Safaga has to be the ugliest of all cruise ship ports but it is the gateway to Luxor. There were also several excursions to Luxor and we chose the overnight stay. The day trip was extremely long (15 hours) and we found that for the very little extra we had to pay for the overnight we got much more than our money's worth. We left the ship shortly after lunch and arrived in Luxor some three hours later. Our guide, Mohammed (what else!!), was again very knowledgeable and informative and prepared us well for our visits to the temples and the Valley of the Kings. We stayed in a five star hotel, the Steigenberg, in Luxor which was clean, smart and extremely comfortable. We had a three course dinner which was very tasty and then climbed back into the coach to go to a Sound and Light show at the Karnak temple which was amazing. The single fact that blew my mind there was that I was walking on the same paving stones that Tut ank Amun had walked on four thousand years ago. When we returned to our hotel afterwards we sat in an indoor piazza area and watched some arabian dancing which was entertaining. We had an early start the next day which was good as it meant that we arrived at the Valley of the Kings when it was still fairly cool. With all the knowledge that Mohammed had given us we were well equipped to appreciate the four tombs that we were allowed to enter. We had to pay a little extra to enter the tomb of Tut ank Amun, but we felt it was worth it to see his mummy. Never having seen a mummy before it was quite an experience and you could clearly see what he would have looked like before he died as a young man. We were told that the tomb will only be open for a short time more as even people breathing destroys the artefacts and heiroglyphics. We went to an alabaster factory which was interesting as I had no idea before how alabaster looked in its raw state. We also went to the temple of Hatchetsup which is amazing in the way it has been preserved over the centuries. By this time though, it was very hot and we couldn't wait to get back to the coach. We lunched in the hotel in which we had spent the night and then began our journey back to the ship which we reached at about 6.30pm. a long day but not as long as those people who had left the ship at 6.15am and would not return until after 10pm.
All in all the whole cruise was an amazing experience for sightseeing and winter sun. The best ever!!