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Nile cruise necessary?

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Nile cruise necessary?


This is my first posting - I have been an avid reader for some time tho. I am in the beginning stages of planning my trip to Egypt. I have always booked everything myself. The only time I didn't was in Morocco. I cantacted a travel agent in Morocco who set up a guide for me and gave me a list of Riad's to choose from. I only say this because I want you to understand that I HATE tour groups.

I am looking into local tour operators that offer private guides. Sorry for the rambling - here is my question.

Is a Nile Cruise necessary? I ask this because from the reading I have done here and on other sites it appears that most people don't rave about the cruise be it inexpensive or expensive. Would it be a mistake to stay in hotels in Aswan and Luxor and see the same things? Or is it an experieince that can't be missed? I do want to go on a felucca but not overnight.

We are planning to go in may 09 for 10 to 14 days. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

1. Re: Nile cruise necessary?

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2. Re: Nile cruise necessary?

I know what you mean- China in fact was the only place we've been on an organised tour and can't imagine how we'd have coped otherwise!

No- I don't think a Nile cruise is necessary- but the experience is pleasurable as it feels quite decadent. I was worried about how long we could stand it for as we were travelling with told older teens at the time- so we opt for a 4-night cruise and it felt long enough.

If you want to see the sights rather than get that decadent feeling- I'd stay on land. In Luxor you'll need a minimum of 3 days- more if you're a keen Egyptologist. In Aswan 2 days plus a day trip to Abu Simbel which is almost at the border with the Sudan. You can book all internal flights yourself through http://www.egyptair.com.eg/ putting your country as Egypt and you'll get excellent fares. Tickets are e-tickets and you don't need an Egyptian address. I hope this helps. oh yes- and for the bit of decadence on land I'd stay at the Old Winter Palace in Luxor (I think it's beautifully grand but not glitzy) and the Old Cataract in Aswan. In Cairo don't stay at an hotel near the pyramids- stay in the centre like the Conrad

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3. Re: Nile cruise necessary?

Thank you for all the help! I will check out the websites.

London, England
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4. Re: Nile cruise necessary?


I always thought the boats on the Nile looked like cruise ships, which is the only thing I like less than tours. Between trip advisor, lonely planet,Expedia and Egypt air I put together 3 weeks in Egypt last November and had a fantastic time. I fell in love with the country and am going back in March with my husband who had had an earlier, less enjoyable time in Luxor on a tour.

I had a terrific guide for Cairo at night through Expedia, and a different one, booked through the Egyptian national tourist agency, for Giza and Saccara.

In Luxor I stayed at the Old Winter Palace and for £25-£35 booked an afternoon with an individual guide, an air conditioned car & driver and admission to 4 tombs at the Valley of the Kings, the Artisan's tombs, the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Temples of Luxor and of Kanak and tea with the guide's mother in Gurneh. Since we went in the afternoon, the tombs were empty except for a guard in each one (so long as we dodged the coaches with Russians on day trips from Hurgada) and I could stay and enjoy the absolutly amazing paintings in peace and comfort. I found the guide by going into the shop just underneath the Winter Palace. The sunrise baloonm trip was touristy, but beautiful.

The garden at the Old Winter Palace was magical and sunset sipping fresh mint tea with the call to prayer from the nearby mosques will stay with me always. Compared to that, the Nile boats, docked one next to the other, looked very unappealing to me, although people who take them seem to love them.

The Museum at Luxor is small but rather wonderful.

BTW, I understand that the Old Cataract Hotel at Aswan has closed for refurbishing and may still be closed when you arive in Egypt.

Maybe I am just too selfish for a tour, but I like doing things in my own time, which you really can't do on a group tour.

Flights between the major places in Egypt are frequent, short and not very expensive and easy to arrange. Guides are worth getting on an individual basis, but IMO it is not neccessary to book a cruise to see Egypt. Looking at the cruise websites it looks like there isn't much cruising, mostly just living in stationary floating hotel.

