Day 1 • Overnight Flight
Our life-changing journey begins this evening as we board our overnight flight to Cairo, Egypt.
Day 2 • Cairo
We arrive in the land of the Pharaohs, Jacob, Joseph and Israel during the famine! Upon arrival at the airport we meet our guide and are immediately transported into Cairo, the capital of Egypt. We transfer to our hotel to settle in and start soaking up the atmosphere of this exciting city.
Day 3 • Alexandria
Breakfast and then a day tour to the ancient seaport of Alexandria where we will see the Greco-Roman culture in Egypt. The second largest city in Egypt, Alexandria, known as "The Pearl of the Mediterranean", has an atmosphere that is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern ; its ambience and cultural heritage distance it from the rest of the country. First stop is the Fort at Quit Bay which will be followed with a visit to the ancient Catacombs of Kom and Pompay's Pillar. Before returning to Cairo we will relax with the breath-taking views of the Montaza Palaces.
Day 4 • Coptic Cairo, Hanging Church & Alabaster Mosque
We begin our sightseeing with a visit to the Hanging Church - the most famous Coptic church in Cairo. The Hanging Church was named so as it was built by the Nile River over the Roman Gate of Babylon. During a walking tour, our guide will point out that this section of the old city was definitely the route taken by Abraham, Joseph, Moses and the family of Jesus - an inspiring thought. Next we visit the beautiful Alabaster Mosque of Muhammad Ali to better understand Moslem religious practices. Completed in 1848, the Ottoman-style Muhammad Ali Mosque is the most noticeable in all of Cairo and has dominated the skyline for the past 150 years. A stop will be made at the papyrus factory store, where we see the process of creating lovely Egyptian art pictures.
Day 5 • Memphis, Sakkara, Joseph's Storehouses
We enjoy a day of touring in and around Cairo with a short bus ride to Memphis. Founded around 3,100 BC, Memphis is the legendary city of Menes, the King who united Upper and Lower Egypt. From a Biblical perspective, Memphis is most likely where Abraham lied to Pharaoh about his wife Sarah being his sister and where Joseph served as second in command. While in Memphis we will view a very large and well-preserved statue of Ramses II. Next is Sakkara, which is one of the most extensive archaeological sites in Egypt! Sakkara is dominated by the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, dating back to 2700 BC. It is one of the oldest stone structures in the world! Following an interesting stop to see how local Egyptian carpets are made, a short drive to the south finds us in Faiyum, the region created by the divinely inspired wisdom of Joseph. Here you will find ancient storehouses and a man-made lake created by a canal, who's construction was ordered by Joseph. It was this lake that provided irrigation for a desert land and supplied the food needed to survive his prophesied seven year famine.
Day 6 • Transfer to Luxor, Nile Cruise
Early this morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Luxor, where we check in to our 5-Star river cruise. We then set off to visit the Valley of the Kings (where many ancient pharaohs were buried) and the famous Temple of Hatshepsut, the princess who perhaps pulled baby Moses out of the Nile River. We visit a courtyard that was likely to be frequented by Moses during his days of princely training. Time will be allowed for those who wish to visit one of Luxor's famous perfume factory stores. We re-embark for lunch, enjoy the sundeck and pool before an evening tour of the famous Temple of Luxor, which was founded in the reign of Amenhotep III, grandson of the pharaoh of the Exodus. Nile Cruise Boat
Day 7 • Karnak, Esna to Edfu
After breakfast, visits include the Temple of Karnak (temple of the New Kingdom period) and the East Bank of the Nile. It was during this period that the bondage and Exodus occurred. Karnak second to Giza’s Pyramids, is one of Egypt’s most important Pharaonic sites. We board our ship for lunch and continue sailing towards Edfu, having dinner as we cross through the Esna lock. Overnight on board.
Day 8 • Edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan
This morning after breakfast we visit Edfu, the location of one of the best preserved Egyptian Temples. This site was initially developed 1000 years before Abraham came to Egypt! Lunch and sailing to Kom Ombo, where we visit the remains of Kom Ombo Temple, situated on the riverside. Unlike most, this temple is dedicated to two gods - the crocodile god of Sebek and the solar god of war, Horus the Great. Overnight on board.
