Join CFT as we look beyond the Pyramids and Petra on an exploration of the Biblical sites of Egypt and Jordan. Cruise the River Nile and experience the wonders of Ancient Egypt including the ruins of the palaces where Abraham and Joseph lived. Follow in the footsteps of Moses as we worship on Mount Sinai and trace the route of the Exodus of the Israelites.
Be amazed by the UNESCO listed glory of Petra, the natural beauty of Wadi Rum and the uniqueness of the Dead Sea. Pass the great Herodian fortress of Mukawir where John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed and spend time on the banks of the River Jabok, an important feature in Jacob’s life. We can’t wait to share this very special faith journey with you.
Egypt & Jordan - September 2021
Egypt & Jordan - September 2021
A Christian Tour Leader throughout the holiday
Return Economy Airfares
4 night Nile River Cruise
Quality hotel accommodation with private facilities
Sightseeing as outlined and all entry fees
Luggage assistance at hotels
Our wonderful Biblical adventure begins with a flight to Egypt (the opposite direction from Moses); this will be a direct flight with one stopover.
We arrive in Cairo, Egypt’s bustling capital and one of the largest cities in Africa and the Middle East. Located on the Nile River it is best known for the Giza pyramids that still stand as a symbol of Egypt’s ancient civilization. The Nile River was critical to the development of Ancient Egypt – irrigation methods increased agriculture and these abundant crops could support a thriving population as well as being traded. Today 95% of Egyptians still live within a few km of the Nile.
At the airport we will be met by our local hosts who will assist us with the speedy transfer through customs before we transfer to our hotel. After check-in we can freshen up and enjoy our first group dinner together.
Our first Sunday on tour begins with worship at an English-speaking church. We then have a full day of touring the wonders of the ancient Egyptian civilization, some of which date back to 1000+ years prior to Abraham. We visit Cheops, the most colossal pyramid ever built and the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. This Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.
In the afternoon we will stop by a papyrus factory. Cultivated around the Nile, papyrus was used to make the chief writing material in ancient Egypt. This paper was adopted by the Greeks and used extensively in the Roman Empire. Today over 130 papyri survive as the earliest witnesses to the original text of the New Testament. These include a fragment from the Gospel of John dating to the first half of the 2nd Century.
We end our day with a panoramic view of Cairo. A truly memorable Sunday!
After breakfast we fly to Luxor, a city with a history going back 250,000 years. Located on the fertile banks of the Nile it was the site of ancient Thebes, the pharaohs’ capital during the 16th–11th centuries B.C when they were at the height of their power. We visit the burial place of the pharaohs, the famed Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon. Then we embark our 5-star ship for a leisurely lunch before a late afternoon visit to the Temple of Luxor. Stroll through the illuminated columns and past vast stone statues within the temple and city corniche before returning to our ship for dinner. Our accommodation for the next 4 nights is on the beautifully appointed 5-star MS Nile Goddess.
A beautiful night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast will have you ready for today’s sightseeing and cruising. We visit the Temples of Karnak. Covering approximately 200 acres it is the largest religious building ever made. It was a place of pilgrimage for nearly 2,000 years. The enormous ruins are still capable of overshadowing many wonders of the modern world and in its day it must have been awe-inspiring. It is here in Karnak that the world’s first monotheism (worship of a single god) developed under the pharaoh Akhenaten. For the relatively short period of his rule, 1367-1350 B.C., the pantheon of Egyptian gods was replaced by the single deity of Aten, who was represented by the sun-disc.
We return to our ship to sailing upstream on the Nile through the Esna
Lock to our destination Edfu.
Travel in style as we visit the Temple of Edfu by horse drawn carriage. The size of the temple reflects the prosperity of the time and today it is regarded as one of the best preserved shrines in Egypt.
After returning to the Nile Goddess, we continue our upstream sailing to Kom Umbo and visit one of the Nile Valley's most beautifully sited temples; located on a promontory at a bend in the river the Temple of Kom Ombo is unique in Egypt in that it is dedicated to two gods – Sobek and Haroeris.
Visiting such a temple reminds us just how radical monotheism, worship of a single God, must have seemed to many ancient societies. The belief in only one true God was, for many years, confined to Abram and his descendants. It wasn’t until Christ’s Ascension, and the growth of the Christian church in the greater Mediterranean region, that this “new” belief became the norm, fundamentally changing our society forever.
Back on board for dinner we continue sailing towards Aswan.
