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Cairo/Giza, Luxor, Aswan and 4 Night Luxury Nile Cruise

15 - 26 May, 2018

Program Costs:

 $3,880 for enrolled students
$4,480 for the general public
(includes R/T airfare New York to Cairo*)
Single room supplement: $548.00

*Non-refundable payment of $1,200 due by February 10 for the
Egypt Air flight from New York to Cairo.

Included in the price:
Accommodations during the entire trip in five star, first-class hotels and cruise ship, full board (three meals a day) during the stay on the cruise, two meals per day on the rest of the trip, two jet plane tickets from Cairo to Luxor & from Aswan to Cairo, entrance fees to all sites mentioned on the program including the extra ticket to the Great Pyramid as well as King Tut's tomb, all transfers and visits mentioned in the program in air-conditioned cars, and the services of an English speaking Egyptologist during the entire trip.

Optional Extensions:
Petra, Jordan

Sharm El-Sheikh


Our program has three unique features. It is an interdisciplinary and team-taught project that offers hands-on experience in an effort to understand more deeply both other cultures and our own. Faculty from many disciplines join together and propose activities designed to illuminate early chapters in our western heritage. Our seminars are not merely lectures and tours; instead, they encourage participation in diverse activities such as model-making reconstructions of ancient buildings and sculpture to introduce ancient architectural and artistic achievement, recreating a mummification ritual complete with the placement of sacred amulets and the recitation of spell-texts to help us think about ancient rituals, the construction of sundials, water-clocks, or star-maps as part of an introduction to ancient astronomy, the making of our own hieroglyphic tablets that we carve and paint as a way to think more deeply about ancient Egyptian writing and its decipherment, and an archaeological exercise digging and preparing a trench to illustrate how ancient sites are excavated. We shall think deeply about the meaning of our own lives by reflecting upon the ways that life and death became meaningful for the ancient Egyptians. In this sense, our project is both an archaeology of ideas and an expedition. It is a physical journey through lower and upper Egypt, and simultaneously a search for our own self-understanding.

We re-enact scenes depicted on the tomb walls of New Kingdom Pharaohs in order to understand better their sacred image.


This program is open to the entire community! We welcome applications from persons of all ages, backgrounds, and interests (minors are welcome if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian), including those who hold foreign passports as well as U.S. citizens. Participants range in age from 18-88 years. It is usual for the group to have a blend of junior and senior members. Couples and families are welcome. We have set a traveling size for our group not to exceed 40 persons; thus, enrollment is limited. You can secure a place in our 2017 program by sending a check for $250.00 made payable to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale [SIUC] along with your completed application to: Mr. Thomas Saville, Study Abroad Programs, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois 62901-6885.

Each morning we visit an archaeological site and discuss the theme of the day on location.


Unlike arrivals at many international locations, travel in Egypt is best-arranged in groups. For our comfort, we ask that everyone planning to participate in the 2017 program travel with the group on a regularly scheduled flight of Egypt Air that we have arranged at considerable savings. Payment in full, made payable to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC), should be mailed to: Study Abroad Programs, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901-6885, and should be sent at your earliest convenience to secure a space in our program. Departure cities will be arranged separately.

Although we encourage you to join the group on Egypt Air, we will accommodate your arrival by any other carrier. However, there will be additional costs. First, by separate arrangement, we will have you met at the airport by one of our representatives and taken to the hotel for an additional cost of $75. Secondly, our program calls for two separate jet plane flights from Cairo to Luxor, Luxor to Abu Simbel and a return from Aswan to Cairo. The cost per participant is reduced for those flying Egypt Air Trans-Atlantic and is already included in the program price. For those arriving in Egypt without Egypt Air, there will be an additional charge of $300 ($150 per flight X 2).


All lodging is included in first class, five-star hotels. Cabins on the luxury cruise all have large exterior views of the Nile, and are aboard five-star cruises. 

Accommodations are all double-occupancy. Single rooms can be provided for the complete program at an additional cost (including the cruise) and are subject to availability.

We enjoy a luxury cruise on the Nile


Fabulous full and open buffet breakfasts and dinners are included everyday. In Cairo, open buffet lunches are included, at the Sakkara Country Club, and at the famous Peace Restaurant overlooking the great pyramids. On the cruise, in addition to three meals a day, afternoon tea and pastries are all included. Although each program is slightly different, one dinner in Cairo, one lunch in Luxor, and dinner on the last day of the program are not included.


Although we anticipate no changes in the itinerary in either program content or the selection of sites, slight changes in scheduling may occur. This is a consequence of official changes made by the Egyptian government regulating domestic travel and/or the access to specific sites. Currently, our program calls for 2 jet plane flights on Egypt Air, within Egypt, and those schedules are subject to change without notice. The government also maintains the right to open or close certain sites without notice. From out past experiences in Egypt, this has never been a problem but we alert all of the participants to the possibilities. Everyone will receive an updated itinerary upon arrival in Egypt.

