Days 1-3 - Cairo
Day 4 - Beni Suef
Day 5 - Minya
Day 6 - Beni Hassan
Day 7 - Amarna / Asyut
Day 8 - Sohag
Day 9 - El Balyana / Abydos / Qena
Days 10 & 11 - Denderah / Luxor 
Day 12 - Edfu
Days 13 & 14 - Aswan
Day 15 - Return Flight

Secret Nile

Return to Egypt for the classic long cruise sailing into the desert from Cairo to Aswan via the ancient capitals of Amarna and Thebes visiting rarely explored temples and tombs and the Pyramids

This cruise follows in the footsteps of Napoleon’s savants, Champollion who uncovered the secrets of the hieroglyphs and the 19th-century British travellers – all travelled south on the Nile to Thebes, enjoying some days of sailing after hectic Cairo – in between visits to the ancient sites.

The ancient capital moved between Upper (Thebes) and Lower Egypt (Memphis), sometimes split and sometimes united, except when the ‘heretic’ Pharaoh Akhenaten and Nefertiti moved the capital to Amarna between the two kingdoms.

Whilst Cairo and Luxor are influenced by tourism, these cruises offer a rare opportunity to observe an old way of life and ancient sites largely unvisited, with the benefit of longer actual cruising than on the classic Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan. For the returning visitor it will ‘fill in’ the gap between the Pyramids and ancient Thebes, then reveal ‘secret’ sites from Luxor to Aswan.

Colourful scenes embellish the desert tombs at Tuna el-Gebel, the cliffs at Beni Hassan, the temples at Abydos, necropolis of the pharaohs and Greco-Roman Denderah.

Key Features

Culture & Riverscapes
Jules Verne Sightseeing
2 UNESCO Heritage Sites
No Single Supplement
Egyptian Tour Manager
On Board Lectures
Group Size: 6 – 25

Special Events

Cocktail Reception & Luxor Temple by Night

A private cocktail reception at the Victorian Lounge in the Old Winter Palace, where Howard Carter announced the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Enjoy a memorable visit to the illuminated Luxor Temple.

Day 1 Fly from London Heathrow to Cairo. Transfer to the 5-star Mövenpick MS Darakum for a 14-night cruise. (D)

Day 2 Full-day visit to the Pyramids and Sphinx. Discover the Egyptian Museum (or the Grand Egyptian Museum subject to opening), home to the Amarna Room and the treasures of Tutankhamun. Enjoy an oriental Takht music performance on board. (B, L, D)

Day 3 Visit Saqqara step pyramid and Memphis, the first capital of ancient Egypt. Visit Old Cairo including the Coptic museum. Managers cocktail party. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Relax and enjoy your first views of the timeless Nile scenes, interspersed with minarets and Coptic church towers as you cruise to the riverside town of Beni Suef. Enjoy a talk on agriculture, irrigation and village life on the Nile and navigation (bridge visit). Egyptian wine tasting. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Sail to the regional capital, Minya. Birdwatching talk and introductory talk on Akhenaten and Nefertiti. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Visit the tombs, catacombs and temple of Tuna el-Gebel and Ashmunein. Afternoon visit to the beautifully decorated Middle Kingdom tombs of Beni Hassan. Folklore show. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Sail to Tel el Amarna. A presentation on Akhenaten and Nefertiti at the Amarna Visitor Centre. Visit the northern tombs and royal tomb of Akhenaten at Amarna. View Prince Tawadros’ monastery from the Nile en route to Asyut. Galabeya party. (B, L, D)

Day 8 A full-day’s sailing to Sohag while listening to talks on modern Egypt, education and hieroglyphs. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Sail to El Balyana. At Abydos, visit the New Kingdom temple of Seti I. Pass two locks and the railway bridge at Naga Hammadi. Sail to Qena town. (B, L, D)

Day 10 Visit the Temple of Hathor at Denderah, viewing the image of Cleopatra and son. Sail to Luxor. Cooking lesson. ‘Luxor Temple by Night and Cocktail at the Victorian Lounge of the Old Winter Palace’. (B, L, D)

Day 11 At the West Bank, visit the Temple of Medinet Habu, Tombs of the Nobles and Workmen at Deir el-Medina and Howard Carter’s house. (B, L, D)

Day 12 Visit Luxor Museum and explore the souks of Luxor. Sail to Edfu. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Visit el-Kab temple and tombs. Sail to Kom Ombo. Visit Gebel el-Silsila quarries. Sail to Aswan. (B, L, D)

Day 14 Visit the Tombs of Nobles and Lake Nasser’s Kalabsha Temple. (B, L, D)

Day 15 Return flight via Cairo. (B)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner


Temple, tomb and pyramid visits are on foot with steps and uneven surfaces.
The programme may be altered due to navigational factors with locks, water levels or congestion at certain sites.


per person in a Lower Deck twin/double cabin
Egyptair from Heathrow

Date Price
February 22 £4795
March 20 £4795
April 15 £4695
September 13 £4895
October 9 £4895
November 4 £4995
No Single Supplement

(limited dates/availability)

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Lower Deck double cabin for sole use
(limited dates/availability)
2023: Apr 15, May 11, Sep 13, Oct 9, Nov 4

Lower Deck (double cabin for sole use) £1395 (Sep & Oct 2023 £1545; Nov 2023 £1645)

Cabin Upgrades

Main Deck (twin/double) £345
Main Deck (double for sole use) £1845 (Sep & Oct £1995; Nov £2195)
Upper Deck £475
Upper Deck (double for sole use) £2245 (Sep & Oct £2395; Nov £2595)
Main Deck Junior Suite (twin/double) £795
Senior Suite £1395
Panorama Suite £1745

Extension Options

Extra nights – Aswan 
Sofitel Old Cataract (per night) 
Standard Premium Nile Wing (twin/double) £205 (May - Sep £135)
Standard Premium Nile Wing (double for sole use) £400 (May - Sep £240)
Luxury Nile Wing (king bed)  £245 (May - Sep £165)
Luxury Nile Wing (king bed for sole use) £460 (May - Sep £290)
Arrival or departure transfer add £15

Extra Nights - Cairo
Crowne Plaza West Cairo Arkan Hotel (per night)
Standard (twin/double) £75
Standard (single) £135
Arrival or departure transfer £15

Independent Arrival

Save £450 
Arrival or departure transfer add £15

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, all port charges, transfers, 14-night cruise, full board on cruise vessel, excursions, Egyptian Tour Manager, Egyptologist and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, visa procurement fee, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

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Secret Nile

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