Today, you’ll explore two of Egypt’s most illustrious shrines: the Karnak and Luxor temple complexes. Said to be the world’s largest religious structure in area, the vast Karnak Temple complex was built and used over a period of 2,000 years. You’ll be awed by the Great Hypostyle Hall, where a monolithic forest of 134 huge columns is laid out in 16 rows. The largest are 33 feet around and soar to 80 feet in height.
A walkway lined with rams-head sphinxes leads all the way from Karnak to the 3,500-year-old Luxor Temple complex. Dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu, Luxor’s graceful inner courtyards are lined with Ramesside colossi and graceful columns covered in carvings and hieroglyphics.
Serene Nile cruising to Edfu
After Lunch , the m/s Steigenberger proudly sets sail. As Luxor dwindles into the distance, you’ll join a procession of other stately cruise ships, amongst which Steigerberger . This is the ideal opportunity to luxuriate in the peaceful rhythm of life on board ship. In between sumptuous meals, cool off in the sparkling pool, sip cocktails in the shade on the deck, curl up with a good book, or just watch the Nile’s lush fertile banks drift by.
As you pass tiny riverside villages and groves of date palms, you’ll feel as if you’re witnessing scenes straight out of biblical stories. Glimpses of sand dunes and bare cliffs just beyond the slender strip of agricultural land attest to the life-giving importance of the Nile to this desert land. Enjoy opportunities for birdwatching as you sail toward Aswan — be sure to step out onto the deck with your camera to capture some of the action.
Visit the Temple of Horus at Edfu
Horse-drawn carriages will be waiting for us along the waterfront at Edfu this afternoon for the ride through this small river city to the famously well-preserved temple of Horus. The largest temple dedicated to the falcon god, it is notable for the two stone falcons at its entrance and the huge relief figures on its façade.
The temple was built in the Ptolemaic Kingdom between 237 and 57 BC, but was literally lost beneath the sands of time as drifting desert sand and river silt deposited by the Nile buried it to a depth of 40 feet. Local inhabitants built their homes over it and, by 1798, when the temple was discovered by a French expedition, only the upper portions of the pylons were visible.
This evening, don traditional galabiyas for a fun costume party on board. Dressed like an Egyptian, you’ll be ready to dance like an Egyptian, too, as a vibrant Oriental show with lively music sets the mood for a festive night like no other.
• Breakfast, lunch & dinner
• Visit Horus Temple
• Galabiya party
Nile cruise Steigenberger Legacy