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: This tour entails considerable walking. It's a strenuous walk into and out of the site along a sloping path that inclues natural and slippery surfaces; however, there is level walking in the actual site. Total walking distance is approximately 3-5 miles with only 2 benches along the way. Temperatures can be quite high with little to no shade. While there are a limited number of carriages, camels and donkeys available at Petra, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis and their use is in no way encouraged or sanctioned by the cruise line. As a result of the limited availability, their use may be restricted to those most in need. Given the carriages are not insured and RSSC does not recommend their use, RSSC will not assume any responsibility for injuries incurred should you decide to engage 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. The tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Furthermore, in order to completely view the sites, you would still need to travel on foot over uneven and sloping ground. 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.