A 10-day growth odyssey in the land of the Pharaohs
January 13, 2018 to January 22, 2018.
Day 1 Jan 13, 2018 Welcome to Cairo:
You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel - the beautiful 5-star Sofitel el Gezirah - a sparkling golden tower on the banks of the Nile. For those who arrive early, you can choose to relax and sip a cocktail if you wish by the pool (own expense) - or there will be an optional visit ($30US) to see a fascinating glimpse of modern Cairo: El Seed's mural - the stunning work of a French Tunisian artist that covers almost 50 buildings and only visible from a certain point of the Mokattam Mountain. On this Cairo excursion, you will also venture behind the famous Zabbalin village (of the famous garbage collectors of Cairo) to see the amazing monastery of Saint Simon the Tanner - a vast open space lying in the bosom of the hills, with dramatic coloured carvings all over the mountain.
The tour will officially begin in early evening with a celebratory welcome reception and introductions at the hotel. After the reception, our Egyptologist, Laura Ranieri, will present a brief introduction to Egypt and a sneak peek into the museum we will visit tomorrow. Kimberly will lead us all through a special "journey launching" and intention-setting circle to prepare us all for the adventure ahead.
Overnight Cairo, Sofitel el Gezirah
Day 2 Jan 14, 2018 The Egyptian Museum and Medieval Cairo:
After breakfast, Kimberly leads us in a morning stretch, guided meditation, and check-in to kick off the first element of our inner journey: cultivating presence. We then set off to visit the Egyptian Museum, home to many of the greatest treasures of ancient history. We will tour the highlights, including Tutankhamen's golden mask, the stunning colossi of Amenhotep III, and granite sarcophagi/statues of the Old Kingdom. Beyond the well-known masterpieces you will also find rooms of opulent jewelry, ornate coffins, animal mummies - and strange and ancient curiosities. A microcosm of thousands of years of Egyptian art and history in a beautiful old building. Which piece speaks to you - and why? You'll also have the option of visiting the two rooms of fascinating royal mummies (added cost 100EGP). Imagine being face to face with Ramses the Great!
Lunch at the beautiful garden restaurant at Al Azar Park. Kimberly will lead a brief mindfulness session to really wake up our senses to take in the afternoon's rich sites and experiences.
After lunch, we will visit what is possibly the greatest Islamic building in Egypt: The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan. This magical place is one of the largest mosques in the world and certainly the finest piece of early-Mamluk architecture dating to 1363 BCE. We'll venture in to feel the centuries of devotion still residing here - and perhaps even hear the stunning voice of the Muezzin (the one appointed to sing call to prayer).
Just outside the mosque is the beginning of Khan el Khalili market - an exotic medieval souk where few things have changed over centuries. We will take a deeply mindful walk through the colour and chaos. What sights, sounds and smells fill your senses and how do you react to them? This is a 13th century covered marketplace where you can still see vendors plying traditional crafts - blacksmiths, cotton weavers, bread-makers, wood workers. We will head for the ancient centre of the market to have mint tea at a typical Egyptian cafe. There, we will take time to debrief about our thoughts and experiences through conversation and journaling. With the cafe as our base, we will then enjoy free time to go shopping and bargain for colourful gifts and souvenirs. Or try some shishah and just watch the world go by. There may also be an option - for adventurous souls - to climb up Bab Zuweylah (one of the ancient minarets) to see views of the city.
After this very busy day, we will return to the hotel for an evening at leisure. Our Egyptologist Laura will lead a brief and lively chat on the wonders of the pyramids.
Overnight Cairo, Sofitel el Gezirah, B, L
Day 3 Jan 15, 2018 The Giza Pyramids and Dance Show Evening:
Bright and early after breakfast, Kimberly will lead us in a meditation and check-in on our private bus to Giza. The last surviving of the Seven Wonders of the world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is perhaps the most famous tourist site in the world. The Giza plateau itself, with its three major pyramids plus Queen's pyramids, ancient mastabas, and the Sphinx is a much-anticipated highlight of any trip. For our visit, we will hope to also enter to some of the lesser-known old kingdom tombs of Kar and Idu - along with a rare entrance to the pyramid of Queen Henutsen. We will arrive before 8am to better ensure coveted entrance inside the Great pyramid of Cheops. If, however, Cheops entrance is not available, we will tour inside either the 2nd or 3rd pyramid. While on the plateau, we will also visit the solar boat museum and the extraordinary Sphinx. We will stop for lunch in Giza (not included) - with views of the Sphinx.
In the afternoon we will return to the hotel for rest and relaxation. In the later afternoon, we'll do a session with Kimberly around the parts of the past year we treasure and what we'd like to release. In the evening, we have a special excursion - dinner cruise to experience the mysticism and sensuality of a traditional Sufi and belly dancing show.
