We had previously visited the Giza Plateau area on a one day excursion from an ocean cruise, but wanted to see more of Egypt and to visit Petra in Jordan for the first time. We had to sign up for the Viking “Pharoahs and Pyramids” cruise on the Viking Ra more than a year ahead. We added the pre-cruise (Israel) and post-cruise (Petra) options. They were well worth it!
Egypt visas are available from the country’s online site for much less than the price asked by US visa services. Jordanian visas are available at the airport in Jordan, but Viking had purchased a group travel visa. No visa was required in Israel. My wife was a little concerned about personal security, especially in Egypt. We were well protected with National Police escorts in urban areas and at cruise docking points.
Accommodations in Jerusalem at the historic and luxurious King David Hotel and an excellent tour guide. Only downside-wet and cold. If you’re going in early spring, bring a warm rain jacket. Visited expected sites in and around Jerusalem. Then, flew to Cairo where we visited the National Museum, which is to be replaced (and needs to be) by the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) Interesting, but dated style of display. GEM was under construction. Visit there focused on laboratories for antiquity preservation. interesting. Quite interesting, but tickets clearly are priced to raise the maximum funds for GEM construction.
A very well appointed cabin with a nice veranda to sit, sip wine, and watch the activity on the Nile’s banks.