Enjoy some free time in Aswan this morning before we travel overland to the incredible Abu Simbel; originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC the twin temples of Pharaoh Ramesses II and his queen Nefertari are stunning. Even so it is the UNESCO campaign that saved them from flooding by the Aswan Dam, and the actual engineering feat that moved them to their present site, that is truly awe-inspiring. Ramesses II (also known as Ramses II) is known to us as the oppressive pharaoh of the Exodus. We visit the island-based Temple of Philae, also moved under the UNESCO initiative, and the Aswan High Dam before returning for our last night on board the Nile Goddess.
Overnight: Nile Goddess, Aswan
A wonderful overland adventure as we travel by train along the River Nile; see the real Egypt as we travel past palm trees, feluccas, camels and fellahin working in the fields. The fertile soil along the Nile creates a small strip of green either side of the river before the desert resumes. Packed snacks and light meals will be provided for our journey. We arrive in Cairo in the early evening and will be transferred to our hotel.
A leisurely breakfast and then we will enjoy a short ride to the ancient capital of Memphis; founded before 3,100 BC, Memphis is the legendary city of Menes, the King who united Upper and Lower Egypt. Here we will see a colossal statue of the renowned king Ramesses II—it is 3,200 years old and weighs 83 tonnes! From a Biblical perspective, Memphis is most likely where Abraham lied to Pharaoh about his wife Sarah being his sister and where Joseph served as second in command.
We visit Saqqara, the necropolis of ancient Memphis; housing many tombs of kings and high officials it is one of Egypt’s most extensive archaeological sites. Saqqara is dominated by the Step Pyramid of King Djoser (2700 B.C.), the oldest complete stone structure in the world!
Overnight: Hotel, Cairo
The Exodus is possibly the most pivotal event in the history of God’s chosen people. Today we leave Cairo behind and begin following in the footsteps of Moses. We pass Ayun-Musa (The Wells of Moses) Marah, Elim and Rephidim on our way to St Katherine, a small village at the foot of Mount Sinai. Our 3-star accommodation in St Katherine is simple yet adequate, and the location is superb with views of the nearby monastery. This will be a very special Sunday as we conduct our own service of worship in sight of Mount Sinai. One of the most significant of the Stations of the Exodus Mount Sinai is of huge importance to Christians as it is where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.
Overnight: Wadi el Raha, Mount Sinai
An early morning wake up call for those who wish to climb Mount Sinai for sunrise; it is a very special experience to stand on the mountain where God spoke to His prophet Moses – Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” Exodus 34:27. After watching the sunrise we will descend the mountain and visit the Monastery of St. Katherine; located on the site where God appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush this is the world’s oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery and has a history that can be traced back over seventeen centuries. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it predates the divisions of the Christian world and offers an insight into late antiquity with the distinctive qualities of its Greek and Roman heritage preserved intact.
This afternoon we drive to Taba on the border of Israel.
Please note: The walk up Mt Sinai does require a reasonable level of fitness so you might elect to stay at the hotel on this morning.
Bruch Ha-ba (Welcome) in the Holy Land! We cross into Israel and a short drive brings us to Eilat, a busy port and resort it is Israel’s southernmost town. We check-in at our hotel and then you have an afternoon at leisure to enjoy the hotel’s facilities or explore Eilat.
Located on the Northern edge of the Sea of Aqaba, an extension of The Red Sea, Eilat is an ideal spot to relax – enjoy a leisurely breakfast, take a swim in the hotel pool or enjoy some shopping in the nearby shopping village. In the early afternoon we will drive to nearby Paran in the Timna Valley where we will visit the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, a life size reproduction of the biblical tabernacle used by the people of the Exodus. “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8
In the Tent of Meeting we will learn more about the book of Exodus before we return to Eilat.
Today we are exploring a region that was a part of the wilderness wanderings of Moses in the Exodus. The area is also historically important for trading routes used by the Nabataeans, a tribal people that best known for their magnificent capital of Petra. Enjoy a scenic drive of stark beauty as we tour a dramatic landscape carved by the water draining from the foothills of Mount Sinai. Be amazed by the huge Ramon Crater, the world’s largest erosion crater; shaped like an elongated heart, the carter is an impressive 40km in length and 2-10km in width. We travel to Sde Boker, the kibbutz famous as the home of Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister. We visit the tomb of this important world leader before returning to Eilat.
