Aid to the Church in Need
Pilgrimage to Egypt, 4 November - 12 November 2019
DAY ONE: London Heathrow - Cairo
Our British Airways flight departs Heathrow Terminal 5 at 7:30pm.
DAY TWO: Cairo
Our flight touches down at 2:30am. We obtain our Egyptian entry visa (US$25 payable at the time) at passport control. After re-grouping we transfer to the Steigenberger Hotel in El Tahrir, down town Cairo. After resting we have a late breakfast. We then leave the hotel to meet with His Beatitude Sidrak Ibrahim Isaac and his assistant Fr Yoseef Moharebs at the Catholic Coptic Patriarchate. Holy Mass will be celebrated here. We break for lunch at choice. After lunch we go to visit the Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church and the Holy Family Coptic Catholic Church in Zaytoun. We return to our hotel for dinner.
DAY THREE: Cairo - Aswan - Philae
After breakfast we board our coach to go to Cairo Airport for our 12 noon flight to Aswan, which lasts approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes. Aswan is the southernmost city in Egypt, and here we will visit the world famous ‘High Dam’ created near Lake Nesser, the world’s largest reservoir. We then travel to an island on the lake where we visit the Philae Temple that proclaims the glory of the goddess Isis. In Aswan, we embark on our boat where we will spend the next three nights. The meal plan during the cruise is full board. After lunch, we visit the 7th century ruins of the Monastery of Saint Simeon. In the afternoon, we will re-join our coach and travel to the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of the Archangel Michael, where we will meet Abba Hedra, Bishop of Aswan. Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Catholic Church of Aswan (The Immaculate Virgin Mary) where we will meet the Comboni Missionary Brothers.
DAY FOUR: Aswan - Kom Ombo - Edfu
After Holy Mass we have breakfast. In the early morning, our boat will sail from Aswan to Kom Ombo. Due to varied water levels of the Nile over the temple at Kom Ombo it was almost fully submerged in silt for a number of years during the decline of the Roman Empire. The temple is unique because it is dedicated to two gods, Sobek and Horus and therefore has been designed to be completely symmetrical. After lunch we then set sail to Edfu, a tiny town with a large well- preserved temple. We have time to explore the dark chambers and see the towering columns of the temple of Horus. This afternoon we leave our boat and visit Luxor, the ancient capital of Upper and Lower Egypt, situated in the Nile Valley. Luxor is scattered with ancient tombs and sandstone buildings and columns. It has two big temples, Luxor Temple which stands in the heart of the city adjacent to the Nile, and the Karnak Temple which covers over five acres of land. We visit Luxor Temple.
DAY FIVE: Luxor
This morning we visit ancient Thebes, on the west bank of the Nile. The ancient rulers of Thebes, when not building empires, were preparing for eternity and they believed that the west bank was where the sun set and the afterlife commenced. A lot of ancient rulers are buried on the west bank with their treasures. Over the years these treasures have been stolen; a group of labourers was set up by the rulers to secretly bury them. We visit the Necropolis of Thebes where these men worked and lived. We walk from here down the ‘Valley of the Kings’, the burial place of the New Kingdom pharaohs, a winding valley, which is walled by jagged limestone cliffs. We continue to the ‘Valley of the Queens’, where we can see the tombs of the nobles, Valley of the Artisans and the impressive and imposing Temple of Hatshepsut. Near the Temple of Hatshepsut we see the Colossi of Memnon, a pair of towering statues of Amenhotep. Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Franciscan Church in Luxor. This evening we will enjoy the Light & Sound Show at the Temple of Karnak.
DAY SIX: Luxor - Thebes
After breakfast on our boat we check out and then visit the Temple of Karnak. Lunch will be at choice. In the afternoon we visit the Coptic Monastery of St Bakhomious which dates back to the 17th century, the foundation of the Monastic life in Egypt. Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Catholic Church in Luxor. We meet our coach and transfer to the railway station where we will board the Watania overnight sleeper train to Cairo and have a late dinner on board.
