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Cruising the Red Sea & Aegean Sea Including a Transit of the Suez Canal

Program Overview

Visit 3 continents; explore centuries-old landmarks in Greece, Egypt, and Jordan; and cruise from the Aegean Sea to the Red Sea via the Suez Canal on this remarkable 12 night, luxury land and sea voyage. View the Minoan Palace at Knossos and continue to Heraklion to visit the Archaeological Museum. Mid-cruise, overnight in Luxor in a Nile-view room and enjoy a specially arranged visit into the tomb of Queen Nefertari. Discover the historical sites of Jordan on a journey to Amman, Jerash, Wadi Rum, and legendary Petra. Stand in the shadows of the Great Pyramids of Giza. Enhance your immersion into these ancient civilizations with the Greece Pre-Program and/or Israel Post-Program Options.

A Spring version of this program is also available.

Program Details

October 28 to November 10, 2024 (Le Bougainville)
From $8,545 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Fourteen-day, 12-night, luxury land and cruise journey to the cradle of civilization—featuring a transit of the Suez Canal and guest speaker Dr. Tarek Sayed Tawfik Ahmed.
  • Five nights in ideally located, luxury hotels and an 8-night, exclusively chartered cruise aboard the 5-star Le Bougainville; each suite and stateroom has a private balcony.
  • Enjoy lectures on board by Dr. Tarek Tawfik, an acclaimed Egyptologist.
  • Overnight in a Nile-view room in fabled Luxor, with visits to Karnak and Luxor Temples, the tombs of Kings Tutankhamen and Ramses IV and by special arrangement, the tomb of Queen Nefertari.
  • One night near the legendary “rose-red city” of Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Three nights in Amman, with a tour of the city and the Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash.
  • Visit millennia-old sites in Greece, Egypt, and Jordan, and cruise from the Aegean Sea to the Red Sea via the Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea.
  • Excursion in the Mediterranean port of Alexandria, founded in 331 B.C. by Alexander the Great and today a cosmopolitan cultural hub.
  • Visit to Giza to see the Great Pyramids and the Great Sphinx.
  • Excursion into the Wadi Rum Protected Area, a traditional Bedouin site.
  • Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages throughout the cruise and complimentary Wi-Fi access aboard the ship (conditions permitting).
  • Two-night Classical Greece Pre-Program Option or 4-night Israel Post-Program Option.

Day 1 - Depart Home City

Day 2 - Arrive in Athens, Greece / Embark Le Bougainville

Day 3 - Heraklion, Crete

Day 4 - Day at Sea

Day 5 - Alexandria, Egypt

Day 6 - Sail the Suez Canal

Day 7 - Ain Sokhna for Giza Plateau (Great Pyramids)

Day 8 -  Hurghada for Luxor

Day 9 - Luxor / Safaga

Day 10 - Aqaba, Jordan / Disembark ship / Wadi Rum / Petra

Day 11 - Petra / Amman

Day 12 - Amman

Day 13 - Amman / Jerash / Amman

Day 14 -  Amman / Return to home city

View detailed program itinerary >

Le Bougainville

Exclusively Chartered, Five-Star Luxury Small Ship

Le Bougainville, launched in 2019, ushers in a new generation of five-star small ships, combining revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury for unparalleled cruising. Dock in smaller ports inaccessible to larger ships, where authentic cultural experiences and majestic scenery await you.

View Le Bougainville Deckplan >

Learn more about The PONANT Fleet >

Dr. Tarek Sayed Tawfik Ahmed

Dr. Tarek Sayed Tawfik Ahmed has a BA & MA of Egyptology from Faculty of Archaeology Cairo University and a PhD in Egyptology from the University of Bonn, Germany. He serves as Director of the Centre for Archaeological Studies and International Héritage in Luxor and is the former Director General of the Grand Egyptian Museum Project. Dr. Ahmed joins us on board for exclusive lectures on the culture, way of life, and iconic creations of ancient Egypt.

Classical Greece Pre-Program Option

Enhance your Athens experience and enjoy a full-day excursion to the mystical site of Delphi and its Archaeological Museum. Explore Plaka, Athens’ oldest neighborhood, at leisure. At the Acropolis, see the archaeological treasures in the Acropolis Museum and tour the perfectly proportioned Parthenon. Accommodations are for 2 nights at an ideally located, luxury hotel.