Overnight Cairo, Sofitel el Gezirah, B, D
Day 4 Jan 16, 2018 Journey through Middle Egypt to Abydos:
After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and transfer to the airport for our flight to Luxor (not included approx. $125USD). On arrival in Luxor we will board our air-conditioned motor coach to take a scenic drive through middle Egypt. You'll likely see donkey carts, sheep herds, and traditional country life sail past your window - and be transported back centuries to simpler times. Upon arrival at our destination - Abydos - we will check into our soulful hotel: The House of Life. This beautiful modern health and healing centre is surrounded by rolling green agricultural fields and steps away from the great Seti Temple.
You are in the heart of Egypt's spiritual centre - the mecca to the Ancient Egyptians. It was here in Abydos that the god Osiris - god of the underworld - was thought to have been buried.
Lunch at hotel - own expense.
In the late afternoon, inspired by the past evening's whirling dervishes, Kimberly will lead a workshop using physicality and movement to do some deep release work and connect more deeply to our centre. After dinner, our Egyptologist Laura will lead an engaging talk on Egyptian temples, their power, history and sacred symbolism.
Overnight House of Life Hotel, Abydos, B, D
Day 5 Jan 17, 2018 The temples of Seti as Osiris - and Hathor at Denderah:
It's time to start uncovering the energy we'd like to cultivate in our year ahead. After breakfast, Kimberly will get us primed to be on the look-out for sights, sounds, words, or sensations in the day ahead to give us clues in this exploration.
Today we will visit two of the greatest temples in Egypt - and ones not always on the mainstream travellers' itinerary. These have also been two powerful spiritual centres favoured by pilgrims for millennia. We will take a brief stroll to visit the cenotaph-temple of Seti I. The carvings within are probably the most symmetrically beautiful ever created in Egypt. Explore seven stunning shrines - each to a different god, including Ptah, who was said to have breathed and thought the universe into existence. Explore behind the temple to find the eerie Osirium - mythical burial grounds of the god Osiris - and a little visited temple of Rameses II.
Lunch at the hotel - own expense.
Next we will have about an hour's drive south to visit the Temple of Hathor at Denderah built during Ptolemaic and Roman times - the most complete of Egypt's ancient temples and one of the best restored. This is where Cleopatra possibly honeymooned with Julius Caesar - and you can see her image at the back. The ceiling of vibrant blue and greens shows sky goddess Nut (pronounced: Noot) swallowing the sun and giving birth to the new day. This is also a very rare two story temple where the New Years Day Festival was celebrated - with Hathor's union with Horus as the new day sun. Venture deep into the crypt to see strange reliefs. Go up on the roof to see the site of the fascinating zodiac ceiling - the oldest in the world. Feel the palpable energy of this beautiful spiritual place.
In the evening, we will gather with Kimberly in one of the hotel's beautiful spaces to share discuss the symbols that came up in our day and their meaning.
Overnight House of Life Hotel, Abydos, B,D
Day 6 Jan 18, 2018 Luxor - and Karnak & Luxor Temples:
After breakfast, and our morning meditation/stretch we will enjoy another scenic drive south to Luxor, the capital of ancient Egypt through the height of its glory. Once there, we will board our beautiful new 5-star cruise ship The Living Stone Nile Cruise, which will be our home on the river during our 4 day journey to Aswan.
Enjoy a sumptuous welcome lunch onboard after check-in.
In the afternoon we will tour two of the most famous temples in Egypt, beginning with Karnak Temple, the largest religious structure in the world, built over a period of 3000 years by almost every Pharaoh of Egypt from the Middle Kingdom onwards. Marvel at the great Avenue of the Sphinxes, Hatshepsut's obelisk - and the great Hypostyle Hall of Ramses the Great. As the sun slowly dips, we will then make our way to the very romantic Luxor Temple, with its massive colossi and beautiful temple reliefs.
Return to our cruise ship for dinner and evening entertainment. Our Egyptologist Laura will provide an engaging presentation on death, afterlife and the West Bank in preparation for our Valley of the Kings visit tomorrow.
Overnight Living Stone Nile Cruise B, L, D
Day 7 Jan 19, 2018 Luxor West Bank - Valley of the Kings and Queens:
Today you have an optional early morning balloon trip. Rise before the sun and soar like Horus in a beautiful balloon, gliding high above the great monuments, mountains and green agricultural fields (added cost $120USD). Return to the hotel for breakfast and to share your experience in a group huddle.
After breakfast, we will visit the famous West bank - land of the dead - including the great rock cut tombs of the Valley of the Kings, with their vibrant colours and wonderful stories. Here you will have a chance to enter into three of the tombs, based on what is open. We will also visit the gigantic Colossi of Memnon, gateway to the temple of Amenhotep III, and the world-famous Queen Hatshepsut temple - nestled into the pink mountains - Meret Seger - "she who loves silence."
We return to the cruise ship for lunch
We sail upstream (south) to Edfu, where we will visit Edfu Temple in the afternoon. This temple is the most complete in Egypt - and devoted to the hawk god Horus.
