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From ancient wonders to modern innovation

  • 03/15/2020 - 03/27/2020
  • 13 Days
  • Starting price $5,995

Trace the evolution of Egypt’s built environment, from the ancient wonders of pyramids and tombs representing the divide between the mortal world and the divine to the recent innovation behind planning of a new city within Cairo, the impetus of which was to alleviate traffic. Marvel at unforgettable UNESCO World Heritage sites including the Abu Simbel temples, the ruins of the village of Deir el-Bahari, and the medieval fortification Saladin Citadel.  Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the construction of the Aswan High Dam. From stepping inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to exploring New Cairo, a city only two decades old, and meeting with faculty from the American University in Cairo to discuss the establishment of the main campus in New Cairo in 2008 and its focus on energy and sustainability, become immersed in the texture, history, and marvels both grand and quotidian which span millennia.

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Max. guests - 25

Architectural highlights

  • Step inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • Admire the Temple of Amun, the largest place of worship ever constructed, which is dedicated to the ancient Egyptian god of sun and air.
  • Stroll through New Cairo’s neighborhoods to view design and construction in more recent eras with a local architect.
  • Marvel at the Abu Simbel temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered to be the masterpieces of ancient Egypt.
  • Explore the Aswan High Dam and commemorate the 50th anniversary of its construction.
  • Discover Saladin Citadel, a medieval fortification and UNESCO World Heritage Site, which features three main mosques and several museums.
  • Take in the Horus Temple of Edfu, noting the juxtaposition of Egyptian and Greek influences.
  • View the ruins and complex of mortuary temples and tombs in Deir el-Bahari, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

More highlights

  • Meet with faculty from the American University in Cairo to discuss the university’s move to New Cairo.
  • Explore the Valley of the Kings, the royal burial ground for almost 500 years, during the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties.
  • Sail up the famed Nile River on the MS Tulip with stops to explore different ancient temples and monuments.
  • Witness the juxtaposition of Islam and Christianity through its places of worship in Cairo.
  • Learn about the Nubian culture and its architecture as you are hosted for tea in a private home.
  • This trip qualifies for 20 AIA learning units.

 

Accommodations

  • Marriott Mena House, Giza - Now a luxury hotel overlooking the Giza pyramids, Mena House itself is steeped in history. Built in the mid-1800s as a private royal lodge and refuge from Cairo, it received its first guest in 1887. Since that time, it has expanded to 331 rooms, lavish gardens, pools, restaurants and lounges.
  • Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan - This iconic 5-star property, modeled on a 19th-century Victorian palace on the banks of the Nile River, has played host to dignitaries and luminaries alike over its storied history. Built in 1899 by Thomas Cook, its guests have included Winston Churchill, Princess Diana, Queen Noor and Agatha Christie who used it as the inspiration for one of her novels.
  • MS Tulip, Aswan-Luxor - The newly-refurbished MS Tulip boasts 42 contemporary and spacious cabins, a large sundeck, with a swimming pool, and health club. Each cabin is equipped with amenities expected in any 4-star hotel.
  • Hotel Al Moudira, Luxor - Conceived by Zeina Aboukheir with inspirations from her childhood, and designed with architect Olivier Sedanoui, Al Moudira (Arabic for “the boss lady”) was constructed in the early 2000s by 150 local artisans. This boutique property on Luxor’s West Bank marries the cosmopolitan with the personal.
  • Marriott Cairo, Zamalek Island - Khedive Ismail built the historic Palace Al Gezirah in Cairo, Egypt in 1869 to serve as a guest palace during the Suez Canal inauguration celebrations. Marriott International took over the property for management in the 1970s. They restored the original palace, furnishing it with amenities befitting a five-star hotel and flanking it with two modern towers housing 1,087 guest rooms.

