Day #1 Overnight Flight -
Day #2 Arrive Amman, Jordan - Arrive today in Amman, the "White City," renowned for its white limestone gracing many of its buildings.
Day #3 Amman - Jerash - Amman - Explore Amman this morning during a city tour. Visit the ancient citadel and the amphitheatre. Meet locals during an interactive guided walk through the marketplaces known as ‘souks' and stroll through the spice markets. Travel the quiet valley among the mountains of Gilead to the city of Jerash – the “Pompeii of the East.” Step back in time as you tour the ruins with a local guide. Walk through columned streets, hilltop temples, public squares and plazas. Archeologists uncovered evidence inside the city walls indicating Amman was occupied as far back as the Neolithic age over 6,500 years ago. Enjoy a short drive through forest and olive groves to the Arab castle of Ajloun. Built in the 12th century for protection from crusaders, the hilltop castle overlooks the Jordan Valley. Gather this evening for a home-hosted welcome dinner with a local family. This wonderful experience allows you to interact with the local community, make new friends, experience local cuisine, learn about Jordanian daily life, education and work.
Day #4 Amman - Madaba - Petra - Travel the Kings Highway, an ancient route mentioned in the Bible, lined with prehistoric villages from the Stone Age, biblical towns, Roman fortresses and Islamic settlements. Arrive in the “City of Mosaics” – Madaba. Visit the church of St. George to see the famous 6th century Byzantine mosaic map of the region, one of the oldest in existence, and a museum showcasing other mosaic examples. Visit a local shop to learn the history of this ancient art and see how beautiful mosaics are created. Visit Mount Nebo where Moses saw the Promised Land – Israel – and is believed to be buried. Travel through the desert, arriving in Petra, one of the new Wonders of the World.
Day #5 Petra - Enjoy a full day tour of the stone-carved city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore this rose-hued city with an expert guide learning about its importance to ancient trade routes, its early prominence and decline, rediscovery and preservation efforts. Roll up your sleeves and create tonight’s meal with the guidance of a chef, discovering the secrets of Jordanian fare.
Day #6 Petra - Wadi Rum - Dead Sea - This morning, depart for the Wadi Rum – the immense desert where Lawrence of Arabia was set. Enjoy lunch at a traditional Bedouin camp. Learn about the fascinating history of the Bedouin people who have spent generations in the Wadi Rum’s stark and unspoiled desert. Arrive this evening at the Dead Sea.
Day #7 Dead Sea - Amman - Cairo, Egypt - Enjoy free time to experience the Dead Sea. The lowest body of water on Earth and the richest source of salts, the Dead Sea’s waters are believed to have healing powers. Enjoy a swim, take in a spa treatment* or relax at your resort. Depart this afternoon for a flight to Cairo, Egypt.
Day #8 Cairo - Giza - Memphis - Sakkara - Cairo - This morning, visit the only remaining Ancient Wonder – the Pyramids of Giza. Later, visit the site of ancient Memphis with its 40-foot statue of Ramses II and Sakkara, home to the oldest pyramid, the Step Pyramid. Enjoy a demonstration in the ancient art of papyrus. Discover how this plant is transformed into a paper-like substance; learn how the ancient Egyptians used it to record their written language. This evening you may choose an optional tour to see the pyramids illuminated during a sound and light show.
Day #9 Cairo - Aswan - Board Cruise - Fly this morning to Aswan. You may choose to take an optional tour to Abu Simbel** to see temples built by Ramses II. Explore the Nubian city of Aswan including the unfinished obelisk, the High Dam and the Philae Temple of Isis. Board your ship this afternoon for a three-night cruise along the Nile River.
Day #10 Aswan - Kom Ombo - Edfu - Visit the imposing structure of Kom Ombo, a unique twin sanctuary dedicated to the crocodile god and the falcon god. Enjoy leisure time aboard your ship this afternoon while sailing toward Edfu.
Day #11 Edfu - Luxor - Visit the Temple of Horus at Edfu – the best preserved ancient temple in Egypt. Learn of its history and construction during a guided tour. Sail north, arriving in Luxor this evening.
Day #12 Disembark Cruise - Luxor - Disembark your ship this morning at the West Bank of Luxor. Journey into the Valley of Kings and Queens – a UNESCO World Heritage site. For almost 500 years, from the 16th to 11th century BC, elaborate tombs were constructed for Kings and other nobles. Marvel at intricate designs on the tombs as your local guide details their history. Visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon.
Day #13 Luxor - Cairo - This morning, explore the massive Temple of Karnak, perhaps the most impressive site in Egypt and the largest man-made temple complex. Your local guide shares the history of the three main temples and discusses construction of this complex, built over a 1,300 year period beginning in the 16th century BC. Fly to Cairo this afternoon.
Day #14 Cairo - This morning explore the unparalleled collection of the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. Discover amazing statues, sarcophagi and the treasures of Tutankhamen. The afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner.
Day #15 Cairo - Tour Ends - Your tour ends today in Cairo.