WHY IT RATES: Tauck’s new Egypt itineraries feature private, after-hours admission to King Tut’s Tomb. —Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer
Tauck is launching two new itineraries in Egypt next year, and both will be highlighted by a Tauck-exclusive, after-hours, private tour of the Valley of the Kings that includes a private visit to the legendary tomb of King Tutankhamun (popularly known as King Tut). Each of the two new tours will also feature a multiple-night cruise and exploration along the Nile aboard a luxury Oberoi riverboat.
For nearly 500 years (from the 16th to 11th century BC), rock tombs cut into the Valley of the Kings served as final resting places for the pharaohs and nobles of Egypt’s New Kingdom. The valley contains more than 60 tombs, some containing as many as 120 chambers, with many ornately decorated and initially stocked with items for the afterlife.
The 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamun’s nearly intact tomb, and the more than 5,000 priceless artifacts it contained, captivated the world and sparked an enduring fascination with ancient Egypt that continues to this day.
According to company CEO Dan Mahar, the special access Tauck provides in the Valley of the Kings is transformative.
“Tutankhamun’s tomb lay basically undisturbed for more than 3,000 years,” said Mahar. “It’s far easier to reflect on the sheer magnitude of the history you’re experiencing if you’re with a small, intimate group, after everyone else has left for the day. It elevates an already memorable visit to a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.” The Valley of the Kings hosts approximately 1.5 million visitors a year, and daily visitation can top 4,000 to 5,000.
A 10-Year Restoration of Tutankhamun’s Tomb
Now is a particularly good time to visit Tutankhamun’s final resting place, as a painstaking, ten-year conservation project that restored the wall paintings in the pharaoh’s tomb was completed just this year. Additional improvements made during the decade-long initiative include the installations of enhanced lighting and air filtration systems, plus the addition of a new viewing platform and improved walkways and signage.
Tauck is launching two new trips to Egypt in 2020, its first tours there since 2011. The company’s 13-day “Jordan & Egypt: Petra to the Pyramids” tour begins with two nights in Amman, Jordan at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar, before traveling to Petra for two nights.
In Jordan, guests will tour the Roman ruins in Jerash, visit Mt. Nebo and Madaba and travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra to experience its famed Treasury. On their final night in Jordan, guests will enjoy a private tented evening in the desert, featuring dinner, traditional music and Bedouin sword dancers.
The following day (after a 4×4 desert excursion in Wadi Rum), guests will fly to Egypt for a guided visit to the Aswan High Dam; the first of many iconic locations highlighted during guests’ week-long exploration of Egypt. Other classic and culturally rich sites featured include the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, Abu Simbel, the Temple of Isis at Philae, the Temple of Horus at Edfu, Luxor’s Temple of Karnak, the Valley of the Queens and the Temple of Kom Ombo.
Along the way, guests will enjoy a host of authentic local experiences ranging from a felucca cruise on the Nile, to lunch in Cairo’s Khan El Khalili Market, to a camel ride in the shadow of the pyramids. Prices for “Jordan & Egypt: Petra to the Pyramids” are from $8,990 USD ($11,680 CAD) per person, double occupancy, plus airfare.
A second new Tauck tour, the company’s 10-day “Egypt: Jewels of the Nile,” focuses exclusively on Egypt, forgoing the exploration of Jordan but including most all of the iconic Egyptian locations and experiences featured in the 13-day “Jordan & Egypt” itinerary (including the private, after-hours tour of the Valley of the King’s and visit to Tutankhamun’s tomb). Prices for “Egypt: Jewels of the Nile” are from $6,990 USD ($9,080 CAD) per person, double occupancy, plus airfare.
Cruising the Nile on the Oberoi Zahara or Oberoi Philae
Both of the new tours will be centered around a multiple-night Nile cruise aboard a luxury Oberoi riverboat; the 13-day “Jordan & Egypt” trip will feature a three-night cruise on the Oberoi Zahra, while the 10-day “Jewels of the Nile” itinerary will include a four-night voyage on either the Oberoi Zahra or the Oberoi Philae.
With just 27 and 22 staterooms, respectively, the Oberoi Zahra and Oberoi Philae are two of the most luxurious and intimate riverboats on the Nile. Spacious, outside-facing staterooms are 284 square-feet or larger, and each boasts a luxurious private bathroom.
Each ship also offers a choice of dining venues featuring à la carte selections. Complimentary internet is also available, as are a fitness center, spa, movie theater, dance floor and outdoor swimming pool on the Sun Deck.
Along with travel by riverboat, Tauck guests will experience the comfort and convenience of selected chart flights; those traveling on the 13-day itinerary will enjoy a charter flight from Jordan to Egypt, plus round-trip charter flights between Aswan and Abu Simbel. Likewise, guests on “Jewels of the Nile” will fly round-trip between Aswan and Abu Simbel aboard chartered flights.
Included in Tauck’s pricing are most meals, all transportation (including cruise fare, on-tour flights and airport transfers), admission to all attractions, most gratuities, service charges, taxes, porterage and more.
Those interested in more information can contact their local travel professional, call Tauck at 800 468 2825 or visit the company’s website at Tauck.com.
SOURCE: Tauck press release.
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