We return to the ship for dinner, special show, and we will end the night with a 'Lost Self Retrieval' exercise with Kimberly.
Overnight Living Stone Nile Cruise B, L, D
Day 8 Jan 20, 2018 Kom Ombo and afternoon of river cruising:
After breakfast we will visit the unusual double temple of Kom Ombo dating from Ptolemaic times, around 100 BCE. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu. Meanwhile, the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder. We can also visit the crocodile mummy museum.
Lunch on board.
After lunch we will join Kimberly on the deck to watch the Nile float by. We will also go through a powerful process to channel the energy/quality that has been speaking to us in Egypt into our year and life ahead.
We will dock in Aswan in the evening - in time to visit the wonderful spice market and look for a little symbol to represent our chosen quality.
Overnight Living Stone Nile Cruise B, L, D
Day 9 Jan 21, 2018 Aswan:
The most southerly town in Egypt, Aswan is a beautiful place where the Nile widens and there are many islands to explore by Felucca. We will have an optional hike to a medieval Christian monastery early in the morning - a very spiritual place to meditate, perched atop a hill. After breakfast we will have a full day of touring including the Aswan Dam, the unfinished Obelisk and the great temple of Philae. Devoted to Isis, this romantic temple on its own island was relocated in its entirety in the 1960s. It is the last great temple of Ancient Egypt - with the final evidence of hieroglyphic writing. Kimberly has a 'quality-embodying' exercise to practice through the adventures of the day.
Lunch on board.
In the late afternoon we will take a felucca ride (sailboat) on the Nile to see some wonderful birdlife and nature. We can stop at Elephantine Island to see the rich and tropical flora and fauna - and rejuvenate our senses in nature.
Return to the boat for a powerful closing session with Kimberly and final dinner celebrations!
Overnight Living Stone Nile Cruise B, L, D
Day 10 Jan 22, 2018 Depart Aswan:
You will have an option to complete your tour with an early morning excursion (by plane) to see arguably the most breathtaking temple in Egypt - Abu Simbel c.1200 BCE (added cost $275USD). Abu Simbel is the apex of the works of Ramses the Great with its colossal statues, light-infused shrines and beautiful location nestled in the hills on Lake Nasser. You will be back for breakfast. After breakfast, we will disembark and connect to our flights home, or extension tours. B
Kimberly Carroll is a body/mind/spirit coach, media personality, activist and passionate animal advocate whose popular personal development boot camps have been transforming lives around the world. With a saucy and down-to-earth approach, Kimberly is an entertaining and loving guide for people delving into the world of personal growth, spirituality, and conscious living. She's been featured on CBC Television, W Network, the Globe and Mail, Best Health Magazine, and is one of the authors of the award-winning anthology "Soul Whispers". Kimberly takes men and women on a heart-felt, uber-fun and utterly transforming journey to consciously create a life and world they love.
Laura Ranieri is a professional writer, the founder of Ancient Egypt Alive, and an Egyptologist, graduated from the University of Toronto. She has written a variety of published articles and blogs on ancient Egypt and Egyptian tourism, developed the 2012 Archaeology Alive Tour and the 2016 Undiscovered Egypt tour. She has also produced short documentaries on the country and has excavated in Bulgaria at a classical Greek site and in Egypt at Amarna and South Asasif. She began her career as an actress and travel TV show host - and is passionate about bringing the history of Ancient Egypt Alive to the general public.
Single Supplement is $595USD
Tour price includes:
-3 nights accommodation in Cairo at Sofitel El Gezirah including breakfast
-2 nights in Qena at House of life hotel including breakfast and dinner
-4 nights on board of M/S Amwaj Living Stone Nile cruise including breakfast lunch and dinner
-All transfers throughout with air conditioned private bus
-Private Local Egyptologist English speaking guide throughout
-9 Breakfast, 7 dinners, 5 lunches
-Portages at hotels
-All sightseeing as listed on the itinerary
-Donation to Canada's Animal Justice and Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals.
Tour price excludes:
-Entry visa to Egypt
-Domestic flight ticket Cairo/ Luxor - Your Journey will arrange this flight for the group and confirm the cost as soon as we can book the flight. It will be added to your invoice approx cost $125USD. Tour ends in Aswan and we can arrange the Aswan Cairo flight as well or you may add it to your international flight ticket, depending on what airline you book with.
-Tips and personal expenses
-Additional meals and optional activities - Abu Simbel $275USD, Balloon trip $120USD, Cairo optional Cairo Tour $30USD, mummy room at the museum 100EGP
76 days or more $300USD deposit is non refundable
75 - 60 days prior to departure 25% is non refundable
59 - 31 days prior to departure 50% is non refundable
30 days or less prior to departure 100% non refundable
Duration: 10 days
Max Group Size: 25
Accommodations: hotels, river cruise
Price: $3,295 USD per person based on twin. Single supplement $595USD