We travel across the border to the Kingdom of Jordan and journey to Wadi Rum; this unique moonscape terrain of ancient riverbeds, wind sculpted mountains and vast desert vistas is famous as the home of “Lawrence of Arabia”.
Long skirted legionnaires will offer us cardamom-spiced coffee at the “Beau Geste” outpost before we enjoy a 2 hours jeep tour of the “Wadi” (valley). We finish with dinner and overnight accommodation at the Wadi Rum Bedouin camp – a truly memorable experience and a fitting end to a marvellous day.
Overnight: Wadi Rum in Bedouin Luxury tented accommodation
This morning we leave Wadi Rum, passing by Mount Edom and Ain Mousa (Moses Springs) on our way to the archaeological marvel of Petra; carved from the rose-red stone of Sharah Mountains it is famously known as the “Rose City“ of Jordan. Dating to around 300 B.C. Petra was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom but was lost for centuries to the western world. The Crusaders were the last westerners to visit before it was “re-discovered” in 1812 by the Swiss Burckhardt. You are sure to be as overwhelmed as he was by its extraordinary beauty as you walk through the Siq, a narrow and winding fissure between the cliffs, to have the dramatic Treasury building revealed before you. Be amazed as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage site – the Roman Theatre, the Courts, Qasr Bint Pharaoun, Temple of the Winged Lion and other monuments, which, in 2007, were named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Morning worship as we travel along the ancient trade route of the Kings Way, passing through Moab country which features very significantly in the Exodus wanderings. We journey to the Bronze-Age archaeological site of Tall el-Hammam, believed to be Sodom, the Biblical “city of sin”; this ancient metropolis, along with its neighbouring city of Gomorrah, were described in the Old Testament as being destroyed by fire and brimstone.
We pass by the great Herodian fortress of Macherud – now called Mukawir – best known as the location of the imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist. The royal courtyard of the palace is considered one of the best existing archaeological parallels to the Herodian Gabbatha in the Jerusalem Praetorium, where Pontius Pilate judged Jesus of Nazareth.
Our destination tonight is the fascinating Dead Sea, the salt lake whose banks are more than 400m below sea level, the lowest point on dry land. Its famously hypersaline water makes floating easy, and its mineral-rich black mud is used for therapeutic and cosmetic treatments. After lunch you can enjoy time at leisure to float on the Dead Sea or take a refreshing dip in the waters of the hotel’s pools.
Overnight: Dead Sea Resort (Jordan)
After breakfast we travel to Al-Maghtas, the Baptism site believed to be the original place where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. From here we drive to Madaba, home to some of the finest Byzantine mosaics in the world. View the 6th century mosaic Map of Jerusalem, possibly the oldest map of the Holy City in existence. We continue on to Mount Nebo; the highest point in the Moabite mountain range it offers a remarkable view of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea and the spires of Jerusalem. The Bible tells us that Moses viewed “the Promised Land” from this peak and died on Mount Nebo. Our home for the next three nights will be Amman, Jordan’s Capital city.
Situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley, Amman is a fascinating city of contrasts, a modern metropolis co-existing amongst numerous ancient ruins. After breakfast we will tour of the old city of Amman exploring the Citadel and the Roman Theatre, two of the most popular archaeological sites in the city. Settlement of this site dates back to 3500 B.C. and the Bible telling us that King David sent his Israelite army to besiege the city, then known as Rabbath Ammon.
This afternoon you will have time at leisure to relax, explore and shop.
After breakfast we drive to Jerash, the best preserved of the provincial Roman towns and often called the “Pompeii of the East”. Wander around its colonnaded main street, see the Cardo, South Theatre, Temple of Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, the Artemis Temple and the Nymphaeum. The city’s 14 churches date from Byzantine time and are filled with fine mosaics. From Jerash we continue westward to Saladin’s 12th century Arab castle, Qalaat al Rabad (Ajloun), one of the finest examples of military architecture. On our return journey we will pause on the edge of the River Jabok, important in the early life of Jacob, before returning to Amman.
Full day at leisure in Amman for some last-minute shopping before we
are transferred to the airport for our flight to Dubai.
Today is a full day of leisure in Dubai. You might like to visit the famous Dubai Mall, explore the Gold and Spice Souks or choose one of the many optional tours (available on tour). Tonight, will be a fitting end to your holiday as we enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport for our final flight home to Australia.
A morning arrival in Australia blessed with a new knowledge of the region in which significant Bible stories actually occurred, a greater cultural understanding of the Land of the Bible as well as deeper appreciation of the Bible itself.
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