Cairo to Luxor
This morning after breakfast and checkout, you will be transferred to Cairo International Airport for your flight to Luxor. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the boat dock where you will board Sanctuary Sun Boat IV, your home for the next four nights.
Welcomed onboard by drums and flutes, Sanctuary Sun Boat IV ensures a distinct sense of being in storied Egypt. Its contemporary-yet-classic design displays the highest levels of luxury and chic. Elegance is elevated with rich teak flooring, Egyptian marble, and hand-painted decorative details to fashion an exceptional ambiance. Neutral-toned textiles complement the soft fabrics draped artfully over beds – it’s these distinct touches which create an environment a world away from traditional river-cruise cabins. With just forty rooms on board, it feels like you’re in an intimate floating palace where the softly lit lounges are as suited to socializing as quiet romance. Interesting textures and natural materials ensure a distinguished aesthetic, while ceramic ornaments and delicately etched metalwork set an elegant tone. Head to the upper sun deck where you’re promised iconic tableaus in high-definition, cool cocktails and cool shade, and radiant sunshine as you take a dip in the river-view pool.
While sailing, you will join shared tours with your fellow passengers, each of which are led by a local Egyptologist. Today’s visits include the exploration of Luxor Temple, Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Kings, and Colossi of Memnon.
In the Egyptian language Luxor Temple is known as “the southern sanctuary,” and is dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship; it may have been where many of the pharaohs of Egypt were crowned. Once connected to Karnak via the Avenue of Sphinxes, the Temple of Luxor is almost three kilometers (two miles) in length. Built by Amenhotep III in 1380 BC, the site was added to by later pharaohs.
Lunch will be served back on board the Sun Boat IV after which you will sail to the west bank of Luxor. Here, you can explore the Valley of the Kings, where New Kingdom pharaohs were buried in hidden tombs, maintaining their richly painted hues and treasures for their use in the afterlife. You will have the chance to enter the small tomb of the famed boy-king Tutank-Hamun. For centuries the entrance was hidden by debris, safeguarding its discovery until 1922. Although king Tut was not an important pharaoh, the unpreceded treasures found inside ensured his place in history. Tut’s treasures are now in the Egyptian museum in Cairo.
We can also arrange a special entry ticket for the tomb of Seti I. At 137m long and decorated all over with some of Ancient Egypt’s finest art, the Tomb of the Pharoah Seti I is the one of the more impressive. It was discovered in 1817 and is undoubtedly the best-preserved tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The art that you see here sets the precedent for all the tombs that followed.
Just next door you will find the Valley of the Queens, the site where the pharaohs’ wives and children were buried. At the Valley of the Queens, the highlight is visiting the beautiful tomb of Queen Nefertari, Ramses II’s beloved wife. It is said to be the finest tomb in Egypt, with vividly colored work and a ceiling painted with stars, giving an idea of how other, now faded, tombs would have looked when first built. The number of visitors is limited each day, and we will include a special entry ticket for you.
Rising out of the desert plain in a series of brilliant white terraces, the mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut merges with the sheer limestone cliffs that surround it. Forming a natural rock amphitheater, the temple was an important religious and funerary site.
Before returning to the boat, you will also visit the famed Colossi of Memnon and behold the two immense statues of Amenhotep III which, in Pharaonic times, guarded the entrance to his once great temple. During the Roman period, the site became a resort spot where many prominent travelers left their own graffiti carved into the sandstone.
This evening you will be greeted by your Boat Manager, who will discuss your cruise program for the upcoming days, for a welcome reception. Enjoy Egyptian wine and beer with a selection of freshly prepared canapés, followed by a gourmet dinner.
Sanctuary Sun Boat IV Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner