Our Cruise tours in Egypt include both Nile Cruises and cruises on Lake Nasser. Travelling along the River Nile on a luxurious cruiseboat has been a classic holiday for well over a hundred years, since Thomas Cook first took passengers on the river in 1869. The most popular cruises on the Nile are either 5 days/4 nights sailing upstream from Aswan to Luxor, or 4 days/3 nights sailing downstream from Aswan to Luxor. You can also combine these to make a longer 8 day/7 night cruise normally starting and finishing in Luxor. Some boats offer slightly longer cruises that also take in Abydos and Dendara just north of Luxor, while the ‘Long Nile Cruise’ spends up to two weeks travelling all the way between Cairo and Aswan.
On all these cruises you’ll see a wealth of ancient Pharaonic sites along the way, as well as being able to watch typical Egyptian rural life pass you by on the banks of the Nile as you sail past. You’ll see fishermen in their rowing boats, egrets and water buffalo feeding on the banks of the River, and farmers with their donkeys tending the fields. The only crocodiles you’ll see these days through are the mummified ones at Kom Ombo temple!
We like to use our own Egyptologist guides, vehicles and drivers for your sightseeing tours from the cruise, as this gives you a lot more flexibility in what you see and how long you spend doing it. It also means we can time visits to sites, particularly in Luxor, to try and avoid the periods when they are packed with large coach groups. The boats do all arrange their own sightseeing tours however, and will get you to see all the main important sites, and work out slightly cheaper overall as well.
There are now well over a hundred different boats working on the river, at a range of different styles and levels. Our group tours use boats at the Egyptian 5-star-deluxe level which generally have around 75 well furnished, comfortable en-suite cabins over 4 decks with a restaurant, bar, some shops and then a sun terrace, bar and plunge pool up top. There are also some super deluxe, all-suite boats for people looking for the ultimate luxurious experience.
Also operating on the Nile are Dahabiyas, which provide the luxury and comfort of a larger Nile cruise boat, but in a much more intimate and exclusive setting, normally with between 4 and 8 cabins on board. Dahabiyas can sail independently but normally also have a tow boat to control them on what is a busy river. The slower pace allows for much more time sailing, letting you experience more of rural Egypt in-between the sightseeing stops. Dahabiya cruises tend to be from 5 to 8 days in duration, and just travel in one direction between Aswan and Luxor.
Finally, there are a handful of cruise boats operating on Lake Nasser, travelling from close to Aswan, and then following the shores of the lake as far as the amazing temples built by Ramses II at Abu Simbel.