The Best 10 River Nile Cruises In Egypt


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Ever since I watched Agatha Christies “Death On The Nile”, I wanted to cruise this magnificent river in style and luxury, just like in the movie. Choosing the best Nile river cruise is not easy. There are so many ships (more than 400 are licensed to cruise the Nile!), so many levels of luxury and so many tour operators amongst which are, offering different river cruises that it is easy to get bogged down and ultimately make the wrong decision. In this article, I hope to decipher the confusion between the masses of cruises and pick the very best cruise for you on the River Nile.

Background about the Nile

The Nile is famous for being the longest river in the world. With a length of around 6,695 kilometers (4,160 miles), it flows into the Mediterranean Sea, and despite being thought of primarily as an Egyptian River, it also passes through Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Zaire. The Nile was vital to the Ancient Egyptians. With most of Egypt consisting of desert, the fertile valley alongside the Nile River was like gold to them, and thus is where one of the oldest civilizations in the world originated. Cruising the Nile today takes you in the steps of the great Pharaohs to archaeological riches, colorful bazaars, and many magnificent ancient temples and monuments.

Best Time To Go

The best time to take your Nile River cruise is between October and April. During this period, it’s not too hot, so days spent exploring Ancient Egyptian temples will be much more pleasant. The peak of the summer heat occurs from June to August, so it’s definitely worth avoiding these months.

Travel Tips

A Nile river cruise will generally take you to key landmark sights such as Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan, but it’s worth making sure yours takes you to some of the more secluded temples, too, such as Abu Simbel. Many of the cruises involve spending a significant amount of time on dry land. When you are on your ship, you don’t spend your whole time sightseeing, so put the camera away, make the most of the facilities on board, relax, and watch the world float past too. Dress appropriately too, both for the heat (huge sunhats and designer shades are a must) and for the traditions of the Muslim country of Egypt too.

Merit Dahabiya Nile Cruise

Bang for buck, our very first choice of Nile River Cruise has to be on board a stunning Dahabiya river yacht, surely the most luxurious way to experience the river. The Dahabiya is how the aristocrats would have sailed the Nile in the past and add a wonderful dose of old-world charm to your adventure. This elegant vessel has a certain exclusivity due to its intimate size and allows more privacy than on some larger ships. There are just 8 elegant cabins, but despite its size, it doesn’t want for facilities and boasts a spacious sundeck with a Jacuzzi and comfortable lounge and dining room.

Sanctuary Sun Boat IV

One of the very most luxurious boats operating on the Nile River, the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV offers a tranquil, five-star experience. It is air-conditioned, and all cabins have Nile views. There are pools on the upper and lowers decks, as well as space for soaking up the sun and for a fitness area. Choose from 36 luxury cabins and 4 stunning suites. The service and cuisine are exceptional; notably, they have a no smoking and no mobile phones rule in public areas, making for a serene and exclusive vibe.

Oberoi Zahra

Several of the top hotel groups operate boats on the River Nile, and one of our favorites is definitely the Oberoi Zahra. With 27 Luxury Cabins and Luxury Suites, the accommodation is spacious and private. Facilities are first-class, as you would expect, with an excellent restaurant and lounge, a fitness center, and an open-air, temperature-controlled swimming pool, as well as the luxe Oberoi Spa where you can indulge in a signature treatment to ease any aching muscles after strolling around the magnificent temples.

Mövenpick SS Misr Steamer Nile Cruise

Cruising the River Nile aboard a historic steamship is quite the experience and takes you back in time in true Nile style. The five decks are decorated traditionally, and there is a feeling of class about the ship. Stay in one of 28 cabins and relax on a sun deck with its swimming pool. There’s also a restaurant with a varied menu.

MS Presidential Commodore

The 77 cabins MS Presidential Commodore is one of six boats in the Commodore fleet. The comfortable cabins include a mixture of double and single cabins, which is quite rare for Nile cruises, so useful for single luxury travelers. There is a restaurant, bar, sun deck with a swimming pool, gift shops, table tennis, and evening entertainment.

River Tosca

The River Tosca (the ship not river!) is legendary for its stunning lounge that resembles a stylish gentleman’s club. Bought to you by the excellent Uniworld, it has 41 Suites and Staterooms with private marble bathrooms and French balconies. Facilities include a fitness center, library, restaurant, massage room, and a Sun Deck with a swimming pool and cabanas. It takes passengers on lengthy 12 day cruises so this is one for the more experienced river cruiser or if you want to experience the Nile in depth.

Viking Ra

One of the newer ships to cruise the Nile is Viking Ra. The all-suite, state-of-the-art ship features Scandinavian décor, a Sun Deck, a pool, and two Jacuzzis, as well as a restaurant, lounge, and bar. With 26 suites, it’s an intimate atmosphere on board, and you can sit back and enjoy the excellent service.

Sonesta Moon

The Sonesta Moon is a great option for more affordable luxury. The facilities are still excellent, with an outdoor swimming deck, a restaurant, lounge, and bar, as well as a fitness room plus a jogging track on the top deck; you’ll never have jogging views quite like these! The décor is fresh and classic, and there are 49 standard cabins and 4 suites.

M/Y Mirage 1

The newly built Mirage is ideal if you want an oversized vessel. With 62 cabins and suites, you don’t get many bigger ships sailing the Nile. Facilities include an outdoor pool and jacuzzi, and a shaded deck area as well as a gym, lounge bar and a main dining room. It’s more contemporary than some of its counterparts and is another affordable luxury choice.

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