Top 10 Riverboat Cruises
A journey up the Nile is a quintessential part of any Egypt trip, but the beauty of the river, as well as the villages and cities that line its banks, can be lost in seas of tourists or unreachable by large cruise ships. For a truly memorable experience that evokes the romantic luxury of days gone by, enjoy the Nile away from the crowds on a sailboat called a dahabieh (the preferred method of transport for ancient pharaohs and 19th-century Grand Tourists) on a five-night cruise from Luxor to Aswan with Nour El Nil. Depending on which of the four boats you reserve, you’ll be one among only 16 to 20 passengers enjoying Ptolemaic temples, swims in the Nile, and even desert walks and horse and carriage ride excursions. The cruises run weekly year-round, with Monday morning departure dates from Esna. The price of your ticket includes all meals and nonalcoholic drinks (you can bring your own alcohol or pay extra onboard), all entrance fees for your five stops, all taxes, and even transfer from Luxor to the ports at Esna. To arrive refreshed for your cruise on Monday morning, spend the night before at the Nour El Nil affiliated Beit Sabee Guesthouse in Luxor’s West Bank, starting from $52 per night with breakfast included. Transfers from Cairo, where international flights to Egypt arrive, are not included; you can fly one-way with Egyptair to Luxor (from $121) and from Aswan back to Cairo (from $137). Cruise only from $1,444 per person.
Editor’s Note: cruise itineraries are operating on schedule as of April 11, 2013. Be sure to check the most recent U.S. Department of State's travel warnings to Egypt before scheduling any trips to the region.