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ANCIENT KINGDOMS & THE RED SEA

Uncover some of the mysteries of the Red Sea region with a little expert help on this fascinating journey

22 Oct 2016 - 17 DAYS FROM £1199

Treasures abound in many forms in the Cypriot city of Larnaca – from ancient ruins to golden-sand beaches. Egypt too has a remarkable collection of mesmerising gems – with Cairo’s enigmatic pyramids and Luxor’s ‘secret’ tombs long enticing the intrepid traveller. The ‘Lost City’ of Petra can be discovered, Salaha’s aromatic frankincense trees observed and Muscat’s glittering Grand Mosque admired on this memorable voyage.

  • LARNACA
  • ALEXANDRIA
  • PORT SAID
  • SUEZ CANAL TRANSIT
  • SHARM EL SHEIKH
  • AQABA
  • SAFAGA
  • SALALAH
  • MUSCAT
Click on the itinerary days to show more information
LARNACA, CYPRUS - 22nd October (overnight) - 23rd October 1PM
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Begin your cruise in Larnaca on the charming island of Cyprus, the third largest in the Mediterranean Sea. Famed for its sandy beaches and temptingly clear waters, it also boasts many archaeological treasures which tell intriguing tales of its 4,000-year history.

ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT - 24th October 1PM (overnight) - 25th Octomber 7AM
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The capital of Egypt under the Ptolemaic and Roman Empire, Alexandria was the country’s centre of commerce and culture and the most prosperous city in the world. After time to explore you have the chance to discover Cairo’s staggering sights in a marvellous overland tour from Alexandria, rejoining Voyager in Port Said. Marvel at the great pyramids of Giza and the mighty Sphinx – amongst the most studied and debated monuments in the world.

PORT SAID, - 25th October 8PM - 9.30PM
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SUEZ CANAL TRANSIT, - 26th October
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Voyager transits the 100 mile-long Suez Canal – one of the world’s most important trade links.

SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT - 27th October 12.30PM - 7PM
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Sharm el Sheikh lies on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula where the Gulf of Aqaba meets the Straits of Tiran. This popular resort is the perfect spot for an afternoon of relaxation or perhaps enjoy a glassbottomed boat trip on the sheltered waters of the Red Sea, where coral reefs teem with colourful marine life.

AQABA, JORDAN - 28th October 7AM - 4.30PM
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Jordan’s only sea port, Aqaba is your gateway to the incredible ‘Lost City’ of Petra. A legacy of the Nabataeans, this rose-red city carved into the sandstone was abandoned in the 4th century when trade routes bypassed Petra. What remains today is one of the world’s most extraordinary sights.

SAFAGA, EGYPT - 29th October 6.30AM - midnight
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The port of Safaga affords you access to Upper Egypt and the country’s lifeline since ancient times, the River Nile. Take a cruise on its calm waters or perhaps head to Luxor, the mesmerising ‘Land of the Pharaohs’, to discover the once-hidden Valley of the Kings. Here the tombs of more than 60 Pharaohs, including the boy king Tutankhamun, lay preserved deep underground.

AT SEA 30th-31st October
AT SEA 1st-3rd November
SALALAH, OMAN - 4th November 7.30AM - 2PM
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The largest city in the Dhofar province, Salalah lies on the Frankincense Trail. The resin that comes from the Boswellia tree has been an important commodity to the people of the ‘Perfume City’ for centuries, at its peak its value rivalling that of gold or precious gems. Perhaps pick up some oil at a local souk as an aromatic souvenir.

AT SEA 5th November
MUSCAT, OMAN - 6th November 9AM (overnight) -
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Step ashore in magical Muscat – a city boasting an ancient history and a rich Islamic heritage, evident in its ancient fortifications and Arabesque buildings. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is a superb example of modern Islamic architecture, often described as Oman’s crowning glory. Its courtyard of symmetrical white stone archways is a photographer’s dream, as is its magnificent chandelier, which weighs eight tonnes and glimmers with 600,000 Swarovski crystals.

Omani visas will be arranged by our ground agents and charged to your onboard account.

LARNACA | CYPRUS

Located on the southernmost coast of Cyprus, Larnaca is the third largest city on the island. With its protected harbour, yacht marina, international airport and cosmopolitan character, the city has established itself as one of Cyprus’ most important business and touristic centres. Much of Larnaca is built on the ancient site of Kition, an area referenced in the Old Testament as ‘Kittim’. Architectural ruins of the ancient city provide evidence that the area was inhabited from the 13th century BC.

LARNACA TOWN WALK

DURATION: 2 HOURS 30 MINUTES
REF: V-LCA3
Highlights:

• Walk along Larnaca’s palm lined beachfront
• Interior visit to St Lazarus Church, which houses Lazarus’ empty marble sarcophagus
• Free time for shopping in Larnaca town centre

Begin with a short drive to ‘Foinikoudes’, the palm lined beachfront promenade, from where your guided walking tour will commence. Admire the exterior of Larnaca’s Medieval Fort, a testament to the Ottoman Turks rule during the 17th century. Continue to St Lazarus Church; regarded as one of the most remarkable examples of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus. Following his resurrection by Christ, Lazarus came to live in Larnaca and was later ordained first Bishop of Kition. The impressive church interior consists of a central nave, two aisles and three domes and houses the crypt containing Lazarus’ empty marble sarcophagus and the partially restored Baroque iconostasis. Enjoy free time in Larnaca town centre for some shopping before returning to the ship.