We re-enact a mummification ritual, complete with religious amulets and the recitation of spell-texts.


Included in the program costs are many miscellaneous expenses. All museum fees are included as well as entrance fees to all archaeological sites. Port taxes, domestic air taxes, all ground transportation, and transfers have already been figured into the cost. All project materials such as the clay for model making and the materials for group projects. All faculty lectures by our staff and archaeological site presentations by official Egyptian guides are fully covered. All baggage handling and ALL TIPPING is already included.

We encourage everyone to take advantage of these extensive opportunities. Most tours, on the other hand, include only a few set visits while so many others are available for an additional fee. For the interested and motivated traveler, the cost on the usual tours can become very great (and a hassle to arrange) even if the initial price seems modest.

So, what is not covered? Your visa from the Egyptian government (which is available upon arrival in Cairo and we will arrange for you at the airport) at a cost of approximately $20.00 for persons holding U.S. passports (N.B. for persons holding foreign passports, the cost vary; please notify us immediately if you do not hold a U.S. passport). Although the cost of almost all meals is included, the cost of beverages is not. A large bottle of water is about $1, as is the cost of a small soft drink or juice. Beer costs about $4 a bottle and Egyptian wine is about $10 a bottle. Tuition for optional credit is not included.

As an aid to understand ancient Egyptian art and the decipherment of hieroglyphics, we carve and paint our own clay tablets.


Registration for SIUC credit is optional. Participants who choose to take the program for credit may opt for a grade or audit. For travel/study programs, there is no additional cost for "out of state" enrollees: the cost for each participant is $211.60/credit hour or $779.40/3 credit hours (undergraduate) and $350.60/credit hour or $1,051.80/3 credit hours (graduate). There is also a $30 application fee (undergraduate only for non-SIUC students applying for credit. This is payable  to  SIUC and should be a separate check. Credit card payments are accepted for tuition and application fees only. Credit in the program, whether for a grade or audit, is available in Philosophy, Art, Architecture, Art History and/or History. Students may also petition to earn additional credit under the supervision of one of the faculty members for completing an additional project during the summer months, extending from travel  research. These additional projects must be completed no later than August 1, 2017. The staff will assist any participant in organizing such additional credit-earning projects.


All cancellations less than 45 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a $1,000.00 penalty.

All cancellations less than 30 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a $1,500.00 penalty.

All cancellations less than 15 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a $2,500.00 penalty.

There is NO REFUND due to cancellation after the departure date. To qualify for a refund, all cancellations must be submitted in writing to Study Abroad Programs. Study Abroad programs recommends strongly that all participants obtain separately "Travel Insurance" just in case their plans should change after making program payment.


  • At this time, no special medical precautions are needed prior to arrival in Egypt. However, medical authorities customarily recommend tetanus and booster updates for those who have not received them within the last ten years. Please consult your physician.
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale reserves the right to decline any application.


Day 1 - TUES 16 MAY

Departure from the USA                          

Day 2 - WED 17 MAY

Arrive in Cairo and transfer to your 5-stars hotel Le Meridien Pyramids, overlooking the famous Giza Pyramids. Enjoy some refreshing and relaxing time at the swimming pools of your hotel while soaking in a full view of the pyramids. Buffet dinner at the hotel

Day 3 - THUR 18 MAY

We begin our journey with an historical overview of Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms -- in a visit to the perfectly extraordinary collection in The Egyptian Museum, including the fascinating treasure of King Tutankhamon.

We follow this fabulous visit by a nice lunch in a restaurant with a spectacular view over Cairo

Optional excursion to Downtown Cairo, visiting the Alabaster Mosque, The Hanging Church and Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo district. 

Day 4 - FRI 19 MAY

Visit to Sakkara Plateau, site of the Stepped Pyramid of King Djoser, “1st pyramid in the history”. We marvel at the daily life of ancient Egyptians depicted in details on the walls of their Mastabas

Lunch by the pool at Palm Club followed by a trip to Dahshur to visit the Red and the Bent/Rhomboidal pyramids of King Snefru from the 4th Dynasty. Both plateaus will help to complete our understanding of the earliest stages of Old Kingdom “pyramid construction projects”.

In the afternoon, we review the big picture of ancient Egypt, in a series of themes in a visit to the Pharaonic Village where scenes of the everyday life of ancient Egyptians is brought back to life for you to watch. We review the images of the traditional gods and goddesses in ancient Egyptian art, the technologies by which they made their amazing civilization, model-reconstructions of the Great Pyramids, funeral complexes, Sphinx, and a reconstruction of the tomb of King Tut.

