THE ROYAL EGYPT TOUR – THE ESSENCE
Dr. Zahi Hawass, World’s Most Famous Archaeologist
Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Egypt’s Head of Antiquities
& Surprise VIP Guest
Discover the Land of the Pharaohs with two of the most important figures in the world of archaeology and Egypt’s former First Lady. Like our flagship 14-day Royal Egypt Tour, the 10-day version offers one of the most comprehensive journeys through Egypt’s fascinating history, unparalleled access to the wonders of ancient Egypt and special entries to sites that are off-limits to the general public – all in the company of some of Egypt’s most acclaimed figures.
Famed archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, who has revolutionized our understanding of ancient Egypt, meets you between the paws of the Great Sphinx. Dr. Mostafa Waziri, the person responsible for all of Egypt’s antiquities, shares captivating stories of the latest discoveries at the Karnak Temple Complex. To enrich your experience of Egypt even further, you will meet Archaeological Paths’ Surprise VIP Guest– it can be a world-renowned scholar, museum director, high-profile minister, or even a member of a former presidential family. Throughout the tour, you stay in the finest and historic 5-star hotels, sail on a luxury Nile cruise ship, dine on delicious local cuisine and embrace the unique Egyptian culture.
October 25 - November 3, 2021
February 7-16, 2022
March 7-16, 2022
July 4-13, 2022
October 10-19, 2022
November 21-30, 2022
February 13-22, 2023
March 20-29, 2023
Dr. Zahi Hawass
World's Most Famous Archaeologist
For over 20 years, Dr. Zahi Hawass held the keys to all Egyptian antiquities, first as the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and then as the Minister of Antiquities. Thanks to his major discoveries and TV documentaries featuring his adventures and expertise, Dr. Hawass has become the world’s most famous archaeologist. He has earned several honorary degrees, has written more than 50 books about Egypt and was recognized by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People.
Dr. Hawass takes you on a private VIP tour to the Great Sphinx Enclosure to present decades of his research, share his expert observations, and reveal the most exciting discoveries recently made in Egypt.
Come and visit Egypt with me on the Royal Egypt Tour organized by Archaeological Paths. This is a great tour company, because you will be able to visit many unique sites that actually very few people get to see. I will tell you all about the discoveries that I made in the last 30 years. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We’ll walk together between the paws of the Sphinx and admire its beautiful smile. No one can tour Egypt like this – except for you, when you come and join me. You’ll be treated like royalty. This is why we call it the Royal Tour!
– Dr. Hawass
Dr. Mostafa Waziri
Egypt’s Head of Antiquities
There is no one better to introduce you to the latest discoveries and take you behind the scenes of the most exciting archaeological projects than Egypt’s Head of Antiquities. Dr. Waziri, the former Director of the Valley of the Kings and Director of Luxor Antiquities, has conducted many excavations at Egypt’s most iconic sites over the course of his 30-year career. Currently, as the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Waziri is responsible for all antiquities, excavations and archaeological sites in Egypt.
Dr. Waziri meets you at the Karnak Temple Complex, where he introduces you to the most recent discoveries, archaeological finds and restoration work. He also shares ongoing research and reveals plans for the future.
No country in the entire world can compete with the culture and heritage that we have in Egypt. It will be my honor to give you a private lecture and show you recent work and discoveries. Some of our new discoveries haven’t been published yet, so it is going to be my pleasure to reveal what we have discovered in the last couple of years, the last couple of months – and even the last couple of days. Come and visit Egypt! You will never forget this tour.
– Dr. Waziri
Surprise VIP Guest
Over the years our exclusive tours have been attended by royals, presidents and world famous figures. Madam Jehan Sadat, Egypt’s former First Lady, Omar Sharif, the legendary Egyptian actor, or Lech Walesa, former President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize winner – those are only few personages – among many other names from the world of archaeology, politics, and culture – with whom our tour guests could meet during their tour.
On your tour you will enrich your experience of Egypt by meeting with Archaeological Paths’ Surprise VIP Guest – it can be a world-renowned scholar, museum director, high-profile minister, or even a member of a former presidential family. They say the best gifts are the unexpected ones, so let us surprise you and make your time in Egypt a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
It is my pleasure to invite you to tour Egypt with Archaeological Paths. They are really the best company to come with to visit my country. It’s a visit that you will never forget. When you go to Egypt, you have to take a tour with Dr. Zahi Hawass. He is the best in our country to have with you on your trip and to tell you about the history of Egypt. Nobody can say it better than Zahi Hawass. You will enjoy your stay here and, believe me, you will come back. You cannot miss visiting Egypt.