Practical Info:

• Journey time approximately 20 minutes (each way)
• Walking approximately 500 metres (at passengers’ discretion during free time)
• Primarily flat terrain
• Conservative dress required

LEFKARA & CHOIROKOITIA

DURATION: HALF DAY
REF: V-LCA2
Highlights:

• Visit to prehistoric site of Choirokoitia
• Walk through Lefkara village
• Opportunity to buy handmade lace, Lefkaritiko

Begin your tour with a drive to the Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Excavations at Choirokoitia show that the area was inhabited as early as 7000 B.C., the archaeological site features a defence wall, circular houses, tombs and many stone utensils and has brought to light one of the most important Neolithic cultures in the world. Using the construction methods and materials used in Neolithic times, five characteristic cylindrical shaped dwellings have been reconstructed near the settlement. Steeped in history, Lefkara village is renowned for its silverware and handmade lace called Lefkaritiko. According to local lore, Leonardo Da Vinci once visited the village and bought an altar cloth, which he later donated to the Milan Cathedral. When Richard the Lionheart married Berrengaria of Navarre in Limassol in 1191, crowning her queen of England, her wedding dress was made of lace from Lefkara. Stroll through the narrow, paved streets and admire the houses built entirely out of limestone, with wooden doors and windows. Enjoy the ambience of this traditional village and witness this fine example of Cypriot life.

Practical Info:

• Longest journey time approximately 45 minutes
• Walking approximately 500 metres (at passengers’ discretion during free time)
• Cobblestone streets in Lefkara village and some uneven terrain in Choirokoitia; there are a series of stairs and wooden walkways at the hill side where the excavated site is located

ALEXANDRIA | EGYPT

Founded in 332-331 BC by Alexander the Great after whom it was named, Alexandria became a major centre of Hellenistic and Jewish culture and was capital of Graeco-Roman Egypt until the Arab invasions in 641. Egypt’s second largest city lies along the coast between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Maryut. Alexandria’s entirely manmade port is the largest on the North African coast and handles three quarters of Egypt’s overseas trade.

BEST OF ALEXANDRIA

DURATION: FULL DAY
REF: V-ALY2
Highlights:

• Guided city tour with photo stops at Qait Bey Fort and Abu El Abbas Mosque
• Visit Kom el Showkafa Catacombs, the National Museum and Bibliotheca Alexandrina • Visit to Montaza Gardens
• Dinner in a local restaurant

Alexandria is the shining pearl of the Mediterranean immortalising Alexander the Great’s name, the city flourished beyond all expectations into a prominent cultural, intellectual and economic metropolis – the remains of which are still evident in the city. Experience the charming aura and nostalgia of yesteryear as you drive through colourful streets viewing beautiful architecture. See the bronze equestrian statue of Mohamed Ali in Mansheya Square and the elegant marble edifice dedicated to the Unknown Soldier. Visit the intriguing Catacombs of Showkafa then continue to the National Museum. Exhibits include underwater photographs and statues from the ongoing operation to salvage artefacts from the identified sunken palace of Cleopatra six metres underwater. Treated and restored objects are also on display. Next visit the famous Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Reflecting the architectural genius of the 21st century in what is one of the most unusual and unique structures in the modern world. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina stands on the site where Ptolemy established the Library of Alexandria in 288 BC. A scenic drive along the Corniche – Alexandria’s beachfront boulevard, leads to Montaza Gardens. Stroll through palm-covered grounds where the palace of the late ex-King Farouk is situated. Qait Bey Fort is built on the original site of the Pharos – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Stop here for photos and at Abu El Abbas Mosque – one of Alexandria’s Islamic landmarks characterised by its tall minarets and four domes. Continue to a local restaurant where dinner will be served before your return transfer to the ship.

Practical Info:

• Please note this tour is approximately 8 hours 30 minutes in duration and will return to the ship in the evening following an afternoon departure
• Total walking approximately 1 kilometre
• Generally flat, paved terrain
• Spiral of approximately 100 shallow steps at the catacombs
• Additional 20 marble steps at the museum
• Not recommend for persons suffering claustrophobia
• Recommend comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing and sun protection
• Photography is permitted in the museum for a fee of 50.00 EGP (approximately USD $6), photography is permitted in the Library without charge, but photography and video recording is not permitted at the catacombs
• Bags are not permitted inside the Library
• Please note this tour is not recommended for passengers with limited mobility or those who are wheelchair bound
• Children under six years old not allowed inside the Library

ALEXANDRIA CITY HIGHLIGHTS

DURATION: HALF DAY
REF: V-ALY3
Highlights:

• Panoramic sightseeing tour of Alexandria
• Visit Kom el Showkafa Catacombs & Pompeii’s Pillar
• Photo stops at Qait Bey Fort, Abu El Abbas Mosque & Bibliotheca Alexandrina
• Stop at Montaza Gardens

Whilst both bustling and modern, Alexandria boasts many monuments and reminders of its ancient past. A bronze statue of Mohamed Ali, the founder of modern Egypt, mounted on his horse stands in Mansheya Square. Close-by the elegant marble edifice dedicated to the Unknown Soldier is flanked on either side by its guard of honour. The Mosque of Abu El Abbas – one of Alexandria’s Islamic landmarks – is characterised by its tall minarets and four domes. Stop for photos of Qait Bey Fort, built in the style of a 15th century Islamic fortress by King El-Ashraf Qaitbay in 1479. It stands over the ancient ruins of the Pharos lighthouse – one of the Wonders of the Ancient World! Drive through the native quarter to Kom el Showkafa Catacombs in Karmouz Quarter. Dating from the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD, the Roman catacombs are hewn out of rock in three tiers at a depth of up to 30 metres. Stop at Pompeii’s Pillar – a colossal, 5-metre high granite pillar erected in 97 AD in memory of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Admire the unique architectural style of the new, worldfamous Bibliotheca Alexandrina before entering the grounds of Montaza Palace, the summer residence of Egypt’s former royal family. Extending to some 350 acres the palace gardens overlook one of Alexandria’s most attractive beaches. Drive along the Corniche lined on one side by elegant 19th century villas and modern hotels and on the other sandy beaches lapped by the Mediterranean Sea. 

