Crossroads of Empires: Cyprus, Israel, Egypt & Jordan

13 days
from
£9,950
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Small Ship Cruises
Suitable for:
Age 17+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
ZVC
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Cultural Wonders
Group size:
40–100
Min age:
17

A succession of Empires has left us an unrivalled tapestry of historical, Cultural and archaeological records.

The art, architecture, and archaeological wonders of the eastern Mediterranean are legacies of the world’s most celebrated empires. Over the millennia, a succession of cultures traded, conquered, and settled in these fabled lands, and we follow in their wake, piecing together the pages of the defining chapters of ancient civilizations.

Highlights

  • Discover seven amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites that recall the glory of several ancient civilizations.
  • Wander through the impressive ruins of Kourion, set on a high bluff overlooking the Mediterranean.
  • Embark on an overnight excursion to Luxor, meander down the sphinx-lined entrance, and bask in the grandeur of the Luxor Temple at twilight.   
  • Visit important historic sites in Israel including the Sea of Galilee, Tel Aviv, Old Jaffa, Acre, and Jerusalem.
  • Enjoy a daylight transit of the Suez Canal and learn about its construction and ancient trade routes.
  • Explore the majestic Wadi Rum Valley and enjoy a sumptuous lunch surrounded by dramatic desert scenery.

What's included

  • Daily activity options including cultural tours, nature walks, snorkelling, and Zodiac cruises
  • All gratuities
  • All accommodations
  • World-class lecture and expedition team
  • All onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

What's not included

  • Airfare from your home city/London and Edinburgh/home city
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages (other than listed at left), and other incidentals
  • Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Itinerary

Larnaca, Cyprus
to
Amman, Jordan
  • Day 1

    Larnaca, Cyprus

    Arrive in Larnaca and check in to the Radisson Blu Hotel Larnaca for dinner and overnight.

    Accommodation: Radisson Blu Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Larnaca, Cyprus / Embark the Caledonian Sky

    This morning, visit the ruins of Kourion, one of the island’s most important city-kingdoms in antiquity. Take a stroll through the extensive site to view the magnificent theater dating from the 2nd century BC, the Roman forum, public baths, a palace complex, stately villas with well-preserved mosaics, and an early Christian basilica. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before embarking the Caledonian Sky in the late afternoon.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 3-4

    Haifa, Israel / Sea of Galilee / Acre / Caesarea

    Spend two full days exploring from our anchorage in Haifa. Highlights include the Sea of Galilee for a visit to visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the site where Jesus delivered the “Sermon on the Mount.” Visit the Byzantine-style church, and admire the beautiful gold mosaics that decorate the interior. You’ll also visit the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and make a stop at Capernaum, where Jesus preached and performed several miracles, and view the remains of a famous 2nd-century synagogue. More history unfolds in Acre; a subterranean city and former capital of the Crusader kingdom, today it is one of Israel’s nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While there, enjoy a tour of the British fortress. A drive along the scenic Mediterranean coast brings you to the ancient city of Caesarea. Originally an ancient Phoenician settlement, the city was given as a gift from Augustus Ceasar to Herod the Great in 30 BC. Explore the fascinating ruins, including the Roman theater still in use today as a venue for musical performances. In Haifa, ascend the slopes of Mount Carmel for breathtaking views of the city. Marvel at the gleaming golden dome of Baha’i Shrine and continue to the 19th-century Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, located on the slopes of Mount Carmel.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 5-6

    Ashdod / Jaffa / Tel Aviv / Jerusalem

    From the port of Ashdod, explore some of Israel’s most famous sites. In Old Jaffa, one of the world’s oldest ports, take a stroll along the winding cobblestone streets lined with handicraft shops and art galleries to visit the vibrant Jaffa Flea Market. A walking tour of Tel Aviv includes city hall and the Diaspora Museum, which tells the ongoing story of the Jewish people. You’ll also discover the treasures of ancient Jerusalem on a tour of the Old City, including the Dome of the Rock, the greatest monumental building from early Islamic history. Walk along the Via Dolorosa to see the Stations of the Cross and follow in the traditional footsteps of Jesus to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Resurrection Tomb, thought to be the actual site of the crucifixion. Explore the city’s Jewish Quarter, and experience Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall, or Wailing Wall. You’ll also take a drive up to the Mount of Olives for a picturesque, panoramic view of Jerusalem and visit the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations, Mt. Zion, and The Israel Museum to view the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Port Said / Suez Canal Transit

    An extraordinary experience awaits as our ship slips into a convoy of vessels for the southbound transit of one of the world’s greatest engineering feats: the 101-mile-long Suez Canal. Its completion in 1869 marked the severing of the African and Asian continents, providing a convenient shortcut for ships that formerly made the arduous and lengthy journey around the Cape of Good Hope. Learn the history of the canal and the ancient trade routes that preceded it and our vantage points on deck afford us up-close views of the contrasts in landscape: rugged terrain on one side and lush greenery on the other.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Expedition Stop

    Today, board a local boat for a delightful snorkeling experience among the colorful coral reefs.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 9-10

    Safaga / Luxor

    Disembark in Safaga and depart overland for Luxor, the site of the ancient city of Thebes. Check in to the Hilton Luxor Resort, the ideal base from which to explore the ancient culture of the Nile Valley. Visit the Temple of Karnak, featuring the Temple of Amun and the amazing Avenue of the Sphinx. Walk through the Great Hypostyle Hall; its expertly aligned columns, the largest of which is 80 feet high with a 33-foot circumference, are an amazing sight to behold. At the striking Temple of Luxor, view the three large statues of Ramses II along the front of the temple pylons; the Courtyard of Ramses II behind the East Tower; and the Colonnade of Amenhotep III, with its 14 papyrus-headed columns, some towering up to 50 feet in height. The Temple of Hathor at Denderah is one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt. View its massive stone roof, dark chambers, underground passages, and columns inscribed with hieroglyphs. Return to the ship on November 1, arriving in time for dinner.

