Your Private Alexandria shore excursion departs from Port Said and begins with the three hour, 30 minute drive to Alexandria. A rest stop will be made along the way. Upon arrival in Alexandria, you will begin with a visit to the Catacombs of Kom El Shuquafa, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Discovered by a donkey in 1900, the catacombs represent the largest Roman cemetery in Egypt, and include the remains of more than 300 individual tombs. Constructed in the 2nd century A.D., probably for one family, they were later expanded to three levels cut 90 feet deep into existing rock. They now merge Roman, Greek and Egyptian cultural aspects in their design and decoration.. The catacombs are accessed by a series of descending circular steps.
You will then drive to a local restaurant where a set menu lunch awaits you.
After lunch, you will visit the Alexandria Museum, which is housed in the old Al-Saad Bassili Pasha Palace which dates back to 1923. It is the first museum in Egypt that narrates the history of the people of Alexandria through antiquity, as opposed to being a building storing antiquities. Many of the artifacts within the museum's collection have not been exhibited before. Each of the museum's three floors depicts a different period of Egyptian history.
The Pharaonic collection spans each critical period, and includes items from the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms. One of the highlights is a replica of a tomb, similar to those in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes), that includes a mummy along with genuine funerary items. Alexandria was a Greco-Roman city of great splendor, and there is no scarcity of objects from this period including artifacts raised during underwater excavations around Alexandria in recent years.
The last floor is devoted to Coptic and Islamic items and includes a variety of objects from Egypt's two most prominent religious traditions. Coptic Christian items include icons of Jesus and the Virgin Mary and the Last Supper. Among the Islamic objects are a collection of gold and silver coins, decorated pottery, doors and mashrabiya windows inset with geometrical ivory ornamentation. There is also a section devoted to the former royal family of Egypt that includes magnificent jewelry, bejeweled gold and silver awards, and other items from their residence.
Next, you will visit the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina, built on or near the site of the ancient Library of Alexandria. Built at the beginning of the 3rd century BC, the ancient library was not only a repository of books; it was also a museum, school and the world's foremost center for learning and scholarly research. In the 4th century AD, a fire destroyed both the library and museum.
Your private cruise excursion will include a visit to the new library, and a walking tour of the grounds, which feature a museum, galleries and planetarium. Your guide will explain the architecture, background ,development and UNESCO's part in the creation.
After your visit to the library, you will begin the drive back to Port Said.
Please note: This tour is only available from Port Said. For tours from the port of Alexandria, please see that ports listing.