Go on a captivating voyage on the majestic Nile to uncover an ancient world of rarely visited sites and secrets aboard the elegant Mövenpick MS Darakum. Cruising from the ancient city of Luxor to magnificent Cairo, discover the iconic sights of Egypt including the Valley of the Kings and the Pyramids of Giza on this fascinating river cruise.
• Tel el Amarna
• Beni Suef
Mövenpick river cruise
Day 1: UK to Luxor
Depart the UK on your flight to Luxor. It will be a late arrival in Luxor, where you’ll head straight to the pier to board Mövenpick MS Darakum for your first night in the port of Luxor.
Day 2: Luxor
Today begins with a visit to the West Bank of Luxor, previously known as the great Egyptian city of Thebes. It’s home to the spectacular Valley of the Kings, the final resting place for many pharaohs and royal family members with tombs dating back between 16th and 11th Century BC. As you head underground (where photography is forbidden), you’ll uncover an amazing piece of Egyptian history and see these ancient treasures firsthand, with the former resting places of legendary pharaohs and walls inscribed with hieroglyphics. You’ll also visit the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut (Deir el-Bahri) which also sits within the valley, the magnificent temple built by the female pharaoh whose story was only recently uncovered in the 19th Century. The half-sister and wife of King Thutmose II, Hatshepsut became co-regent with her young stepson before declaring herself a pharaoh in her own right. She led one of the most prosperous periods of Ancient Egypt over her 20-year reign, only to have nearly all traces of her rule destroyed by her stepson after her death. After lunch back onboard, the focus turns to the treasures on the East Bank of the Nile. Here you can see the magnificent temples of Karnak and Luxor, which were built to honour the Egyptian sun god, Amun Ra. Take a walk through the hypostyle hall with its painted pillars and admire the collective work of 13 centuries of successive pharaohs. Reboard your ship for a manager’s cocktail party followed by dinner and a belly dancing show. B, L, D.
Day 3: Luxor to Nag Hammadi
This morning, sail north from Luxor to Qena, a city close to the famed Dendera Temple. After lunch, visit this beautifully preserved temple which was built during the 4th Century BC in honour of Hathor, the goddess of love. Its intricate ceiling carvings are a particular highlight. Return to the ship for dinner and sail to Nag Hammadi. B, L, D.
Day 4: Nag Hammadi to Sohag
Today you’ll sail towards El Balyana via Abu Homar’s Lock and bridge. Transfer to the ancient city of Abydos by coach to visit the remains of the Great Temple of Abydos, also known as the Temple of Seti I. Wander through this remarkable temple and view its impressive reliefs and the famous Abydos King List – a documentation of past kings engraved on one of the temple walls. Return to the ship for lunch as you continue sailing to Sohag. After tonight’s dinner, there’ll be a Galabeya party and Egyptian wine tasting. B, L, D.
Day 5: Sohag to Tel el Amarna
Sail towards Tel el Amarna this morning, cruising through Asuit’s Lock en route. Have lunch onboard before passing through the lock and continuing on to Tel el Amarna. On arrival in Tel el Amarna, visit the Amarna Visitor Centre and learn about Akhenaten and Nefertiti in a presentation. In the evening, take a cookery lesson before dinner in the main restaurant where you can have a taste of Egypt with local dishes served alongside international favourites. B, L, D.
Day 6: Tel el Amarna to Minya
Visit Tuna el Gebel and El-Ashmunein, where thousands of baboons, ibises and falcons were once mummified. Next, go to Tel el Amarna, the capital built by King Akhenaten, husband of Nefertiti and father to Tutankhamun. A controversial pharaoh, King Akhenaten challenged the polytheistic beliefs of the time by declaring worship to a single god, the sun disk god, Aten. First, you’ll visit the Tel el Amarna tombs, where you’ll find the lesser-visited crumbling tombs in the northern section. Here, you’ll visit the tombs of important figures during King Akhenaten’s reign including Ahmose, Meryre, Pentu and Panehesy, as well as the Royal Tomb of Akhenaten. Continue your tour to see the partially restored foundations of the Great Palace of King Akhenaten, where you’ll also see the remnants of the Small and Great Temples of Aten. Return to the ship for lunch as you continue your journey to Minya. Tonight’s dinner is followed by a folklore show onboard. B, L, D.
Day 7: Minya to Beni Suef
This morning, transfer by road to the rock-cut tombs of Beni Hasan. Here, you’ll spend the morning visiting the four open tombs of great chiefs and administration officials Baqet III, Khety, Amenemhet and Khnumhotep II of the Middle Kingdom. Afterwards, return to MS Darakum and sail for Beni Suef. Your afternoon onboard is at leisure to take a refreshing dip in the pool or have a drink on the sun deck as you take in the same views that great pharaohs looked out to as they built their kingdom along the Nile. Tonight’s entertainment is a quiz and dinner. B, L, D.
Day 8: Beni Suef to Cairo
Have free time today as you travel onwards to Cairo, where you’ll arrive for tours of the Hanging Church, Coptic Museum and Jewish Synagogue after lunch. Dock overnight for your exploration of the city tomorrow and have dinner with Takht music. B, L, D.
Day 9: Cairo
Your unforgettable experience ends with one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the iconic Pyramids of Giza – as well as the Great Sphinx of Giza. After lunch, you’ll spend time at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, the largest collection of its kind and home to some of the most treasured relics from the age of pharaohs including the golden funerary mask of Tutankhamun that was discovered in the Valley of the Kings. It’s here you’ll find some of the priceless artefacts found at the ancient sites you’ve visited on this journey, allowing you to piece together the stories you’ve encountered along the way. As you return to the ship for your final night onboard with the ship docked in Cairo, you’ll be treated to music after dinner. B, L, D.
Day 10: Cairo
If you have an early flight, you’ll be given a packed breakfast before disembarking and transferring to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.
Is this for you?
Mövenpick’s fleet of ships was made for cruising this great river. Life onboard combines Mövenpick’s Swiss service with local culture, where evenings often feature traditional Egyptian-inspired entertainment. Take in the passing views from your cabin’s window and sail along the famous river banks on a journey that takes you right up to some of Ancient Egypt’s most legendary sites.
Mövenpick MS Darakum
One of the largest ships on the Nile, the Mövenpick MS Darakum has an array of facilities and a beautiful Moroccan-style design. There are 52 cabins and suites, each with air-conditioning and most with panoramic windows. On-board facilities include a pool, sun deck and gym. All meals are served at the main restaurant, where each night has a different buffet theme.
Good to know
• Suitable for children over 12 years old. As this is a Kuoni recommended age, we cannot guarantee that there will not be any younger children on board
• Journey times do not take into account stops or local traffic conditions
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag
• A good level of fitness is required
• Itineraries are subject to change.
What to expect
• Embarkation in Luxor begins from 6pm
• We recommend comfortable clothes and walking shoes
• Clothes should cover legs and shoulders in places of worship
• This cruise also operates in reverse from Cairo to Luxor on an 11-night itinerary, with an extra night in port in Cairo
• We recommend tipping the ship’s crew at the end of your cruise
• A good level of fitness is required
2019 Apr 10; May 06; Sep 04, 30; Oct 26. 2020 Feb 16; Mar 13; Apr 08; May 04, 30; Sep 04, 30; Oct 26
Included in price
• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Shore excursions and entrance fees
• Flexible arrival times
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights.
Upgrade your cruise
Solo travellers Sole-use cabin from £3376.