– Dr. Jehan Sadat
The late First Lady of Egypt
PRIVATE ENTRY TO THE GIZA PLATEAU
Visit the most iconic historic site in the world outside regular hours for an intimate and crowd-free experience.
PRIVATE ENTRY TO THE GREAT PYRAMID
Explore the Pyramid of Khufu – including two chambers that are closed to the public – without any other tourists.
SPECIAL ACCESS TO THE GREAT SPHINX ENCLOSURE
Marvel at a once-in-a-lifetime chance to touch the Great Sphinx and watch the sunrise from between its huge paws.
SPECIAL ACCESS TO THE KHONSU TEMPLE
Together with Dr. Mostafa Waziri, discover the Temple of Khonsu, one of the best preserved temples of the New Kingdom, which is off-limits to the public.
SPECIAL ACCESS TO …
You will have to wait and see! For a special treat, Archaeological Paths will take you to a truly extraordinary place – it can be a presidential palace, an active excavation area, or even a newly discovered tomb or a temple which will stay closed to all tourists for years. Our tour guests are often invited to grand archaeological events where new findings are announced and are the very first witnesses of major discoveries in Egypt. So don’t be surprised when you are a part of one during your tour. With us, you can expect the unexpected!
Cairo & Pyramids – Discover the diverse capital of Egypt. Begin your journey at the ancient necropolis at Saqqara, home to the first pyramid ever built by the Egyptians, the Step Pyramid of Djoser. See two early pyramids in Dahshur and take in the sight of the magnificent Pyramids of Giza and the enigmatic Sphinx.
Memphis – Visit Egypt’s first capital and gaze up at a monumental 35-foot-tall statue of Ramses II.
Grand Egyptian Museum – Delve into the world’s largest collection of pharaonic treasures, including King Tut’s famous golden mask, by visiting the country’s latest landmark.
Nile Cruise – Enjoy a 5-day scenic cruise down the Nile and visit the most awe-inspiring sites.
Luxor – Unveil the secrets of the ancient city of Thebes by visiting the enormous Karnak and Luxor Temples. Explore the royal tombs of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings and the great Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. Admire the Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III.
Edfu & Kom Ombo – Visit the marvelous Temple of Edfu, one of the best-preserved ancient temples in Egypt, and the Greco-Roman Temple of Kom Ombo.
Aswan – Admire the Unfinished Obelisk, the world’s largest ancient obelisk, and discover the Temple of Philae, beautifully located on an island. Marvel at the feat of engineering behind the 2-mile-long Aswan High Dam.
Abu Simbel – Explore the magnificent temples of Abu Simbel, carved out of the mountainside for Ramses II and his wife Nefertari.
Cultural Experiences – Meet with Nubians and experience their way of living by visiting their homes and local school. Stroll through the most atmospheric old souks in Luxor and Aswan. Connect with locals and enjoy authentic traditional musical performances.
Day 1 – Arrival in Cairo
When you arrive at Cairo International Airport, an Archaeological Paths’ representative greets you and helps you with visa and airport procedures. You are then transferred to a luxurious 5-star hotel in Giza that offers spectacular views of the pyramids.
Day 2 – Saqqara / Memphis / Dahshur
After an orientation with Archaeological Paths’ representatives, you visit the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, which, according to Dr. Hawass, is one of the most impressive places on Earth and the “birthplace of architecture”. Admire the Step Pyramid of Djoser, the oldest pyramid in Egypt, built 4,700 years ago by the legendary architect Imhotep. You also visit the elaborately decorated Tomb of Mereruka and the Pyramid of Teti, which boasts one of the oldest pyramid texts ever discovered. Wrap up your sightseeing in Saqqara with a visit to the Imhotep Museum.
After lunch, you visit the ruins of Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, where you gaze up at a monumental 35-foot-tall statue of Ramses II carved from limestone. Then you head to Dahshur, home to the Bent and Red Pyramids, built for Pharaoh Snefru. These pyramids are among the oldest, largest and best preserved in Egypt.
Day 3 – Private Entry to the Giza Plateau / Private Entry to the Great Pyramid / Special Access Between the Paws of the Great Sphinx with Dr. Zahi Hawass
In the morning, when the entire Giza Plateau remains closed to other tourists, Archaeological Paths’ guests have exclusive access to this iconic ancient site. This crowd-free experience is typically offered only to royals, heads of state and other honored guests.
First, you enjoy private entry to the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still standing today. During the entire visit, you are accompanied by an Egyptology Expert who leads you through the Great Pyramid’s interior and vividly describes its history, construction, and mythology.
