This year Emerald Cruises launched its first foray to the African continent with two Egypt cruise and tour packages. The line is now taking bookings for Egypt itineraries through 2021, as well as a brand new seven-day Israel extension that will take guests to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Galilee.
Emerald Cruises’ 10-day Cairo and Ancient Egypt River Cruise begins with three nights in Cairo, where guests will visit the pyramids, see the remains of Tutankhamun’s tomb and enjoy a home-hosted dinner and cooking demonstration with a local family. From there, a quick flight to Luxor allows for a visit to the West Bank of the Nile and the well-preserved, colorful hieroglyphics adorning the tombs in the Valley of the Kings before embarking on the MS Hamees for a five-day cruise southbound on the Nile.
While sailing, guests can opt to join daily excursions to see sites like the Hathor Temple and Luxor Temple in Dendera, the Temple of Horus at Edfu, and the Osiris Temple Complex of Philae. After disembarking, guests will fly to Abu Simbel to visit the World Heritage-listed temples of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari before returning to Aswan for an overnight stay. The epic journey concludes with a trip to a Nubian village in Aswan before returning to Cairo for a final evening in Egypt. Itineraries start at $4,095 per person, based on double occupancy.
Guests looking for a more encompassing journey can extend their stay with a five-day tour of Jordan or a newly-added seven-day tour of Israel. The itinerary including Israel takes guests to Tel Aviv, where they can admire the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bauhaus buildings of the White City quarter and visit beautiful Tel Aviv port before exploring Jaffa’s archaeological ruins. From there guests travel north to the seaport city of Haifa and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Acre before continuing on to Galilee. Here, guests will take a short cruise on the Sea of Galilee; visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the hill which was the site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount; Capernaum, the site of Jesus’s Galilee ministry; and Tabgha, the site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. The tour concludes with two days in ancient Jerusalem.
The five-night Jordan tour begins in Amman. This modern city boasts many ancient ruins and allows guests to visit the historic Citadel with the pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules, meet with local students and enjoy Jordanian delicacies at a home-hosted dinner. Next up is Petra for a two-night stay with an en-route stop at Mount Nebo, the burial site of John the Baptist. In Petra, a city tour unveils the legacy of the Nabataeans, who settled in southern Jordan more than 2,000 years ago. The city’s eastern entrance leads through a colored narrow gorge to the Treasury. The final day of the journey offers the options to take part in a Jeep adventure in Wadi Rum before heading north to the lowest point on earth – the Dead Sea – for a farewell dinner and overnight stay.
Guests booking an Egypt journey with Emerald Cruises will cruise aboard the newly refurbished, 142-passenger MS Hamees by Mövenpick, a comfortable and contemporary ship featuring modern and spacious cabins that provide panoramic views of the Nile, as well as either twin or queen-sized bed, private bathroom with bath, hair dryer and LCD TV.
The main restaurant offers international and local selections on the buffet at breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the lounge bar is perfect for enjoying afternoon tea, cocktails and evening entertainment. The sun deck is an ideal spot for taking in the views while relaxing with fellow guests. The ship also features a swimming pool on the Sun Deck to provide a refreshing dip on hot days, and a private dock in Luxor, located in the Al Bughdadi District, close to the airport.
Emerald Cruises is offering $495 round trip airfare to Egypt or $1,200 per couple off the cost of the sailing on the 10-day itinerary, and free round trip airfare or $2,400 off the cost of the sailing for itineraries of 15 or more days. Booking must be made by December 31, 2019 to receive this promotion.