Day 5 - SAT 20 MAY

Visit to the Giza Plateau, including a visit to the interior of the Great Pyramid of Khufu where only few persons are allowed to enter. The striking Solar Boat and the famous Sphinx, dating back to almost five thousand years ago are definitely on our list.

We set off for Cairo airport for our one-hour flight to Luxor in southern Egypt. Transfer to our 5-stars resort: the Jolie Ville, set out on 24-acres of landscaped foliage, directly on the Nile.

Enjoy the fabulous Buffet dinner in Jolie Ville restaurant overlooking the Nile

Day 6 - SUN 21 MAY

Visit to the Valley of the Kings including the tomb of King Tutankhamon, followed by a visit to the Valley of the Queens. A reflection on the change of themes according to the mission to accomplish, through the iconography on the tombs in both Valleys. Being a Pharaoh coincide with a particular journey in the Under-World!

Afternoon at leisure, enjoying relaxing and reflecting time by the hotel swimming pools followed by buffet dinner.

Day 7 - MON 22 MAY

Visit to the funerary temple of Queen Hatschepsut at El-Deir el-Bahary and see how did a Pharaoh Women distinguished herself with a unique architectural design.

We then visit the Valley of the Nobles and the Workmen’s Village. The iconography in these various tombs helps us understand the roles played by Pharaoh, Prince, Noble, and Workman; and how in turn this helps us understand what the after-life meant to the Ancient Egyptians

At twilight we visit Luxor temple and walk through the famous Sacred Way lined by ram-headed sphinxes. Buffet dinner in Jolie Ville restaurant overlooking the Nile.

Day 8 - TUES 23 MAY

Discover the largest temple in the world: Karnak, unique with its gigantic “Hypostyle Hall,” witnessing the greatness of architecture in ancient Egypt.

We then marvel at the overwhelming collection of antiquities and Mummies at the Luxor Museum

Transfer to board our luxurious 5***** Cruise, lunch on board while beginning our sailing on the Nile. We go through the lock of Esna and rise up 18 feet before continue sailing on to Edfu.

Tea Time on the sun deck.

Your cruise has lots of facilities onboard including a sundeck, swimming pool, lounge bar, restaurant, Jacuzzi, health club and massage parlour. This will be home for four days!

Day 9 - WED 24 MAY

Visit the most complete temple of Egypt, the house of Horus the falcon headed god, at Edfu. After our visit, we return to the cruise to savour the moments while cruising up the Nile, watching the peaceful scenery of daily countryside life from “another time”.

Back on board, we participate in two hands-on activities of reconstructing the structure of the Great Pyramid to test theories of its construction, and we join together to raise a breakable obelisk to test other theories about ancient Egyptian technology.  We do these activities on the deck of our cruise ship, as we gently sail the Nile.

At twilight we visit the double temple of Kom Ombo where Sobek, the crocodile, and Hareoris, the falcon, were worshiped.

Fun at the Galabeya (traditional costume) party on board our cruise while sailing towards Aswan.

Day 10 - THUR 25 MAY

Visit to the pearl of Egypt temples: Philae, dedicated to goddess Isis. The location: an island on the Nile, at the gate to Nubia, is a brilliant cultural and political choice.

We also visit the Unfinished Obelisk at the Quarries of red granite as we explore how the huge blocks of granite were cut from the rock beds and transported north to Luxor and Giza

The colourful local Market of Aswan as well as the belly dance show, are the evening attractions

Day 11 - FRI 26 MAY

Free morning and a chance to take an optional excursion to Abu Simbel, one of the wonders of Ancient Egypt. The gigantic two temples were cut in the rocks and are the accomplishment of one of Egypt’s greatest Pharaohs: Ramses II, and great wife: queen Nefertari.

Board a Jet flight to Cairo and transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 12 - SAT 27 MAY

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the USA.

EXTENSIONS (choose one, two or all three of them)


Day 1 - SAT 27 MAY

Day trip to Alexandria. Visit the Famous Library of Alexandria with its intriguing architectural features inspired from Ancient Egypt heritage. We followed by Lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean. We then explore the Catacomb tombs and the National Museum of Alexandria where are placed Greco-Roman objects and coins ‘freshly” fished out the Mediterranean. Nice walk by the sea as we picture one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World: the Light House of Alexandria. The Fort of Quaitebay has been built later on what was left from the Light house. Return to Cairo for dinner and overnight


Day 1 - SUN 28 MAY


Transfer to Cairo airport and flight to Amman. Upon arrival, drive north to Jerash, where remains one of the most beautiful and best-preserved Greco-roman cities in the world. Excavations made it possible to update two theatres, several temples, churches, market, thermal baths, and the famous Cardo Maximus alley of 600 meters bordered columns.

