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Egypt & Nile CruiseDeluxePilgrimage Tour
Fr. Augustine Puchner Joins Spirit Filled Hearts Ministry
Day 1 – Monday 21 Jan 2019 – from LAX to Egypt, Cairo: Sunday afternoonwe set out as a church family to walk together in the footsteps of our savior Jesus Christ & of Moses, as our Biblical adventure begins!
Day 2 – Tuesday 22 Jan – Welcome to Egypt! We are about to see world wonders, beautiful nature and amazing ancient civilizations, celebrate mass together daily, and spend the next days immersed in the holy spirit. Amen! Overnight at our home for the next days: a Palace. Our hotel was built by the King of Egypt in 1850s to impress the French Empress and the rest of the distinguished guests that were invited here to celebrate the opening of the famous Suez Canal. Today this amazing property is managed by Marriott and called Marriott Cairo Palace Hotel & Casino.
Day 3– Wednesday 23 Jan - Good morning in Cairo,Egypt’s Capital. We start our great tour following the footsteps of Jesus and Moses. We have set a whole morning for you to rest from the journey and savor all the pampering of our Palace-like Deluxe hotel, The Cairo Marriott Palace. You are going to LOVE this place, and feel like royalty. The centerpiece of the Cairo Marriott is the breathtaking Palace built by the ruler of Egypt for French empress Eugenie on her visit to Egypt to open the Suez Canal in 1869. So just like the empress, please enjoy the hotel has beautiful gardens, pools, cafes, and health club – and we have this morning at leisure at the hotel to enjoy it, including a grand breakfast and an excellent dinner. Afternoon we will go for a real treat: we visit the spectacular Egyptian Museum. This museum is home to the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. With more than 100,000 total items on display, if a person were to spend only 1 minute per item, it would take over 9 months to complete the tour of this museum! Among the items we will see are the legendary treasures of King Tut. A small sampling of these treasures has made trips around the world, but here we will see the full and entire collection, which takes up almost an entire floor of the museum. We will also see the Merneptah Stele, a monument inscribed by Pharaoh Merneptah (1224-1214 BC) where he mentions the nation of “Israel”. This stele has enormous implications regarding the biblical date of the Exodus and the trustworthiness of the Bible. Deacon Steve will share a devotional here in the museum and we’ll pray together as we stand in front of this important biblical monument. We will also visit the royal Mummy Room where we will see the mummies of 11 of Egypt’s most powerful pharaohs, including the body of Tuthmosis IV, whose stele we’ll see at the Sphinx. We conclude this exciting day with a grand buffet dinner at our deluxe hotel in Cairo.
Day 4 - After breakfast, we set out to explore the exotic city of Cairo. We open with holy mass at the holy site: in the center of Old Cairo, we visit the oldest church and the oldest synagogue in Egypt. First, we will visit the St. Sergius Church, dated to the 5th century AD. This church is built over the actual cave where the Holy Family stayedduring their flight from King Herod (Matt 2:13-15). Celebrate Mass Here at this touching holy site.We then visit the Ben Ezra Synagogue. This synagogue was originally a Coptic church built in the 4thcentury AD. It was sold to the Jewish community in Cairo and built into a synagogue by the rabbi of Cairo, Abraham Ben Ezra, in the 12th century AD. Tradition says this synagogue sits on actual site where Moses was found in the bulrushes by Pharaoh’s daughter (Ex 2:1-10). Deaconwill share a devotional here based on this passage in Exodus 2. After this spiritual opening, we head to another amazing anticipated highlight: the famous world wonder, possibly the most well-known building in the world: we visit the Pyramids of Giza. We see the 3 Great Pyramidsof Pharaohs Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus. The largest of these, the Great Pyramid of Cheops, is 753 feet square at the base and 478 feet tall. It was built out of 2.3 million stone blocks and is the only remaining wonder of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. When he was here in 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte calculated that with the stones of these 3 pyramids, a wall 10 feet high and 1 foot thick could be built around all of France! You will have the opportunity to wander between all 3 pyramids and take pictures, and even take a camel ride and a photo op with the beautiful Pyramids in your background. After our visit to the Pyramids, we visit the nearby amazing Sphinx.This beautiful stone monument, with the body of a lion, the head of a man and the headdress of a pharaoh, is of uncertain origin, but scholars agree that it is at least 4500 years old. We will go inside the Sphinx compound where we will have the opportunity to see the Sphinx up close and take pictures. Located between the front legs of the Sphinx is a stele that was erected by Pharaoh Tuthmosis IV (1413-1405 BC) which has a very important connection to the biblical account of the Exodus. We will learn how this discovery helps to confirm the accuracy of the Bible’s account of Moses & the biblical date of the Exodus. After this unbelievable day we return to our deluxe hotel for a great dinner & overnight in Cairo.