Practical Info:

• Walking primarily at passengers’ discretion
• Spiral of approximately 100 shallow steps in the Catacombs
• Unsuitable for persons suffering from claustrophobia or asthma
• Recommend comfortable footwear & layered clothing
• Photography not permitted in the catacombs
• Please note this tour is not suitable for passengers with limited mobility or those who are wheelchair bound
• Please note the order of the visits may vary

CAIRO & THE PYRAMIDS OF GIZA

DURATION: FULL DAY
REF: V-ALY5
Highlights:

• Guided visit to the Cairo Museum of Antiquities
• Exterior visit the pyramids of Giza and Sphinx
• Lunch in a deluxe 5* hotel
• Visit Papyrus Institute

The largest city in Africa and the capital of Egypt, Cairo is tempestuous! A city that throbs with millions of people living in chaos within the old city centre, whilst the wealthy live in pleasant garden suburbs; and where ancient monuments presenting evocative reminders of ancient civilisations exist alongside modern hotels. Across the desert the teeming metropolis of Cairo raises up seemingly from nowhere. In the chaos that is the heart of modern Cairo is the worldfamous Museum of Egyptian Antiquities founded in 1858. Over 100,000 prized exhibits are on display and there are many more crated objects stored in its basement. Your visit focuses on some of the most significant rooms including the wonderful Tutankhamun Exhibition with two gold coffins, the ‘crown jewels’, golden sandals and ornate death mask. Amidst the tranquillity of a deluxe 5* hotel’s restaurant enjoy a delicious buffet lunch. In Giza, on a plateau of around 2,000 metres on the edge of the Western Sahara Desert, stands one of the most beautiful sights created by the hand of man. Some 4,500 years after their construction the pyramids are testament to the magnificent building skills of the Ancient Egyptians. Three great pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus are arranged diagonally in such a way that none hides the sun from the other two. The Pyramid of Cheops was the largest of the three, originally 146 metres high. Today its truncated top is a platform 10 metres square and at 137 metres the same height as the only surviving top seen on the Pyramid of Chephren. The Pyramid of Mycerinus is the smallest but has three smaller satellite pyramids of the queens. Close up to the funerary complex see carvings and animals decorating the polished stone blocks from which the pyramids were constructed. Nearby stands the great Sphinx known in Arabic as Abu el-Hol meaning ‘father of terror’. The 73-metre long statue represents a lion with a human head that some believe to be the likeness of Chephren standing guard over his tomb. Your visit to Cairo concludes at a Papyrus Institute for a demonstration of the ancient Egyptian art of making paper from reeds and the chance to purchase typical souvenirs before the return drive to Port Said.

Practical Info:

• Tour duration approximately 13 hours
• Journey time (in convoy) approximately 3 hours (each way)
• Modern, air-conditioned coaches with toilet
• Approximately an hour and 45 minutes visit to the museum
• Periods of standing in non-air-conditioned rooms
• Walking approximately 1 kilometre
• Primarily even terrain
• 70 steps
• Photography and video recording are not permitted at the Cairo Museum of Antiquities
• Please note this tour is not suitable for passengers with limited mobility or those who are wheelchair bound
• Interior visits of the Pyramids are not included
• The Hall of Mummies is not included in the visit to the Cairo Museum
• Recommend comfortable footwear, layered clothing and sun protection

PYRAMIDS & THE NILE

DURATION: FULL DAY
REF: V-ALY6
Highlights:

• Exterior visit the pyramids and Sphinx
• Visit Mosque of Mohamed Ali
• Nile cruise
• Buffet lunch and folklore presentation
• Visit Papyrus Institute

A swirling kaleidoscope of culture and colour, the city of Cairo conjures up many images. Perhaps none are more exotic than the timeless pyramids and the pulsing heart of the city – the River Nile. Travel through reclaimed, cultivated desert land and past new industrial towns to this truly unique city. Surprisingly close to a modern area of this bustling metropolis stands the only remaining wonder of the ancient world. Admire the Great Pyramid of Cheops and enjoy some time at leisure near the Pyramid of Chephren from where there are great photo opportunities of the imposing pyramids of Giza with the sprawling city in the background. Down in the valley the guardian of this mortuary complex is the mighty sphinx – its enigmatic face, a mystery yet to be unravelled. Drive through the City of the Dead, which will capture your imagination with the architectural forms and twilight feeling exuded by the surreal surroundings. The magnificent Citadel of Saladin was built in 1176. From its battlements enjoy a truly remarkable view of Cairo. Below literally millions of people produce the sound known as ‘the Cairo Symphony’. Visit the spectacular alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali, the founder of modern Egypt before heading to the banks of the River Nile. Step aboard a luxurious cruise boat to sail on the same timeless waterway traversed by the Pharaohs, Queens and Nobles thousands of years ago. As you glide past Cairo’s waterfront landmarks enjoy a sumptuous buffet lunch and folkloric presentation featuring exotic belly dancers. A stop at a Papyrus Institute reveals the secret of the art of paper making from reeds and gives the chance to shop for souvenirs before returning to Port Said. 

Practical Info:

• Tour duration is approximately 13 hours
• Journey time (in convoy) approximately 3.5 hours (each way)
• Modern, air-conditioned coaches with toilet
• Walking approximately 1.5 kilometres
• Includes some hilly terrain
• Approximately 50 steps
• Conservative dress required
• Please note this tour is not recommended for passengers with limited mobility or those who are wheelchair bound
• Interior visits of the Pyramids are not included

SHARM EL-SHEIKH | EGYPT

At the southern end of the Sinai Peninsula, where the waters of the Gulf of Suez and Aqaba converge, lies the port of Sharm el-Sheikh. A summer and winter resort it has pleasant shops and a holiday village, Naama Bay, by the sea. The waters of the Red Sea are celebrated for their fascinating corals and marine life and Sharm el-Sheikh is a world-renowned diving centre.

