EXPEDITION: EGYPT 2011 WITH PAUL CATER DEATON & MONICA GEPHART - POSTPONED
Egypt is one of our favourite destinations in the world, and we would go tomorrow if the opportunity arose; however, given recent events there, we must indefinitely postpone our next group trip there. Our thoughts and best wishes are with our Egyptian friends as their country is redefined. We shall firm up the schedule and journey to the "new" Egypt as soon as we are able.
When it happens, this expedition might just be the most extraordinary experience of your entire life. I can not begin to tell you how fascinating Egypt can be, from sipping tea at a teahouse in in Khan el Khalili Bazaar to taking a Horse drawn Carriage Ride through the streets of Luxor. See the “Night Train to Cairo” trailer on the Screen page at www.PaulCaterDeaton.com for a glimpse into this special world.
On the Red Sea, haunting wrecks and majestic reefs await us. Exotic sea life challenges the imagination. Aboard WildCat, our Captain, Chef and Chief Steward are all dear old friends. They are the reason we return to WildCat again and again. In addition to all this, I’m not a bad tour guide, and I shall have LOTS of surprises! Come with me to my beloved Egypt. Dip a hand into the waters of the Nile. Legend says that if you do, you will return someday. I guarantee you will want to!
Day 1: Arrival Cairo Int'l Airport. We are met at the airport by our host, who will assist us with baggage claim and customs formalities. We are then transferred to our hotel in Cairo.
Day 2: After breakfast, we depart for a guided tour of Memphis and Saqqara. Memphis is the oldest ancient capitol of Egypt. Saqqara contains the most ancient burial grounds. Here, we see the Step Pyramid, built by Imhotep for King Zoser of the Third Dynasty. We are amazed by the condition of the hieroglyphics and colors. We stop along the way for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the Great Pyramids and Sphinx for a close-up view. We may choose to tour them by camel or horseback, or have our guide take us into the Great Pyramid of Cheops! Optional: Nighttime Sound & Light Laser show at the Pyramids. Overnight at our Cairo hotel.
Day 3: After breakfast, we are off to Sharm El Sheikh by Private, Air Conditioned Bus. Crossing from North Africa into Asia, we cross the Sinai to the Beautiful Red Sea Coastline. This scenic desert and mountain route includes a stop at the Seven Springs of Moses, where Moses is said to have stayed in Biblical times during the Exodus. Arriving at Sharm el Sheikh in the evening, we board WildCat, where a hot dinner will be prepared by our famous Chef Ibrahim! This is a dear friend, who has been on all of our Egyptian expeditions.
Day 4 to Day 11: Diving The Red Sea! Dive, Eat, Sleep!! We depart early morning for seven days of some of the most exotic SCUBA diving in the world. The Red Sea is world famous for its clear seas, with visibility often surpassing 100 feet. Here, we find a combination of walls, fish, colorful reefs, incredible shipwrecks that span several centuries. Possible “big fish” sightings include Beluga Whales, Hammerheads, Mantas, Dolphins and much more! On our final evening, be prepared for the notorious WildCat Farewell Party onboard with our Boat Crew! These guys are the most entertaining crew on the Red Sea, and always put on a great show, with music and folkloric dancing. Sprits & Drinks are on the house!!!
Day 11: Early Checkout from Liveabord. A private, air-conditioned bus with English-speaking guide awaits us at the seaport to start the Sinai Land Tour. We should be in the town of Dahab in time for for lunch (included). On the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba, Dahab grew from a typical “nomad-and-camel” Bedouin village. There are many shops and markets. We can shop, dine, rest, dive, snorkel or windsurf until around 6:00 pm. We arrive at Mount Sinai in time for dinner at a Bedouin camp (included). Mountain Hike for Sunrise on Mount Sinai This is a highlight of our trip! Starting at 1:30 a.m., we ride camels part of the way up Mt. Sinai, then hike the rest of the way in time for sunrise. Mt. Sinai is the highest peak in the Sinai. This is a deeply moving experience, and one which you will remember for the rest of your life. This trip is only for those who are of at least medium fitness! BRING FLASHLIGHT, WARM JACKET AND CAMERA! Snacks, coffee, tea and fruit included. Those not hiking can stay in the mountain cabin-style hotel. We need to know how many will hike and how many will stay and sleep at the hotel.
