"Cruising the Nile" Egypt Transportation Tip by gallivanting1

Egypt Transportation: 358 reviews and 302 photos

  The Nile Ruby
by gallivanting1

Booking a cruise ship is quite easy - just walk into any travel agency in Cairo. There are literally hundreds of ships that ply the Nile and they range from 3 star to 5 star - by Egyptian standards. The main point here is that you get what you pay for so barter hard. Things to remember are:
- ships travel from either Luxor to Aswan or from Aswan to Luxor
- your entrance fees are NOT included in the price of your trip
- you may stay on the ship for more nights but might find yourself moored to the pier for a couple of nights.
- they will always tell you that the ships are booked up and that it may be hard to get you a room on a ship - not true but a great bartering trick they like to use. Counter that will an "Oh well, it didn't really matter is we went or not" and they should come around.

We took the sleeping train (more on that in another tip) instead of the 1st class sleeping seat they will try to book for you. A sleeping seat is just that - a seat that may - or may not recline. I did this on my first trip to Egypt and won't do it again. The air conditioning is set to 1 degree above freezing and the lights remain on all night making it next to impossible to sleep. Now considering that when you get to Luxor you will be whisked away to see the Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Valley of the Workers, Karnak temple and Luxor temple it is a very full day and you will want to be well rested!

The saying "You get what you pay for" is true with the ships. If you want to take a felucca your accommodations and food will be basic - sleeping on the open deck (which can get very cold at night) and the captain or mate doing the cooking (make sure they are not taking the cooking water out of the Nile). A five star ship won't be much more than a four star but the noticeable difference is in the staff, the food and the accommodations. You may find yourself in a room with windows that open and perhaps even a balcony. The four star ship I was on had small cramped rooms/bathroom while the five star had lots of room and a modern bathroom.

We went at Christmas and while this is high season, the ship was half empty. When we made the arrangements in Cairo, all of the travel agents told us we would have to book quickly as it would be difficult to find us a room - don't buy it. Bide your time and get a better deal.

The ship we took was the Nile Ruby and we were more than pleased with it for the price we paid. We got a twin room for the two boys and a double for ourselves.

Type: Ship/Boat

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Jan 12, 2010
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“A man belongs where he settles, and not where he grew up. Where he is now and not where he was born. - Arabic proverb”

Online Now


Ranked Member
Member Rank:
1 0 4 6 5

Have you been to Egypt?

  Share Your Travels