The Nile is one of the world’s longest and most legendary rivers, weaving its way through the history of one of the world’s most influential and intriguing civilisations, the ancient Egyptians. Even today however, the majority of this country’s people live and work close to its banks, proving that it is still a vital part of so many Egyptians’ lives. Egypt river cruises are the perfect way for you to step back in time, to walk and indeed to sail in the wake of Pharaohs and kings past and explore some of the awesome legacy which they left behind. Pyramids, monuments, ancient temples, burial chambers – even ancient cities are all yours to explore on an Egyptian river cruise.
Lying on Egypt’s coast, Alexandria is a popular cruise ship port and one of the places where the Nile enters into the Mediterranean Sea after splitting into what is known as the Nile Delta. The city’s celebrated lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the World and though it may be long gone, a popular attraction in the city is Fort Qaitbey. Built on the site on which the lighthouse once stood, it was built using some of the rocks from the original structure. The National Museum and Library of Alexandria are two other popular attractions, while the Corniche is the place to go for a sun-drenched harbour stroll.
Egypt’s ancient capital is today a hectic, bustling metropolis and one of the largest cities in the Middle East. Just north of the city, the Nile splits into the Nile Delta, making the city a key destination for Nile River cruises. Unsurprisingly perhaps, Cairo is home to the largest collection of Egyptian artefacts in the world and the Egyptian Antiquities Museum here is where you’ll be able to see such fabled treasures as Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus. A huge statue of Ramesses II which stands guard outside the city’s railway station is another noted attraction, while the city’s Islamic quarter houses some splendid architecture.
Home of the reason why so many people come to Egypt, Giza is an excursion away from the country’s capital, Cairo. Here you’ll find none other than the Pyramids of Giza, the last remaining Seven Wonders of the World and of course the mysterious Sphynx, which is truly one of the world’s most iconic sights an inexorable figurehead of the ancient Egyptians’ ingenuity, creativity and influence.
If Giza is home to Egypt’s most iconic historical sights, Luxor is where you’ll find its most fascinating and absorbing ones. Situated right on the banks of the Nile, it’s where you’ll find the awesome Temple of Karnak – a 2,000-year-old temple complex which is today a spectacular open-air museum. Luxor also plays host to the fabled Valley of the Kings, a burial ground for pharaohs past, including the legendary Tutankhamun, the tomb of whom you can visit when in Luxor.
Situated in the south of the country, Aswan is the closest port to Egypt’s border with Sudan that you’re likely to visit on your Nile river cruise. As such, it offers a much more laid-back look at traditional Egyptian life away from much of the tourist hustle-bustle. Key sites not to be missed include the Temple of Philae, the Nubian Museum, the Sculpture Park and the secluded Monastery of St Simeon.
Egypt travel tips
Egypt’s currency is the Egyptian pound. It’s always advisable to stick with a reputable tour guide and to remember that alcohol is largely prohibited, as Egypt is a Muslim country.