Aqaba (for Petra), Jordan
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2 Days / 1 Night
Day 1 (D)
Leave the ship in Aqaba and transfer to Wadi Rum. An appropriately mature 4x4 vehicle and a less-senescent local Bedouin driver await you here. Hop in and set out on a two-hour drive into the desert.
Wadi Rum, otherwise known as Valley of the Moon, features a landscape that will impress you with its immensity, color and awe-inspiring shapes creating an almost supernatural atmosphere. This is the setting for the film Lawrence of Arabia and the actual location where T.E. Lawrence set up his camp. His book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom was named after the seven natural columns, varying in height, located en route to Wadi Rum. Bedouin camps are evident in the Wadi, which is still home to a number of Bedouin families. They welcome visitors with the hospitality and generosity for which Bedouins are so famous.
You will head to a Bedouin camp for downtime and lunch under a Bedouin tent in Wadi Rum -- a delightful and unusual experience.
Re-board the coach for the drive to Petra. Check-in at the Movenpick Resort Petra Hotel. A buffet dinner is served in the main dining restaurant this evening. Overnight at Petra.
Day 2 (B/L)
After breakfast this morning, check out from the hotel and set out with your guide for a full-day visit to the city of Petra, built by the Nabataeans more than 2,000 years ago. Learn about this fascinating culture and the amazing relics they left behind. In the Nabataean era, Petra was a fortress, carved out of craggy rocks in an area that was virtually inaccessible from the outside. In the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, after the Romans invaded, the city reached the peak of its fame.
Begin with an optional horseback ride from the main gate of Petra to the entrance of the old city -- about a half-mile ride. Then, walk along the siq or canyon to visit Petra. Petra covers an area of about 38 square miles and about 800 monuments can be found here. It was once the crossroads of trading caravan routes but gradually fell into disuse and was lost to the world until 1812, when it was re-discovered by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burkhart. Nowadays, Petra is Jordan's number one tourist attraction, known as 'the rose-red city half as old as time'. The Khazneh (the Treasury) starred in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.
A buffet lunch will be served at a restaurant in Petra. At the end of the day, you will walk out of the historic site and re-board your coach for the drive back to the ship at Al'Aqaba.
Due to this tour’s popularity, exclusivity, and strict booking conditions, tour bookings must be confirmed 60 days prior to the actual call to Aqaba with no cancellations allowed thereafter.
There is a strenuous walk into and out of the Petra site along an inclined path that includes slippery and unpaved surfaces, suitably only for participants who are physically fit. It is approximately a half-mile walk (each way) from the entrance to the site to the beginning of the Siq (canyon). From there, participants must walk five to six miles (each way) through the canyon all the way to the ruins. Temperatures are high -- easily 105° at Petra. Please realistically assess your physical fitness and ability prior to booking, as the walking is uphill and over unpaved, rough walking tracks with steps. Shade is limited; please dress accordingly. Bring water and a hat, and wear sunscreen. While there are a limited number of carriages, camels and donkeys available at Petra for transportation (at your own expense), they are strictly on a first-come, first-served basis and their use is in no way encouraged as they are not insured. If you choose to take the horse-drawn carriage, you do so at your own risk and there will be no narration during the bumpy ride that ends at the Treasury building. Your carriage driver will schedule a meeting time with you in front of the Treasury Building for the return ride. Expect delays; 20 minutes late is not considered late in Jordan. Guests wishing to arrange for a carriage ride must do so directly with their guide and pay the guide, not the carriage driver. Not suitable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. Even if you engage a carriage or service animal, you must still travel on foot over uneven and inclined terrain in order to completely view the site. No guest is obliged to stay with the guided tour; guests who they feel they cannot continue (taking into consideration the return walk) can leave the group and return to the entrance on their own.
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