When you are planning to travel to Egypt, one of the things you may experience is the River Nile Cruise which brings you from Luxor to Aswan or vise versa. Ours started at Luxor and ended at Aswan. First, we catch a bus coach from Cairo to Hurghada Red Sea, spend two nights in the beach resort and catch another bus coach from Hurghada to Luxor to board on our River Nile Cruise. In total, We spent 4 days 3 nights sailing from Luxor to Aswan and in the middle, we stopped at Edfu and Kom Ombo city. Aswan and Luxor are both very important cities that you should not miss. Once we finished visiting Aswan, we then flew back to Cairo.
The river Nile is very busy and it has more than a hundred cruise ships sailing through the river here. The River Nile is very long and it is the longest river in the world. But how is sailing in the River Nile like? Is the water rough or calm? Well, the Nile’s water is calm but you are still advised to prepare some seasick medication, just in case. For me, I experienced seasickness despite the calm water, luckily I had medication with me. None of the other traveling buddies have experienced seasick except me, the unlucky one. However, after 24 hours I get used to the ship’s motion and was good all the way.
These traditional wooden boats are powered by canvas sails and highly dependant on the wind to sail. These boats are the primary transportation of the Nile for centuries. Now, tourists enjoy catching felucca ride as they are perfect for catching the breeze. We had our felucca boat ride from Aswan to Nubian Village, in the middle we changed to a motorboat because there is no wind.
The walkway on the wooden bridge link to the boat taxi was shaky so be extra careful.
The smaller boat brought us to the other side of the river bank to catch the hot-air balloon ride.
The cruise ship can carry up to 200 passengers and the rooms are located from the first floor to the 4 floors. The cruise ship is fully air-conditioned and you have your own toilet inside the cabin. I was surprised to find out the space inside the cabin was not too small and glad that there is a window to look out.
All the cabins have panoramic windows rather than french balconies, you will have a good view across to the opposite bank.
The bathroom in the cabin comes with hot water, a little spaceless for some may be. The basin also is also very closed to the toilet which can be challenging if you are big size. Hairdryer is available too.
The lighting in the cabin was bright enough too.
Tower animal Surprise
When we went back to our room, we were shocked to find the clean towels have been folded like origami into a variety of animal shapes.
What to wear on the River Nile Cruise?
You can actually wear anything, no rules. My advice to you is to bring a pair of slippers so you can wear it in your room and when you walk up to the upper deck for sunbathing or swim in the pool.
On-board internet access is available but you need to pay and quite expensive.
There are a few shops in the cruise ship, selling souvenirs and jewelry. River Nile cruise ship is not big, it has roughly about 70 cabins and fit up to 150 passengers.
How was the food in River Nile Cruise Buffet?
All meals are included in the cruise ship, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We never ate outside the cruise ship and I am not sure if there are decent restaurants in Aswan and Luxor that are suitable for tourists. So we even have to make a trip back to the cruise for lunch too.
The food is generally western and mixed with Egyptian cuisine in buffet style. I would say the food choices are quite good range, they have salad bars with all sorts of colorful fresh veggies. For the selections of carbs, they are rice, pasta, and bread. As for the meat selections mostly chicken, fishes, and beef. You won’t find pork here since it is a Muslim country. I find the qualities of beef didn’t reach my expectation, no steak as I was hoping there are some beef steak or lamb chops. None of those but more of processed kind of beef in the form of meatballs. As for chicken and fishes, they are fresh one and non-processed meat.
One of the dinner buffet we had which was pretty impressive. I am not sure if it was the Christmas day celebration, the food choices are better than the rest of the nights. It has also included seafood ranges, such as fresh king prawns and squid calamari. The dessert ranges are huge too.
We don’t experience fresh king prawn in every meal but only once during our river Nile Cruise.
Chicken and fishes in grill style.
Egyptian Dish – Falafel
Falafel is a very popular famous Egyptian dish, usually deep-fried in round or oval shape. The ingredients are made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Special herbs, spices, and onion are also added to the dough. I can tell you anything deep-fried is nice.
Cakes are made into forms of the crocodile. Crocodiles live in River Nile and the ancient Egyptian worship this animal as their god.
The restaurant is located on the lower floor and we were given a table and told to sit at the same table throughout the whole journey for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It was early in the morning when I stroll around the cruise to check out the facilities, many passengers are still asleep. Glad that I have a chance to visit the captain of our cruise ship and see how he sail the ship.
About River Nile
River Nile was very important as most of Egypt is desert, but along the Nile River, the soil is rich and good for growing crops. You see greenery along the bank of River Nile. Today, the river continues to serve as a source of irrigation for the villages in the countryside. It is also an important transportation and trade route. Since most of the major cities of Ancient Egypt were built along the Nile River, the river could be used as a major highway throughout the empire. Boats constantly traveled up and down the Nile carrying people and goods.
The scenery here is desert dunes blend with green vegetation. You also see wild birds and village fishermen using the traditional method to fish in the River Nile. Don’t forget to watch the sunset and sunrise!
Rooftop deck review
The rooftop deck was equipped with sunchairs and a small swimming pool. It serves afternoon tea daily.
Afternoon tea break
Free tea and coffee, no soft drinks. Some simple Egyptian snacks & desserts are also provided.
Most Nile cruises have an entertainment program at night, ours was a Belly dance show at around 10.30 pm at night. Too bad I missed it because I had already fallen asleep on my bed. I heard other cruise ships have Tanoura show, it all depends on each cruise ship and what they offer.
What to pack?
Some of the things you may want to include in your River Nile cruise are sandals, insect spray, seasick medication. Of course don’t forget a good pair of walking shoes to walk on the temple ruins, outfit (dress, skirt or pant) that have your legs covered. Finally, a fashionable sunglasses will be cool for pictures.