Western interest in ancient Egyptian history and culture has led to extensive archaeological expeditions and innumerable collections of these magnificent antiquities in museums worldwide. If you’re looking for the equivalent tour in Europe, consider our Tour of Egyptian Art in Nine Outstanding European Museums
Far Horizons proudly presents a truly unique 7-day excursion to Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and New York City with an emphasis on the Egyptian art at each city’s great museums.
Beginning in Boston, we walk through the Museum of Fine Arts. Here, you will enjoy a private presentation on Nubian Art by the former curator at the MFA, Dr. Rita Freed. At Harvard University, you will learn about the ground-breaking work being done on the digital Giza Project.
At the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, you will view the extraordinary Egyptology assemblage in the newly renovated Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and at the Brooklyn Museum.
Finally, we spend the day examining the bounteous Egyptian collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and nearby Cleopatra’s Needle – an Aswan granite obelisk from Egypt that was transported and erected in Central Park.
Professor Bob Brier and art historian Patricia Remler will teach us about these outstanding Egyptian relics and their migration to their museums in the USA.
Overnights will be in 4- and 5-star, centrally located hotels to help guests experience all that Boston and New York City have to offer. And,on our last evening, we will proceed to the Bronx to the home of our study leaders who will host us for our final Egyptomania dinner party.
Won’t you join Far Horizons and an exclusive group of 13 others on this very special and unusual itinerary exploring exquisite Egyptian art? If you have any questions about this tour of Egyptian exhibits in the USA, please get in touch. And for more carefully designed vacations, browse our historical and archeological tours in the Americas.
Meet at 5pm for cocktails with Bob Brier and Pat Remler at the 4-star Hilton Back Bay hotel, Boston, Massachusetts, our home for the next three nights. (Note: no airport/hotel transfer is included.) Our festive welcome dinner will be in a private room at the hotel, with stunning views of the city. (D)
Begin today at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), where the renowned exhibit of Egyptian and Nubian antiquities features an array of 45,000 sculptures, mummies, sarcophagi, and jewelry, that covers 7,000 years of Egyptian history.
The notable group of relics was acquired mainly through the Harvard University – Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expeditions undertaken by George Reisner in the early 20th century. Of particular interest is the impressive collection of Nubian art — the largest and most important of its kind outside of Sudan.
If available, we will meet with Senior Curator, Dr. Lawrence Berman, to enter the museum’s storage area and view the vast holdings. In the afternoon, we enjoy a specially-arranged presentation on Nubian Art at the home of Dr. Rita Freed, Egyptologist and former curator for the department of ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern art at the MFA. Gather for our welcome dinner at a neighboring local restaurant. (B/L/D)King Menkaura and queen MFA from Larry Berman at MFA.
This morning we transfer to Cambridge, home to the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East (HMANE). Formerly the Harvard Semitic Museum, founded in 1889, it was conceived as a teaching tool to study the ancient histories and cultures of people who spoke Semitic languages.
Here, our study leaders, Bob Brier and Pat Remler, will take us through the gallery dedicated to Egypt, comprising dazzling sculptures, paintings, and textiles covering four millennia from the Old Kingdom to the advent of Islam.
After lunch at a nearby restaurant, we return to campus for a private meeting with Dr. Peter Der Manuelian, director of both HMANE and The Giza Project at Harvard University. Begun in 2000, The Giza Project’s goal was to digitize the findings and provide access to all archaeological records from George Reisner and the Museum of Fine Arts’ remarkable expedition to Giza.
The project has since moved to Harvard and, under Dr. Manuelian’s direction, has started a 3D virtual reconstruction of the Giza Plateau as it may have looked when first built. To date, approximately 20 tombs and monuments have been modeled in detail, with many hundreds more still to be digitized.
Dr. Manuelian will meet with our group and explain how The Giza Project provides new ways to sightsee, explore, and absorb the pyramids and their surrounding cemeteries. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon with dinner on our own. (B/L)
We leave Boston this morning for Brooklyn, New York. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will explore the Brooklyn Museum, which has one of the finest exhibitions of Egyptian artifacts in the United States.
A particularly striking item, the 5,000-year-old ‘Bird Lady’ is among the oldest statuettes found in Egypt, perhaps representing a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral ceremony.
Between 1916 and 1947, the museum acquired the splendid collection from pioneer American Egyptologist Charles Edwin Wilbour who dug in Egypt in the late 19th century, including his professional library.
Since 1976, the museum has also conducted excavations at the Temple Precinct of the goddess Mut at Karnak, and many of its discoveries are shown here as well.
Continue into New York City and the 5-star Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side, our home for the next four nights. Since 1930, this luxurious boutique hotel located only a few blocks from Central Park has epitomized sophistication and elegance. Dinner will be at an elegant local restaurant. (B/L/D)
On day 5, we visit the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia — commonly called Penn Museum.
Penn Museum has recently gone through an extensive renovation. Along with the completely redesigned Africa Galleries and Mexico/Central America Gallery, a new entrance was created. If available, the Co-Curator of Egyptian Art will tell us about the formidable process of moving the museum’s famous colossal pink granite sphinx that now dominates the new entry arcade.
