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“An unforgettable cruise on the Nile River” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nile River

Nile River
The Nile, The Nile, Egypt
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8-Day Nile River Cruise from Aswan to Luxor with...
Ranked #22 of 471 Attractions in Egypt
Type: Bodies of Water, Outdoors
Activities: Fishing
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Owner description: Stretching for 4,187 miles, the longest river in the world flows from its major source, Lake Victoria in east central Africa, through Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and northwards into Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea.
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“An unforgettable cruise on the Nile River”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

I am writing this review to let everyone in the world know that a cruise on the Nile River in Egypt is something NOT TO BE MISSED. Despite trouble in Egypt, I would not hesitate in anyway to recommend this. The sites in this country are nothing short of awe inspiring. We were treated like royalty on the boat and in the hotel in Cairo. The staff could not be faulted and the food was the best. Egypt is in a sad situation and they need tourism desperately. Go while the numbers are down and enjoy the sites while they are quiet. How privileged we are to walk around these beautiful temples without there being hundreds of other people... like in many other tourist spots around the world. The other reviews have explained how amazing and awesome Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel are and I can only say that they are right and so well worth the effort in everyway. The Nile River way surpassed my expectations. I will mention too, that I went on this trip with a company called Pilgrim Tours and they were absolutely wonderful. I went by myself as well and didn't find that a problem in any way. Enjoy !!

Visited May 2013
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Oxford, United Kingdom
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Thomson Nile Legacy - Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

We have just returned from a Nile cruise on Thomson Nile Legacy. I have been before about 7 years ago, and enjoyed the experience, but this time it far exceeded my expectations. The sad thing is that the Egpytians are suffering a hug downturn in tourism with many of the cruise boats no longer operating and moth balled at the side of the river.

The Legacy has been refurbished and the whole boat is very clean, comfortable and in good condition. The rooms are a good sizeand air-conditioned with an en-suite shower room, plenty of wardrobe space, huge bed (although hard), floor to ceiling opening window, two chairs, bedside cupboards and fridge, safe and hair dryer. My pillows were too big and a softer one was happily supplied by reception.

Alan was the tour rep and was very helpful and knowledgeable - do go to all his briefings. The staff were happy and helpful - particularly Matta, Ash and Romany. Gemma entertained us on many evenings and has a beautiful voice - I will be surprised if she doesn't go far! Thank you to everyone for making our holiday so memorable and enjoyable. We were also entertained by a whirling dervish and belly dancer.

We attended the very interesting tour round the boat by the boat manager, which took us to the Captain's deck - it was a surprise to see the Captain in his turban and gellabayah! We were also taken to the kitchen, where we were told at length about the hygiene and precautions to ensure that the guests were fed well and safely. (The use of antibacterial hand sanitizer was encouraged every time we went into the dining room). The tour also included a look at the engine room. It was a very informative behind the scenes look at how the boat operated.

If you go in the knowledge that the locals will hassle you to buy their goods when you leave the boat, don't give eye contact and firmly say No thank you, it will be fine. If you do want to buy something then haggle hard, the tour rep or Egyptologist will give you a guide as to what you should pay. Do take care when leaving the boat as there are pickpockets, but there is no need to be paranoid!

Our package was all inclusive, which was well worth not having to worry about the size of the bill at the end of the cruise. This included breakfast, lunch and dinner, afternoon tea and all the soft drinks and alcoholic drinks we wanted. Whilst the alcoholic drinks were limited to certain brands, the white wine and beer were very acceptable. It also included many trips off the boat. These were mostly taken early in the morning to avoid the hottest part of the day and we were back on board by midday at the latest. Our Egyptologist, Ayten was extremely knowledgeable and friendly and was always around son the boat if you wanted to ask questions. There was also the opportunity to take additional trips and Alan explained them all without being pushy!

We chose to pay for additional trips and went on a hot air balloon trip over the West Bank and also a camel ride. The hot air balloon trip was by a company called Hod Hod Solamain with a very professional pilot, Amr. The balloons take off at sunrise, so it is a very well worthwhile early start. I am not too keen on heights, but wouldn't have missed it, very serene and slow moving over the beautiful antiquities such as Hatshepsut's temple and the Valley of the Kings, Queens and Nobles. Amr commentated on what we were seeing and we felt we were in very safe, experienced hands. I would love to do it again. The camel ride was certainly an experience! It is much higher up than I expected! You are led through the small villages of the West Bank by young boys in a camel train. Their boss appears every now and then on a moped to keep an eye on them! At the end you have tea in one of their houses and are encouraged to see where the camels are kept and fed. Baksheesh is expected for the boys as I expect they are not paid much, if at all! Do remember to cover up, wear a hat and sun cream as you are exposed to the sun and heat for an hour. All in all I think I felt safer in the hot air balloon than on the camel!

