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Trip Highlights

  • Cairo’s intriguing ancient sites, including the Great Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis, Sakkara
  • Old Cairo touring
  • Renowned Egyptian Museum
  • Abu Simbel’s dramatic temples
  • Sound & Light show at Abu Simbel
  • Lake Nasser cruise through ancient Nubian homeland
  • Aswan’s temples at Kalabsha
  • Nile felucca sail
  • Nile River cruise
  • Aswan Dam visit
  • Ancient temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor
  • Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens
  • Egypt’s inestimable historic atmosphere


Accompanied by an expert Egyptian guide, this singular small group journey through antiquity travels from vibrant Cairo and the Great Pyramids to Abu Simbel and the Upper Nile for a fascinating cruise on Lake Nasser. Then: a classic voyage along the Lower Nile from Aswan to Luxor before returning to Cairo.


Exclusive departure: This departure is considered exclusive. The participants are U-M travelers, consisting of alumni, family, and friends.


Day 1 – Depart Gateway City

Depart for Cairo, Egypt

Day 2 – Arrive Cairo

Arrive Cairo We arrive in the Egyptian capital and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned.

Day 3 – Cairo

After a morning briefing, our full-day tour begins at the acclaimed Egyptian Museum, the world’s greatest repository of ancient relics. Then we tour the Citadel of Saladin housing the alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 – Cairo

Today’s tour starts at the open-air museum at Memphis, Egypt’s first capital (3100 BCE). We continue on to the necropolis at Sakkara then to the astounding Pyramids of Giza, the wonders of antiquity that have drawn visitors for millennia. Here, too, we encounter the enigmatic Sphinx, whose leonine body and human face were carved from a single piece of limestone.

Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5 – Cairo/Abu Simbel/Embark Lake Nasser Cruise

Early this morning we fly south to Aswan then continue by coach across the Sahara’s edge to Abu Simbel. We board our Lake Nasser ship for lunch, then visit the temples and colossal 65-foot-high statues of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari that were dismantled and moved to higher ground during the construction of the Aswan Dam. Tonight we watch a dramatic sound-and-light show at Abu Simbel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 – Lake Nasser Cruising – Kasr Ibrim/Amada/Wadi el-Seboua

Early risers can watch the sun climb over the temples at Abu Simbel before we sail to Kasr Ibrim, the last remaining Nubian settlement in its original location. From the sun deck we learn about this ancient site (it’s forbidden to go ashore here), then sail to Amada, followed by Wadi el-Seboua.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 – Lake Nasser Cruising – Valley of the Lions/Aswan

This morning we visit the striking avenue of sphinxes at Wadi el-Seboua’s “Valley of the Lions” then cruise to Aswan.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 – Disembark/Aswan/Embark Nile Cruise Ship

We set out early this morning to visit New Kalabsha, site of the largest freestanding Nubian temple, which was relocated here for the construction of the Aswan High Dam. We return to our ship for breakfast then bid farewell to the crew as we embark on a tour of the Aswan High Dam. Next, we visit the imposing temple to Isis on Agilkia Island before boarding our Nile cruise ship. This afternoon we board small feluccas, replicas of ancient Nile sailboats, for a relaxing sail. Back onboard our ship tonight we enjoy the Captain’s welcome cocktail party.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 – Nile Cruising – Kom Ombo/Edfu/Luxor

This morning we cruise to the ancient trading town of Kom Ombo, with outstanding Nile views from the Temple of Sobek. Then we sail on to Edfu’s Temple of Horus, Egypt’s best-preserved temple (built between 237 BCE-57 BCE). We return to our ship for lunch as we sail to Luxor (our final sail), enjoying a quiet afternoon on the Nile. A belly dance performance accompanies dinner tonight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 – Nile Cruising – Luxor/West Bank

Luxor boasts vast temple complexes, tombs, and statues dating from 2755 BCE represent the pinnacle of Egyptian architecture. Today we explore the West Bank, site of the haunting Valley of the Kings, where 34 royal tombs feature magnificent paintings; the Valley of the Queens; and the dramatic Temple of Hatshepsut honoring one of the few female pharaohs. We also see the massive Colossi of Memnon, two 64-foot-high statues of Amenhotep III that once guarded the gates of his mortuary temple.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 – Nile Cruising – Luxor/East Bank

Today we tour Luxor’s East Bank, home of Karnak, the greatest temple complex of them all, whose ruins stretch for more than a mile. We also explore Luxor Temple, whose builders included both Tutankhamun and Alexander the Great. Here, at the Great Court of Ramses II, we see the ancient obelisk, whose twin presides over Place de Concorde in Paris.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 – Disembark/Luxor

We have the choice to rise very early to see the West Bank from above on an optional hot air balloon ride. Disembarking our ship later this morning, we transfer to our hotel. This afternoon we tour the Luxor Museum, housing relics discovered at the site.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13 – Luxor/Cairo

We fly to Cairo today, where this afternoon we visit Khan el-Khalili bazaar. This afternoon is free for independent exploration and dinner on our own.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 – Cairo

This morning we encounter Old Cairo, the district where early capital cities once stood. We visit 5th-century St. Sergius Church, the Coptic church of el-Muallaqa, and Ben Ezra Synagogue, built in 882. Mid-day we return to our hotel where tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15 – Depart for Home

Very early this morning we transfer to the airport for our return flights.

Meals: Breakfast


Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven terrain and at sites of ancient ruins. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.



Show Full Itinerary

Your Journey

Egypt & The Eternal Nile

By participating in an Alumni Association of the University of Michigan travel trip, you have stated that the Alumni Association has the exclusive right to use video and other visual/audio portrayals of You or Your likeness taken during Your trip in any medium of any nature whatsoever for any purpose, including advertising or promoting the services of the trip without any compensation being paid to You. Any such portrayal or likeness shall be the exclusive property of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

  • March 1–15, 2021
(15 days)
Starting price: $5,297
Air inclusive from Detroit; Singles $6,592
Deposit per person: $500
Africa & the Middle East
Odysseys Unlimited
Type: Land & Cruise, Exclusive U-M Departure

You must be an Alumni Association member to travel with us. Questions? Call Michigan Alumni Travel at 855.764.0064.

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