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
Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D.
Marshall S. Runge is the executive vice president for Medical Affairs at the University of Michigan, Dean of the Medical School, and CEO of Michigan Medicine. Prior to joining the University of Michigan in March 2015, he was executive dean and chair of the Department of Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, where he was instrumental in guiding the academic and clinical leadership of the School of Medicine and the UNC Health Care System. He was also principal investigator and director of the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill. He was elected to the board of directors of Eli Lilly and Company in 2013.
Before joining the UNC faculty in 2000, Dr. Runge held the John Sealy Distinguished Chair in Internal Medicine and was director of the Division of Cardiology and the Sealy Center for Molecular Cardiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
Dr. Runge earned his doctorate in molecular biology at Vanderbilt University and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he also completed a residency in internal medicine. He was a cardiology fellow and faculty member at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital before joining Emory University as an associate professor of medicine in 1989. Dr. Runge has been a physician-scientist for his entire career, combining basic and translational research with the care of patients with cardiovascular diseases and education. He is the author of over 200 publications in the field and holds five patents for novel approaches to health care.