It is recommended that you tip the Egyptologist and staff at the end of the cruise - envelopes are provided at reception and LE 100 (£10) for your Egyptologist and LE 150 (£15) to be divided between the staff is not a huge amount for the service that is provided. We were also asked to tip the bus driver who takes you to the tombs and temples most days and this was about LE 5 each per day (50p). Tipping is a way of life in Egypt and everyone expects it. I had no problem if someone had given a good service, but the guy at the airport lifting cases onto the conveyor belt was the exception - appeared to be some random person and would not let you do it yourself!

I would certainly recommend a Nile cruise with Thomsons on the Nile Legacy, it was one of the most enjoyable holidays I have ever had, so much was seen and done in a short space of time, I felt like I had been away longer than a week! If you have the chance do go!

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Midlands
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Nile Legacy Cruise - Go Now!!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Just returned from a weeks cruise down the nile on the Legacy with Thomsons (29/05/13 - 05/06/13) dont know what to say other than book and go!!! The reps met us at the airport and then had a meeting on the boat, Alan advised us about the whole of our trip giving detailed information about everything. We had already booked all inclusive and I would recommend this if you like a drink as they are expensive if you pay individually. All the trips were included and the trip to Abu Simbel (extra cost), although started out at 3.30am was absolutely worth it. You are split into groups at the start of the cruise and get a nominated egyptologist ours was Ahmed. He was available every day on board and was extremely well versed in Egyptian history. Gemma the singer was great and its a shame her contract will be finishing in a few months - however, I dont think she will ever sing La Bamba without thinking the words "back-off" again!! Alan made sure he was in reception at the start of every trip including the early 3.30am start trip and re-iterated his advise about the pushy locals every day - if you ignore them tho' they do get fed up and move on. The staff on the Legacy were amazing nothing was too much trouble and every crew member we spoke to had a smile on their face (especially Mohammed in the bar and Mataar in the dining room). The food was delicious and they pride themselves on their cleanliness (our room was cleaned twice a day). They also make sure you clean your hands whenever you go in to the dining room which is sensible. Tipping is expected for the crew and the guide but this is made easier as you just pop an amount in an envelope at the end of week and split between them. I am already planning on going again - cant wait :) - A few tips - take standard two pin euro plugs as they dont sell them, take hand gel as the money is very dirty, make sure you get low denomination notes for tipping as tipping is expected everywhere.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“THOMSON Nile Legacy - A Balanced Report”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

Its Good. How good? It depends on how much you pay: up to £500 each full board with tours [excluding all inclusive drinks package - about £90] is in the bargain category. Nile cruises are well described as an experience first - a holiday second. However, you will be hard pressed to find anyone who regrets it. The legacy is an elderly boat that has had a minor refurb. before joining the Thomson Nile Cruise selection in 2013. Externally it would rate 7/10 internally 8/10. Few of the boats are anything like new. Rest assured however, it is clean inside. The only issue I noticed was dust in the fabric chairs in the cabin. The staff are extremely capable, intelligent and good humoured. There is a good atmosphere aboard, and the service is 6 star. You'll enjoy the services of the most capable rep. I have encountered over some 65 Thomson holidays - Alan. Attend his welcome meeting and listen carefully for advice on how to conduct yourself when off the boat during the tour, it's necessary information. Egypt is not an easy country to visit - the Egyptian locals can cause some visitors to become irate - and many visitors cause offence to the Egyptian locals through mishandling and ignorance of local sensitivities. Alan the rep. will advise you further, but if you'd like to see some 'do's and don'ts', see the latter part of my review.

It's worth noting that most people opt for the all inclusive drinks package. The all inclusive service stops at 1pm on the day of departure, so you might have up to 5 hours without, but the Legacy provides you with afternoon tea and snacks during this period. In fact, Legacy is very generous in what is provided throughout - they're really generous actually, and unlike many hotels, they don't water down the drinks. Food is very good, varied, and if you like your meals without squeals, their is a great selection for vegetarians. Full board passengers get drinks with meals [as much as you like].

You get the service of a qualified Egyptologist on the tours [which start as early as 7 some days, with a 6am wake-up call, followed by breakfast]. The tours can be a bit too long arguably, but try not to miss any of them [you'll only regret it] and aim to pay attention from the outset - it will pay dividends later. You'll need up-to 2 litres of water each per day on the tours if it's hot. An umbrella maybe, good sun hat and sun glasses. Start reading NOW if you want to get the best out of the lectures, and remember: Egyptologists love to be asked good questions! Try asking him to interpret a random section of Hieroglyphics. Why not download a Hieroglyphic alphabet chart and have a go yourself? It is surprisingly simple to grasp the basics, and will bring everything to life.

