After breakfast on board the Nile cruise, you will disembark from your Nile cruise. You then may go on an air-conditioned vehicle to visit the impressive Temples of Ramses II in Abu Simbel (optional, for an additional cost). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Nubian Monuments, which runs from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh, and to intimidate his Nubian neighbors. However, the complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir.
The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River. Abu Simbel remains one of Egypt's top tourist attractions. With your qualified Egyptologist as your guide, you will enjoy a personalized visit to the temples of Abu Simbel. With its four rock-hewn pharaohs, your guide will explain the history behind this magnificent site, including how the temples were discovered by accident in 1813. Due to the large number of visitors to Abu Simbel, guides are not permitted inside either of the two temples you will visit. Following your visit to Abu Simbel, you will return to Aswan Airport to return to Cairo. Once you arrive in Cairo, you will be met and assisted at the airport and taken to your hotel for check-in. Overnight in Cairo.