On top of accessing the pyramid privately and seeing the King’s Chamber, the Director of the Giza Pyramids opens for you two additional chambers – the Queen’s Chamber and the Subterranean Chamber, both closed to the public.
Next, you have VIP access to the Great Sphinx Enclosure. While other tourists see the Sphinx only from a distant observation terrace, you stand right in front of the world’s largest sculpture. Dr. Hawass awaits you between the paws of the Sphinx to share with you all that we know about this enigmatic monument.
I will tell you all about the latest research and mysteries of the Sphinx and pyramids, including the tunnels under the Sphinx and secret doors and possible hidden chambers in the Great Pyramid.
– Dr. Hawass
Later, when the Giza Plateau opens to the public, you visit the stone quarry of Giza and the Valley Temple of Khafre, which was used for the Pharaoh Khafre’s mummification and purification before burial. Finally, take in a picturesque overview of the pyramids from a panoramic viewpoint.
VIDEO - THE GIZA PLATEAU with Archaeological Paths - explore differences
Your visit to the Giza Plateau might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so you want to be sure it is extraordinary. The tour company you choose makes all the difference. Compare two different ways to visit the world’s most iconic archaeological site and see how much of a difference it makes traveling with Archaeological Paths!
Day 4 – Karnak Temple / Special Access to the Khonsu Temple with Dr. Mostafa Waziri / Luxor Temple / Luxor Market
In the morning, you fly from Cairo to Luxor, known in ancient times as Thebes, one of the capitals of ancient Egypt. After checking in to a 5-star cruise ship, you begin your 5-day Nile cruise, continuing your journey to the most impressive monuments from the time of the pharaohs.
Your first stop today is Karnak, the largest temple complex in the world. Walk through the avenue of sphinxes, gaze up at the towering 97-foot-tall obelisk and wander among the massive pillars of the Great Hypostyle Hall.
In the Karnak Temple Complex, Archaeological Paths’ guests are granted special access to the Temple of Khonsu, one of the best preserved and most complete of the New Kingdom temples, which is off-limits to the general public. During the visit you are joined by Dr. Mostafa Waziri, Egypt’s Head of Antiquities, who personally introduces you to the most recent discoveries and restoration work. He also shares ongoing research with you and reveals plans for the future.
Then it’s on to the magnificent Luxor Temple. The temple was built over hundreds of years by the New Kingdom pharaohs including Tutankhamun and Ramses II. To this day the temple is one of the greatest reflections of the pharaohs’ power and supremacy.
Before dinner, enjoy a traditional belly dance performance. In the evening you explore Luxor Market, an authentic, open-air souk, where you have a chance to connect with locals at every turn and sample regional delicacies.
Day 5 – Valley of the Kings / Temple of Hatshepsut / Colossi of Memnon / Nile River Cruise
After breakfast, a short motorboat ride across the Nile takes you to the Valley of the Kings. It was a royal cemetery for over 500 years, and 62 pharaohs and other nobles were buried there. In the Valley, you see some of the best-known tombs, including King Tutankhamun’s, which was famously found intact in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter.
Later, explore the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, one of the most characteristic temples in Luxor. It was built for the most successful female pharaoh to rule over Egypt. On the way back to the cruise ship, you stop to admire the Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III.
The rest of the afternoon is free for leisure. You can enjoy the stunning views of the Nile from the cruise ship’s sundeck while sailing to Edfu or avail yourself of some of the ship’s other amenities. Before dinner, you are invited to the captain’s cocktail party, where you meet the crew and enjoy delicious local and international cocktails.
Day 6 – Edfu Temple / Nile River Cruise / Q&A Session / Kom Ombo Temple
Begin the day with a visit to the marvelous Temple of Edfu. It is among the best-preserved ancient temples in Egypt, built between 237 and 57 BC, and dedicated to the falcon god Horus.
On the way along the Nile to the next site, you can enjoy a drink on the ship’s beautiful sundeck while admiring the local wildlife, flourishing green fields, picturesque villages, palm trees and desert in the distance. Have a swim in the pool or use the ship’s spa, jacuzzi or gym facilities. With all these possibilities for relaxation, do not miss an engaging Q&A session with your Egyptology Expert who answers your questions about history and daily life in both ancient and modern Egypt.
In the late afternoon, you arrive at the Greco-Roman Temple of Kom Ombo. It was built between 205 and 180 BC as a place of worship for two gods: Horus and Sobek, the crocodile god. The day ends with a visit to the Crocodile Museum, which houses a collection of mummified crocodiles and ancient carvings.