But you will now get lots of posts raving about Nile cruises....

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5. Re: Nile cruise necessary?

I agree with you - tours would be OK except for all the people - haha. I was on a day tour years ago and this one woman had 2 boys with her maybe 8 or 9 years old. We went into a church (in Mexico In August)she proceded to take the holy water and splash her face. After that she decided to stay on the bus and let the boys go by themselves. Do I need to tell you it was the last group tour I ever went on? Where ever I go and I see cruise ships docked I always think how sad they are missing so much. I know that's different on the Nile because they see all the sites but still I just don't think it's for me. I have friends that LOVE cruises. As you said I'm on my own time and I can stop when I want and go when I want. I was so disappointed when I started planning that the Old Cataract would be closed for renovations.

Did you enjoy your atay at the Old Winter Palace?

I am still trying to figure out where to stay in Aswan.

I love this part - all the planning and dreaming!

Thanks so much for helping me!

Austin, TX
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6. Re: Nile cruise necessary?

Just got back from two weeks in Egypt, including a 3 day cruise. Admittedly I'm a hater ;) and don't like tour groups either. We used private guides the whole way and were really impressed. As we don't read/understand Arabic having guides made it hassle free.

I really enjoyed our Nile Cruise. Incidentally, our tour guide came on the cruise to show us the sites along the way. He was very knowledgable and personable.

You could probably do without the cruise but I thought it enhanced the trip. If you don't do the cruise, you will be jammed in a car or van, or train instead of floating down the Nile.

Feel free to message me if you want the name of the company I used, or if you have any other questions.

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7. Re: Nile cruise necessary?

Actually i would strongly recommend a nile cruise becoz it truly made my Egypt trip a very memorable one..

e focus would hardly b e comforts of e cruise itself.. so dun expect fantastic rooms n restaurants etc.. although i was quite happy with my room..n e diff events each nite at e lounge from belly dancing to e galabia nite where we all dressed up as egyptians etc!

wat i did enjoy was also sitting on e deck.. having a book in hand sipping coke n juz enjoying e nile n watching sunsets/sunrise on e boat...there's a pool as well..

e cruise made travelling to e temples hassle free.. ie no more bus rides..quite a relaxing way to explore e temples.. however there's time constraints as e ships docked n set off tog at a set time.. this also means it's gona b crowded so if u r not gg by cruise u might b able to skip e crowds by gg at a diff timing.. there's this lock crossing as well i tink...

i do tink it's an experience not to b missed coz it's e nile after all... or e very least .. do take a felucca ride on e nile..

have fun!

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8. Re: Nile cruise necessary?

we did a nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor with a private tour guide, it was a great and comfortable way to travel in Egypt, especially in hot weather! we joined a package tour with eol, although they told us it was private just the 2 of us, but we got put together with another couple on the cruise, we don't mind too much as long as it's not a large group of people. we stayed inland as well as on sleeper trains and the cruise.

For Aswan and Luxor, i don't feel you will miss out much just by doing the cruise compare to inland travel. we went on the felucca too in Aswan, before our cruise depart. it stops at different places each day and gives you plenty of time to enjoy the sights. they included all your meals which are very high standard. we love it when it passed by lots of little villages and farms, people fishing, washing, local children waves at you when you pass by, enjoy the sun set while having a drink in the deck or your own cabin...etc. next time we go, we will do the cruise only! as we find inland travel is too much of a hassle when the cruise gives you the same thing but much more plesurable.

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9. Re: Nile cruise necessary?

We/ve actually decided not to do the cruise. We will stay in Aswan and Luxor and see the sites with a private guide from there. We have decided to take the one day Nile cruise to Dendera which will give us the opportunity to cruise the Nile.

Thnaks for your feedback!

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10. Re: Nile cruise necessary?


Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor

The cost of the trip from $ 55 to $ 65 per person per night

Is to stop in the town of Kom ompo & Adfoa to visit temples