Guide to enjoy the perfect Nile cruise in Egypt

The Nile

Egyptian pyramids, sarcophagi, Sphinx, golden masks, and mummies have fascinated the world for centuries.

A Nile Cruise along the longest river on Earth, the Nile, adds to the charisma of visiting Egypt. It provides a tranquil and most majestic view of the cultural assets of the country.

A typical Nile cruise vacation involves sailing from Luxor to Aswan and back, with sightseeing from the decks. Along your way, you can experience nature at its best, with water buffalos wallowing and water birds pestering the fishermen. In the heat faraway, the slate-grey peaks shine with bronze sand blowing.

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Major attractions of the Nile Cruise

●       Luxor

Starting from the Valley of Kings to the ancient tombs and temples, Luxor gives a perfect start to the Nile cruise with its insight into the cultural heritage of the place. The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Karnak, and Luxor are some central attractions. There is also a fantastic mummification museum which draws lots of visitors.

Being situated at a very high point, Luxor is one of the premium spots for a hot air balloon ride. With proper coordination with your tour guide, you can enjoy the view of the Valley of Kings from the top, magnificently during the sunrise.

●       Edfu

Hieroglyphic inscriptions of Egypt have been a valuable source of information for archaeologists. They depict the ancient rituals, deities, and cultural elements, which are very vividly evident in the temple of the god Horus, Edfu. The temple has been preserved well against the Nile floods and is spectacular to witness, being the second biggest temple of Egypt.

There is a Nilometer inside the temple which measures the height of the river Nile and predicts the harvest conditions. There are symbols of the battle between Seth and Horus, and carvings depicting the process of making perfumes.

●       Kom Ombo

A small visit to the temple of Kom Ombo is essential on a Nile cruise. The temple is dedicated to two Egyptian gods — Sobek (the crocodile god) and Horus (the falcon god). In spite of being a single temple, there are two entrances, halls, and so on.

The crocodile museum is also worth a visit, which boasts of unique crocodile mummies. The human mummies are common in Egypt, but these 22 crocodile mummies are one of their kinds.

●       Aswan

Located in southern Egypt, the settlements of Aswan are spectacular. The Nubian village, the botanical gardens, the spice market are some of the major attractions. From Aswan, you can travel to the ancient heritage of Abu Simbel, concluding your Nile cruise, when coming from Luxor.

The High Dam is also visible from Aswan, lining the temple of Philae (devoted to Horus). The beautiful artifacts of Elephantine Island can also be sighted.

Factors to consider while choosing a Nile Cruise

●       Duration of your journey

Nile cruises are a convenient way of seeing across Egypt, but the constraints of a vast stretch of water may not be comfortable for everyone. Depending upon the type of traveler you are, choose the duration of your journey. You have the option of selecting from as short as four days to as long as two weeks. However, the most recommended period is five days and four nights.

●       The starting point

You can either start from Luxor and end your cruise in Aswan or go the opposite way. If you begin from Luxor, you get to fly in a hot air balloon at sunrise and cover the majority of your sightseeing from the top. Many people prefer going to Abu Simbel first, from Aswan, and then continue with the cruise as described above.

●       Style of the cruise ship

Depending on your preference for living, there are varieties of Egyptian Nile cruises available. The feluccas are the simplest boats that have a traditional vibe. However, they do not have an onboard toilet, making it a big hassle. There are private rooms, luxury cruises, fine dining, and nightlife, open for selection.

●       Budget

Varying from the number of guests you have to the preference of meals, cruise, drinks, and guides, your budget will also alter. It is therefore recommended to have a precise allotment figure and then choose your Nile cruise. That being said, Nile cruises are more affordable than the time and investment required to see those parts of Egypt by land.