Normandy & Gems of the Seine
18 Aug 2024 - 10 Nights
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, 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 legacies 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.
The port and town of Sharm-el-Sheikh lies near the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula where the Straits of Tiran meet the Gulf of Aqaba. With its strategic position, the Sinai posed a desirable target for various rulers over the centuries. In recent times, the last battle for the Sinai was fought between Egypt and Israel from 1967 to 1979, ending with a peace treaty signed in Washington, D.C. Since the withdrawal of the Israelis, more and more Egyptians have settled in the Sinai, taking advantage of the booming tourist trade. However, vast interior regions are still sparsely populated. Many Bedouins have been affected by the advent of the 21st century, which is rapidly changing their age-old customs and nomadic lifestyle. As tourism and hotel projects continue to spring up along the Sinai coast, contact with Bedouins not involved in tourism is becoming increasingly rare. Once their nomadic life kept them on the move with their tents; today many Bedouins cultivate grain, vegetables and dates in addition to catering to the tourists. Sharm-el-Sheikh was initially developed by the Israelis during the Sinai occupation. Na'ama Bay, a short drive from the port, has grown from virtually nothing into a sizeable resort since the early 1980s. Between the two towns, a string of hotels line a once-untouched coastline. Resort hotels offer great opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. Glass bottom boat trips are available for those preferring to view the exotic marine life of the Red Sea without getting their feet wet.
Aswan is Egypt’s southernmost city and remains hot and dry all year round. It is considered the most picturesque setting on the Nile and serves as a base for tourist excursions to many local sites of interest.
Cairo is the capital and largest city of Egypt. The city's metropolitan area is the largest in the Middle East and the Arab world, and 15th-largest in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area.
Qena, home to the Temple of Dendera, sits alongside the Nile in Upper Egypt. The Temple of Dendera, dedicated to the goddess Hathor, showcases impeccably preserved ancient Egyptian architecture and hieroglyphs, a testament to Qena's rich history. Thanks to its convenient placement along the Nile, Qena serves as a gateway to explore the wealth of cultural treasures and remnants of ancient civilisations across its surrounding areas.
Port Safago has been undergoing a transformation, slowly metamorphosing into a holiday rsort. Like other cities on the Red Sea, the commercial port town sits close to great offshore dive sites. Unlike others, however, tourist development hasn't taken off in a meaningful way. But if the mass tourism in Hurghada is a turnoff, Safaga offers a small-scale and much more low-key alternative, though the best dive sites can still be seen on a day trip from Hurghada. Safaga is also the closest beach resort to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, which lies 200 km (124 mi) to the southwest; when cruise ships offer land excursions to Luxor, they often do so through Safaga.
Since the early steamers visited Egypt in the nineteenth century, Luxor has remained a tourist hotspot. Situated on the east side of the Nile in the centre of The Nile Valley, Luxor is an ideal location for tours and trips to surrounding places of interest.
Port Said is located by the Suez Canal in the Northeast of Egypt. The city is steeped in history and culture as well as being an ideal place to enjoy seafood, shopping and fishing.
Though small in size, Kom Ombo, Egypt, is home to an iconic archaeological masterpiece: The Temple of Kom Ombo. Built during the Ptolemaic dynasty, The Temple of Kom Ombo is a unique structure dedicated to two deities: Sobek, the crocodile god, and Horus, the falcon-headed god. Magnificent in both its design and significance, the temple provides a captivating window into the beliefs and rituals of ancient Egypt during the period.
Founded by Alexander the Great, Alexandria was Egypt's capital for over 1,000 years. Now, it is visited by tourists looking to enjoy some diving and those interested in the Great Library, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Located on the west bank of the Nile, Abydos is steeped in ancient Egyptian history and mythology. Most famously recognised as the burial site of Osiris, god of the afterlife Abydos became a revered pilgrimage site for ancient Egyptians seeking connection to the divine and spiritual enlightenment. Boasting temples dedicated to the gods, such as the Temple of Seti I, Abydos serves as a cultural and religious centre, home to rituals, festivals and ceremonies held to honour the gods and commemorate the deceased.
Edfu is an Egyptian town of The Nile Valley situated halfway between Luxor and Aswan, on the west bank of the Nile. The town is popular with tourists for being home to one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt, dedicated to the sky god of the Nile, Horus.