Jerusalem, Israel Old City cityscape at the Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock, Mount of Olives

Israel Post-Program Option

Expand your exploration of the great civilizations to include captivating biblical, historical, and cultural sites surrounding the ancient city of Jerusalem. Tour UNESCO World Heritage-designated Masada, visit Bethlehem on the West Bank of Palestine, and enjoy an unforgettable float in the Dead Sea. In Jerusalem, visit the poignant Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Spend 4 nights in a luxury hotel.

The Pre-Program and Post-Program Options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

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Program Itinerary

Days 1 and 2 Depart Home City / Arrive in Athens, Greece / Embark Le Bougainville

Your trip will begin by departing your home city. Arrive in Athens and embark the ship.

Day 3 Heraklion, Crete

Travel to one of the most legendary sites of all antiquity, the Minoan Palace at Knossos where, in Greek myth, Theseus slew the Minotaur in the Labyrinth built by Daedalus. Dating from the 17th century B.C., the palace is a maze of chambers, staircases, and courtyards. Continue to Heraklion to visit the Archaeological Museum. This evening, attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception.

Day 4 Day at Sea

Enjoy a relaxing day cruising the Aegean and Mediterranean seas and take part in an educational lecture.

Day 5 Alexandria, Egypt

Discover Egypt’s most enchanting city—founded by Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. Visit the National Museum and the Roman Amphitheater. This afternoon, tour Qaitbey Fort. Enjoy a lecture on board the ship with renowned Egyptologist Dr. Tarek Sayed Tawfik Ahmed.

Day 6 Suez Canal Transit

Experience one of the most momentous voyages between continents when you transit the 120-mile Suez Canal—Egypt’s Victorian-era engineering marvel.

Day 7 Ain Sokhna for Giza Plateau

See the last remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, the Great Sphinx and the pyramids of the Old Kingdom pharaohs. Next, visit the marvelous Grand Egyptian Museum, where you’ll see the spectacular Grand Staircase, King Tut’s amazing treasures, and the well-preserved 4,600-year-old Sun Boat of King Khufu.

Day 8 Hurghada for Luxor

Arrive in Luxor and check into a Nile-view room for an overnight at the Steigenberger Hotel. Travel into the mountains and across the arid desert to Luxor to see the great temples of ancient Thebes.  Explore UNESCO-designated ancient Thebes with a visit to the magnificent Karnak Temple complex. Walk along the avenue of the ram-headed sphinxes into the Great Court and then continue to the Luxor Temple.

Day 9 Luxor for Safaga

Check out of the hotel and cross the Nile to visit one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, the Necropolis at Luxor in the Valley of the Kings. Explore the tomb of Tutankhamen and enjoy an exclusively arranged visit to Queen Nefertari’s tomb in the Valley of the Queens. Return to the ship for the Captain's Farewell Reception.

Day 10 Aqaba, Jordan / Wadi Rum / Petra

Disembark the ship in Aqaba and transfer to the awe-inspiring wilderness of UNESCO World Heritage-designated Wadi Rum, known as the “Valley of the Moon.” Enjoy a Jeep ride through this ethereal landscape of striated canyons, soaring mountains, undulating sand dunes, and rocky caverns. After lunch, travel to Petra to check into the Mövenpick Hotel and enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Day 11 Petra / Amman

The ancient “rose-red city” of Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The site’s majestic ensemble of temples, dwellings, and tombs—carved directly into the sandstone cliff face—still holds a mythical appeal. Tonight, check into the 5-star Fairmont Hotel in Amman.

Day 12 Amman

Enjoy a tour of Amman, starting with the blue-domed King Abdullah Mosque. Visit the Amman Citadel and see the ruins of Hercules temple. Explore the Roman Amphitheater and then continue to the Jordan Museum.

Day 13 Amman / Jerash / Amman

Enjoy a scenic journey to Jerash, Jordan’s most captivating Greco-Roman site. See baths; theaters; plazas; fountains; and arches, incredibly still as they were 2,000 years ago. Marvel at the three-gated Hadrian’s Arch, walk the Sacred Way to the Temple of Artemis, and take in the sublime architecture of the Forum. Enjoy lunch in Jerash before heading back to Amman to attend the Farewell Reception this evening.

Day 14 Amman / Return to home city

After breakfast at the hotel, join the Jerusalem Post-Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight home.