Day 5 - After another great breakfast we take the short flight to Aswan. This beautiful city and the area is just a great contrast to Cairo – as we begin a very relaxing part of our tour. This area is most picturesque and very calming. We visit the famous Aswan Damn, and then we take a short sail across the Nile River to our hotel in Aswan, the Movenpick Hotel. The beautiful hotel sits on the Elephantine Island in the middle of the Nile. Time to relax and enjoy a drink & the unforgettable sunset views from the lounge of the rooftop bar, marveling at 360 degrees views of this natural beauty. Dinner and overnight at our deluxe hotel Movenpick Aswan.
Day 6 – After a relaxing night’s sleep, we awake in the southern Egyptian city of Aswan. In the days of Moses, Aswan was where Egypt ended and Nubia (modern-day Sudan) began. In the days of Jesus, Aswan marked the southernmost town of the Roman Empire. Josephus records that, as a general in Pharaoh’s army in his youth, Moses undertook a highly successful military campaign against the Nubians here in the area of Aswan and became a national hero. We will share a devotional here based on this and will talk about leadership in the Bible and what we can learn from Biblical leaders for our spiritual journey and lives today. We will spend the day touring Aswan. After Mass, We will visit the famous unfinished obelisk of Aswan. Then after lunch – for desert - we board felucca boats to sail the Nile. What an amazing relaxed and beautiful experience! We will sail around the famous Elephantine Island in the middle of the Nile. This island was inhabited from before the days of the pharaohs. It has a number of interesting sights, but none more intriguing than the ruins of Yebu on the southern tip of the island. Here archaeologists have found a temple from the 6th century BC dedicated to Yahweh, the God of Israel. Presumably, it was built by a Jewish colony that fled Jerusalem just before its capture by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC! Also, there were a number of written documents found here at Elephantine (the Elephantine papyri) which confirm the historical integrity of major portions of the Bible. Many scholars believe that the prophet Jeremiah accompanied these Israelite refugees and brought the Ark of the Covenant here to Elephantine with him to keep it from falling into the hands of the Babylonians (Jer 42-43).
Day 7 – After a restful night and our morning Mass, we head off for one of the highlights of our time in Egypt: our visit to the Temples at Abu Simbel (optional). We will drive to the Aswan airport and board our 35 min flight to Abu Simbel, located 175 miles south of Aswan. Once we land, we will take the short ride to see the magnificent temples at Abu Simbel. These two temples represent a most striking image of the grandeur of ancient Egypt, second only to the Pyramids. They were built by Pharaoh Rameses II (1290-1224 BC) and took 30 years to finish. At the larger temple (see picture on brochure cover), each of the four seated statues of Rameses II stands 67 feet high and is sculpted directly from the rock face. Nearby is a temple dedicated to Rameses’ wife, Nefertari. Both of these temples were threatened by the waters of Lake Nasser after the construction of the Aswan Dam. As a result, in an amazing feat of modern engineering that took four years to complete, the temples were dismantled block-by-block and reassembled 200 feet above their original location, with every block in the exact same relationship to each other and with the entire temple in the exact same relationship to the sun. devotional here standing just outside this magnificent temple. Inside the temple, we will see (recorded on the wall) Rameses II’s account of his victory over the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh in 1285BC, a battle that actually helps confirm the reliability of the Bible as we will explain to everyone as we stand there. We then walk the short distance to visit the temple dedicated to Rameses’ wife, Nefertari. After spending several hours here at the amazing Abu Simbel, we will fly back to Aswan. After an exciting day, we return to our deluxe hotel for dinner and overnight.
Or, if not taking the above Abu Simbel excursion (optional) , Enjoy a day of rest on our island hotel, book a spa treatment, or enjoy a drink around the beautiful pool, or sit at the gardens and read a book with the Nile river views as your backdrop. dinner and overnight Aswan.
Day 8 - Monday – After a wonderful night at the deluxe Movenpick Hotel and a sumptuous breakfast, and after another uplifting Mass, we head to Kitchener’s Island. Named after the British General Lord Horatio Kitchener, famed for his military campaigns against the Sudanese in the early part of the 20th century, Kitchener loved exotic plants and trees. He imported species of such from all over Africa and established the famous botanical garden on the island. In the morning, this shady garden, full of bird songs and sweet fragrances, makes a perfect beginning-of-the-day experience for us. Following lunch we board our 5 star cruise ship to begin our 3 day journey up the Nile, to Luxor. Expect a most relaxed and calm experience sailing in a floating deluxe hotel on the nile river. After Lunch on board our cruise, We have the afternoon for some free time to explore the quaint and exotic city of Aswan. Walking around Aswan, one feels like they have warped back in time to British colonial days in Egypt. You will be able to shop at the bazaar in town.