GOLDEN SANDS OF NAAMA BAY

DURATION: HALF DAY
REF: V-SSH2
Highlights:

• Free time in a leading resort of Naama Bay
• Use of the facilities at a leading hotel with pool and private beach

The crescent-shaped, palm fringed Naama Bay with its golden sands and luxurious hotels has rightfully claimed the title of best exotic tourist destination in Europe and capital of the Egyptian Riviera. This tour includes full use of one of the leading hotels with pool and private beach. Spend your time enjoying the crystal clear waters of the sea, relaxing under sun umbrellas on sun beds, or swimming in the fresh water pool. 

Practical Info:

• Journey time 30 minutes (each way)
• Walking at passengers’ discretion
• Sun beds, umbrellas, changing rooms and towels included
• Recommend sunhat, sun block & sunglasses
• Water sports can be arranged and paid directly to the water sports centre at the hotel

ROYAL SEASCOPE SEMISUB

DURATION: HALF DAY
REF: V-SSH5
Highlights:

• Ride on an air conditioned Royal Seascope Semi-Sub
• Visit to Al Mustafa Mosque and Heavenly Cathedral
• Shopping opportunity at the Old Market

Enjoy the unsurpassed beauty beneath the Red Sea from the comfort of an air-conditioned semisubmersible vessel. Take your seat below the waterline and admire the panoramic views of the tropical fish and coral reefs for which Sharm el Sheikh is renowned. Next board the coach for a visit to Al Mustafa Mosque; costing approximately $20 million, the striking building features a gigantic dome, marble façade and large minarets, and is arguably one of the most impressive examples of Islamic architecture in Sharm el Sheikh. Continue to Heavenly Cathedral, one of the largest Coptic Orthodox churches in the city. Built in the early 21st century, the cathedral houses impressive frescos and murals hand painted by two Egyptian artists which were completed in 2010. The elaborate biblical scenes took the artists and their teams two years to complete. Next there will be an opportunity to practise your bargaining skills, with a visit to the Old Market. Bartering is an art and is expected when negotiating a purchase; enjoy free time to explore and see some of the items on offer including gold, silver, gems, leather good and exotic spices.

Practical Info:

• Non-slippery footwear and comfortable clothing recommended
• Sun protection recommended
• Not recommended for passengers with breathing problems or claustrophobia
• Please note the Seascope is not exclusive to Voyages of Discovery
• Please note this tour is not suitable for passengers who are wheelchair bound
• Conservative clothing required
• Approximately 10 steps to reach the lower level of the boat
• This tour is weather dependent and cannot be operated in bad weather or rough sea conditions
• This tour has limited places

ULTIMATE SHARM EXPERIENCE

DURATION: HALF DAY
REF: V-SSH6
Highlights:

• Sailing the Red Sea onboard a yacht
• Refreshments served onboard
• Onboard entertainment

Take a short transfer to the jetty at Naama Bay where you will board a yacht for an unforgettable sailing in the clear Red Sea waters. Admire the spectacular views over the Sinai Mountains, which provide a photo opportunity not to be missed. During your sailing soak up the Egyptian sun out on the timbered deck and relax in your luxurious surroundings whilst enjoying the onboard entertainment.

Practical Info:

• Walking approximately 300 metres
• Journey time approximately 20 minutes (each way)
• Comfortable clothing and sun protection recommended
• Flat non-slippery shoes recommended
• Tour is weather dependent
• Please note this tour is not suitable for passengers who are wheelchair bound
• As this is a wooden boat, participants maybe requested to take off their shoes if they are not appropriate for use on the boat’s wood
• This tour has limited places

AQABA | JORDAN

Aqaba on the Red Sea is the only port in the almost entirely landlocked Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – a country created entirely for political reasons after the Second World War. Today the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Aqaba host a dazzling world of coral, fish and other marine life that combined with an equable climate have made Aqaba a popular leisure and water sports resort.

WADI RUM DESERT ADVENTURE

DURATION: EXTENDED HALF DAY
REF: V-AQJ3
Highlights:

• 2-hour 4-wheel drive safari
• Traditional lunch in the Captain’s Desert Camp

Majestic and hauntingly beautiful – Wadi Rum is a vast silent landscape of ancient bedrocks and Wadis, pastel coloured stretches of sandy desert and towering sandstone mountains. It is home of the Bedouin who living in goat-hair tents and tending their herds of goats, sheep and camels preserve a desert lifestyle, which has lasted for thousands of years. At the Wadi Rum Visitor Centre jeeps are waiting to transport you into a desert that was the scene of the exploits of Lawrence of Arabia in World War I and setting for the epic David Lean film of the same name. It is a bumpy and dusty drive across this unique landscape where the sun enhances myriad colours found in the sand and rocks. You make several stops and when the jeep engines are cut an eerie silence descends. With local guides get close to the mountains that like vast storehouses hold clues to the distant past. Take rest in the Captain’s Desert Camp where a special Bedouin lunch will be served.

