Enjoying an Egyptian Nile Cruise

One of the most iconic activities to partake in when visiting Egypt is to take a cruise on the Nile. For thousands of years already, Egyptians themselves have relied on the Nile for a number of purposes and have extensively traveled on its powerful waters. From the Pharaoh to the common fisherman, the Nile has been sailed upon by all. Today, visitors to Egypt can do the same in a wide variety of ways and contexts.

Nile cruise
Picture by Alh1

The first thing to know is that the river stream goes North and joins the Mediterranean sea in the Nile Delta North of Cairo and East of Alexandria. To go south is therefore to go upstream and in the absence of favorable winds, may not be possible or practical by feluccas – Egypt’s traditional sailboats.

The second thing to know is that some areas are altogether off limits to tourist boat riding because of relatively recent violence directed at foreigners on boats. In the 90s, during times of unrest and Islamic revolts, some tourists were shot dead in plain sight on the deck of dahabiyas.

While the area has returned to calm and is open to tourists on land, it still impossible to travel by boat along that stretch of the Nile.

Popular itineraries include from Aswan to Luxor or anywhere around Aswan where the southern climate makes the Nile breeze that much more delicious. For people on a budget who cannot afford a weeklong trip, there are several shorter itineraries such as the one-morning trajectory from Luxor to Qurna (close to the temple of Dendera). It is also possible to simply take a one hour trip around any of the touristic cities along the Nile. This includes Cairo but because of its bridges it limits the movements to circles between these structures.

All in all, nile cruises are an unforgettable experience which should not be missed by anyone going to the land of the Pharaohs.

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