This stirring journey across ancient lands unites two of the world’s greatest civilizations, Egypt and Greece. Encounter iconic monuments resurrected eons ago as you also witness modern-day life in fishing villages, souks, and museums. Walk in the footsteps of Egypt’s all-powerful pharaohs and gods who gave rise to the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, the Karnak Temple complex, and of course, the most famous tomb of all, where the boy king Tutankhamun rests. Then embark the National Geographic Explorer to continue discovering this storied region by sea as we transit the Suez Canal into the deep blue of the Mediterranean. Hop among several Greek isles and cap it all off with views from Santorini that will forever be seared in your memory.
• Explore the greatest sights of antiquity: the Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Valley of the Kings, the Bibliotheca Alexandria, and the Minoan city of Phaestos on Crete
• Navigate the Suez Canal, an engineering marvel and major trade corridor cut through expansive desert landscapes
• Discover the mesmerizing beauty of four Greek islands, including stunning Santorini
• Observe the exciting underwater realm of the Red Sea in Hurghada
• Experience local culture as you explore fishing villages, souks, and wineries
Arrive in Cairo, transfer to our hotel (Ritz-Carlton or similar), and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. This evening, gather for a welcome reception and meet your fellow travelers.
Begin the day with a visit to the Grand Egyptian Museum to view astonishing masterpieces from ancient Egypt. See mummies of the pharaohs, beautifully adorned sarcophagi, regal statues, and many of the dazzling jewels found in King Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Following a lunch of Egyptian specialties, travel to Giza and encounter one of the most enduring symbols of the ancient world, the Pyramids. The complex is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one that remains intact. Learn how and why the Pyramids were built, then view the Sphinx, carved from a rocky outcrop, displaying the head of Pharaoh Chefren and the body of a lion.
Early this morning, transfer to the airport for our flight to Luxor. Upon arrival enjoy a relaxing lunch at our hotel (Hilton Luxor Hotel or similar) before setting out to tour the Karnak Temple complex. Many of the more powerful pharaohs added their individual touches to the buildings of this massive complex during their reigns. We’ll return to town to visit the magnificent Luxor Temple. As with Karnak, Luxor Temple was created at the hand of the pharaohs, primarily Amenhotep III and Ramses II. This impressive site was built on the banks of the Nile River and the timing of our visit will provide the opportunity to photograph the stones, which appear to glow in the afternoon sunlight. Enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Following breakfast, travel to the West Bank of the Nile River to the Valley of the Kings. A sacred site for burials for nearly 500 years, the valley contains at least 63 tombs of pharaohs and powerful nobles, each decorated with elaborate mosaics and paintings depicting Egyptian mythology. Visit one of the most famous archaeological sites in the word, the tomb of Tutankhamun. The tomb had remained largely hidden until its discovery in 1922—keeping the treasure trove of antiquities safe from looters. Enjoy a special lunch on the Nile before crossing the desert to Safaga on the Red Sea, where we will embark the National Geographic Explorer.
Enjoy Egypt’s stunning coastline, exploring the coral reefs, undersea beauty, and white sand beaches of the Red Sea. Hurghada offers spectacular opportunities to snorkel and dive in crystal waters. Alternatively, travel into the vast Sahara where we will visit a traditional Bedouin village and learn how its inhabitants have made their lives in the desert for centuries. Enjoy lunch before heading back into the city center where we will explore the bustling souk, Big Mosque, and the Corniche.
Spend the day transiting the Suez Canal. Sail past small villages and massive expanses of desert sand as we learn the history of this amazing paradigm of human engineering. Opened in 1869 after more than a decade of construction, the canal connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean and today it carries about 12 percent of the world’s trade. Spend time on the Bridge and observe the ship’s officers as they communicate with the vessels in our convoy to maneuver through the twists and turns of this extraordinary waterway.
Founded by Alexander the Great, Alexandria was considered the intellectual and cultural center of ancient Mediterranean society. Visit the Catacombs of Kom El Shougafa and climb the rocky hill to see Pompey’s Pillar, built in memory of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Spend time in the Bibliotheca Alexandria—the cultural complex erected to commemorate the Great Library of Alexandria, one of the most significant libraries of the ancient world. Once back on board, be out on deck as we sail past the Citadel of Qaitbay. Marking the entrance to the harbor, on the site of the Alexandria Lighthouse, the fortress protected the city against the advancing Ottomans.
Leaving North Africa behind, sail into the Dodecanese Islands, stunning gems of unique beauty tucked away in the turquoise waters of the Aegan Sea. Step back in time to explore traditional fishing villages and the unique natural beauty of the islands of Karpathos and Kasos.