Practical Info:

• Journey to Wadi Rum approximately 1 hour (each way)
• Minimal walking
• Sufficient mobility to climb into back of jeep required
• Toilet facilities at the Visitor Centre & Desert Camp
• Recommend casual clothing, flat shoes, sunhat, sun block and sunglasses

THE ‘ROSE RED’ CITY OF PETRA WITH LUNCH

DURATION: FULL DAY
REF: V-AQJ2
Highlights:

• Guided visit to the Treasury of Petra
• Lunch in a Petra hotel

“Match me such a marvel save in Eastern clime, a rose-red city half as old as time”. The immortal words of Victorian traveller Dean Burgon encapsulate Petra – a fortress city created from a few caves in an easy to defend rocky outcrop by the Nabataean Arabs – Bedouin who came from Arabia, more than 2,000 years ago. The Bedouin and their horses are still waiting as you arrive for an unforgettable visit to the ‘rose-red’ city. From the Visitor Centre journey into what during modern times has been the setting for Stephen Spielberg’s ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’. Take a leisurely walk to the ‘Siq’, which can also be reached on horseback or by horse-drawn carriage. Within the ‘Siq’ it is only possible to continue on foot or carriage as the winding path descends through a gorge, where towering walls of rock reach over 90 metres high. At the final turn and out of the gloom the brilliance of Petra’s Treasury appears. It is 42 metres high, 27 metres wide and carved out of solid rock. Continue beyond the Treasury where amidst spacious settings you will find towering temples, royal tombs, a carved Roman theatre, large and small houses, burial chambers, paved streets and public buildings. 

Practical Info:

• Journey time approximately 2 hours (each way)
• Initial walk to the ‘Siq’ approximately 20 minutes
• Mixture of even, uneven and rough terrain and descents
• Walk through the ‘Siq’ approximately 1 kilometre, total walking distance approximately 6 kilometres
• Passengers must walk up through the Siq to return to the Visitor Centre – approximately 40 minutes
• 2 hours 30 minutes guided visit includes long periods of standing
• We do not recommend riding horses to the ‘Siq’
• The wait for the limited horse-drawn carriages usually exceeds 30 minutes and they cannot be pre-booked
• Flat, comfortable footwear, sunhat, sun block and sunglasses required
• Casual clothing recommended
• This tour is not suitable for passengers with limited mobility or those who are wheelchair bound

SAFAGA | EGYPT

Port Safaga also known as Bur Safaga or simply Safaga is primarily a commercial port for shipping out phosphates and importing grain as well as an important ferry port for Moslem pilgrims to and from Saudi Arabia. It lies on the Red Sea coast 62.5 kilometres south of Hurghada. For us it is the ‘Gateway to Upper Egypt’, an excellent road now replacing the old caravan trail through the mountains leading to Qena in the Nile Valley.

GIFTUN ISLAND HIDEAWAY

DURATION: FULL DAY
REF: V-SAF8
Highlights:

• Time at leisure for relaxation on Giftun Island
• Buffet lunch in the island’s restaurant
• Optional to snorkel in the island’s clear waters

Coaches will transfer you to the Hurghada’s marina from where you’ll board your launch for a 45 minutes trip to the Giftun Island. Arriving at Giftun island you’ll land at Paradise Beach, a heaven for relaxation and sunbathing. On arrival head towards the tourist camp of the area that includes all the necessary facilities including restaurants, a diving centre and bathrooms. Remarkably, none of these facilities affect the natural environment. The traveller could still bask in the glory of an island surrounded by pure, unadulterated nature. The island is an impressive natural amphitheatre offering that special relaxing feeling of a paradise one finds only in literature and films. Wherever you are on the island, whether on the shore or up the hill, you can admire the breathtaking nature. There is also a slew of activities in which guests can partake on the island such as diving, snorkeling, playing racket or handball. The restaurant of the camp will be your lunch venue later during the day. The camp’s design draws inspiration from the locale’s natural assets: parasols are made of Casuarinas and palm trees, and the steps are modeled from local stones collected while clearing the site. Sun mats are made from reeds. After a day of relaxation you’ll re-board your boat for the return trip to Hurghada, and your ship.

Practical Info:

• Journey time 105 minutes each way including transfer to Hurghada Marina and boat trip to Giftun Island
• Use of snorkelling equipment included, passengers need to bring their own towel (which they can collect onboard before disembarking)
• Passengers must be physically fit and able to transfer from the boat to tender and from a floating jetty to the island
• Facilities on the island are basic, there are mats rather than sunbeds
• Extra care necessary at the restaurant as the tiled floors can become slippery due to the sand
• Recommend sun block, sunglasses and a sunhat
• This tour has limited places
• Restaurant has restrooms facilities where guests can change

LUXOR, KARNAK & THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS

DURATION: FULL DAY
REF: V-SAF5
Highlights:

• Visits to three tombs at the Valley of the Kings and Karnak Temple
• Photo stop at the Colossi of Memnon
• Buffet lunch in a deluxe hotel

Luxor is the ancient city of Thebes, capital of Egypt for nearly 1,000 years. Karnak – the amazing northern complex of monuments at Thebes is the world’s most extensive group of early remaining monuments. On the mountain side behind Thebes for long lost among rocky ravines, the magnificent Valley of the Kings is where in mountain solitude god kings lay in confident expectation of eternal life. Follow the route of an ancient caravan trail across the magnificent Red Sea Mountains – remote, barren areas still inhabited by Bedouin. From Qena on the banks of the River Nile you almost step straight back to the times of the Pharaohs. Farming methods have changed very little since the time of Moses. Men and many women work with hand tools in fertile fields and buffalo turn water wheels to irrigate the land where sugar cane is cultivated. Your guide introduces the history of Upper Egypt as vistas of barren mountains, flat deserts and fertile areas unfold. Cross the Nile to its West Bank. Away from the Nile nothing grows and the valley appears as a gorge amongst rocky ravines. Its history began when Pharaoh Tutmose I broke 1,700 years of tradition. Building his tomb in an isolated valley, away from the funerary temple, not in a monument but in a secret place, a precedent followed by successive Pharaohs. A steep stairway carved out of rock lead down to the burial chamber. Visit these forbidden and secret places where fascinating illustrations and writings on the walls were protection for the king on his final journey. From a distance admire Deir el Bahari. Perhaps Egypt’s finest masterpiece, it is the temple of the only woman Pharaoh – Queen Hatshepsut. The famous statues of Amenophis III – the Colossi of Memnon, stand as they did 5,000 years ago flanking the entrance to the temple where Alexander the Great paid his respects – one god to another. After a buffet lunch visit the massive temple complex at Karnak on the East Bank of the Nile. The great temple of Amun is the world’s largest temple supported by columns and truly amazing by its sheer size. Enter the complex along the avenue of ramheaded sphinxes. Pass through gigantic pylons that dwarf the courts and temples. Hypostyle Hall – ten metres long and 53 wide, boasts 134 columns magnificently decorated with a mass of hieroglyphs. 

