“Egypt 2023-2024” Itinerary

Sharp & Freeman Family – Private New Year’s Tour

Friday, Dec 29, 2023 – Saturday, January 6, 2024 :  9 Days of Sightseeing in Egypt


You can also book this itinerary as a PRIVATE TOUR with YOUR CHOICE of dates.

Queen Nefertari tomb

Khafre Pyramid, Giza

Kom Ombo Temple

Dahabiya Nile Cruise

Depart IAD, Washington or JFK, New York on Thursday, December 28, 2023

Arrivals in Cairo are the next morning, Friday, December 29. 2023

( Airfare USA/Cairo is not included in your tour price )


Friday Morning, December 29, 2023

9 days / 8 nights

Anyone NOT arriving on a nonstop flight from Washington, DC, or New York needs to ARRIVE on Thurs, Dec 28, 2023.
Those travelers will need an extra hotel night upon arrival and probably also another hotel night at the end (the night of Saturday, Nov 4, 2023).

Departures from Cairo are in the Late Evening on Saturday, January 6, 2024 

Arrivals in the USA are the next morning, Sunday, January 7, 2024

Prices start at $3,995 per person in double occupancy

Pay $1,000 USD Deposit*


Thursday, December 28, 2023: Departures for travelers from the USA leaving from JFK, New York or IAD, Washington, DC.

International flights are not included in your tour. Flights within Egypt (Cairo/Luxor and Aswan/Cairo) are included.

US, UK, and Canadian citizens do not need to obtain a visa for Egypt in advance. Tourist visas are issued upon arrival at Cairo Airport. The cost is $25 USD. Obtaining a visa online is not recommended. There are a number of scam websites offering this service.

* NOTE: The EXPIRATION DATE on your passport needs to be after June 26, 2024, which is 6 months after your arrival in Egypt.

Note that the Real ID requirement for US domestic flights does not go into effect until May 7, 2025.

DAY 1 – Friday, December 29, 2023: Dashur Pyramids – Red, Bent, and Black Pyramids. Saqqara Complex – Step Pyramid, Teti Pyramid, Old Kingdom tomb. 
Hotel: Hotel in the pyramids area. Meals: BB, L.

Welcome to Egypt! A representative will meet you at Cairo airport and bring you to a hotel where Ruth will be waiting for you. US, UK, and Canadian citizens do not need to obtain a visa for Egypt in advance. Tourist visas are issued upon arrival at Cairo Airport. The cost is $25 USD. Obtaining a visa online is not recommended. There are a number of scam websites offering this service.

* NOTE: The EXPIRATION DATE on your passport needs to be after June 29, 2024, which is 6 months after your arrival in Egypt.

The travelers From JFK and IAD arrive on 5:20am and 5:30am flights from New York and Washington, DC. We all enjoy a large buffet breakfast together at a nearby airport hotel. Then it is time to start our explorations of Egypt!

We begin our tour together with sites from Ancient Egypt’s Old Kingdom (2,575-2,150 B.C.).  Leaving Giza we drive southward through fertile farmlands, called the “Black Land,” where the people have farmed the rich Nile silt for thousands of years. Here we find the pyramids at Dashur, dated even older than the pyramids at Giza!  It is also a chance to begin savoring the riches of Egypt without huge crowds and souvenir sellers.

You can go inside the Red Pyramid (nearly as large as Giza’s Great Pyramid) and then have the opportunity for an unforgettable walk across the open desert to the Bent Pyramid.  The desert is rich with inspiration and the vastness is exhilarating.  The Bent Pyramid is also now open (it is strenuous, but you can go inside if you are physically fit). This pyramid was a key center of worship during the Middle Kingdom and was much more important than Giza at that time.  The Bent pyramid is the only pyramid to retain most of its original casing stones.  The Black Pyramid (Middle Kingdom mud brick) can also be seen from here.

After lunch at a nearby outdoor restaurant, we visit the Saqqara Complex (also spelled Sakkara), another site from Ancient Egypt’s Old Kingdom (2,575-2,150 B.C.). Here we find the Step Pyramid of Zoser (also spelled Djoser) which is dated even older than both the pyramids at Dashur and Giza! There are also some other Old Kingdom pyramids as well as tombs from the Old Kingdom that show us scenes from the daily life of people almost 5,000 years ago! We will also stop to see the Unas Valley Temple.

The extra tickets for the Mastaba Tomb of Mereruka and entering under the Step Pyramid are included in your tour.

Note that the Imhotep Museum here at Saqqara is now closed.

Next, we head to the Giza Pyramids where our hotel is located. Dinner is on your own there at the hotel. All and all, quite a first day in Egypt!

