Egypt & The Eternal Nile
Accompanied by an expert Egyptian guide, this singular small group journey through antiquity travels from vibrant Cairo and the Great Pyramids to Abu Simbel and the Upper Nile for a fascinating cruise on Lake Nasser. Then: a classic voyage along the Lower Nile from Aswan to Luxor before returning to Cairo.
Exclusive Departure: this departure is considered exclusive and the participants are U-M travelers, who consist of alums, family and friends.
Depart U.S. for Cairo, Egypt
Arrive in Cairo
Arrive Cairo We arrive in the Egyptian capital and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned.
After a morning briefing, our full-day tour begins at the acclaimed Egyptian Museum, the world’s greatest repository of ancient relics. Then we tour the Citadel of Saladin housing the alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. B,L,D
Today’s tour starts at the open-air museum at Memphis, Egypt’s first capital (3100 BCE). We continue on to the necropolis at Sakkara then to the astounding Pyramids of Giza, the wonders of antiquity that have drawn visitors for millennia. Here, too, we encounter the enigmatic Sphinx, whose leonine body and human face were carved from a single piece of limestone. B,L
Cairo/Abu Simbel/Embark Lake Nasser Cruise
Early this morning we fly to Aswan then continue by coach across edge of the Sahara to Abu Simbel. We board our Lake Nasser ship in time for lunch, then we visit the temples and colossal 65-foot-high statues of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari that were dismantled and moved to higher ground during the construction of Aswan dam. Tonight we watch a dramatic sound-and- light show at Abu Simbel. B,L,D
Lake Nasser Cruising – Kasr Ibrim/ Amada/ Wadi el-Seboua
Early risers can watch the sun climb over temples at Abu Simbel before we sail to Kasr Ibrim, the last remaining Nubian settlement in its original location. From the sun deck we learn about this ancient site (it’s forbidden to go ashore here), then sail to Amada, followed by Wadi el-Seboua. B, L,D
Lake Nasser Cruising – Valley of the Lions/ Aswan
This morning we visit the striking avenue of sphinxes at Wadi el-Seboua’s “Valley of the Lions” then cruise to Aswan. B,L,D
Disembark/Aswan/Embark Nile Cruise Ship
We set out early this morning to visit New Kalabsha, site of the largest freestanding Nubian temple, which was relocated here for the construction of the Aswan High Dam. We return to our ship for breakfast then bid farewell to the crew as we embark on a tour of the Aswan High Dam. Next we visit the imposing temple to Isis on Agilkia Island before boarding our Nile cruise ship. This afternoon we board small feluccas, replicas of ancient Nile sailboats, for a relaxing sail. back on our ship tonight we enjoy the Captain’s welcome cocktail party. B,L,D
Nile Cruising- Kom Ombo/Edfu/ Luxor
This morning we cruise to the ancient trading town of Kom Ombo, with outstanding Nile views from the Temple of Sobek. Then we sail on to Edfu’s Temple of Horus, Egypt’s best-preserved temple (built between 237 BCE -57 BCE). We return to our ship for lunch as we sail to Luxor (our final sail), enjoying a quiet afternoon on the Nile. A belly dance performance accompanies dinner tonight. B,L,D
Nile Cruising – Luxor/West Bank
Luxor boasts vast temple complexes, tombs, and statues dating from 2755 BCE that represents the pinnacle of Egyptian architecture. Today we explore the West Bank, site of the haunting Valley of Kings, where 34 royal tombs feature magnificent paintings; the Valley of the Queens; and the dramatic Temple of Hatshepsut honoring one of the few female pharaohs. We also see the massive Colossi of Memmon, two 64- foot high statues of Amenhotep III that once guarded the gates of his mortuary temple. B,L,D
Nile Cruising – Luxor/East Bank
Today we tour Luxor’s East Bank, home of Karnak, the great-est temple complex of them all, whose ruins stretch for more than a mile to connect with Luxor. We also explore Luxor Temple, whose builders included both Tutankhamun and Alexander the Great. Here, at the Great Court of Ramses II, we see the ancient obelisk whose twin presides over Place de Concorde in Paris. B,L,D
We have the choice to rise very early to see the West Bank from above on an optional hot air balloon ride. Disembarking our ship later this morning, we transfer to our hotel. This afternoon we tour the Luxor Museum, housing relics discovered at the site. B,L
We fly today to Cairo. After checking in at our hotel, we visit the exotic Khan el-Khalili bazaar. This afternoon is free for independent exploration and dinner on our own. B
This morning we encounter Old Cairo, the district where early capital cities once stood. We visit 5th-century St. Sergius Church, the Coptic church of el-Muallaqa constructed over the bastions of a Roman gate; and Ben Ezra Synagogue, built in 882. Mid-day we return to our hotel where tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner. B,D
Depart for U.S.
Very early this morning we transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S. B
Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven terrain and at sites of ancient ruins. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.
Meet Your Trip Host
Richard Redding is a Research Scientist at the Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan, as well as, a principle investigator in Archaeological Projects in North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. He is also the Chief Research Officer (CRO) of the Ancient Egyptian Research Associates (AERA www.aeraweb.org).
Dr. Redding received his Bachelors, Masters and bi-departmental PhDs at the University of Michigan (1981). His doctorate was bi-departmental in both Anthropological Archaeology and Biological Sciences. He has taught at Hamilton College, Wellesley College and Oakland University. Dr. Redding was also the Director of Science at Cranbrook Institute of Science (1986-1991) before returning to the University of Michigan in 1993.
Dr. Redding’s investigations, excavations, and surveys have taken him all over the world seeking an understanding of the origin of food production and the evolution of complex societies. He has excavated in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Armenia, Georgia, China, Israel, Mexico, Wyoming and Michigan. As an educator, he is deeply committed to teaching young archaeologists and students in the US, China, and Egypt. Recent teaching has focused on Complexity Theory in Archaeology, Origin and Evolution of Pastoralism and Archaeozoology, which is his specialty.
Dr. Redding publishes articles and reviews annually. His works appear in multiple books, journals, and scientific magazines. His most recent article published is, “The Pig and the Chicken: the Introduction of the Chicken in the Middle East and its Relation to the Evolution of the Human Prohibition on Pig Consumption.” His book, “Kom el-Hisn: An Old Kingdom Village in the Nile Delta”, was published in 2016. Other recent articles published are results of his work at the Pyramids at Giza and the Giza Mapping Project. Other recent works catalog his work in Iran, Turkey, China, Greece, and Anatolia.
He has appeared in several documentaries. Recently, January 2019, in “Decoding the Great Pyramid”. He is appears in “Unearthed (Season 2) – The secret History of the Sphinx.” This is still playing on the Science Channel. He has filmed for two other specials this fall.
Dr. Redding first worked in Egypt in 1981 in the Fayyum Depression. He has also worked in the Eastern Desert of Egypt, Luxor, the Nile Delta and Giza. He was co-director in 1984, 1986 and 1988 at the Old Kingdom site of Kom el-Hisn, a village in the Nile Delta. Since 1989, Dr. Redding has been involved in excavations at the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders. He has spent every winter in Egypt since 1997. Although he works extensively in Egypt, he would like you to know, “I am not an Egyptologist; my interests are in cultural processes.”
Dr. Redding, an avid bicyclist, lives with his wife, Cheri Alexander, in Ann Arbor, where she is also on staff and teaches at the Ross Business School. They have one daughter at Harvard.