The Sphinx at Giza
The Sphinx at Giza / iStock / sculpies
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Khan el-Khalili souq in Cairo
Khan el-Khalili souq in Cairo / iStock / efesenko
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Cairo skyline
Cairo skyline / iStock / Mikael Damkier
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Pyramids at Giza
Pyramids at Giza / iStock / sculpies
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Loofahs and spices in an Egypt market
Loofahs and spices in an Egypt market / iStock / kostman
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Shawarma in Cairo
Shawarma in Cairo / iStock / Pius Lee
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Nile River
Our Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Africa's longest river flows more than 4,000 miles between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean. But the Nile's most celebrated stretch is the ribbon of blue that meanders through Egypt, waters that spawned one of the world's oldest civilizations and now offer access to many of its ancient landmarks. Most of the cruising is undertaken between Aswan and Luxor on the Upper Nile, but there are also weeklong itineraries that take guests as far as Cairo and the Delta. Either way, the Nile affords passengers a close-up glimpse of Egypt, both ancient and modern.

What We Love

Feluccas: These lateen-rigged sailboats have been coasting back and forth on the Nile for thousands of years. They make for great photos, especially when silhouetted against a sunset.

The Food: Drawn from Turkey, Greece, and the Arab world, Egypt's culinary arts are off the charts, a tantalizing array of freshly made dips, breads, salads, grilled fish, and barbecued meats.

Best Known For

Temples: The Pyramids of Giza are now set far back from the river, but many of ancient Egypt's most celebrated temples are right on the shore, including the shrines at Edfu, Kom Ombo, Luxor, and the incomparable Temple of Karnak.

Sunsets: Whether you're watching the horizon from the terrace of the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan, the Corniche in Luxor, or at a high-rise bar in Cairo, dusk settling over the Nile makes for lifelong memories.

Best Ports

Luxor: The Valley of the Kings, the riverside temples of Karnak and Luxor, the legacy of King Tut and Queen Hatshepsut — all of this in a single city that should be on everyone's global bucket list.

Cairo: The largest city on the African continent, the Egyptian capital is loud, brash, and traffic-clogged. But sights such as the Great Pyramids, the Egyptian Museum, and the Khan el-Khalili market make it all worthwhile.  

Aswan: Egypt's southernmost (and hottest) city is also its beauty queen, a gorgeous blend of rivers and islands with the vast Sahara as a backdrop.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

It Gets Really Hot: Triple digits are the norm between May and September. Best to book your Nile cruise in winter.