Drive to Petra. Night and dinner at your Hotel

Day 2 - MON 29 MAY


The ancient Nabatean city of Petra was recently voted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is without a doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. In 1985 Petra was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Begin your visit by enjoying a walk or a short horse ride from Petra’s main entrance to the entrance of the old city “Al Siq”, which is a 350 meters narrow canyon. As you reach the end of the Siq, the first and greatest monument of Petra slowly comes into view. This is the famous Treasury monument “Al Khazneh”. Petra “The Rose City” is an extraordinary and unique place, which was built by the Arab Nabateans more than 2000 years ago. The Nabateans carved monumental tombs, palaces, temples and treasury from the desert’s natural rose-colored rocks and sandstones. Petra was an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked the Eastern world with that of the West. Indulge yourself, and allow our professional guide to walk you through the architectural and spiritual wonders of this majestic place explaining every detail in sight. Overnight Petra.

Day 3 - TUES 30 MAY


Drive to to Madaba “the City of Mosaics”. Visit the Greek Orthodox church of St. George where the famous 6th Century Byzantine mosaic map of the holy sites in the biblical world is found

Continue to Mount Nebo, believed to be where Moses was buried. The mountain, which rises to 840 m of altitude, offers a spectacular view of the Holy land.

Proceed to the Dead Sea the lowest spot on earth 400 meters below sea level. The Dead Sea has an historical and spiritual legacy of its own. It is believed to be the site of five biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar.

Spend the rest of the day sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing in the gently lapping waters of the Dead Sea and be amazed that you can never sink! Treat yourself to a soothing massage, or try the well-known healing powers of minerals from the sea’s muddy floor.

Lunch at Dead Sea O Beach resort. Drive to Amman, dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 4 - WED 31 MAY

Transfer to Amman Airport for flight to JFK


The perfect way to end your trip in a relaxing mode - gorgeous underwater scenery, beaches, coffee shops, restaurants, shopping and nightlife.

Day 1 - WED 31 MAY

Flight to Sharm el-Sheikh and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the magnificent sea view from the terrace of your room. Relax on the beach and marvel at the fascinating colours of fish and corals while swimming in the Red Sea

Day 2 – THUR 1 JUNE

Excursion to St. Catherine. Ascend to the summit of Moses Mountain to marvel at a spectacular sunrise. Visit the 4th century monastery of Ste Catherine and its 6th century Greek Orthodox Church. Drive back to Sharm el-sheikh.

Day 3 – FRI 2 JUNE

Enjoy the giant pool or the beaches of your paradisiacal hotel. Have fun on a boat trip, snorkel or scuba dive in the best diving area in the world; or take a quad safari in the desert.

Day 4 – SAT 3 JUNE

Transfer to airport and flight to the USA.



    An overview of the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms, with emphasis on art, sculpture, religious practices, political organization, and technological achievements. Includes visits to the pyramid complex at Giza, the stepped pyramid in Sakkara, the pyramids in Meidum and Dhashur, the Cairo Museum and the Pharaonic village.
    Lively presentations of traditional stories of how the universe came into being, the struggle for authority, and the battles between good and evil, Nobles, and Workman’s Village in ancient Thebes (Luxor).
    Why did the artificial preservation of human remains become a preoccupation -- and major industry -- in pharaonic times? How are the practices of mummification similar and different in the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms? With help from the ancient texts and modern science, we will first imagine and then try to recreate our own mummification ritual.
    The archaeologist digs down into the ground to discover physical remains that offer clues about ancient civilizations. Through the analysis of burials through time, before and after the invention of writing, we are able to get a glimpse of the changes in social structure along the way, and changing ideals of excellence.
    One way that the ancient Egyptians expressed the highest excellence was through the creation of extraordinary monuments, pyramids and obelisks. But the idea to celebrate excellence required effective techniques to produce them. So, just how did the Egyptians construct pyramids and install obelisks? We shall investigate these ancient technologies and test our theories by hands-on activities by erecting a scale model of an obelisk.
    How did the history and culture of Egypt affect the way that ancient Egyptians thought? We will develop an understanding of the broad view of Egyptian history in order to explore such basic Egyptian concepts regarding the order of the universe, kingship, and the afterlife. We will use the monuments and images from the sites we visit to identify the world view of the ancient Egyptians. Includes a hands-on project painting on papyrus.


All rates are based on tariffs, costs, and exchange rates in effect at publication and are subject to change based on these factors.


  • At this time, no special medical precautions are needed prior to arrival in Egypt. However, medical authorities customarily recommend tetanus and booster updates for those who have not received them within the last ten years. Please consult your physician.
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale reserves the right to decline any application.