Time travel to Ancient Egypt with Studio PHI’s VR expedition

March 27, 2024

Imagine floating along the Nile on a king’s golden boat or witnessing the grandeur of the Great Pyramid of Giza from an eagle’s perspective. Thanks to Excurio and Studio PHI‘s innovative virtual reality experience, you can now step back 4,500 years in time and explore Ancient Egypt through “The Horizon of Khufu“. Crafted over three years, this 45-minute odyssey whisks you over 8,000 kilometers from Montreal to the base of Egypt’s tallest pyramid. Serving as the resting place for pharaoh Khufu, the pyramid of Giza stands as the last surviving wonder of the ancient world.

Our arrival on a gloomy, rainy Montreal morning was met with warm smiles from the PHI staff. The check-in process was swift, and the VIP admission let us skip the line, allowing us to dive straight into the story.

The journey begins at the gates of Cairo, where the imposing presence of the Khufu Pyramid commands the horizon.  Here we embark on a guided tour as avatars, tracing the footsteps of ancient builders along the North side of the pyramid and marveling at the engineering of the Grand Gallery. This immersive experience lets you explore places inside the pyramid that have been previously closed to the public. As we go deeper into the pyramid, we’re captivated by the sheer weight of history inside the king’s chamber and surrounding his sarcophagus. And as the tour continues, things take a magical turn when we are greeted by an unusual and mysterious guide, who shares with us the secrets of the past.

Through the accessibility of VR technology, we witness ancient rituals come to life, including the process of embalming a body and funeral ceremonies. Each moment is a step deeper into the rich tapestry of Ancient Egyptian life. And my favourite part, the journey through time on a solar boat to witness the splendour of the valley temple and the sacred rites of King Khufu’s final journey.

While there are a few whimsical elements to the story, the “Horizon of Khufu” immersive expedition was designed to be as historically precise as possible and is the result of several years of research. The collaboration with Egyptologist Peter Der Manuelian, professor of Egyptology and his team at the Giza Project at Harvard University, ensures that every detail rings true to history. From the architectural marvels to the ancient customs, the experience is a testament to the dedication of its creators.

For those new to VR, the initial disorientation goes away fairly quickly and gives way to a thrilling, immersive experience. The friendly staff is there to offer assistance and guidance throughout the program if needed.

As the journey drew to a close, I found myself missing the blue Egyptian sky, yet filled with a great sense of appreciation for the last remaining wonder of the ancient world. “The Horizon of Khufu” offers a glimpse into a world long lost to the sands of time, still shrouded in mystery and a fantastic break from the everyday.

Tickets for “The Horizon of Khufu” are available here and the show runs until May 31st in Old Montreal. We do recommend getting the VIP Admission for skipping-the-line access, your very own personalized badge, a beverage at the end of the experience and a surprise gift to keep as a souvenir.

Adventure awaits.

All images are courtesy of Studio PHI.


Story by Andra Balaci

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