DAY SEVEN: Cairo
We have breakfast on the train. This morning we visit one of the seven wonders of the old world, the Great Pyramid of Cheops and the other smaller pyramids. We then go down to see the symbol of wisdom and power, the Sphinx, who guarded the royal tombs thousands of years ago. If time allows, we will have a guided visit of the Egyptian Museum. Lunch will be at choice in a local restaurant. We re-join our coach and return to the Steigenberger Hotel to refresh and change for the afternoon meetings. We then drive to meet His Holiness Pope Tawadros at the Cathedral Church of St Peter & St Paul. In the afternoon we meet His Excellency Sir Geoffrey Adams, British Ambassador in Egypt. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY EIGHT: Cairo
We have breakfast at the hotel. We then meet in the hotel lobby and join our coach to visit the El Mu’allaqu Church, a 3rd century church which is also known as the ‘Hanging Church’, so called because it was originally suspended nearly 40 feet above the ground. We then visit the Church of Abu Serga (St Sergius), a 10th century church which throughout the years has sunk 7 feet below street level. It is believed that the Holy Family rested here in the crypt. We visit the Coptic Orthodox Convent of St George. If we have time, we will make our way to Ben-Ezra Synagogue, which was built in Roman times as a Christian temple, now it is a synagogue for Cairo’s resident Jews. Lunch is at choice in a local restaurant. We re-join our coach and visit Fr Hany Bakhoum, the official representative of the Catholic Church in Egypt, at his residence. Holy Mass will be celebrated here at Our Lady of Grace, parish. We return to our hotel for dinner.
DAY NINE: Cairo - London Heathrow
It’s a very early start for us this morning. Our coach transfers us to Cairo Airport for our flight back to Heathrow which departs at 3:45am. The British Airways flight arrives at 7:15am at Terminal 5.
This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which will be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.
This itinerary is a guide and subject to change.
Single room supplement: £176
04/11/19 - 12/11/19
Scheduled flights: with British Airways, Heathrow - Cairo - Heathrow; with Egyptair, Cairo - Aswan. 1 piece of checked in luggage up to 23 kg. Current (as of April 2019) U.K. and Egypt airport departure taxes. Accommodation based on sharing a twin-bedded room* and berth*: Hotel Cairo Steigenberger El Tahrir (down town), 1 early morning arrival and 3 nights, half board. Nile cruise, Aswan to Luxor, 3 nights, full board.Overnight Watania train service, Luxor to Cairo, half board. All touring and transfers by air-conditioned coach as per the itinerary. Entrance fees as per the itinerary. Local English-speaking guide/tour manager whilst in Egypt. Gratuities to the coach drivers, hotel staff, Nile cruise staff. ATOL and ABTA financial protection. Daily Holy Mass at different churches and other sites in Egypt. Donation of £10 to ACN.
* If you select to share a twin room/berth when booking but have no one to share with, we will try to pair you up with someone of the same gender in the group. However, if there is no one available to pair you up with we will charge a supplement of £90 as you would have single occupancy of the rooms.
*For those who would like, an upgrade to stay at Hotel Le Tournant can be requested (but is subject to availability) for a supplement of £390 per person for the 3 nights including breakfast for either sharing twin-bedded room or having a single room.
Travel insurance. If you will be under 80 years old when travel commences you may like to arrange cover through Travel & General Insurance Services Ltd. Visit their website https:// tagconnect.brokersure.com/step1?tr=pax_travel or phone them for details: 020 3794 2954 and quote ‘Pax Travel’. If you will be 80 or more years old when travel commences you may like to contact Goodtogo on 0330 024 9952. Egyptian entry visa at US$25, payable at Cairo Airport. Gratuity to the guide/tour manager. Single room/berth supplement at £176 per person for 8 nights (limited availability). Drinks. Lunches when not on the Nile cruise. Transfers within the U.K. Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airlines.
Terms of Payment:
To reserve your place on the tour you will need to complete a booking form and return it to Pax Travel with a non-refundable deposit of £290 per person. Cheques are to be issued in favour of Pax Travel Ltd. The tour price is guaranteed for the first 32 people Pax Travel receives bookings from. Any bookings Pax receives after the 32 places are filled will be subject to availability and the possibility of a flight surcharge. If this arises, we would advise you before processing your booking. The balance payment to be received by Pax Travel no later than 30th August 2019.