Now for the note-to-travellers:

Do's -

Prepare yourself mentally if you go off the boat alone or in an independent group. You might think the hassle is going to be a bit of fun - or some kind of 'experience'.. but the locals cross the line badly in their approach to selling. Some passengers during our week became enraged to the point of open aggression when hassled. The street sellers rarely take no for an answer - and if they do, it will only be for a few moments until they thinks it's worth having another crack at you. You may well be followed by horse-and-carriage drivers over some distance. The aim of their persistence is to wear you down to the point that you change your mind. Before leaving the boat, prepare yourself as to how you are, and are NOT, going to behave - then stick to your resolve. Be purposeful as you leave the boat [don't look lost or indecisive]. It's much less hassle when your are away from the waterfront.

Do guard your money and valuables. Distraction techniques are common. Be cautious about anyone and everyone who talks to you - what's going on behind your back? What's happening to your loved ones / friends while you are engaged?

Do ask yourself how much you would pay at home before agreeing to any seemingly brilliant bargains. Triple check what the price is going to be and in what currency. Don't succumb to pressure sales techniques, emotional blackmail or intimidation.

Do give a little backsheesh (tip) to the driver each day. 50p per-person. Accept that it is normal to tip the boat staff and Egyptologist at the end.

Dont's -

It will be hot [up to 47 during our stay] but try to resist the temptation to go off the boat in shorts [male or female], it is highly inappropriate. At best you'll lose the respect of the Egyptians, and look very silly. In Egypt, you simply don't go about with your legs hanging out! Imagine going out to dinner and being served by a waiter in shorts!? That's how inappropriate it is.

Don't support the local begging industry. It's bad tourism.

Don't be put off by the necessary warnings. Just research, respect and observe local sensitivities, keep your wits about you and enjoy.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, England
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Domina Prestige - Emilio Nile cruise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

We had a fantastic time on this cruise ship in April 2012 which we'd booked through Orbital Travel through Co-op travel in the UK. Arriving fairly late at Luxor airport, we were met by Issac who had Visas ready for us and made the arrival process as fast as possible. On arrival at the Domina Prestige we were efficiently checked in and given our schedule for the next day, before being shown to our room, where sandwiches and fruit had been left for us which was great.
The room was good sized, and included a fridge and a full picture window with a balcony. The bathroom was also good-sized, which I hadn't been expecting.
Though we had been sent a schedule before we sailed, the actual schedule flexed a lot so don't necessarily expect that to be set in stone.
We sailed overnight to Esna temple, and despite me being convinced the motion of the boat would stop me sleeping, it's so gentle I didn't even realise we were moving!
Our guide Safwat was friendly and so knowledgable and really helped to bring to life the Ancient Egyptian world, as well as talking to us about the current situation in Egypt, which really helped us to understand the cuntry and its people. He really looked after the whole group, helping us haggle in the markets and he became a real friend over the week.
We saw some of the most amazing sites in the world on this trip:- Esna Temple, the Unfinished Obelisk, Philae Temple, the Aswan High Dam, the Nubian museum in Aswan, sunrise over the Sahara on the way to Abu Simbel (optional and a long drive, but highly recommended as is one of the most beautiful places I have even been to), the Aswan Botanical Gardens, Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Village of the Artisans, the Colossi of Memnon, hot air balloon over the West bank (again, optional but was amazing), Karnak and Luxor temples.
Having the ship as a base, meaning coach trips were mostly relatively short, was great, and there was a considerable amount of time to relax and enjoy the facilities on board.
The pool was cold - but that was very welcoming in the heat and there were plenty of places to sit and either enjoy the sun, or in the shade. The ship itself was kept immaculately clean and all of the staff worked hard to make the trip enjoyable. The food was always of a high standard, and I found out the chef worked hard to keep the options nutritionally balanced and appropriate for the level of exertion for the day. Rooms were always cleaned to a high standard with fun towel art to make us smile.
We chose to go all inclusive with our drinks, primarily for the water and soft drinks due to the heat, but we also enjoyed the beers, wines and spirits we tried (in moderation - early starts and high temperatures do not invite heavy alcohol consumption!).
Due to the current situation in Egypt, tourist numbers aresignificantly reduced and though that aids in the viewig of the sites, it does affect the social side of cruising. There were still theme nights on board, but small groups didn't necessarily lend themselves to this.
In summary, if you have any interest in history at all, a Nile Cruise is highly recommended. It's a fantastic way to travel.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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