 

Also included

  • Group transfers for arrivals and departures
  • 11 nights’ accommodations
  • 24 meals: 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 5 dinners and 1 reception
  • 3 internal flights
  • An experienced Tour Director and multilingual local guide in addition to the Architectural Adventures Educational Expert
  • All guided visits and entrance fees for all included visits
  • Air-conditioned coach for excursions
  • Service charges, taxes and gratuities for guides, bus drivers, porters, hotel staff and restaurant staff
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Medical evacuation insurance for all participants and staff

 

What to expect

  • Appropriate for people in good health with overall good mobility
  • Traveler should be comfortable participating in a full day of sightseeing
  • Activities range from light to moderate intensity at an easy pace, but with lengthy walks, sometimes on uneven terrain, and climbing on stairs.

 

Price

  • $5,995 per person (land only) based on double occupancy
  • $1,350 single supplement
  • A deposit of $500 per person, payable by credit card or check is required to reserve a space
  • Deposits are applied to payment of the total price and the final payment is due by December 16, 2019 for the March departure date and August 10, 2020 for the November departure date.

 

Not included

  • Airfare and air departure taxes and fees; airline baggage fees and excess baggage fees; passport fees; meals not specified in the itinerary; food and beverages not part of the included meals; items of a personal nature; gratuities for MS Tulip ship crew; travel and trip cancellation insurance; other items not specifically mentioned in the itinerary or as included.
  • Prices, itinerary, accommodations and experts subject to change.

 

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Architectural Adventures tours are managed by professional tour operators retained as independent contractors by The American Institute of Architects. To read Architectural Adventures full Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer visit architecturaladventures.org/travel-terms. To read the tour-specific terms and conditions from our tour operator Academic Travel Abroad visit architecturaladventures.org/ata.

 

Itinerary

Overview

Begin your journey

Depart your gateway city for Cairo.
Overview

Arrive in Cairo, Egypt

After arriving in Cairo, transfer to your hotel near Giza, Mena House, with a history dating back to 1869. After settling in, gather for a welcome reception overlooking the Giza pyramids.

Accommodations: Mena House
Meals: Reception
Overview

Saqqara

Visit the ancient burial ground complex of Saqqara, site of the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser, and Pyramid of Unas. Venture underground to the Serapeum of Saqqara, the magnificent burial site for the sacred Apis bulls. This evening, gather for a festive welcome dinner.

Accommodations: Mena House
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Overview

Ancient Wonders

Discover the newly-reopened and relocated Egyptian Museum on a guided tour, and admire ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman treasures including the riches of Tutankhamun. Step inside and explore the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and see the Great Sphinx of Giza. Discover the Khufu Ship (known as the Solar Boat), an intact full-size vessel which dates back to the fourth-dynasty Pharaoh, Cheops.

Accommodations: Mena House
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overview

Abu Simbel

Transfer to the Cairo Airport for an internal flight to Abu Simbel. View the Abu Simbel temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The two temples, the Great Sun Temple of Ramses II and the Temple of Queen Nefertari, with their unique style, are considered to be the masterpieces of ancient Egypt. These temples were moved in the 1960s, when the construction of the Aswan High Dam threatened to submerge the temples and ruin these ancient masterpieces. Meet with a local architect who will discuss the twenty-year construction of the temples in addition to the process of moving them to their current locale. Transfer back to the airport for a brief flight to Aswan. Enjoy high tea on the Old Cataract Terrace at the Cataract Hotel while admiring the sunset followed by an insider discussion with a local expert about this storied property.

Accommodations: Cataract Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Tea
Overview

Aswan and The High Dam

Take a wooden sailing boat called a felucca around Elephantine Island, the ancient crossroads of ancient trading routes from Lower Egypt, the Western Desert, and India. Continue on the felucca to a nearby Nubian Village, with a warm welcome into the home of a local family for a cup of tea to learn about Nubian culture, which predates dynastic Egypt, as well as Nubian architecture, a style unto its own. Transfer to the the MS Tulip ship, for lunch and embarkation. Visit the Aswan High Dam to see one of Egypt’s most important engineering structures. Discuss the ramifications of the construction of High Dam on antiquities, agricultural, and the economy before returning to the ship for dinner.

