Antiquities of the Red Sea and Aegean Sea

Program Overview

Join us on this 14-day journey to the cradle of civilization. Visit three continents, navigate the Red, Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, transit the Suez Canal and experience up to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites. Tour historical Alexandria. Stand in the shadows of the Great Pyramids of Giza. Overnight in Luxor and visit Queen Nefertari’s tomb. Travel to Wadi Rum and tour the “rosered city” of Petra. Enjoy one night in Aqaba and three nights in Amman to visit Jerash. Cruise for seven nights aboard the Five-Star, small ship Le Bougainville. Two-night Classical Greece PreProgram and sixnight The Holy Land PostProgram Options.

Program Details

October 29 to November 11, 2022 (Le Bougainville)
From $7795 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Uniquely designed, comprehensive, 12-night land and sea program.
  • Seven-night, exclusively chartered cruise aboard the Five-Star Le Bougainville; each Suite and Stateroom has a private balcony.
  • Visit millennia-old sites in Greece, Egypt and Jordan and cruise from the Aegean 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.
  • 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.
  • 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; six-night The Holy Land Post-Program Option.

Day 1 - Depart the U.S. or Canada

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

Day 3 - Santorini

Day 4 - Cruising the Mediterranean Sea

Day 5 - Alexandria, Egypt

Day 6 - Suez Canal transit

Day 7 - Ain Sokhna for Giza (Great Pyramids)

Day 8 - Hurghada / Disembark ship / Luxor

Day 9 - Luxor / Valleys of Kings and Queens / Hurghada / Reembark ship

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 the U.S. or Canada

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.

Learn more about the Le Bougainville >

Dr. Tarek Sayed Tawfik Ahmed, internationally acclaimed Egyptologist, will present exclusive lectures about the culture, way of life and iconic creations of ancient Egypt.

Classical Greece Pre-Program Option

Experience Athens, an ancient city unmatched in its contributions to the foundations of the Western world. Tour the monumental Acropolis—a UNESCO World Heritage site—and see its archaeological treasures in the Acropolis Museum. Visit the perfectly proportioned Parthenon, a graceful example of Doric architecture. Explore colorful Plaka, Athens’s oldest neighborhood, at your own pace. Enjoy a full-day excursion to the mystical UNESCO World Heritage site of Delphi and the Delphi Archeological Museum. Accommodations are for two nights in the Five-Star Hotel Grande Bretagne.

Israel Post-Program Option

Further expand your exploration of great civilizations to include captivating biblical, historical and cultural sites in and around Jerusalem and Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. In fascinating Jerusalem, a holy city for three of the world’s major religions, walk in the footsteps of Jesus, see evocative religious sites and visit the poignant Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. Nearby, see where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, tour UNESCO World Heritage-designated Masada, visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and enjoy an unforgettable float in the Dead Sea. Visit Nazareth, Cana, the Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum and the Ancient Boat Museum. Enjoy a cruise on the Sea of Galilee (weather permitting), a stop beside the Jordan River at the Yardenit Baptismal Site and a tour of a traditional rural kibbutz with lunch. Accommodations are for four nights in Jerusalem and two nights in Tiberias.

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

Day 8 - Check into a Nile-view room in the Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel.

Day 10 - Check into the Five-Star Kempinski Hotel Aqaba.

Day 11 - Check into the Five-Star Fairmont Hotel, centrally located adjacent to the affluent Abdoun neighborhood and diplomatic area.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Departure

Your trip will begin by departing the U.S. or Canada.

Day 2 Athens, Greece

Arrive in Athens and embark the exclusively chartered, Five-Star Le Bougainville.

Day 3 Santorini

Widely considered to be the location of the mythical lost city of Atlantis, Santorini overlooks a submerged caldera, the result of one of the most cataclysmic volcanic eruptions in history. Picture-perfect Santorini’s whitewashed villages of sugar-cube houses and blue-domed churches cascade to cerulean waters. The remarkable Bronze Age ruins of Akrotiri, held intact by layers of pumice and ash for over 3,500 years, reveal the architectural sophistication and advanced culture of its Minoan inhabitants. Findings from Akrotiri are elegantly exhibited in the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. By cable car, descend from Fira, where stunning, white-walled buildings stand in stark contrast against slate-colored volcanic cliffs.

This evening, attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board the ship.

Day 4 Cruising the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas

Enjoy educational lectures during a day cruising the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.

Day 5 Alexandria, Egypt

The fulcrum of the ancient Hellenic world, Alexandria is Egypt’s most enchanting city. The Lighthouse of Alexandria—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—shone as a beacon of enlightenment. The Library of Alexandria, with its vast archive of over 140,000 manuscripts and papyrus scrolls, formed a magnet for the ancient world’s greatest scientists, from Euclid to Archimedes. Constructed in 2002, the library’s visionary reincarnation, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, resembles a giant discus embellished with hieroglyphs and symbolizes a second rising of the sun.

The cultural and religious heterogeneity that defined Alexandria in the second century is evident at the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, Egypt’s largest Roman burial structure. See imposing Pompey’s Pillar, a misnomer given by early travelers; the monument was built for the emperor Diocletian in A.D. 291.

Back on the ship enjoy a lecture by Dr. Tarek Tawfik as the ship continues on to the wards the Suez Canal.

Dinner on board this evening.

