Luxury educational travel company the Luminaire is hosting a ground-breaking trip to Egypt that will give Indiana Jones fans the chance to excavate the tomb of Queen Cleopatra. Jenny Southan reports
Following the launch of the Luminaire’s “luxury dinosaur dig” in Wyoming, its new journey will take guests to Egypt where they will join an archaeological dig in search of the final resting place of Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony.
Starting in September 2023, renowned archaeologist Dr Kathleen Martinez and her expert team will direct a state-of-the-art exploration through a network of inaccessible passageways at the Great Temple of Osiris, Taposiris Magna, in Alexandria.
Guests of the Luminaire will be offered a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to observe the first exploration of the tunnels for over two millennia.
Self-titled as “Cleopatra’s lawyer” and a passionate advocate for her legacy, Dr Martinez has dedicated her life to uncovering the tomb of Cleopatra. During this project she will tell guests the story of her excavation works to date and explain the importance of her discoveries.
From Cairo to Alexandria, guests will be immersed in the history of ancient Egypt, with visits to the Grand Egyptian Museum before it opens at the end of 2023. They will also have the chance to interpret ancient manuscripts with an archivist at the Alexandria National Museum.
Whilst with Dr Martinez, guests will watch a live excavation and restoration work at the temple, explore the shafts and tunnels that the team have uncovered and will learn how artefacts such as bones, pottery, jewels, coins and sculptures are identified and used as clues in this process.
They will also observe the cutting-edge robots that will be deployed to digitally chart the area of now complex tunnels and will see how a digital model is being constructed of the tunnels and structures that Dr Martinez believes guards the tomb of Cleopatra.
Dr Martinez says: “If there’s one percent of a chance that the last queen of Egypt could be buried there, it is my duty to search for her.”
During the six-day trip, guests will stay at the Four Seasons in both Cairo and Alexandria and have the option to extend their stay with a visit to the Siwa Oasis, where it is believed that Egyptian Kings and Queens visited to benefit from the healing powers of its waters.
Guests can join the “exploration phase” of the Cleopatra dig with Dr Martinez herself in September and October 2023, or join her team in November 2023 or throughout 2024.
Prices start from £16,650 per person and includes all accommodation, activities, transfers and some meals. This exclusive journey is available on a private basis.