    Accommodation: Hilton Luxor Resort

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Sharm el Sheikh

    From the coastal town of Sharm el Sheikh, take a scenic cruise to Ras Mohammed, where the Gulf of Aqaba meets the Gulf of Suez, for a day of snorkeling.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Aqaba, Jordan / Disembark / Wadi Rum / Amman

    Disembark this morning and board 4x4 vehicles for a ride through Wadi Rum, the majestic valley made famous by T.E. Lawrence and featured in the epic movie Lawrence of Arabia. Enjoy tea with a Bedouin family before tucking in to a sumptuous lunch surrounded by dramatic sandstone formations that tower over the desert floor strewn with immense boulders. Continue overland along the King’s Highway through the Jordanian countryside, passing the spectacular canyon of Wadi al-Mujib en route Amman. Check in to the Intercontinental Amman for dinner and overnight.

    Accommodation: The Intercontinental Amman

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Amman

    Board your independent homeward flight. Tour ends here.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Israel and Palestine

You don’t need a visa to enter Israel or Palestine as a tourist. On entry, visitors are granted leave to enter for a period of up to 3 months. Visitors will be given an entry card instead of an entry stamp in their passport. You should keep your entry card with your passport until you leave. This is evidence of your legal entry into the country and may be required, particularly at any crossing points into the Palestinian Territories. 

Jordan

Visas are required by most nationalities, including British, and can be obtained at the border or Amman airport. At time of print, visa fees (usually 40JOD) have been waived for all nationalities travelling to Jordan with a tour operator and spending a minimum of 2 nights in country. Our airport representative will meet and assist you with obtaining the free visa on arrival in Jordan at Customs & Immigration. He will be carrying an Exodus sign.

For more information on the free Jordan Visa, please see the link below:
http://international.visitjordan.com/MediaCenter/News/JordanianGovernmen...

Vaccinations

Israel and Palestine

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for both Palestine and Israel. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid.

Jordan

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid.

North Cyprus

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Hepatitis A.

Is this trip for you?

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Zegrahm Expeditions. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Zegrahm Expeditions, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you would expect. Zegrahm Expeditions operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel.

For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore and walk one to three miles over sometimes rough terrain such as cobblestones, rocky beaches, and uneven stairs that may not have handrails. Temperatures will range from the low 70sºF – mid-80sºF throughout the voyage.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

The Caledonian Sky

The all-suite, 100-guest Caledonian Sky is a spacious, yet intimate, expedition vessel. Refurbished in 2018, her beautifully designed public spaces include a single-seating dining room, a large lounge with piano, elegant bar, enclosed panoramic viewing deck, sun deck, library, and small gym. All suites have an ocean view and feature a sitting room, en suite bathroom, flat-screen television, spacious wardrobes, and dressing table. The Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs, available for accessing remote shorelines and islands and is equipped to offer scuba diving.

GENERAL 

  • Five decks of guest facilities.  

- Castle Deck – guest suites, dining room, doctor’s office.   - Caledonian Deck – guest suites, bar, lounge, reception.   - Promenade Deck – guest suites with direct deck access, gym, hair salon.   - Bridge Deck – guest suites with private balconies, bridge, outdoor dining.   - Panorama Deck – sun deck, library, Panorama Lounge, and bar.   

  • Stairs and an elevator service all decks.
  • The bridge is available to visit most times throughout the day, contingent upon weather, security, and navigation conditions.   
  • Smoking is permitted only on outside decks.

 SUITES

  • All suites feature ocean views and have two twin beds that can be reconfigured into one queen, a sitting area, a well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs)at 110 volts.   
  • Castle Deck has Category 1 suites that are 244 square feet and have three portholes.   
  • Caledonian Deck has Category 2 suites that are 232 square feet with large picture windows.   
  • Promenade Deck has Category 3 suites that are 217 square feet with a picture window; Category 4 suites that are 217 square feet with direct deck access via a sliding glass door; and Category 5 suites that are 243 square feet and feature two forward-facing portholes and direct deck access via a sliding glass door.
  • Bridge Deck has Category 6 suites that are 217 square feet and have patio doors leading to private balconies that are 60 square feet.

 DINING   

  • The main restaurant can accommodate all guests at one seating.   
  • Most diets can be catered for on board, but special dietary requests must be made in advance.    
  • Breakfast is served buffet-style and a la carte.
  • Dinner is served in the main restaurant. When weather permits, meals can also be served on deck.   
  • Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and coffee and tea are available 24 hours a day.

 SERVICES

  • Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs and is equipped to offer scuba diving.
  • Public spaces include a large lounge for lectures, Panorama lounge and bar, gym, and library with reference books, novels, DVDs, and computers with Internet access.
  • Free onboard Wi-Fi is available for all guests.
  • Laundry services (no dry cleaning), a hair salon, and a small doctor’s office are available on board. Rates are posted.
  • The U.K. pound is the currency used on board. Traveler’s checks, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted for payment of shipboard accounts.
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]