SAILING THE WATERS OF PHARAOHS AND QUEENS
Egypt is a gift from the Nile
We sailed in the Sheherazad of the Oberoi group. I wanted a 5-star ship and preferred it to Movenpick, and Abercrombie and Kent, although my first choice was Sonesta's Star Princess. However, there are many options but they fill up quickly in high season. I recommend the 4-night cruise but there are also 3 and 7 nights cruises as well. The itinerary is basically the same. You start or end in Luxor in the north or in Aswan in the south, and for the 7-night the boat turns around and returns to the city of origin.
Instead of flying to Luxor, we took an overnight train from Cairo. It was fun. It was a cool experience to arrive at Cairo train station in the middle of the night, boarding the train and then sleeping in mini cabins lulled by the sounds of the train. They made me feel in another era. The train was kind of scary.
The ship's cabins were quite large but the social areas are small. The food is almost always buffet style but abundant and good. Of course, typical : I got sick with something I ate. I spent two days in bed with some kind of stomach virus that struck me down.
In the evenings there is music or Arab dancing shows. Our ship and almost all have a small pool on a terrace with views of the Nile and the Temples on the banks.
The visits to the ancient cities are totally organized. They are waiting for you at th port and take you on a guided tour. It works perfectly.
Some companies can always organize a private tour for you.
LUXOR (night on board)
On the first day, we visites the Eastern Nile Temples: Luxor and Karnak. The next morning you get up early to visit the Colossi of Memnon and then the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. All of this on the western side of the river.
On the night that we remained anchored we got off the boat and walked throughout the city. We bought Egyptian pizza for the children and tried to get to the recommended Restaurant / Café for Sofra, for a night cap, but it got late, so we just wandered around.
Then we went on to visit the Temple of Esna. It is quite far and you travel by bus.
The boat continued on to visit the Temple of Horus.
Sobek is a Temple that you can see from the boat when in Kom Ombo
ASWAN (night on board)
The first day we went to the Dam and the granite quarries. But also navigated on a replica of an ancient felucca, the typical Egyptian boats on the Nile. It was exciting. Actually we even found it risky.
Then the next day we visited the temple of Philae which is reached by boat.
We croosed over to the other side of the River where the San Simeón Monastery is. There we rented camels for a long ride of about 45 minutes. We had a great time!
Late that afternoon we took a taxi and tried to have tea at the Old Cataract Hotel where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile, but they did not let us in, so the taxi driver recommended us to go up to the terrace of a place called The Nubian House at the top of the hill. We enjoyed a spectacular sunset overlooking the Nile and Elephantine Island.
Since we were not able to book a flight for Abu Simbel that was our farewell night. Something exceptional with unforgettable memories.
Buy your air tickets in time. We thought it would be very easy there and upon arrival we did not find any flight despite the fact that there are several a day and it only takes about 25 minutes by plane.
The temples are visited in 2 hours so it is ok to plan the trip early in the morning to take the flight back to Cairo via Aswan in the evening.
I think the visit to the Temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel is a must… so I have a colossal excuse for us to return to Egypt!!