Tonight’s onboard dinner features exquisite Egyptian cuisine and an Egyptian Night costume party in traditional galabeyas.
Day 7 – Abu Simbel Temples / Aswan High Dam / Nubian Village / Aswan Old Souk
Your first day in Aswan starts with a drive to the majestic Abu Simbel Temples, one of the most impressive monuments of ancient Egypt. The temples were carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC for Ramses II and his wife Nefertari. On the way back to the cruise ship, you stop to see the imposing 2-mile-long Aswan High Dam. Its construction began in 1960, lasted 8 years, and cost $1 billion. The dam ended the cycle of flood and drought in the Nile River region.
After lunch, a motorboat ride takes you through the cataracts of the Nile to a Nubian village. There, you meet the Nubians and visit their homes and local school to experience their way of living. Back onboard the cruise ship, you enjoy a Nubian party featuring traditional music and folk dances.
In the evening you stroll through the Aswan Old Souk, an atmospheric open-air market. Don’t forget to try the local shisha and taste some traditional Egyptian tea.
Day 8 – Unfinished Obelisk / Temple of Philae
The day begins with a visit to the Unfinished Obelisk, the largest-known ancient obelisk, lying on its side in a stone quarry. It is nearly one-third larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk ever erected. It measures around 140 feet tall and weighs nearly 1,200 tons.
Next, you take a motorboat ride to the Temple of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis. The temple was built in 208 BC and was reassembled piece by piece on an island in a reservoir created by the Aswan Low Dam when flooding threatened its original location.
In the afternoon you fly back to Cairo to continue your tour.
Day 9 – Grand Egyptian Museum / Farewell Dinner
You top off your tour with a visit to the long-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum*. It is home to the world’s greatest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, preserving 7,000 years of Egyptian history. The highlight of the visit is the spectacular Pharaoh Tutankhamun collection, which is shown in its entirety for the first time. Apart from the most valuable collection of Egyptian antiquities, you also see the Khufu Solar Boat, which symbolically transported the Pharaoh Khufu from the living world to the afterlife.
In the evening, during the farewell dinner, enjoy live music and celebrate your unforgettable journey across Egypt.
*The visit to the Grand Egyptian Museum depends on the time of its opening. Until then, the tour itinerary will include the visit to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities at Tahrir Square.
Day 10 – Departure from Cairo
After breakfast, you are transferred to Cairo International Airport for your flight back home.
Please find below a brief summary of the Pre- and Post- Tours. To read the full description of the Extensions, please download our Extensions Travel Brochure – CLICK HERE TO VIEW BROCHURE.
CAIRO MUSEUMS (1-day add-on)
During this one-day add-on, visit two of Cairo’s most important museums. First, explore the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Tahrir Square. It was built in 1902, and its iconic pink-toned walls in the midst of downtown Cairo still house an extensive collection of pharaonic antiquities. After lunch, visit the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. Just opened in 2017, the museum tells the story of Egypt’s rich history and contribution to world cultures – from ancient times through the Greco-Roman, Coptic, and Islamic periods – with fascinating exhibitions and artifacts, including royal mummies of the greatest pharaohs.
Price: $495 per person for a double room or $595 for a single room. The add-on includes accommodation for 1 night at the same hotel as during the main tour.
ISRAEL (5-day add-on)
Visit Israel – the Holy Land – full of archaeological wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the sacred home of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Stroll around the streets of Jerusalem. Walk in the footsteps of King David. See the Western Wall, one of the holiest places in Judaism. Enjoy a scenic ride through the Judean Desert and along the shore of the Dead Sea to visit Masada, the ancient fortress built by King Herod and now Israel’s foremost archaeological park.
EXCLUSIVE VIP EXPERIENCES:
Israel Museum: Visit Israel’s largest cultural institution in the company of one of the museum’s curators. Gain exclusive insight into the finest artifacts and treasures, which range from ancient texts, including Dead Sea Scrolls, to contemporary sculpture and art.
City of David National Park: Explore this active archaeological site with one of the field excavation directors. Discover the place where Jerusalem was founded and witness how archaeological finds, historical texts, and biblical narratives converge in this fascinating country.
Price: $3985 per person for a double room. Single supplement costs $995. The add-on starts 5 days before and ends a day prior to the Egypt tour. You should purchase an additional night at the hotel in Egypt, so you can use that day to rest, or take part in our 1-day pre-tour add-on which includes the cost of the additional night.
