Egypt: Sailing the Nile

Posted on March 8, 2010


Egypt has three main areas that appeal to travellers: Cairo, The Nile at Luxor/Aswan, and The Red Sea. A girl friend and I have just been on parts one and two of this (and I highly recommend the Red Sea if you are a diver as it is stunning – as good as the Barrier Reef in my opinion – but that is all you would go for).

My friend and I both work hard and wanted a few days relaxation, plus take in some of the vast Egyptian culture and as two girls, go and have some fun. We decided to start with the Nile and searched for a trip down the Nile for a few days. The choices of trips between Aswan and Luxor are numerous. All boats bill themselves as five star deluxe and prices range from around US$500 to US$2500 for three nights (the most expensive we found was the Oberoi). We managed to do a deal with one of the companies, Viking Travel, as we were booking quite late in the day.

To be honest, the boats are all very similar – we passed at least 50 that we were in decent site of and most looked the same: three floors with a pool/sun area on the top deck but there must be varying levels of comfort. I had never been on a cruise before and I guess it is what I expected.

The downsides: The average age of guests was over 60 and everything was organised which meant early starts every day (which is my book doesn’t = holiday). Each night we were docked at either Aswan or Luxor, with a number of other boats which didn’t match my vision. Drinks are expensive (US$3 for a bottle of water, $5.50 for local beer, a whopping $50 for foreign wine – and I have yet to find a drinkable Egyptian wine.) Buffet food isn’t gourmet 😉

The upsides: Sailing down the Nile whilst watching the sunset is priceless. Being able to visit less accessible temples such as Kom Ombo is well worth the trip. Although the food isn’t gourmet, it is fresh and there are lots of fruit, veg and salad. The rooms are great – just like hotel rooms with a decent bathroom. And although I moaned about getting up early, it’s nice to be at temples before hoards of visitors arrived.


Posted in: Destinations, Egypt