Day 6 Suez Canal Transit

One of the most momentous voyages between continents transits the 120-mile Suez Canal, Egypt’s Victorian-era engineering achievement. The canal was first conceived in the 1830s by French explorer and engineer Linant de Bellefonds and opened in 1869. Connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, the canal reduced the journey between Africa and South Asia by over 4,000 miles, redefining international maritime trade.

Attend more lectures by Dr. Tarek Tawfik.

Day 7 Ain Sokhna for Giza

See the last remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, the Great Sphinx and the pyramids of the Old Kingdom pharaohs Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus. These enduring symbols of the glory of Egypt have towered over the Western Desert for nearly 5,000 years.

Day 8 Hurghada for Luxor

From the port of Hurghada, travel through scenic mountains to the Nile Valley. Arrive in Luxor and check into a Nile-view room in the Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel. Begin your exploration of UNESCO World Heritage-designated Ancient Thebes with a visit to Karnak Temple, one of the largest religious structures ever built. Karnak’s vast complex of obelisks, shrines and sanctuaries reaches its apogee with the hypostyle hall, comprised of 134 colossal stone columns arranged in rows and embellished with hieroglyphs.

Continue to the Luxor Temple and view the temple’s fascinating basreliefs depicting such seminal events as Ramses’ victory at the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 B.C. The dramatic “Avenue of the Sphinxes” once stretched from Karnak to Luxor, forming the spiritual and economic nexus of the region. Dinner is in the hotel this evening.

Day 9 Luxor

Cruise across the Nile to the west bank’s UNESCO World Heritage-designated Necropolis, replete with spectacular memorial temples. In the Valley of the Kings, 63 illustrious pharaohs of Egypt’s New Kingdom and their worldly wealth were laid to rest in tombs engraved with hieroglyphs. Passageways descend to the burial chambers of King Ramses IV, where a rare image of the goddess Nut is emblazoned across a blue ceiling.

The famous tomb of Tutankhamen contained the largest collection of Egyptian treasures and was discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Harold Carter. In the Valley of the Queens, enjoy an exclusively arranged visit to Queen Nefertari’s tomb, lauded as the most resplendent Theban burial site. The beauty of Ramses II’s favorite queen is enshrined in the spectacular and divine images of her likeness.

Transfer back to the ship. Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception and dinner onboard the ship this evening.

Day 10 Aqaba, Jordan / Wadi Rum

Disembark the ship in Aqaba and transfer to Wadi Rum. Traverse the awe-inspiring wilderness of UNESCO World Heritage-designated Wadi Rum, known as the “Valley of the Moon.” Shaped and smoothed by millennia of winter floods and desert wind and sand, Wadi Rum was aptly described by British soldier and diplomat T. E. Lawrence, the legendary Lawrence of Arabia, as “vast, echoing and godlike.” This ethereal landscape of striated canyons, soaring jebel (mountains), undulating sand dunes and rocky caverns is best experienced from a four-passenger open-air vehicle.

Enjoy an overnight stay in the Five-Star Kempinski Hotel Aqaba. Dinner is in the hotel this evening.

Day 11 Aqaba / Petra / Amman

The inspiring, ancient “rose-red city” of Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Petra reached its zenith during the first century B.C. as the capital of the nomadic Bedouin Nabataean Empire. Concealed behind towering rocks, the city ignited Western scholarly interest when Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt was led through the Siq—a narrow, serpentine gorge—to Petra’s spellbinding Khazneh (Treasury) by a Bedouin guide in 1812. The site’s majestic ensemble of temples, dwellings and tombs, carved directly into the sandstone cliff face, still holds a mythical appeal.

Following lunch in a local restaurant in Petra, transfer to Amman and check into the Five-Star Fairmont Hotel, centrally located adjacent to the affluent Abdoun neighborhood and diplomatic area.

Day 12 Amman

Amman’s wealth of archaeological artifacts stands testament to centuries of cultural influences. This biblical Ammonite city was conquered and renamed Philadelphia by Egypt’s King Ptolemy II Philadelphia in the third century B.C. Expanded by the Romans, Philadelphia flourished as the heart of Roman Arabia. From the Citadel, see the towering columns of the Temple of Hercules looming over the cosmopolitan capital of Amman, where the magnificent 6,000-seat Roman Theater, dating from the second century, forms the city’s centerpiece and still stages performances. The lauded Jordan Museum preserves the world’s oldest statues, the remarkable plaster statuettes of ‘Ain Ghazal, adroitly fashioned in 6500 B.C. Everyone is welcome in the beautiful, blue-domed King Abdullah Mosque, built by the late King Hussein in honor of his grandfather. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure in Amman.

Day 13 Jerash

Journey through picturesque wheat fields and olive groves to reach Jerash, Jordan’s most captivating Greco-Roman site, where remarkably preserved colonnaded avenues, ceremonial gates and golden-hued temples stand in testimony to one of the most important cities of the Roman Decapolis. Marvel at the prodigious three-gated Hadrian’s Arch, walk the Sacred Way to the Temple of Artemis and take in the immensity and sublime architecture of the Forum.

After lunch in a restaurant in Jerash, enjoy time for individual pursuits in Amman. Attend the Farewell Reception in the hotel this evening.

Day 14 Amman / Return to U.S. or Canada

Following breakfast, continue on to the six-night The Holy Land Post-Program Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. or Canada.