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The Oriental Institute's Egypt

March 7-23, 2002

Escorted by Robert K. Ritner


Day One: USA/Egypt - Depart Chicago on Lufthansa via Frankfurt. (Meals in flight)

Day Two: Cairo - Arrival in Cairo and transfer to the Mena House Oberoi Hotel, located at the foot of the Great Pyramid. Welcome dinner. (D)

Day Three: Cairo - We begin our touring with an exploration of Memphis, the first capital of a united Egypt, and Sakkara, the necropolis of Memphis. At Sakkara we will tour the Step Pyramid complex of Djoser which predates the Giza pyramids and is the world's first monumental building constructed entirely in stone. We will also tour the smaller Pyramid of Unas, a Fifth Dynasty king whose burial chamber is covered with Pyramid Texts to ensure the survival of his soul, and the tombs of the Nobles Ti, Ptahhotep, and Mereruka. Time permitting, we will end the day with a visit to the Wissa-Wassef carpet factory. (B/L/D)

Day Four: Cairo - After a breakfast lecture, our touring today brings us to the only surviving representatives of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. We will also stop at the Solar Boat museum where the remarkably preserved remains of the Solar Boat of Cheops are displayed. Private evening visit to the Cairo Museum from 5:00-7:00pm, where you will have two hours to tour the Museum on your own, without the daily crowds. (B/L)

Day Five: Cairo - The focus of this day is the Egyptian Museum where we will view the highlights of its huge collection including the new mummy room and the objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Touring continues to Islamic Cairo beginning at the Citadel, famed as the stronghold of Salah al-Din, and the Rifai Mosque, dedicated as a tomb to Sheikh Ali al-Rifai, the head of an order of dervishes. Lastly we cross the street to visit the Madresa of Sultan Hasan, considered to be one of the masterpieces of Mamluk architecture in the city. (B/L)

Day Six: Aswan - A memorable day! We fly via Aswan to Abu Simbel, where the rock-cut temples of Ramesses II and his favorite queen Nefertari have been saved from the rising waters of the Nile resulting from the Aswan High Dam. Although the temples were built to honor the deified royal pair and to awe the Nubians, that awesome feeling exists today no less than it did 3200 years ago. We fly back to Aswan where we will spend the remainder of the day visiting the new Museum of Nubian Civilization. Overnight at the Oberoi Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day Seven: Aswan/Cruise - Touring begins at the Kalabsha Temple built in the reign of Augustus on the site of an earlier sanctuary founded by Amenhotep II. The temple, which was later converted to a church, was originally dedicated to the Nubian god Mandulis who was associated with Isis. In the same antiquities park we will visit the relocated Graeco-Roman kiosk of Qertassi and the shrine of Ramesses II from Beit el-Wali. Our lunch will be on board the deluxe Nile Cruiser Sonesta Moon Goddess,our floating hotel for the next four days. In the afternoon we will sail by felucca to Elephantine Island to visit the excavations and its small museum. (B/L/D)

Day Eight: Edfu/Cruise - Our morning touring will include the Quarries where an unfinished obelisk remains embedded in its native stone, the High Dam, and the Ptolemaic temple dedicated to Isis, known as Philae for the island on which it was originally built. We then set sail for Kom Ombo, which is often called the acropolis of Egypt for its spectacular site overlooking the Nile. It is also unusual in being dedicated equally to two gods, Horus the Elder and the crocodile god Sobek. After visiting the temple we continue sailing to Edfu where we dock for the night. (B/L/D)

Day Nine: Luxor/Cruise - After visiting the Temple of Edfu, a completely preserved Ptolemaic temple of the falcon god Horus, we sail for Luxor. We will have several hours to enjoy the sun deck and pool as well as the ever-changing panorama of life along the Nile. (B/L/D)

Day Ten: Luxor - This morning we will cross the Nile to visit the tombs of the Valleys of the Kings and Queens. Among the tombs to be visited are those of Tutankhamun and three other pharaohs selected from the tombs opened to the public today. We will also visit the tomb of Nefertari, as well as the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri, one of the most spectacular monuments in Egypt. In the late afternoon we will visit Luxor Temple, including the procession of the Opet Festival and scenes of the divine conception and birth of Amenhotep III. (B/L/D)

Day Eleven: Luxor - After disembarking, the full morning will be spent touring the magnificent sanctuary of Amun-Re at Karnak Temple with its maze of monumental gateways, obelisks, pillared halls, and subsidiary shrines. Luggage will be transferred to the hotel during morning touring. Free afternoon to visit Chicago House. Overnight at the Sheraton Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day Twelve: Luxor - We will return to the West Bank and continue our touring with the Colossi of Memnon and the temples and chapels of Medinet Habu, the largest built by Ramesses III, and the Ramesseum, where the fallen statue of Ramesses II inspired Shelley's famous poem, "Ozymandias." We will conclude the morning with the rarely visited tombs of Kheruef and Ankh-Hor before returning to the East Bank. Afternoon visit to the Luxor Museum. (B/L/D)

Day Thirteen: Luxor - Our last visit to the West Bank of the Nile includes some of the hundreds of tombs of the Nobles, spread over two square miles. These tombs are of special interest for their naturalistic murals which give us an intimate view of life in ancient Egypt. We will also stop at the ancient village of the artisans, Deir el-Medina, one of the best preserved town sites in Egypt and the subject of the television series "Ancient Lives." Afternoon visit to the temple at Esna. (B/L/D)

