them, and then we can determine if the trip is appropriate for you.
- All accommodations, activities, sightseeing, and entry fees listed in the itinerary.
- All meals listed in the itinerary.
- Transportation by private, air-conditioned motor coach, as well as transfers for the group as appropriate.
- Bottled water during all excursions.
- The services of an exceptional bilingual tour guide as described in the itinerary.
- Comprehensive cultural information and reading materials.
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- Flights to and from Cairo International Airport (CAI).
- Local health insurance.
- Expenses of a purely personal nature (including cab fares, laundry and other personal items, room service charges, passport application fees, etc.).
- Transportation of luggage in excess of weight allowance.
- Travel insurance.
- Food and beverage other than that specified in the itinerary.
- Costs associated with trip interruption or modification due to weather, travel conditions, political/civil disputes, medical emergencies or other causes beyond our control.
BASE TRIP PRICE - $2,299 ($399 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT)
EXTENSION TRIP PRICE - $2,069 ($465 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT)
Maximum travelers: 20
This trip is coordinated by RPCV Mary Bruce of tour operator Insider Expeditions.
Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Reservation fee will be credited towards full ticket.
Day One—October 11, 2019—The Mother of the World
Depart in the evening on an overnight flight (direct from NYC) to the booming metropolis of Cairo, Africa’s largest city and Egypt’s modern capital. Don’t forget your toothpaste—the ancient Egyptians invented it!
Day Two—October 12, 2019—السلام عليكم A Word of Welcome!
Arrive at the Cairo International Airport in the early afternoon and meet our bilingual private guide and hosts. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner in our private dining room at a local restaurant. Taste spice-rich stews of bamia and ful with warm pita bread and steaming tea, you’ll be joined by a Foreign Service Officer or other U.S. Embassy staff member to discuss America’s policy toward Egypt in the years after the Arab Spring. Meals: Dinner
Day Three—October 13, 2019—Walk Like an Egyptian
Join your expert Egyptologist for a monumental trek. Venture out into the desert to come face-to-face with the Pyramid of Djoser, Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx. Before we leave the Giza pyramid complex, we’ll stop by the Solar Boat Museum. Contemplate the eye-opening day over dinner at a Cairo institution, Koshary Abou Tarek, where we’ll pore over gorgeous photos and gorge on koshary. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Four—October 14, 2019—Antiques to the Streets
Survey the massive collection of artifacts at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. Lunch at a local favorite and then head to Darb 1718, a contemporary art gallery to strengthen your travel portfolio during a private street photography lesson with local experts. In the evening, you can practice your negotiation skills with the shopkeepers of the Khan El-Khalili Bazaar. Get lost down the alleyways as the light dances on the silver, gold, and stained glass. Once you have prevailed haggling, triumphantly retire to dinner, the Egyptian culinary experience will have you dreaming in cumin, cardamom, and mint. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Five—October 15, 2019—Queen of the Nile
Exploring Cairo’s medieval art and architecture with your knowledgeable guide. Step through Bab Zuweila, one of the three remaining old city gates, and into another world. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Saladin Citadel of Cairo and the Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, where you will marvel at intricacies of Islamic art from the 14th and 18th centuries. Enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant with stunning views of the city and citadel. Enjoy a little free time downtown, you can wander the alleys in the afternoon and find an open-air ahwa, or cafe and tea shop, for a quintessential shisha smoke and tea break amidst the bustle. Tonight, make like Cleopatra and voyage down the world's longest river in a private felucca dinner boat, enjoying one final farewell dinner aboard. We’ll thank Osiris for giving Egypt beer, toasting to our journey that’s taken us to the heavens and back! Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six—October 16, 2019—A Horus’-Eye View Homeward
The next morning, we will say ma’a el salama, goodbye in Egyptian Arabic, to this mystical land of the ancients. You will then make your way back to Cairo International Airport and homeward destinations, generally arriving on the same day back to the United States. Meals: Breakfast
Five Day Extension
Day Six—October 16, 2019—Luminous Luxor
After breakfast, we will check out of our hotel and head to the airport for a short morning flight to Luxor, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. Explore the nooks and crannies of the Karnak and Luxor temples, complexes remaining from the ancient city of Thebes. After a long morning beholding treasures in the desert, we’ll get settled in to our Nile cruise vessel and share a lunch on board. Return to Karnak after dark to see the shadows dance off the temple and compare the views to our daytime impressions. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seven—October 17, 2019—Valley of the Kings and Queens
Wander through the Valley of the Kings and learn about the dazzling funeral rites of the pharaohs. Explore the mortuary temple of one of the first-known female monarchs, Hatshepsut, before being dwarfed between the Colossi of Memnon. Return to the boat for lunch and spend the rest of the day relaxing on deck as we sail south to Esna. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eight—October 18, 2019—Temples Along the Nile
From our boat, greet the day with a buffet breakfast and an early sail to Edfu. Here you will visit one of the best-preserved temples of ancient Egypt, the Ptolemaic Temple of Horus, built to honor the falcon-headed sky god. Board our boat again and enjoy lunch as we sail south down the Nile. In the afternoon, visit the riverside Temple of Kom Ombo, unusually dedicated to both Horus and the crocodile-headed god Sobek, and home to mummified sacred crocodiles. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Nine—October 19, 2019—Nubian Revelries
Depart Kom Ombo in the early morning and sail to Aswan, relishing breakfast with a view on the boat. In Aswan, step into the architectural elegance built for the goddess Isis at the temple of Philae, which was rescued from flood waters in the 1960s by the construction of the Aswan High Dam, which we’ll visit next. In the afternoon, board a felucca, the traditional Mediterranean sailboat, for a quieter scenic view of the Nile. This evening, meet with a family in the nearby Nubian village and soak in the rhythms of the local music during a traditional party. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Ten—October 20, 2019—Ma'a al Salama! مع السّلامة
The next morning, we will say ma’a al salama, goodbye in Egyptian Arabic, to this mystical land of the ancients. We’ll then make our way back to Cairo International Airport and homeward with indelible memories, extraordinary photographs, and a first-hand understanding of Egyptian art. Meals: Breakfast
Cancellation by Traveler
The $250 trip deposit is non-refundable.
- 25% non-refundable 120 days or more prior to departure
- 50% non-refundable 119 to 90 days prior to departure
- 75% non-refundable 89 to 60 days prior to departure
- 100% non-refundable 59 days or less prior to departure If a traveler leaves the trip for any reason after it has commenced, we are not obligated to make any refunds for unused services. If a travelers fails to join a tour, join it after departure, or leave it prior to its completion, no refund will be made.
Cancellation by Trip Operator - Insider Expeditions (IE)
IE may cancel a trip at any time prior to departure if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events, it is not viable for us to operate the planned itinerary. If IE cancels the trip, traveler can transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure date or alternatively receive a full refund. In circumstances where the cancellation is due to external events outside our reasonable control, refunds will be less any unrecoverable costs. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights.
This particular tour has been designed with specific Egyptian individuals and events in mind, whose schedules and availabilities may change without notice. While we do our best to adhere to the itinerary, traveling to Egypt requires flexibility, and changes to specific interactions and other activities may occur. In addition, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and changes to timetables and transport routes, which can happen with little notice. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time. Each day we will update you on the program and keep you informed throughout the trip.