Nile cruises are one of the best ways to see several of Egypt's most famous and impressive monuments on a single trip and in total luxury. If you want your holiday to Egypt to be as relaxed as possible, a cruise is the perfect option for you.
Here's a bit more information about Nile cruises and what you can look forward to when you decide to travel along the world-renowned waterway.
The cruise ships that operate on the Nile are like luxury floating hotels - no expense has been spared to ensure the comfort of the guests onboard. All the bedrooms on the liner are equipped with air conditioning, a private bathroom, a TV and a safe box and there are double and twin rooms, in addition to larger suites.
One of the nicest things about travelling by boat is that you'll have a new view out of your cabin window each morning and you'll get to appreciate the stunning scenery as you drift down the Nile. The journey is also much more entertaining when you are free to move around, stretch your legs and amuse yourself, rather than being stuck on a cramped plane or bus.
Luxury Nile cruise ships have their own onboard swimming pool, as well as plenty of sundeck space so you can top up your tan and make the most of the Egyptian sunshine. Every evening there will be live entertainment, ranging from belly dancing performances to folklore shows. You'll also have access to the liner's restaurant, which serves a varied menu of dishes to cater for a range of tastes, with local specialities offered alongside more international cuisine.
Where you will visit?
Many seven-day Nile cruises will begin and end in Luxor, taking you on a route that encompasses some of Egypt's most famous archaeological sites. While you won't see the Pyramids, there are equally impressive feats of engineering in Luxor and Aswan and it's possible to add a few days in the country's capital at one end of your tour if you want to discover all it has to offer once your cruise has finished.
There are also shorter itineraries on offer that begin in Luxor and end in Aswan, or vice versa.
Sights along the way
Undoubtedly, the best thing about Nile cruises is the variety of sights you can explore on a relatively short trip. Making the same journey on land would be tiring and uncomfortable, while on your cruise ship you'll be travelling in complete comfort between vast temples and famous tombs.
Luxor, the starting point for many cruises, is home to the astounding Karnak Temple, which spans 2 sq km and is actually a complex containing several temples that were constructed over a period of 1,500 years. The largest place of worship here is the Temple of Amun, although this is largely in ruins. You can still make out its vast size from the remaining walls that are covered in ancient inscriptions. Some of the smaller structures, however, are in much better condition and the paintings and hieroglyphs on the walls are an amazing sight to behold.
The Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the river is home to more than 60 tombs, including those of Tutankhamen and Ramses IV, among others. You can buy a ticket that will give you access to three of these burial chambers, although be aware it costs more if you want to see Tutankhamen's tomb.
The temple of Abu Simbel is located on the banks of Lake Nasser, which was created when the Aswan dam was constructed and a vast area of land was flooded. In fact, the temple should have been submerged but a painstaking process was undertaken to rescue it and reconstruct it, stone-by-stone.