Red Pyramid

Bent Pyramid

Black Pyramid

Bent Pyramid





DAY 2 – Saturday, December 30, 2023: Giza Plateau – Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Valley Temple, camel ride (not obligatory).  Flight from Cairo to Luxor (1 hour).
Optional: Go inside 2 of the pyramids* (whichever are open).
* Ticket prices for climbing inside the pyramids are not included in your tour but can be purchased that day.
Hotel: Luxor Hotel, night #1. Meals: BB, L.  

Today is our day at the famous Giza pyramids (often referred to as “the pyramids” by people). You can go inside whichever pyramids are open (cost is not included). Of the three pyramids, two are usually open while one is closed for renovations – dates are not announced in advance. The pyramids are on every Egypt itinerary, so it is a busy place. There are souvenir sellers, horses, camels, and tourists from all over the world. Stop and think for a moment about all the people through history who have stood right here and marveled at these amazing structures. From Alexander the Great, to Napoleon, to Mark Twain, Ancient Greek scholars, presidents, kings… all have been awed by the pyramids.

Afterwards, we will see the Great Sphinx & Valley Temple. There are legends of the Sphinx speaking. Does the Sphinx have a message for you? The Valley Temple is built with huge granite blocks that fit together snugly even today, almost 5,000 years later. Some think it is even older than that!

There will also be camel rides for the adventurous (cost is included, but riding is not obligatory). Camel videos HERE.

Note: The Solar Boat Museum that used to be beside the Great Pyramid was demolished after the Solar Boat was moved to the new Grand Egyptian Museum for restoration. The opening date of that museum has not been set yet. Who knows? Maybe it will be open by the time of this tour!

After a late lunch, we will be flying to Luxor. Depending on the timing of our flight, we may have time to visit the lobby area of the GEM (if it is still not officially open). If the GEM has opened we will, instead, be visiting it on the final day of the tour. We may also have time to see how the ancient papyrus “paper” was made at a local papyrus shop. This “paper” was created out of the papyrus plants that grew in the swamp areas of Ancient Egypt. You can also have your name painted on a papyrus by a local artist. 


Kings Chamber

Camel Ride

Giza Pyramids




Papyrus “Paper”

DAY 3 – Sunday, December 31, 2023: Optional*: Early morning Balloon Ride over the West Bank of Luxor.
Sightseeing: Karnak Temples with Open Air Museum., Luxor Temple. Shopping: Jewelry, and Papyrus (if we did not do it the day before).
Hotel: Luxor Hotel, night #2. Meals: BB, L.  
* The cost of the balloon ride is not included in your tour.

If you don’t mind getting up in the morning before sunrise, you might like to take the optional balloon ride this morning before breakfast. We cannot guarantee the availability of this, as it is dependent on the weather (wind), but if you would like to try it, you will feel like a drone flying over the West Bank. Cost is not included in your tour.

Luxor has been a tourist attraction from long before the New Testament era. Even the Greeks looked to Egypt as the place of great wisdom and were enthralled by the temple ruins they found there. After breakfast at the hotel, we begin our group sightseeing with the many sights here from the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BCE). The New Kingdom is about 1,000 years after the Old Kingdom sights what we saw at the Saqqara Complex and Giza Pyramids. 

Karnak was the center of government during the New Kingdom and each pharaoh wanted to leave something impressive there. The largest temple complex in Egypt, we see multiple temples, obelisks, great gates, and the famous Hypostyle Hall – unequaled to this day.  We also see the Sacred Lake and the Festival Hall and Botanical Garden of Tutmosis III (a precursor of Napoleon’s later record of the fauna and flora found in Egypt). There is so much to see here!

Also at Karnak, we visit the fascinating Open Air Museum where we view the Red Chapel of Hatshepsut and Tutmosis III (Karnak’s original Holy of Holies) and Senwosret’s White Chapel with its finely-carved Middle Kingdom hieroglyphs.  These are in raised relief – some of the best to be found anywhere.  There is something new each time we visit, as the reconstruction of new pieces is ongoing.

After lunch, we will visit a jewelry shop where there are beautiful reproductions of pieces that were found in the tombs of pharaohs like King Tut. 

In the late afternoon, we visit the Luxor Temple when the lighting is optimal for seeing the wall reliefs. Both gently beautiful and full of awesome grandness, this temple was the “Bride of Karnak” during the annual Apet festival.  There is an Avenue of Sphinxes that connects Luxor Temple with Karnak Temple and it is one of the newly opened attractions! You may have seen the extravagant ceremony that was broadcast recently when it opened. Youtube video.

We may be able to visit some local women who do textile weaving when we get back to the West Bank of Luxor. Dinner is on your own this evening at our hotel. 








