Duration: 9 1/2 hours
Tour Code: aqj-003
The ancient Nabataean city of Petra comes to life during this full-day excursion to Jordan's most impressive national attraction.
Depart the pier for the drive to the fascinating excavated site of Petra, which consists of massive tombs carved from the sandstone hills more than 2,000 years ago. Lost for almost 12 centuries, these fantastic ruins were unearthed in 1812 by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Today, the ancient capital of Petra stands as a timeless tribute to the ingenuity and creativity of the Nabataeans.
Upon arrival, you will begin an extensive walking tour down a long curving path to the Siq, the official entrance to this great monument. Your guide will then lead you into a natural channel that is often less than 16 feet in width, yet features walls that tower more than 650 feet in height. Although this path originally served as a means of protection for the Nabataeans, the Romans later used it to collect water. You will also see remnants of the 2,000-year-old terracotta pipes that made up part of the vast water system used by the city of Petra.
The passage will eventually lead you to the magnificent Treasury, or Khazneh, whose impressive red façade was used in the final scenes of the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. You will then continue down a path to the impressive 8,000-seat Roman Amphitheater. Archaeologists first believed that the Romans constructed the site in the 2nd century; further excavations revealed the amphitheater was actually carved out by the Nabataeans around the time of Jesus Christ.
Your tour will conclude with a visit to the Royal Tombs, considered to be the most impressive burial site in Petra. Carved into the face of Jebel Khubtha, the Royal Tombs consist of the vaulted Urn Tomb, Corinthian Tomb and three-story Palace Tomb; one of the monument's largest tombs.
On the return walk to the entrance, you will pass by carved temples, burial chambers, tombs, water channels, gates, and arches. After viewing this magnificent site, you will proceed to the Petra Movenpick Resort for a buffet lunch before re-boarding your coach for the return drive to the pier.
Please note: Guests are advised to wear comfortable, closed-toe walking shoes, and bring along a sweater or jacket due to the cool conditions inside the site. This tour involves approximately 3-5 miles of walking over uneven gravel and packed sandy surfaces, along with a long, gradual decline/incline from the entrance of Petra to the Treasury and Royal Tombs. This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or guests who utilize a wheelchair. There are only nine carriages available, and they will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. As a result, their use may be restricted to those most in need. Please be advised that since the carriages are not insured, RSSC does not recommend their use, and will not assume any responsibility for injuries incurred should you decide to ride one. There is no narration during the bumpy horse carriage ride that ends at the Treasury Building. Your driver will schedule a meeting time with you in front of the Treasury Building. Expect delays; 20 minutes late is not considered late in Jordan. Guests wishing to arrange for a carriage ride should do so directly with their guide, and pay the guide, not the carriage driver. Weather appropriate clothing (it can be cool in the Spring and Fall); sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes with a closed-toe are recommended.