Begin the day with a visit to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum to view an astonishing collection of artifacts spanning 5500 years of Greek history. The museum houses the stunning frescos from Knossos including those depicting the historically popular sport of bull leaping. Afterwards, choose from two options: Visit the Palace of Knossos, one of Crete’s most popular Minoan sites. Built on the grounds of an earlier palace dating to as early as 2000 BC, the present structure is a reconstruction of what the vast palace would have looked like in 1450 BC. Or explore the Greek site of Phaestos, among the greatest of the Cretan Minoan cities. Its wealth is evident in the extent and quality of its ruins, and the city offers a superb hilltop setting with fine views of the countryside. Enjoy a traditional Greek lunch before returning to the ship.
Be on deck early this morning to enjoy the sunrise as we sail into the caldera of Santorini. Watch as the early light paints the surrounding hillsides and whitewashed dwellings in beautiful pink and orange hues. Take the cable car up the steep cliffs to visit the picturesque villages Thera and Oia, and walk along the edge of the caldera to take in the spectacular view. Then head inland away from the hustle to experience the culinary delicacies of the traditional villages and wineries tucked into the hillsides.
We sail into Athens this morning. Enjoy breakfast aboard before transferring to the airport for flights home.
Itineraries are subject to change.
17 April, 2024 to 28 April, 2024
National Geographic Explorer
#301-308 — Cabins feature one or two portholes. Most cabins feature two single beds that can be converted to a queen. Cabins #301-306 feature one queen-sized bed. All cabins feature a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV.
#317-320, 335-336 — Cabins feature two single beds (some can convert to a queen-sized bed), and one large window. They offer a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, sitting chair, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV.
#313-316, 321-328, 337-350 — Cabins feature two single beds (some can convert to a queen-sized bed), one large window, and two sitting chairs and a small table and ample storage. They have a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV. Cabins 341 & 343 have a sofa bed for a triple.
#103-104, 107-108 — Cabins feature two single beds than can convert to a queen-sized bed, and at least one large window, climate controls, sitting chair, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
#201-202, 204-207, 210, 212, 217, 226, 228 — Cabins feature two single beds and at least one large window. All cabins can convert between two single beds to a queen, except Cabins 217, 226 & 228 that feature one queen-size bed only. All cabins feature climate controls, sitting chairs, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
#309-311, 329-334 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-wall shower stall, and a TV.
#209, 211, 214, 216, 218, 220-222, 224 — Cabins feature a balcony with sliding glass doors, feature one queen-sized bed, a writing desk and chairs, climate controls, a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall. (Cabin 221 has two single beds that can convert to an Olympic-sized queen.)
#105-106 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-walled shower stall, and a TV.
#203, 208 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-walled shower stall, and a TV.
#101-102 — These spacious cabins can be converted into triples. They have two single beds that can be converted into a queen, a writing desk, double closet, bookcase, sofa-bed, chairs, two large windows, and a TV. The sleeping area can be closed off with the glass partition. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
#213 — This spacious cabin has a private balcony, two single beds that can be converted into a queen, a writing desk, double closet, bookcase, chairs, and a TV. The sleeping area can be closed off with the glass partition. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
#215, 219, 230 — These large cabins with private balconies have two single beds that can convert to an Olympic-sized queen. They have seating areas with a sofa-bed and can be converted to triples. Cabins also include a desk with chairs, coffee table with sitting chair, and a small table. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 108 meters
Passenger Capacity: 148 (single & twin cabins)
Built / Refurbished: 1982 / 2008
National Geographic Explorer is a state-of-the-art expedition ship. It is a fully stabilized, ice-class vessel, enabling it to navigate polar passages while providing exceptional comfort. It carries kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac landing craft. An Undersea Specialist operates a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and sophisticated video equipment, extending access to the underwater world.
Public areas: Bistro Bar; Chart Room; Restaurant; Global Gallery; Library, Lounge with full service bar and state-of-the-art facilities for films, slideshows and presentations; Mud Room with lockers for expedition gear, and Observation Lounge. Our “Open Bridge” provides guests an opportunity to meet our Officers and Captain and learn about navigation.
Meals: Served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Menu is international with local flair.
Cabins: A New Look for National Geographic Explorer Suites
National Geographic Explorer recently debuted updated suites, enhanced with the sleek, Scandinavian design that has become the hallmark of our polar fleet. Each of these elegant cabins now holds a Command Center, which allows guests to continue to explore from the comfort of their suites with a set of tools that includes a barometer, a National Geographic Atlas, a television that broadcasts entertainment and ship navigation, a coffee maker, and multiple USB and universal electric ports for cameras and other devices. 81 outside cabins
All feature windows or portholes, private facilities, climate controls, hair dryers, and TV, plus Ethernet, Wi-Fi connections, and USB ports for mobile devices. Some cabins have balconies. Single cabins in Category SA and Category SB are located on the main deck and upper deck.
