The best way to discover Egypt’s historical gems? Spend a while on the Nile

A warm breeze rippling through your hair, the sun beating down on your face, clear blue skies and deep black waters; cruising the Nile is one of the best ways to take in the rich and variegated historical landscape of Egypt at a relaxed pace, with everything taken care of for you. Nile cruises come in lots of shapes are sizes – depending on what you want to do, what you want to see, how you want to spend your time and of course, budget. Want to know more? Take a few minutes to read our comprehensive guide on choosing the perfect Nile cruise.

Check carefully to choose a cruise that is exactly right for you


The Nile is one of the longest rivers in the world, so understandably no two Nile cruises are the same. Boats differ in size (from traditional boats up to large commercial vessels), plus there are different accommodation options, as with hotels, which include different amounts of food and drink, entertainment and other facilities. Some stop more than others and therefore excursions available vary from cruise to cruise – so it’s crucial to discuss what you want to get out of the cruise with your travel provider and mention if there are any specific sights you want to see. Mostly, the boats follow similar routes which allow you to take in the various temples along the way, including the infamous Valley of the Kings.


Don’t be put off by cautionary tales


You may hear bad press surrounding Nile cruises and holidays to Egypt in general, but don’t be put off by scaremongering. Popular higher-end cruises favoured by Brits offer some of the most sophisticated dining experiences in the world, and contrary to popular belief accommodation is comfortable and luxurious. The route is also heavily guarded and completely safe to travel.


..But do make sure a cruise is exactly what you want


A Nile cruise is a great way to see some of Egypt’s most romantic historical gems, but if you want to see a specific place and haven’t really considered any other factors, then you might actually prefer to stay in a hotel or resort. If you’re used to having a certain degree of ‘freedom’ and like to come and go as you please when on holiday, then a cruise is perhaps not the best option for you. In addition, all-inclusive Nile Cruises can be pricey, so if your budget doesn’t allow the standard of cruise you’d really like, then it’s perhaps best to see the sights another way. The government forbids cruises between Cairo and Luxor, so it’s worth checking that none of the sites you wish to visit are along this stretch.


How to get there


Nile cruises are available from many providers in the UK such as Thomas Cook, Kuoni andDiscover Egypt to name just a few - local boutique travel agents are often very knowledgeable if they specialise in Nile Cruises and North Africa in particular. Each provider caters for different markets, so it’s always best to keep in mind our tips and discuss what you want initially before going any further.