Egyptian Jewelry

DAY 4 – Monday, January 1, 2024: Check out of our Luxor hotel. Luxor West Bank sites – Tomb of Queen Nefertari (Valley of the Queens), Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut’s Deir El Bahari Temple, Village Kids, and the Colossi of Memnon. Begin our Private Nile Cruise.
Nile Cruise: Sacred Lotus Dahabiya, night #1. Meals: BB, L, D.  

After checking out of the hotel today, we have a very special treat. The Tomb of Queen Nefertari has now been opened to the public! There is a hefty entrance fee (about $85 USD), but that has been included in your tour. The beauty of this tomb is incomparable, literally breathtaking. Images from this tomb, with its many depictions of the gods and goddesses, are found in all the well-known books of Egypt. What an opportunity to see it ourselves up close! Ruth Shilling (your tour leader!) has authored a book with many beautiful photos of this tomb. See it on Amazon.

Next, we visit the most famous archeological site in the world, the Valley of the Kings, where King Tut’s tomb was found.  There are many tombs here, and excavations are still going on, as well as renovations to tombs that have been uncovered for a long time. One never knows which tombs will be open that day, but there will be a variety to choose from.  The special ticket for the remarkable Tomb of Ramesses V&VI is included in your tour, in addition to 3 other tombs of your choice. This is the tomb you may have seen with the spectacular scene of the sky goddess Nut arched across the ceiling (see video below). There are also optional tickets available for the Tomb of King Tut and King Seti 1.

Here on Luxor’s West Bank, we also stop to see the “Colossi of Memnon.” They are actually two huge statues of Amenhotep III which stood at the entrance to a temple that no longer stands. During our first tours of Egypt, there were fields of grain behind these statues. Today it is an active archeological site with new artifacts being discovered on a regular basis.

In the afternoon, we visit one of the earliest New Kingdom temples.  Called “The Most Splendid of All” by the ancient Egyptians. Queen/King Hatshepsut’s Temple, the famous Deir El Bahari, has inspired many, including the founders of modern architecture. One of the outstanding features is the picturesque Hathor columns in the Hathor Chapel on the second Level. The third level has now also been opened to the public.

Here on the West Bank of Luxor are workshops for alabaster statues, figurines, and other assorted items made in stone. We will stop at one of these workshops to see their handiwork if there is interest.

One of the high points for many of our travelers is getting a chance to have some fun with some of the local kids in a village here when we visit them today. Their enthusiasm is infectious and there is much laughter and excitement.

Many of us don’t want to leave the kids, but our private cruise boat is waiting for us there on the West Bank. This size boat is called a “dahabiya” or “dahabeya.” There are just 10 guest cabins, but we have a full staff – cooks to feed us wonderful meals, housekeeping to keep our cabins clean, and all the other staff that is needed to keep the boat running smoothly. What a luxury! As we begin our journey up the Nile, the landscape begins to slowly drift by and we enjoy our first of many delicious meals on the boat (made just for us)!

The river flows from deep in Africa out to the Mediterranean Sea, so it is flowing from south to north. We are now traveling southward and will be stopping to see temples that were built by the Greek emperors 1,000 years later than the New Kingdom temples we visited in Luxor.

VIDEO BELOW: The Sky Goddess Nut on the Ceiling of the Ramesses V & VI Tomb in the Valley of the Kings

USE FULL SCREEN (bottom right square icon) to watch the video below.

The Ceiling of the Burial Chamber of the Tomb of Ramesses V&VI


kv – RAMESSES v&vi





Valley of the kings


DAY 5 – Tuesday, January 2, 2024: Village Market visit. Sail to Esna, pass the lock and visit the Esna Temple. 
Nile Cruise: Sacred Lotus Dahabiya, night #2. Meals: BB, L, D.  

Those who would like to see what it is like to shop with the locals at their once-a-week village market can do so this morning. You’ll have to get up early! It opens at 5:00am and we will be sailing to Esna today, so we’ll plan to visit the market before breakfast.

As soon as people get back from the market, we sail from Luxor to Esna where the level of the Nile River is regulated by a lock. Going through the lock has its own value as an interesting experience. It is impressive what the modern world is able to do with the longest river in the world (the NIle!).

On our first day of sightseeing in Egypt, we saw pyramids and tombs from the Old Kingdom at Saqqara. While in Luxor, we saw temples and tombs from the New Kingdom. Today we move forward another 1,000 years in time to see a temple from Egypt’s Greco-Roman era. 

The Temple at Esna was built by Ptolemy III and is dedicated to the god Khnum, as well as the goddesses Neith, Satet, and Menhet. Khnum was the god who created people’s two bodies out of clay on his potter’s wheel — one for the person’s physical body and one for his Ka (spirit body). They are in the process of cleaning and restoring this temple. An impressive astrological ceiling is being revealed. The scenes that were once just black lumps on the walls, pillars, and ceiling have now been cleaned and reveal some stunning artwork. It is truly a privilege to be some of the first people in the post-Christian era to witness these.






