Choosing a Nile Cruise Holiday allows the traveller both the time to enjoy the many temples, tombs and museums as well as the opportunity to relax and enjoy the comforts and facilities of their boat when they return from sightseeing or when cruising along the Nile.
With approximately 300 Nile Cruise boats in service there is a vast range of styles and standards to suite all tastes and budgets.
Most boats have 5 decks, with up to 80 cabins which may include several suites. The cabins will be on 3 decks. On older boats - over 8-10 years old - many will have cabins on the lower deck whereas on the more modern boats the restaurant is on the lower deck.
All boats have at least 1 bar/lounge which also doubles as the disco/entertainment area for the evening shows that are staged, a large 1 sitting restaurant which will mainly serve buffet food with several themed evenings such as European and Arabic, sun deck with small splash pool (pool towels provided) and several shops.
The guest cabins will have private bathroom with shower or bathtub, small wardrobe, television, fridge, will be air-conditioned and although relatively small (from 16 sq metres) will be quite comfortable.
On the modern boats however the cabin sizes will range from 20 sq metres and there will either be a small sofa or chairs. Most will have panoramic windows which will open to allow the guest to enjoy the Nile as they sail along. These modern boats are called floating hotels as the facilities will match those of a hotel.
Although Nile Cruises are available from 3 and 4 nights a 7 night cruise is by far the most relaxing and enjoyable. Most offer a fairly standard sightseeing program which will include the services of a local Egyptologist/guide and all required transfers.
The sightseeing program will generally include:
Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple, Colossi of Memnon, Luxor and Karnak Temples.
EDFU - Edfu Temple
KOM OMBO - Kom Ombo Temple
ASWAN - High dam, Unfinished Obelisk, Philae Temple and a felucca ride along the Nile.
A number of locally sold optional will also be available of which the highlight is Abu Simbel. This temple located south of Aswan and reached either by a short flight or 3 hour coach journey is a feat of both modern and ancient engineering. Originally built during the time of Ramese II,the whole temple was moved giant stone by giant stone in the mid 1960s as part of a huge operation when the new High Dam was built. This is generally considered one of the highlights of any tour.
Tipping (baksheesh) is also something that is a way of life in Egypt and on a Nile Cruise all staff will expect something as well as the guide. Most companies issue their own guidelines to ensure all travelers know what is expected.
As the weather gets very hot from May until October the winter months are the best time to visit but even then the day time temperature will be hot and inside some of the deep tombs it will be stifling. Therefore sensible light clothing and sturdy footwear is very much suggested but for all other times casual wear is appropriate.