It’s a big couple of years for Egypt. 2022 marked 100 years since the world-famous discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, the country was named Best in Travel by Lonely Planet, and it hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27.
But there’s more to look forward to in 2023, with the hotly anticipated opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum – the GEM – and different ways to explore this fascinating land with Exodus’ new itineraries, whether you’re looking for a premium holiday to Egypt or a family holiday to Egypt.
So why go? And why go in 2023? Here are five excellent reasons…
1. 2023 marks the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum
While the exact opening date is still unknown, it’s widely expected that the Grand Egyptian Museum near Cairo will open to huge fanfare in 2023. Said to have cost £889 million, GEM will be a treasure trove of all Tutankhamun’s thousands of artefacts – some that have been in storage for many years. While Tutankhamun’s possessions will likely steal the show, there will be displays across 12 enormous exhibition halls behind a vast atrium designed to dazzle.
Once open, you’ll be able to visit GEM on some Exodus itineraries that visit Cairo. Our Nile Cruise begins in Cairo and, until the GEM opens, features a visit to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, where many of Tutankhamun’s riches are currently displayed. After city explorations, you’ll fly to Luxor to board a cruise on the Nile, stopping to see Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings on the way to Aswan.
2. It’s over 100 years since the discovery of King Tut’s tomb
British archaeologist Howard Carter had been busy excavating Egyptian antiquities for three decades before he made the discovery of a generation in 1922 – the tomb of the Boy King, Tutankhamun. King Tut was thought to be only nine when he ascended the throne and 19 when he died.
Tutankhamun and 61 of his peers remain at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. Tutankhamun’s mummy is in a tomb now protected by climate-controlled glass. However, it’s said that Tutankhamun will eventually join his treasured possessions at the new Grand Egyptian Museum, 300 miles away near Cairo.
For now, you can witness the spectacle of King Tut’s tomb for yourself in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor and follow in the footsteps of Howard Carter, imagining the feeling of making such a monumental discovery as you enter the sacred spaces. A visit to the Valley of the Kings is the penultimate day of a 13-day exploration of Egypt from Alexandria to Aswan that travels around some of the country’s highlights. However, a visit to Tutankhamun’s tomb also features on other Egypt itineraries, including our Nile Cruise.
3. We’ve got a special 2023 departure with Joseph Frey
Whether you’re a relative novice in the intricacies of Egyptian history or consider yourself something of an expert, there’s plenty to learn on a special departure to Egypt in the company of the Chair of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s College of Fellows, Joseph Frey. Joe has travelled to over 80 counties across all seven continents but is particularly interested in archaeology and palaeontology excavations.
Departing in December 2023, the RCGS: Egypt Nile Cruise with Joseph Frey is a nine-day adventure that allows guests to venture into ancient temples and tombs, visiting key sites of ancient Egypt, including the Pyramids at Giza and Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The trip includes a four-night cruise along the Nile, revealing modern life along the riverbanks. You’ll have the opportunity to go back in time on a visit to Abu Simbel, journeying through the Nubian Desert before dawn to visit spectacular temples built by Ramses II – a remarkable sight that’s worth rising early for.
4. Family-friendly departures during the 2023 school holidays
There’s so much for children to learn about Egypt, with many primary schools covering Ancient Egypt as a topic in Key Stage 2. Nothing beats seeing history where it happened, and on our family trip to Egypt, history is lifted out of books and into real life. Children can compare the Egypt of bygone times at the Pyramids of Giza with the vibrant country of here and now on an overnight sleeper train to Aswan and in the noisy and exciting bazaars.
Our memorable family trip to Egypt was designed with nine to 12-year-olds in mind, although teenagers get a lot out of the variety of the adventure, too. The itinerary brings together experiences they’ll remember for life, finishing up with a submarine journey beneath the Red Sea and snorkelling through kaleidoscopic reefs. Look out for 2023 departures to Egypt in the February half term, May half term, summer holidays, October half term and the Christmas holidays.
5. Explore Egypt in style in 2023
New to Exodus for 2023 is a Nile Cruise & Aswan Premium Adventure comprising a four-night boutique-style cruise on the Nile and upscale hotels throughout your time in Cairo and on Elephantine Island.
You’ll discover the pyramids and temples – listening to the captivating stories and legends these sacred places are known for. Then you’ll board a small premium cruise ship for an adventure along the Nile, stopping at the Valley of the Kings, and the temples of Edfu, among other significant sights.
The trip finishes at the beautiful Movenpick Resort Aswan, where you’ll have a view of the Nile from your hotel room and an even better one from the Panorama Restaurant & Bar – the highest point in Aswan with 360-degree views.
If this has inspired you to start planning for an incredible trip to Egypt next year, take a look at our Egypt holidays here.