Day 9 –Good morning Nile Cruise. we head out to visit the incredible Temple of Philae. This ancient Egyptian temple, built to honor the goddess Isis, was partially submerged as a result of the construction of the Aswan Dam. Concerned about losing the temple forever, UNESCO and the Egyptian Antiquities Department completely disassembled the temple and moved it in its entirety to higher ground nearby. The project took almost 10 years to complete but, today, visitors are able to see this marvelous piece of construction again safely. After spending the morning at the beautiful Temple of Philae. After a relaxing lunch on the ship, we will dock at Kom Ombo, site of the famous double temple to the falcon-headed god Horus and to Sobek, the crocodile god (since many Nile crocodiles sunbathed at this site in ancient times). After a visit to Kom Ombo, we return to our 5 star cruise ship. Next we visit Edfu, where we will go by horse carriage to the impressive ancient temple of Horus (the falcon-headed god) at Edfu. Built between 237-57 BC, this is the best-preserved ancient temple in Egypt and is a breathtaking sight.
Day 10– After we celebrate holy Mass, we begin a full day at Luxor, one of the most incredible archaeological locations in the world. Luxor (ancient Thebes) was the capital of Egypt from 2000-1400 BC and it remained the spiritual center of Egypt for centuries after that. Luxor’s sites divide into two groups: those on the east bank of the Nile and those on the west bank. We will begin on the east bank of the Nile, visiting the magnificent temples there. Included in our visit will be the Temple of Luxor finished by Rameses II in c. 1250 BC. we share a devotional here. Afterwards, we visit the Temple of Karnak. The scale of this temple surpasses all other pharonic temples. The temple covers over 100 acres and is considered the most majestic archaeological dig in all of Egypt. After lunch, we cross to the west side of the Nile. The west bank of the Nile was used as the burial grounds for the Pharaohs. Here we will visit the burial temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the only woman to ever rule Egypt and the “daughter of Pharaoh” who found Moses in the bulrushes of the Nile (Ex 2:5) and adopted Moses as her son. She took over Egypt after the death of her father Thutmosis I in 1490 BC and ruled until her infant son assumed the throne as Pharaoh Thutmosis III in 1468 BC. Once he assumed power, Thutmosis III sought to erase all memory of his mother by deliberately eradicating her name and image throughout Egypt. The effects of his campaign against her can be seen even here at her burial sight. Next we visit the Valley of the Kings, where the tombs of 62 pharaohs are located. Most important of these is the Tomb of Tutankhamen (King Tut), whose treasures we have seen in our tour at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. We will go into this famous tomb, discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter. The amazing discoveries inside this tomb confirm the accuracy of the Bible and many details from the life of Moses. After an exciting day, we return to our deluxe cruise ship for dinner and overnight.
Day 11 Return to Cairo after cruise with af flight and there will be time for list minute shoping. Farewell dinner.
Friday – Day 12 – 1 Feb 2019 - Our experience of a lifetime comes to its completion – after walking two weeks in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and the holy family and Moses, we say goodbye to, and head to the airport for our flight back home.
Arrive LAX on the same date.
WHAT IS INCLUDED:
12 day special extended itinerary designed especially for us, with more time and more hotel overnights.
Catholic Touring: Daily Mass, Catholic program and Christian Guides in Egypt!
International Airfare: flights from LAX and back INCLUDED.
TWO domestic flights in Egypt - included
Deluxe motor coaches
Deluxe and 5-star hotels
The Deluxe Cairo Marriott Palace hotel
The Five Star DLX Movenpick Aswan Island Hotel
Five Star DLX Cruise 3 nights on the Nile River, Full Board (Lunch also included)
Full rich breakfasts and dinner buffets all the day
Egypt Visa fee - other tours make it extra = you get it already included in the price.
All entrance fees to all sites on the itinerary
Best lecturer and organizer of the Holylands
Airport transfers in Egypt - Included
Fare well Dinner in Cairo
USA departure tax
Fuel surcharge and airport taxes
TIPS = already Included for all service providers at tours, cruise, hotels, guides, driver, dinning room staff, porters – included in the price!
LAND ONLY IS AVAILABLE, PLEASE INQUIRE.