Practical Info:

• Tour duration approximately 14 hours
• Journey time (in convoy) approximately 3 ½ hours (each way)
• Modern, air conditioned coaches with toilet
• Mini train for the 2 kilometres from coach park to Valley of Kings
• 2.5 kilometres walking
• Uneven and flat terrain/Some steps/Long periods of standing
• Camera & Video prohibited inside the tombs at Valley of Kings
• Entrance to King Tut’s tomb not included

SALALAH | OMAN

Situated in the extreme south of Oman, Salalah is the administrative capital of the Omani province of Dhofar. The second largest town in the Sultanate of Oman, it is a traditional stronghold and birthplace of the Sultan – Qaboos bin Said. Despite lying close to the Arabian Desert, it is the only region in the Gulf to receive the monsoon showers that fall from July to September and at this time the mountains fringing the town change like a chameleon into an emerald green. Salalah’s colourful history is reflected in a rich cultural heritage.

INTRODUCTION TO SALALAH

DURATION: HALF DAY
REF: V-SLL2
Highlights:

• Panoramic tour with photo stop at the palace
• Visit Al Balid Museum
• Shopping opportunity at the Souk

Salalah nestles among coconut, papaya and banana plantations, and orchards unique in the entire Gulf regions. Known as the ‘garden city’ this tropical paradise has broad avenues bathed in lush vegetation where traditional and modern lifestyles are in harmony with the serene ambience. Native Dhofari houses with picture frame caravan windows and doors can found among the plantations on either side of the road to town. Stop on the road to photograph the magnificent Al Hosn Palace – private residence of His Majesty the Sultan of Oman. Visit Al Balid Museum for an insight into the traditional and historical heritage of the region. Across from the museum, Al Balid, now down to its bare foundations was described by Marco Polo as a once beautiful and noble city. Archaeological excavations have revealed the remains of a great rectangular shaped mosque surrounded by balconies from all sides. Enjoy a short stroll down the traditional Frankincense Souk. See the colourful and exotic merchandise that includes Omani crafts, incense burners, curios, perfume and a great variety of different qualities of frankincense. 

Practical Info:

• Walking approximately 100 metres
• Primarily even terrain
• Photos not permitted in the museum
• US$ accepted in the souk
• Modest dress required (shorts, beachwear or sleeveless outfits not permitted) & sun protection
• Please note this tour is not suitable for passengers with limited mobility or those who are wheelchair bound
• Recommend comfortable non-slip footwear

FRANKINCENSE TRAIL

DURATION: HALF DAY
REF: V-SLL23
Highlights:

• Visit Job’s Tomb
• Beach walk to view the blow-holes
• Scenic drive on the ‘hairpin bend’ road and close up look at a frankincense tree

Dhofar, the southern region of the Sultanate of Oman, was known for centuries for its production of frankincense. Immortalised by one of the three Magi when it was presented as a gift to the newly born Christ, Frankincense – an exotic tree resin with a sweet intoxicating smell, is used today in places of worship in praise of the divine. Once traded as a commodity more precious than gold, Dhofar’s harvest was considered the best in the world. Nowadays the few remaining trees found deep in the mountains are inaccessible except on foot. Enjoy beautiful views of the distant Qara Mountains covered in green foliage. As the road ascends, gently winding its way to the top of the mountain, panoramic vistas of wooded areas contrast sharply with the flat plains below. Herds of camels and cattle can be seen grazing on either side of the road before you reach the tomb of Prophet Job. According to legend the remains of the Old Testament’s prophet were found here and the place is sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews alike. Visit the tomb and enjoy panoramic views of the striking Qara mountains. With its white sands stretching almost 3 kilometres, Mughsail is an extremely beautiful and unspoilt beach. At the far end its titanic blowholes spew seawater some 10 metres into the air during high tide. Sheer white cliffs flank either side of the ‘hairpin bend’ road. It twists and turns descending through ravines and past formidable looking mountains affording views of deep valleys dotted with frankincense trees. A short scenic walk enables you to see a frankincense tree up close and take in the aroma of the ‘Holy Incense’. 

Practical Info:

• Longest journey time 1 hour
• Walking approximately 200 metres
• Rough, uneven ground and 35 steps to reach the blowholes
• Other terrain is even with some cobblestones
• Recommend comfortable, non-slip footwear
• Modest dress required (no shorts, beachwear or sleeveless outfits)
• Ladies must cover their head and shoes must be removed at Job’s Tomb
• Please note there will not be the opportunity to purchase Frankincense on this tour

MUSCAT MAGIC - 2-NIGHT CITY STAY

You could choose to extend your holiday with a 2-night stay in the luxurious Al Falaj Hotel in Muscat after your cruise. It is conveniently located in the heart of Oman’s immaculate capital, offering easy access to a host of attractions, and boasts excellent facilities including a health club, beauty salon and swimming pool. An included city tour will introduce you to the many dazzling highlights of Muscat – one of the most exotic cities on the Arabian Peninsula. Admire the Sultan’s Al Alam Palace, surrounded by 16th century Portuguese forts, and visit the Bait Al Zubair Museum, once a private residence, where you’ll discover a fascinating collection of Omani artefacts. A highlight of your tour will be the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, a glorious example of modern Islamic architecture. Step inside to discover the breathtaking prayer hall which displays one of the world’s largest handmade Persian carpets and a 20-tonne Swarovski crystal chandelier. Your tour concludes with the chance to bargain for unique souvenirs at the famous Muttrah Souk.