Day 12: Breakfast at Mountain Cabin Hotel (included), then visit The Monastery of St. Catherine. Built in 537 A,D, by Emperor Justinian, it is now run by Greek Monks. This is home to a bush said to be descended of “The Burning Bush” of Moses and the Ten Commandments. We then return to Sharm El-Sheikh by private bus and overnight in luxury hotel. We check in around 2pm, with free time until our early flight to Luxor the next day. There is a ton of fun stuff to do in Sharm, including a Hard Rock Café, exotic nightlife, casinos, shows, shopping and dining options. Sharm El-Sheikh is called the World’s top diving resort destination, where we will find divers from all corners of world.
Day 13: After an early breakfast, it’s off to the Sharm Airport Domestic Terminal for our flight to Luxor, where we are met at the Airport then transferred to our hotel. Luxor After check in, we visit Karnak Temple, on the River Nile, with its courts, halls, pylons and statues. The Sacred Lake was approached by means of a small Avenue of Sphinxes, which once linked Karnak and Luxor Temples. Luxor Temple is said to stand on the site of an earlier religious edifice. It played a part in the worship of the Theban triad of Amun-Ra, his wife and their son. The temple was built by Amenophis III, and is considered one the most beautiful in Egypt.
Option: Sound & Light Show at Karnak Temple - A captivating account of the history of the great Pharaohs of the 18th and 19th Dynasties. $60 USD
Better Option: A Horse drawn Carriage Ride through the back streets of Luxor. Through special arrangement, we see the “real” Luxor that tourists rarely have a chance to visit. Usually includes a stop for tea and shishah. $15 USD
Day 14: Option (WHICH I STRONGLY RECOMMEND) - Early Morning Hot Air Balloon Ride 4 am-returns to Hotel by 8am. Soar above the East and West Banks of the Nile, with astonishing views of Karnak and Luxor Temples, the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Colossi of Memnon, and Medinat-Habu. Return to Hotel in time for Breakfast. Regular Schedule: Cross the Nile for a guided tour of the West Bank. Visit tombs of the Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings, see the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, and the Colossi of Memnon. Though not on the usual schedule, I absolutely insist on visiting the Temple of Medinat-Habu perhaps the most well-preserved historical site in all of Egypt. In the evening, we transfer to Luxor Airport for our flight Back to Cairo. We check into our hotel in Cairo in time for dinner.
Day 15: Last Day in Cairo After Breakfast, we are off to the Egyptian Museum for a guided tour. This place is absolutely mesmerising. A few of the thousands of highlights include the treasures of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, and viewing of the Mummies of Ramses and other great kings. In the afternoon, we visit the Hanging Church, which dates back to the late 14th century. We are then driven to The Citadel to visit the Mosque of Suleiman Pasha and the Alabaster Mosque of Muhammad Ali. We wrap things up with a Farewell Party & Awards Dinner on Nile Cruise. This usually includes a Belly Dancing Show with Live Orchestra. Overnight in Cairo in our hotel.
Day 16 - Departure Breakfast & Transfer to Cairo International Airport for return flight to USA after the trip that changed your life.
- All Airport greeting and assistance, and all English Speaking Guides
- All transfers * All tours in Cairo, Luxor, Sinai & Sharm El -Sheikh
- All Hotel nights (Cairo 4, Luxor 1, Sharm 1, St-Catherine 1) All are Luxury Hotels except St-Catharine's Mountain Cabin Hotel
- Tour transfers with expert English speaking tour guide in Egypt
- Lunches on tour days (one in Cairo, one in Luxor, one in Dahab)
- Entrance fees to all scheduled sites
- Six Days Diving on Liveaboard Yacht WildCat - (All Meals Included)
- Air Fights to Luxor, Cairo, Private A/C Buses Cairo-Sharm, Sinai Not Included:
- Luxor Hot Air Balloon Flight ($85 USD per person)
- Sound & Light Shows Cairo & Luxor ($60 USD per person)
- Horse-drawn Carriage Ride in Luxor ($15 USD per person)
- Dive equipment rental
- International Airfares
- Nitrox ($120 USD per Diver - Unlimited for Week Aboard)
- Anything not mentioned in program
Pricing: $3,105 USD PER PERSON IN DOUBLE ROOM $3,565 USD PER PERSON IN SINGLE ROOM Round-Trip Airfares between Houston (IAH) and Cairo (CAI) are running from $1,700 USD. This is still an exceptional deal for a life-changing expedition. More news will be sent to everyone who is going.