An experienced guide and a comprehensive shore excursion can really bring a destination to life. In Africa, there are so many layers of history and culture to peel back that in-depth tours have never been more worthwhile.

Let an expert Egyptologist bring the extraordinary story of the pharaohs and ancient Egypt to life on a spectacular two-day tour from the port of Alexandria. Cairo unfolds before you with a visit to the magnificent Citadel of Saladin with its beautiful alabaster mosque. You’ll learn about Egyptian history from prehistoric times to the present day at the state-of-the-art Egyptian Museum of Civilization. Here, the highlight is the Royal Mummies Hall, where mummies of the kings and queens of ancient Egypt, some of them 4,000 years old, are on display.

In the evening, there’s time to relax on a scenic cruise along the Nile through the city center. You’ll be entertained by a belly dancer while you sample Egyptian specialties.

The second day of your tour is packed with even more thrills, not least a visit to the dazzling new Grand Egyptian Museum, where the glittering treasures of Tutankhamun are on display in all their glory. Of course, there’s a chance to get up close to the astonishing Pyramids of Giza, too, and the enigmatic Sphinx.

In Alexandria itself, join a tour to the breathtaking Bibliotheca Alexandrina, once the greatest library of the ancient world. Today, it spans three floors and millennia of history, from the time of the pharaohs to the present day. Or visit the Citadel of Qaitbay, a crenelated 15th-century fort built on the site of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Africa shore excursions bring the two Moroccan ports of Tangier and Casablanca to life, too. In Tangier, take a tour to the Kasbah, a palatial walled fortress with beautiful detail on display. Have your camera ready for a day trip to Chefchaouen, perched in the craggy Rif mountains. This enchanting village is painted entirely in sky-blue to reflect the heavens.

In Casablanca, visit the enormous, intricately carved Hassan II Mosque. Or take a trip to the atmospheric Portuguese Cistern at El Jadida, built in the 16th century. The still water reflects the graceful curves and well-preserved colors of the ceiling.

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