PRICE PER PERSON
TWIN: £399 SINGLE: £459

Price includes:
• 2 nights’ accommodation at the 4-star Al Falaj Hotel, with breakfast
• All coach transportation between the airport/hotel/ship*
•Guided City Tour

*Applicable only for those passengers on package bookings. Please see general information for further details.
Prices subject to change.

WONDERS OF OMAN - 5-NIGHT EXTENSION

Choose to discover Oman’s glorious treasures after your cruise, on this Arabian adventure which begins in its exotic capital. An included tour will introduce you to Muscat’s highlights, including the imposing Grand Mosque and the famous Muttrah Souk, before heading to the historic town of Nizwa. More fascinating sights await on day three as you admire Nizwa Fort, with its massive circular cannon tower, and step back in time at Misfah, known for its 400-year-old mud houses and UNESCOlisted falaj. Soak up wonderful views during stops at Wadi Gul and Wadi Nakhar, where remote villages are perched at the edge of a canyon, and Jebel Shams, Oman’s highest peak. Next to be explored is Wahiba Sands, whose ever-changing patterns of dunes are a photographer’s dream. As sunset falls you’ll be taken on a memorable four-wheel drive dune safari here, before enjoying a barbecue dinner at Sama Al Wasil Camp and settling into your tent. In the middle of the barren and dry mountains is beautiful Wadi Bani Khalid, with its pools of clear, deep-blue water. Perhaps take a refreshing dip before continuing to the limestone sinkhole in Bimah en route back to Muscat. An evening at leisure brings your adventure to a relaxing conclusion.

PRICE PER PERSON
TWIN: £1,149 SINGLE: £1,599

Price includes:
• 2 nights’ accommodation at the Al Falaj Hotel in Muscat, with breakfast
• 2 nights’ accommodation at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Nizwa, with breakfast
• 1 night’s accommodation at the Sama Al Wasil Camp, with dinner and breakfast
• Lunch on days 2-5
• All coach transportation between the airport/ hotel/ship
• City tour of Muscat
• Visits to the Old Fort of Nizwa, Al Hamra and Misfah, Wadi Gul and Wadi Nakhar, Jebel Shams and Wadi Bani Khalid
• Sunset sand dune drive at Wahiba Sands

*Applicable only for those passengers on package bookings. Please see general information for further details.
Prices subject to change.

DR LOUISE BONNER
Louise Bonner.JPG

Louise studied geography at Liverpool University, gained a postgraduate scholarship to study ecology and forest management at Harvard in the USA and returned to do her doctorate at Liverpool University, focusing on environmental management. For 35 years, her professional career was spent as a university geography lecturer, specialising in biogeography, wildlife ecology, environmental management, historical geography, tourism and sustainable development.

NEIL BONNER

Neil Bonner has been a journalist for almost 50 years, starting as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper in his hometown of Stafford. After moving on to regional evening papers, he began to specialise in writing about television and show business, which he still does today. A freelance writer for the past 20 years, Neil has met and interviewed hundreds of celebrities, from soap stars to Hollywood greats; from comic legends to rock and pop icons. So, as you can imagine, he has plenty of entertaining stories to tell about his life with the stars. Having written for dozens of evening papers and every major national newspaper, as well as for titles such as Woman’s Own, OK! Magazine, The Stage and TV Times, it’s hardly surprising that he is in demand to pass on his experience in lectures to media students and writers’ groups.

SARAH SEARIGHT
sarah-searight.jpg

Widely travelled, Sarah Searight has lectured on many cruises on topics ranging from The British in the Middle East, Steaming East between Europe and India, and Yemen: Land and People. Her most recent book is on the mystery and origins of lapis lazuli, a sacred semiprecious stone from north-east Afghanistan prized for its intense blue colour. She also lectures widely to NADFAS audiences on the general theme of Islamic art.

Click on a cabin type to show more information
Cabin
FARES
PRICING KEY:
Offer fare (per person from)
£1199
Saver Fare - 2 Bed Inside
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Saver Fares offer excellent value if you are happy to have your cabin

located just before departure. Every Voyages of Discovery cruise fare includes all your meals, accommodation and entertainment on board Voyager, as well as a programme of talks by our great Guest Speakers. What’s more, gratuities, service charges and airport taxes are all taken care of too.

Saver Fare - 2 Bed Outside
£1199
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Saver Fares offer excellent value if you are happy to have your cabin

located just before departure. Every Voyages of Discovery cruise fare includes all your meals, accommodation and entertainment on board Voyager, as well as a programme of talks by our great Guest Speakers. What’s more, gratuities, service charges and airport taxes are all taken care of too.

Saver Fare - Balcony Cabin
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Saver Fares offer excellent value if you are happy to have your cabin

located just before departure. Every Voyages of Discovery cruise fare includes all your meals, accommodation and entertainment on board Voyager, as well as a programme of talks by our great Guest Speakers. What’s more, gratuities, service charges and airport taxes are all taken care of too.

