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Day 4 (Thursday): Cairo / Luxor – Embark Cruise

M/Y Alyssa

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Luxor. On arrival you are met and transferred to the Nile. Embark your luxurious Nile cruise boat the M/Y Alyssa.

After lunch onboard, visit Luxor's East Bank, best known by its Greek name, Thebes. During the 18th and 19th dynasties, Thebes was at its peak because of victories in war and its strategic position between the Delta and the Nile Cataracts to the south. It was the capital of Egypt in the New Kingdom and became the permanent residence of the Pharaohs during that period. An amazing amount of architectural buildings are still standing in remarkably good condition.

Sightseeing includes the Luxor Temple which stands in the center of the town, built mainly by Amenophis III in the 18th Dynasty to demonstrate the power of this New Kingdom pharaoh. Major additions to the temple were made by Ramses II in the 19th Dynasty. Luxor Temple was dedicated to Amun, The God of Thebes, his wife Mut and their son Khonsu (The Moon God). One of the two obelisks which originally stood in front of the temple was installed in a Place de la Concorde in Paris in 1936, a gift from the Egyptians. Your tour also includes a visit to the Karnak Temple, a complex of temples, obelisks, pylons, court colonnades, hall reliefs and sanctuaries. It covers an enormous area which was once restricted to priests and pharaohs.
The most famous part is the Hypostle Hall which contains 134 columns; 12 in the central aisle and 122 in wings on either side. The center columns are 23 meters high and their capitals can hold 100 men.

The construction took place over a period of 1300 years. The sacred site of Karnak was the center of worship of the Sun God Amun. The main temple is dedicated to him. The pharaohs of the 19th Dynasty made Karnak the principle sanctuary of the land.

Dinner and overnight aboard ship. (B,L,D)