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A Nile Cruise is the Most Magical Way to Explore Egypt

If you’re having romantic visions of exploring Egypt’s ancient wonders Indiana Jones-style, a trip down the Nile is guaranteed to exceed your expectations. Planning your trip with a cruise along the world’s longest river will also get you the most bang for your buck… along a more relaxed opportunity to meander through Egypt’s most iconic temples without the Cairo crowds.

Want to plan a Nile cruise but don’t know where to start? Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to know…

What type of boat should you book?

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One of the more important decisions you’ll make for your trip is choosing the type of vessel to book. A quick online search will overwhelm you with a confusing array of options, but you’ve got three main options:

  • Cruise ships: Large vessels that include a comfy private cabin (with bathroom and AC), along with other modern amenities like outdoor swimming pools and other hotel-style facilities. One of the most luxurious on the Nile is the 22-room Oberoi Philae.
  • Dahabiyyas: These passenger sail boats are equipped with up to six cabins so you’ll be sharing the boat with a smaller group of people. The name translates as ‘the golden one’ and can sometimes cost more than cruisers, but they move at a more leisurely pace and offer the same comforts as a floating hotel.
  • Felucca: It’s your cheapest and most basic option. These traditional wooden sailing boats carry a maximum of 8 passengers and are without cabins or facilities like bathrooms (a deal breaker for most.) They’re essentially no-fuss transport, but if you’re an adventurous type on a budget who doesn’t mind roughing it beneath a sky full of stars, the experience can be magical.

How long should you cruise for?

The most popular options are for a 3-night, 4-night or 7-night cruise (which some may find restricting.) Itineraries are basically the same no matter how many nights you choose. The main differences are the amount of time your vessel is moored at a certain stop-off, along with the time you’re given to explore the attractions. For most people, a 3-night or 4-night cruise is ideal. Just be sure your cruise schedule includes all the places you want to see as they vary between the multitude of tour companies.

What are the must-see sites?

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Most Nile cruises travel between Luxor and Aswan, stopping at the most important sites including:
  • Luxur: This is one of the most famous archeological sites in the world. Here you’ll find the Valley of Kings, Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut.
  • Edfu: The temple of Edfu, dedicated to Horus, the Falcon God, is the second biggest (and best preserved) temple in all of Egypt.
  • Kom Ombo: The Kom Ombo temple is dedicated to two different gods: Horus the falcon god and Sobek the crocodile god. There’s also a museum displaying mummies of crocodiles, which is a must-see.
  • Aswan: Depending on which direction you choose to go, Aswan will be your start or end point. Here you’ll find the Nubian village and spice markets, with the mind-blowing Abu Simbel Temples a 3-hour drive away (and they’re definitely worth a visit.)

READ MORE: 10 Travel Hacks That Will Help Save You Money

Feature image credit via Facebook | ar.experienceegypt