Inside - Standard
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Raleigh Deck minimum 142 sq ft
  • Bathroom with shower
  • Premium toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Flat screen television
  • Safe
  • Air-conditioning
Inside - Superior
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Columbus / Livingstone Deck minimum 127 sq ft
  • Bathroom with shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Flat screen television
  • Safe
  • Air-conditioning
  • Premium toiletries
Inside - Deluxe
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Promenade Deck minimum 124 sq ft
  • Bathroom with shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Flatscreen television
  • Safe
  • Air-conditioning
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Premium toiletries
Outside - Standard
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Raleigh Deck minimum 122 sq ft
  • 2 Portholes
  • Bathroom with shower
  • Premium toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Flat screen television
  • Safe
  • Air-conditioning
Outside - Superior
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Livingstone Deck minimum 108 sq ft
  • 2 Portholes
  • Bathroom with shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Flat screen television
  • Safe
  • Air-conditioning
  • Premium toiletries
Outside - Superior view
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Columbus Deck minimum 129 sq ft
  • Picture window
  • Bathroom with shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Flat screen television
  • Safe
  • Air-conditioning
Outside - Deluxe
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Promenade Deck minimum 214 sq ft
  • Sitting area (2 chairs) and window
  • Bathroom with bath and shower over
  • Hairdryer
  • Flatscreen television
  • Safe and refrigerator
  • Air-conditioning
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Champagne on arrival
  • Fruit basket and flowers
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Premium toiletries
  • Daily complimentary mineral water
Junior Suite
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Promenade Deck minimum 257 sq ft
  • Sitting room (1 sofa) and window
  • Bathroom with bath and shower over
  • Hairdryer
  • Flatscreen television
  • Safe and refrigerator
  • Air-conditioning
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Champagne on arrival
  • Fruit basket and flowers
  • Daily Canapés
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Upgraded bed linen and towels
  • Premium toiletries
  • Daily complimentary mineral water
  • Option to book early or late sitting dinner in the restaurant
Balcony Suite
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Promenade Deck minimum 216 sq ft
  • Sitting room
  • Window and balcony
  • Bathroom with bath and shower over
  • Hairdryer
  • Flatscreen television
  • Safe and refrigerator
  • Air-conditioning
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Champagne on arrival
  • Fruit basket and flowers
  • Daily canapés
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Upgraded bed linen and towels
  • Premium toiletries
  • Priority embarkation/disembarkation
  • Daily complimentary mineral water
  • Fully stocked mini bar on arrival (replenishments paid for thereafter)
  • Option to book early or late sitting dinner in the restaurant
Balcony Suite with Spa Bath
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Bridge Deck minimum 303 sq ft
  • Sitting room
  • Window and balcony
  • Bathroom with Jacuzzi bath and shower over
  • Hairdryer
  • Flatscreen television
  • Safe and refrigerator
  • Air-conditioning
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Champagne on arrival
  • Fruit basket and flowers
  • Daily canapés

 

  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Upgraded bed linen and towels
  • Premium toiletries
  • Priority embarkation/disembarkation
  • Dinner at an Officer's table
  • Daily complimentary mineral water
  • Fully stocked mini bar on arrival (replenishments paid for thereafter)
  • Option to book early or late sitting dinner in the restaurant
Owners Suite
SOLD OUT
Cabin image
stateroom Grade Logo
Bridge Deck approx. 342 sq ft
  • Sitting room
  • Window and balcony
  • Bathroom with Jacuzzi bath and shower over
  • Hairdryer
  • Flatscreen television
  • Safe and refrigerator
  • Air-conditioning
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Champagne on arrival
  • Fruit basket and flowers
  • Daily canapés
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Upgraded bed linen and towels
  • Premium toiletries
  • Priority embarkation/disembarkation
  • Dinner at an Officer's table
  • Daily complimentary mineral water
  • Fully stocked mini bar on arrival (replenishments paid for thereafter)
  • Option to book early or late sitting dinner in the restaurant


For detailed fare information, please see 'Offers' tab above.

Prices shown are per person based on two sharing.

Single Occupancy prices are available please call 01858 897377 for more details.

Fares shown are a guide only - please call the above number for the latest up to date pricing and availability.

Great saver fares available

great-saver-fares-available-offer.png

Saver Fares offer great value if you are happy to have your cabin allocated just prior to departure, while Standard Fares include benefits such as your choice of cabin category, location and number, a complimentary chauffeur service to the port or airport for higher grade cabins or car parking at the port/coach transfers from central London on selected no-fly cruises.

All Saver Fares are per person based on two people sharing lowest twin-bedded inside/outside/balcony cabin category currently available, include all applicable savings, are for new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other discounts and must be booked two business days before departure. Not all cabin categories are offering Saver Fares, please check individual cruise for details.

All fares are subject to availability and may be changed or withdrawn at any time. No retrospective discounts can be applied. Prices include port charges, pre-paid airport and government taxes, service fees and on board gratuities for your cabin steward, dining room waiter and his assistant. Saver Fares have limited availability, are payable in full at time of booking and 100% cancellation and amendment fees apply and are not combinable with any other offer. Cabin category, location and number will not be confirmed at time of booking but allocated nearer your departure. Saver Fares also exclude complimentary chauffeur service to the port/airport, car parking at the port, past passenger discount, back-to-back discount and coach transfers on no-fly cruises. Saver Fares must be booked two business days prior to the cruise departure date.

 

YOUR FARE INCLUDES

Standard Fare

Saver Fare

All meals, accommodation and entertainment on board grey-tick.png red-tick.png
All onboard gratuities grey-tick.png red-tick.png
All onboard service charges grey-tick.png red-tick.png
All port and pre-paid airport taxes grey-tick.png red-tick.png
Return flights (on fly cruises) and overseas transfers grey-tick.png red-tick.png
All talks by our Guest Speakers grey-tick.png red-tick.png
Your choice of cabin category grey-tick.png red-x.png
Your choice of cabin location and number grey-tick.png red-x.png
Complimentary chauffeur service to the port or airport for higher grade cabins (category 00 - please ask for details) grey-tick.png red-x.png
Car parking at the port or coach transfers from central London on selected no-fly cruises from Portsmouth or Harwich Ports grey-tick.png red-x.png

*Payable in full at time of booking, 100% cancellation and amendment fees apply.

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