Day 9 • Aswan High Dam, Free Time, Abu Simbel Option
Our touring today is in and around the modern city of Aswan. Included will be a visit to the High Dam, built from 1960 - 1971, and a major factor in Egypt’s agricultural success. We then also spend time at Philae Temple on the Isi-Island. This complex was moved from up river due to the impending destruction upon the completion of the High Dam. This afternoon we disembark for free time to stroll through the city markets.
An optional (half day including flights) tour is also offered to Abu Simbel, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments." Our Egyptologist guide discusses the relevance of this spectacular site from Egyptian history. We will also try to put in perspective the long history of Egypt. Here we visit the massive temple of Pharaoh Rameses II, perhaps the greatest builder of temples in ancient Egypt (13th Century BC) and a second one of Queen Nafertari, Rameses's most beloved wife. Overnight on board.
Day 10 • Cairo Pyramids & Tutankhamen’s Treasures
An early morning flight back to Cairo will allow for a full day of touring beginning with some sights of ancient Egypt - some of which date back to 1000+ years prior to Abraham. Cheops, with an original height of 496 feet, is the most colossal pyramid ever built. Today we will also see the Sphinx and tour the Egyptian Museum, location of Tutankhamen's treasures and ancient remains.
Day 11 • Marah, Amalekites, Mt. Sinai
This morning we depart Cairo with stories of the "Land of Goshen" to the north and travel the southward route of the Exodus through the Wilderness of Shur. We learn of the terrain and the history of this region en-route as we stop at Marah (Springs of Moses), the Wilderness of Sin, and further to the south, the Oasis of Feiran. For those who are able, we climb a small hill to the ruins of an ancient chapel that overlooks the palm tree valley where Israel battled with the people of Amalek. One may have his picture taken with arms raised in remembrance of God's victory as Moses' arms were held high by Aaron and Hur. Arriving in the late afternoon to the hotel at Mt. Sinai (Mt. Horeb), we have dinner and rest for our early morning activity.
Day 12 • Mt. Moses, Red Sea, Aqaba
Just into the new day, those who desire and are physically capable will depart for a memorable early morning walk up Mt. Moses. Whether you choose to ride a camel part way or not, stop at one of the stations to take in scenery along the climb to the summit (750 steps) for a sunrise to remember. Once at the top, enjoy a time of praise and then depart down the mountain for breakfast. A visit to St. Catherine's Monastery, claimed to be built around the area of Moses' Burning Bush, will be followed by a short ride to the Red Sea. A stop for lunch along the shore will provide a view of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel to the north. Gazing across the Gulf of Aqaba, we can begin to imagine the miracle of the parting of the sea. We then travel north viewing the Red Sea en-route to the border crossing between Egypt and Israel. Transferring through Eilat in southern Israel, we arrive in Jordan with lodging for the evening in Aqaba, Biblical Ezion Geber - the lovely seaport of King Solomon.
Day 13 • Petra
This morning we turn north toward the amazing mountain fortress of Petra, known to be inhabited by the Edomites - the descendents of Esau. Begin the tour with a walk through the "Siq," an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone, to the city of Petra carved out of the rose red rock. The Treasury, El Khazneh, is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity. Beyond El Khazneh we are surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra's carved and built structures. Departing Petra, we travel northward on the King's Highway where to the west we view the hills bordering the Dead Sea. This is the area of the hilltop palace/fortress of Machaerus, where John the Baptist was beheaded. We overnight in Amman for the next two evenings.
Day 14 • Mt Nebo, Mabada, Amman
Mt. Nebo, believed to be the site of the tomb of Moses, commands a spectacular view across the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. The drive continues to the town of Madaba, the biblical Medeba, 30 kilometers south of Amman. Madaba is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics and at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George we may view the earliest surveying original map of the Holy land. Looking to the northwest we view the Plains of Moab, the area where the tribes of Israel camped before crossing the Jordan. We enjoy a driving tour of the highlights of Amman including visits to the Citadel, Roman Theatre and Old City before checking into our lodging for one last night.
Day 15 • Homeward
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.