Day Fourteen: Luxor - Drive north through villages of baked mud houses and lush cultivated lands bordering the Nile to Dendera to visit the Temple of Hathor, goddess of love, music, and wine. Although this temple was built largely in the first century BC, it occupies the site of a much older building. On the roof of the temple is a plaster cast of the famous Zodiac of Dendera (original in Paris), the only circular representation of the heavens found in Egypt. We continue to Abydos where we will tour the Temple of Seti I, viewing the famous King List and some of the most beautifully painted reliefs surviving from Pharaonic times. (B/L/D)

Day Fifteen: Luxor/Cairo - Morning at leisure in Luxor. After lunch we will fly back to Cairo to relax before our Gala farewell dinner and overnight at the Hilton hotel. (B/L/D)

Day Sixteen: Cairo - A full day at leisure to revisit the Egyptian Museum, explore the Khan el-Khalili bazaars or some of the Coptic sites in Old Cairo. (B)

Day Seventeen: Egypt/USA - An early morning transfer to the airport for our flight to Chicago via Frankfurt. (Meals in flight)

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About your Lecturer

Robert K. Ritner is Associate Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.

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Tour Costs

17 Day Land and Air Per Person, Double Occupancy: $6300
Land Only: $4925
Internal Flights: $440
Single Supplement: $890
Pyramid View Room at the Mena House Hotel: $100
Tax-deductible contribution per person to the University of Chicago: $400
Upgrade to Business Class available on request

Your Land and Air package includes:
* Meeting, assistance, and transfers upon arrival and departure in Egypt
* Porterage of two suitcases per person throughout. A maximum of two checked bags per person with a combined length, width, and height of respectively 55 and 62 inches plus one carry-on bag with a total dimension of 45 inches. From Egypt, 44 pounds only are permitted.
* Services of an English speaking Egyptian guide and escort throughout Egypt.
* Touring per itinerary in a deluxe, private, air-conditioned bus (with toilet).
* All entrance fees and service charges based on listed touring.
* Hotels as listed, double occupancy. The Mena House is under renovation and pyramid view rooms cannot be guaranteed. Single surcharge when applicable.
* A four-night cruise on the Sonesta Moon Goddess.
* All meals as listed (B/L/D) table d'hote.
* Gala farewell dinner.
* All tipping to local escorts, guides, drivers, and porters.
* Transatlantic tourist class jet via Lufthansa or other IATA Carrier. Internal flights via EgyptAir.

Your Land and Air package does not include:
Passport fees, visa fees, airport departure taxes, excess baggage charges, insurance, and items of a personal nature such as laundry, beverages, transfers for passengers arriving and departing independently and items not on menus.

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Terms and Conditions

Single rooms: For those traveling alone, but who prefer to share with another, we will endeavor to work out congenial rooming arrangements. If impossible, and if a single room must be assigned due to the roommate's canceling or incompatibility or for any other reason, even if at the last moment or while on tour, the single room supplement or pro-rate thereof must be collected.
Tariffs: Tour rates are based on a minimum of 20 participants and rates in effect February 2001 and subject to change. The airfare is based on a non-refundable group airfare. Reservations must be made and tickets issued at least 30 days before departure. Once ticketed, this fare is non-refundable. There are less restrictive fares available at a higher price. It is possible to make a stop in Europe before or after the tour at an additional charge.
Deposits and Payments: A deposit of $600 per person is required at the time of booking. The final payment is due twelve weeks before departure.
Cancellations: In the event of cancellation, refund in full will be made until twelve weeks before departure, less a $100 handling fee. Between twelve and ten weeks before departure, the cancellation penalty will be $600, between ten and eight weeks the cancellation penalty will be $1900 and from eight weeks until the time of departure, the penalty will be $2980 plus other penalties levied by hotels and operators. These penalties could be as high as 100%. (Single room cruise, add $510.) In addition, if cancellation is made within 21 days of departure, the airline ticket is non-refundable. Insurance is available to cover these penalties and is recommended. By purchasing your trip cancellation insurance at the time of your initial deposit, Travelers Insurance Company will waive the usual exclusion for pre-existing medical conditions.
Responsibility: ARCHAEOLOGICAL TOURS, a division of LINDSTONE TRAVEL, INC., in accepting bookings for the tour, clearly stipulates that it is not liable for the faults or defaults of other companies and persons that may be used in the carrying out of the tour services; also for accidents, baggage losses, delays, strikes, political unrest, riots, and acts of God and war. In the event it becomes necessary or advisable for the comfort or well-being of the passengers, or for any reason whatsoever, to alter the itinerary or arrangements, such alterations may be made without penalty to the operator. Additional expenses, if any, shall be borne by the passengers. The right is also reserved to withdraw this tour; also to decline to accept or retain any persons as members of the tour. No refunds can be made for absence from the tour unless arrangements are made at the time of booking. Lufthansa or other IATA Carrier concerned is not to be held responsible for acts, omissions, or events during the time passengers are not on board. The passage contract in use by the companies concerned shall constitute the sole contract between the company and the purchaser of these tours and/or passengers.

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Revised: March 3, 2009

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