DAY 6 – Wednesday, January 3, 2024: Sailing to Silsila Mountain. Silsila Quarries with Horemheb Temple,
Nile Cruise: Sacred Lotus Dahabiya, night #3. Meals: BB, L, D.  

This morning we have some downtime to let the gentle current of the Nile cleanse our bodies, minds, and souls. Being on the Nile is like time outside of time. Are we in Biblical times? The early 1900’s? Is it really the 21st century? Could that be Agatha Christie I see there writing her next mystery novel? Do memories of earlier times and faces cross your mind? You may want to write in your journal, take a delicious nap, photograph the birds and other wildlife, or just allow your mind to drift along as the landscape passes by. 

This afternoon we dock at Gebel el-Silsila (Silsila Mountain) and visit the Temple of Horemheb, a site not easily accessible and certainly impossible to visit with a large cruise boat. Such a visit is more the way it would have been for Egypt travelers in the past. No vendors hawking their wares, no automobiles or buses. This site is also where many of the huge stones used in building the temples we have seen were quarried. The scale of such an operation is quite striking when one sees where the stones originated.



NILE Dahabiya






DAY 7 – Thursday, January 4, 2024: Kom Ombo Temple, Philae Isis Temple.
Hotel: Sacred Lotus Dahabiya Nile Cruise Boat, night #4. Meals: BB, L, D.

The Kom Ombo Temple sits high on a hill above the Nile. It’s a special feeling when we approach it. This temple has two parallel entrances, one for each of the deities it honors. Sobek was a crocodile god and Haeoris was an aspect of the hawk-god Horus. We also visit here the Mummified Crocodile Museum. This site is one that is on the itinerary of the large cruise boats, but by visiting at this time we are usually delighted to have avoided all those crowds.

In the late afternoon, we visit the Philae Isis Temple. This was the last temple where the Ancient Egyptian religion was actively practiced. It remained in operation well into the Christian era until it was closed in 537 AD by the Roman Emporer Justinian I. We will travel by motorboat to the beautiful island where the Isis Temple was moved to save it (just as Abu Simbel was saved) from the rising water levels. The temple was actually partially submerged when the Low Dam was constructed (1899-1902) by the British, but with the construction of the High Dam (1959-1970), it would have been underwater completely. Thankfully, it was moved to higher ground on a neighboring island and its beauty continues to shine. Late afternoon is the perfect time to visit and soak in the beauty here. 

Time to enjoy one last evening on our special cruise boat. Then it is time to pack our bags up to leave tomorrow morning. 









DAY 8 – Friday, January 5, 2024: Abu Simbel Temples. Flight from Aswan to Cairo.
Hotel: Novotel Cairo Airport or similar. Meals: BB, L, D  

Leaving our dahabiya boat (I know, everyone is always sad to leave the dahabiya), we begin the day-long trip to visit the two large temples at Abu Simbel. These two temples were built by Ramesses II and were carved into the cliff itself. The smaller temple is for the Goddess Hathor and was dedicated to his queen, Nefertari. The Abu Simbel Temples were made famous when the high dam was constructed and they were soon to be submerged under the new lake, Lake Nasser. A UNESCO international effort saved the temples by moving them to higher ground. We will have lunch at a Nubian Restaurant before returning to Aswan in the afternoon.

We fly back to Cairo in the evening. Our hotel is conveniently located right near the Cairo airport for an easy arrival this evening and also when you depart for home tomorrow evening.









DAY 9 – Saturday, January 6, 2024: Museum Day in Cairo, Cairo Egyptian Museum. or GEM Farewell Dinner.  
Departures home by those taking the 11:55pm nonstop flight to Washington, DC. 
Meals: BB, L, D.

We have high hopes that the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) will be open at the time of this tour. Just as the name implies, this will be a world-renowned museum. It is the largest museum in Africa and will also house the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities, including the entire King Tut collection.

If for some reason the GEM is not open yet, we will visit the Cairo Egyptian Museum or the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) where the royal mummies are now housed. There will also be time to visit a mosque this afternoon.

It’s hard to believe our time has reached an end. We have a final meeting and dinner together before returning home. Most people will be flying nonstop direct Cairo/Washington, DC at 11:55pm this evening. A representative will bring the group to the departure terminal at Cairo Airport at about 8:30pm.

Farewell Egypt! You will continue to live in our hearts!






Visit our original website, 1worldtours.com for information about our previous tours, additional photos of Egypt, our contact information, and more.