Cruising the Nile is one of the best ways to visit some of the most beautiful temples of ancient Egypt. You will surely enjoy the beauty of the river that marked the history of this country. The cruise starts from Luxor, a city that presents the world’s largest open-air museum. Most of the time, commercial cruises accept tourists from around the world, letting them experience the history lessons they learned at school.
We all know how essential was the Nile for Ancient Egypt, and how it created the foundations for civilization development. All people need water, so it’s not even surprising that most ancient civilizations were established around rivers.
Short cruises to the south of Egypt usually start in Luxor, and the route is to Aswan. Various combinations include air transportation. It is possible to visit Cairo, Alexandria, and the pyramids first, and then go south by plane and board one of the ships for a short cruise. Sometimes it all depends on where do you coming from, and where you are staying during your vacation.
Tourists vacationing in Hurghada or Sharm el-Sheikh can take a cruise by plane to Luxor, where they transfer to the ship.
If you’re considering a luxury Nile cruise for next summer, here are a few pointers you should actually visit while in Egypt, and how to organize your stay there.
What to do in Luxor?
You will enjoy the beauty of the temples of Luxor and Karnak on the west bank of the Nile and the temple of Queen Hatshepsut on the west bank of the Nile. Then continue to Esna, the banks of the Nile, the temples of Edfu and Kom Ombo, and finally to Aswan, the sunniest city of southern Egypt or Cape Nubia.
The ancient part of Luxor includes many architectural and artistic works, as well as an excellent display of the ancient development of Egypt. Also nearby is the Karnak Temple, which contains records of every pharaoh’s reign in ancient times.
Therefore, it is not surprising that luxury cruises start in Luxor. Every tourist should experience the authenticity of this priceless site, along the Nile River. The very fact that the river is so close only gives us more information about the significance of the temple and its historical values.
Is it too hot in Egypt?
Egypt is in Africa and is quite close to the equatorial part of the country. Therefore, it is located in a desert area, and during the day the temperatures exceed 40 degrees Celsius. Depending on where you are coming from, this temperature may be pleasant for you, but it may also make your journey miserable. So it is best to research what time of year you can travel to Egypt carefree for your luxury Nile cruise.
And when you are already planning luxury, we must emphasize that even budget-friendly vessels are fully equipped with air conditioning and clean and fresh drinking water. Most of them also have a pool with chilled water, so you can refresh yourself if you feel the need.
You might instinctively want to hunker down in the cabins, but that way you’ll miss out on all the beautiful views of the Nile River Valley. And we’re sure you wouldn’t want that to happen, especially if you’ve been traveling for a long time and this vacation costs you a lot of money.
We recommend that you wear a white light shirt as a mandatory part of your Egypt outfit. Cover your head with a hat or scarf, because otherwise, you can get sunburn. It is important that the clothes are light-colored and made of materials that will not stick to the skin when you sweat.
How long is the cruise from Luxor to Aswan?
In general, the cruise lasts about 5 days, depending on what you want to see and what is included with the tour.
While you’re in Luxor, don’t miss Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, where Tutankhamun is buried. The Valley of the Kings is a significant Egypt location, so we recommend you not to miss it, even if you are too tired, or feel really hot and sweaty due to the weather condition.
One of the stops during the cruise is in the town of Esna on the Upper Nile, where a visit to Hnumov’s temple is mandatory. In the nearby city of Edfu, there is the best-preserved temple in Egypt built at the time of Cleopatra VII, the last queen of Egypt. Take your camera with you, because you don’t want to miss any of these historical spots.
Of course, many of these visits are optional, especially if your goal is to get to Aswan and enjoy the city.
Many archaeological sites in Aswan are not so significant, but this is an important crossroads for traveling through Upper Egypt. The famous Aswan Dam is located here and organized land tours to Abu Simbel start at that point. And you surely know a lot about these locations, especially if you were good at history at school.
During the cruise from the ship, you can also see the Kom Obmo by-the-river temple, on the right side of the Nile. And when you get to Abu Simbel, near the Aswan Dam, you will find beautiful temples that you have seen in many encyclopedias and history books.
It is interesting that these temples have been displaced from their original location, that is, they have been raised to a higher level, to protect them from floods.
Nile river cruises are something that should be on your bucket list for next summer. In general, Egypt can be a great vacation destination. Of course, not everyone enjoys such a climate or archaeological sites. But if it is your cup of tea, then you will really have a wonderful time and many interesting experiences to share with your friends.
Stick to organized tours and don’t try to do things on your own, especially if you’re coming to Egypt for the first time and planning a Nile cruise.