ALEXANDRIA (1-day add-on)
The tour starts in the morning with a 3-hour drive on an air-conditioned bus. Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt, famous for its Greco-Roman remains and Mediterranean character. The city was founded by Alexander the Great in 332 BC and was the capital of Egypt for more than 300 years. The add-on covers all highlights, including the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa, the Roman Amphitheater, the harbor of Alexandria with the picturesque Citadel of Sultan Qaitbay, and the place where the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – once stood. In the evening you return to your hotel in Cairo for dinner and overnight stay.
Price: $495 per person for a double room or $595 for a single room. The add-on includes accommodation for 1 night at the same hotel as during the main tour.
JORDAN (5-day add-on)
Experience Jordan on a fascinating tour to a land of ancient wonders. Unveil the secrets of the Rose City of Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the desert of Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, with its prehistoric petroglyphs and ever-changing landscape of otherworldly rock formations. Take a relaxing dip in the Dead Sea and visit Mount Nebo, from where Moses is believed to have seen the Promised Land.
EXCLUSIVE VIP EXPERIENCE:
Petra with an archaeologist: Explore Jordan’s most famous site together with one of the leading archaeologists working there. Learn about the latest research and discoveries made in Petra and uncover the secrets of the Treasury, Petra’s most magnificent temple.
Price: $3985 per person for a double room. Single supplement costs $995. The add-on starts the day after the Egypt tour ends. You should purchase an additional night at the hotel, so you can use that day to rest, or take part in our 1-day post-tour add-on which includes the cost of the additional night.
At the Marriott Mena House you can enjoy truly unparalleled accommodation. The hotel’s setting, with its view of the Pyramids of Giza, has entranced travelers through the ages. The tranquility and fresh breezes have attracted royalty and the rich and famous to this magical location for 150 years. The Marriott Mena House merges the exceptional heritage of the Pyramids standing witness to thousands of years of civilization with Marriott International’s 21st-century tradition of innovation. According to Time magazine, Marriott Mena House hotel is one of the World's Greatest Places to visit. The hotel consists of 331 luxury rooms and suites with private balconies, many boasting views of the Pyramids or the lavish gardens, four restaurants and lounges, and a heated swimming pool and a health club.
The Four Seasons is flanked by Giza’s lush zoological gardens and the western bank of the Nile, and its address in Giza’s prestigious First Residence complex puts you in the center of it all. From the hotel you can catch a glimpse of the river or the Great Pyramids as you head out to explore the ancient wonders this city offers. After sightseeing, spend the day lounging by the pool, indulging in an aromatic massage once reserved solely for Egyptian royalty or shopping three floors of high-end boutiques at the First Mall.
Le Fayan is one of the newest cruise ships available on the Nile, featured on more than one list of the top 10 Nile cruisers. Its 57 spacious rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the beautiful landscapes along the Nile. The boat offers world-class standards and provides attentive hospitality. In your free time you can sip cocktails at the ship’s bar, go to the gym or enjoy the modern sundeck, which boasts tables and chairs along with lounge chairs for sunbathing, a bar, jacuzzi and a swimming pool. A luxury cruise on the Nile is always a memorable experience. It is also the most comfortable way to travel while exploring Egypt’s most renowned temples and historic sites.
Prices Starting From:
• $7,985 – Double Occupancy
• $1,985 – Single Supplement
• $1,200 deposit – during booking
• Remaining balance – 90 days before the tour
Exclusive VIP Experiences as indicated in the itinerary; Special Guests as indicated in the itinerary; Luxury Accommodations as indicated in the itinerary; All sightseeing tours and entries as indicated in the itinerary; Meals as indicated in the itinerary; English-speaking Egyptology Expert as a tour guide; English-speaking Travel Concierge; Domestic airfare; Bottled water during sightseeing; Transfers in air-conditioned buses; Reception at the airport and airport transfers on standard arrival and departure days; Basic health insurance (to download the Terms and Conditions of travel insurance click here); Taxes.
International airfare (we can assist you with the booking); $25 entry visa (issued and paid in cash on arrival at Cairo International Airport); Tips; Soft and alcoholic beverages; Personal expenses
In order to book your place on the Royal Egypt Tour - The Essence, please click below on the Book Now button and follow the instructions.
Next, please make the deposit payment to confirm your place on the tour. Since the number of places is limited, we encourage you to book the tour as soon as possible. Please contact us if you have any questions.
USA phone: 917-724-2772
Other countries: +1 917-724-2772
Office hours: 8am–8pm EST Monday–Friday & 9am–5pm EST Saturdays.