We then will inspect the vast amounts of Egyptian and Nubian material, unusual in that the majority was obtained through archaeological investigations. Before beginning its own projects, the museum financially supported the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund (later Egypt Exploration Society), a British organization responsible for scientific digs throughout Egypt, including that of Sir William M. Flinders Petrie. After returning to New York City in the late afternoon, dinner is on our own. (B/L)
We will begin the day with an elegant brunch at the Carlyle Restaurant in our hotel. We will then walk the few blocks to Central Park with a stop at Cleopatra’s Needle, a 3,000-year-old Aswan-granite obelisk from Egypt.
Originally erected at Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III in 1475 BC, it was later transported by the Romans in 12 BC to Alexandria. In 1878, the Khedive gave the monument to the United States. While viewing this superb creation, we will learn about the formidable task of moving it to New York City, as well as the history behind its hieroglyphic inscriptions commemorating Ramesses II’s military victories.
We continue to the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), where imposing Egyptian relics are spread over 39 rooms. The Egyptian display is arranged in chronological order to more easily understand the development of this long-lived civilization.
One of the points of interest is the Temple of Dendur, built circa 15 BC by the Roman emperor Augustus. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Isis and to two sons of a local Nubian ruler who had aided the Romans in their wars with the queen of Meroe. Due to its original location in Lower Nubia, about fifty miles south of modern Aswan, the temple was dismantled in the 1960s to save it from the rising waters of Lake Nasser after the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
In the late afternoon, return to the hotel to rest before our farewell dinner party at the home of our study leaders. After a memorable meal, there will be time for Bob Brier to show us through his extensive library and his personal collection of Egyptomania paraphernalia.
(Note: transportation for the morning and afternoon visits will not be provided. From the hotel, the walk to/from the MET is approximately 10 minutes each direction. A bus will transport us to dinner.) (B-brunch/ /D)
Independent departures from New York City. (Note: no airport/hotel transfer is included.) (B)
Price is based on double occupancy and includes:
Trip prices are based on a minimum number of participants. If this minimum number is not met, trip prices are subject to change. Should the prices need to change, Far Horizons will reach out to registered guests to discuss directly.
Should a roommate be requested and one not be available, the single supplement must be charged.
As a tour company that benefits from the cultural and natural riches of our destinations, we have a policy of donating to the scientific and cultural sites and projects which we visit. This has created a bond between Far Horizons and the academic and local communities that has helped us establish an extensive list of lecturers and contacts in each of our destinations. We ask that each participant donate to the noteworthy project we designate. The donation amount is $150.00 per person. Note that the donation is required as part of your registration for the trip and that it is non-refundable.
Prices are based on currency exchange rates keeping below a projected level. While it is unlikely, if the exchange rates should change substantially, Far Horizons reserves the right to charge an additional amount to the trip cost.
A deposit of $1000 per person is required along with your registration & health forms, which will be linked in the email confirmation you receive once you pay your deposit on our booking platform. Final payment is due 120 days before departure. Prior to departure, you will be sent a reading list and a tour bulletin containing travel information.
Cancellations received in writing at least 120 days before departure will receive a refund less a $500 per person administrative fee. Cancellations received less than 120 days before the departure date will not receive a refund. If for any reason you are unable to complete the trip, Far Horizons will not reimburse any fees. Upon registering for the tour, the purchase of travel protection with both trip cancellation and emergency evacuation is strongly advised. Links to recommended insurance policies will be included in the email you receive confirming receipt of your deposit.
International round trip flights are not included in the cost of the trip. If Far Horizons must change the trip dates or cancel the trip for any reason, Far Horizons is not responsible for any air ticket you may have purchased. Please send your complete air schedule as soon as you have it. NOTE: Please contact Far Horizons if you would like for us to handle your air ticketing.
The private tours of archaeological sites and talks by specialists are scheduled in advance and include a donation to each. Specialists working at these sites are excited about showing their work to interested enthusiasts. However, please be aware that there may be times when the director or a member of the staff may not be on site when our groups arrive due to other commitments.
Far Horizons expects all participants to be physically active and able to walk and climb independently throughout the full touring days. This includes walking over uneven terrain (uphill and downhill) for 2 miles or more at each site. You should expect to be on your feet for much of each day, averaging as much as 5 miles of walking per day. As such, each participant should be able to walk unaided at a pace of 3 miles per hour for at least an hour at a time, and to stand unsupported for at least 60 minutes. Bearing this in mind, we suggest that, if you have not already done so, you begin walking several miles every day, ideally including stairs and hills. If you have questions about your ability to keep up with the group or the strenuous nature of this trip, please contact the Far Horizons staff.
This tour is designed for flexible, energetic people who like to be active, have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. We have designed this trip to be as comfortable as possible, while also aiming to visit some remote or unique sites that other companies do not attempt to include in their itineraries. There may be days where we have very long drives and the conditions of the roads may vary. Hotels and transportation in some remote areas may not be up to western standards. There may be times when no bellhops are available; please pack with the understanding that you need to be able to handle your own luggage at times. At times we may be walking over uneven trails for a mile or more; hiking boots are strongly recommended. Not every meal will not be haute cuisine and several lunches may be picnics or box lunches. By maintaining a flexible attitude we will soon be captivated by the beauty of the natural scenery, the hospitality of the local people, and the fascinating sites we will see. Your flexibility and patience will be appreciated.
Changes in our itinerary, accommodations, and transportation schedules may occur. While we are committed to keeping as close to the published details as possible, sometimes it is simply not possible. Weather events, government affairs, or other factors out of our control sometimes come into play. A good book to read as well as patience, flexible attitude, and a sense of humor are essential.