Expedition Equipment: Zodiac landing craft, kayaks, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), hydrophone, SplashCam, underwater video camera, Crow’s Nest remote controlled camera, video microscope, snorkeling gear.
Special Features: A full-time doctor, Undersea Specialist, LEX Photo Specialist and Video Chronicler, Internet Cafe and laundry.
Wellness: The vessel is staffed by two Wellness Specialists and features a glass enclosed Fitness Center, outdoor stretching area, two LEXspa treatment rooms and Sauna.
CELEBRATE LIFE'S MILESTONES Join us and celebrate your great milestones, including birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions, retirements, and more. Groups of eight or more traveling together in celebration receive 5% off and a complimentary group photograph, while the cabin-of-honor receives onboard ship credit, beautiful cake, and more onboard celebrations. Milestone celebration must be communicated at time of booking. Milestone amenity package is one per group, intended for the guest celebrating the Milestone event. Group discount is applicable to cruise portion only, and does not apply towards additional services such as hotels, extensions, airfare, etc. Group cancellation terms also apply. Not combinable with certain offers.
BRINGING THE KIDS Family fun! We believe sharing an expedition with your kids or grandkids is a life-enhancing experience. So take $500 off for each child under the age of 18.
BACK-TO-BACK SAVINGS Save 10% on any consecutive journeys taken on board one of our expedition ships. This savings is applicable on voyage fares only, and are not valid on extensions or airfare.
TRAVELING AS A GROUP Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more people. Take advantage of these great savings, while enjoying traveling with your friends and family. This savings is applicable to voyage fares only, and is not valid on extensions or airfare. Deposit, final payments, and cancellation policies for group travel vary from our regular policies.
COMBINING OFFERS Combine now and save! Certain offers may be combinable, up to two savings opportunities, except where noted otherwise. For example, travel with a group of 8 or more on back-to-back expeditions, and take advantage of both savings.
• Excursions, hotels, and airport transfers, as indicated in the itinerary
• Selection of exploration tools curated to your destination, such as Zodiacs and glass-bottom boats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment (including wetsuits, masks, and fins), and other state-of-the-art gear
• Guidance and company of our leading expedition staff
• All meals as indicated in the itinerary, both aboard and onshore. Meals are inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible.
• Hors d’oeuvres inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
• 24-hour access to snacks, premium coffees and teas, non-alcoholic beverages, and filtered water
• Beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits aboard the NG Endurance, NG Resolution, NG Explorer, NG Orion, NG Endeavour II, NG Islander II, Sea Cloud, Sea Cloud II, Lord of the Glens, and The Jahan. We are also pleased to offer a selection of super premium wines and liquors, available for purchase.
• Beer and wine, spirits and cocktails on all 2024 departures aboard NG Venture, NG Quest, NG Sea Bird, and NG Sea Lion, and specialty cocktails with meals aboard Delfin ll, with super premium wines and liquors available for purchase.
• Crew gratuities aboard NG Endurance, NG Resolution, NG Explorer, NG Orion, Sea Cloud, Sea Cloud II, Lord of the Glens, Oberoi Philae, and The Jahan
• Free Wi-Fi aboard Lord of the Glens and The Jahan.
• Free Wi-Fi, up to one hour a day per person, aboard NG Islander II and NG Endeavour II
• Presentations on your destination by expedition staff and expert guest speakers
• Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
• The services of a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or paramedic
• Morning stretch classes and 24-hour access to exercise equipment where available
• 24-hour access to lounges, observation decks, library stocked with regionally relevant literature, and other shared spaces
• Complimentary Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic parka or jacket on select Arctic and Antarctic voyages
• Assistance by the onboard NG Photography Expert (NG Endurance, NG Explorer, NG Orion, NG Resolution) and Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor (all ships)
• Access to the OM System Photo Gear Locker with the latest gear to try out on loan (all Lindblad-National Geographic ships except in Galapagos)
• Park and site entrance fees, special access permits, and port taxes
• Airfare (except flights when indicated as included), pre- and post-expedition extensions, additional hotel nights, and private transfers
• Travel protection plans and passport, visa, and immigration fees
• Laundry, spa treatments, scuba diving, Wi-Fi, and phone services (except when indicated as included)
• Crew gratuities aboard NG Endeavour II, NG Islander II, NG Venture, NG Quest, NG Sea Bird, NG Sea Lion, and Delfin II