Accommodations: MS Tulip
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Kom Ombo

Journey to the rescued Philae Temple, honoring the Goddess Isis, the goddess of love. Set sail at lunchtime and begin the journey up the famed Nile. As the sun sets, visit the Temple of Kom Ombo. A rare double temple, Kom Ombo has a design duplicated on both sides, shared by the gods Sobek and Haeroris.

Accommodations: MS Tulip
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Diner
Overview

The Horus Temple

Enjoy riding in horse-drawn carriages or calèches to one of the best-preserved temples, and the second largest temple in Egypt, the Horus Temple of Edfu. The construction on this temple, which combined Egyptian and Greek influences, began in 237 BC, and wasn’t completed until almost 180 years later. The main building features the Hypostyle Hall, the entrance to which amazingly still retains some pigment of its original reliefs.

Accommodations: MS Tulip
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

The Nile’s West Bank

Explore the West Bank of the Nile starting with the Valley of the Kings, the royal burial ground for almost 500 years, during the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties. In nearby Deir el-Bahari, visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, one of the most striking monuments in Egypt, celebrating the historic female ruler who posed as a male to ascend the throne. View the Medinet Habu, a well-preserved temple on the West Bank. It is remarkable for the amount of the original pigment still visible and is best-known for its inscribed reliefs of the battle of the “Sea Peoples.” Explore the ruins of the village of Deir el-Bahari, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the artisans worked on the royal tombs during the New Kingdom era. From a preserved heritage site to a threatened one, take a special excursion to El Kurna. Built in the 1940s by architect Hassan Fathy to house the residents of Kurna, El Kurna combines traditional materials and techniques with modern principles but was never completed and much of the original intention has been lost. In 2010, UNESCO called attention to the unique predicament of this village and included it on its watch list of endangered sites. This evening, experience the splendor of Luxor Temple by night.

Accommodations: Hotel Al Moudira
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overview

The Nile’s East Bank

Discover the largest of Luxor’s temples, Karnak, one of the most sacred sites in ancient Egypt. It marked the ascendancy of Thebes (present day Luxor) as the capital of the New Kingdom, with construction beginning in the 16th century BC, but continuing under myriad pharaohs, all of whom incorporated their own design influence into the original structure. View the Temple of Amun, dedicated to the ancient Egyptian god of sun and air. This temple has the distinction of being the largest place of worship ever constructed. Engage in a dialogue with Zeina Aboukheir, the visionary behind Al Moudira, the accommodation in Luxor, to discuss the inspiration behind her boutique hotel. The name Al Moudira in Arabic means “Boss Lady,” a playful take on her integral role in its creation.

Accommodations: Hotel Al Moudira
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overview

Religious Cairo

After a short flight to Cairo, explore the juxtaposition of Islam and Christianity through its places of worship. The Hanging Church, which dates to the 4th century and is so-named for its location above a gatehouse of Babylon fortress, served as the residence of the Coptic Patriarch from the 7th to 13th centuries. Within five miles stands the Saladin (later the Mosque of Mohamed Ali) Citadel, a medieval fortification and UNESCO World Heritage Site, which features three main mosques and several museums. View these temples of worship, which have observed continuous rituals since it was built, and the strategic vista overlooking the Sultan Hassan Mosque.

Accommodations: Marriott Cairo Zamalek Island
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overview

New Cairo

Travel to New Cairo, a city which is only two decades old, and meet with faculty from the American University in Cairo to discuss the establishment of the main campus in New Cairo in 2008 and its focus on energy and sustainability. Explore some of Cairo’s neighborhoods to view design and construction in more recent eras with a local architect. Toast this journey with a farewell dinner on a former floating palace.

Accommodations: Marriott Cairo Zamalek Island
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overview

Depart Cairo

Transfer to the Cairo International Airport and depart for home.
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